National Enquirer CEO David Pecker was well known for “publishing for an audience of one, “ i.e., Donald Trump, according to Jerry George, a 26 year veteran of the Enquirer speaking to CNN [as reported by Daily Mail] recently. He also told told Trump in no uncertain terms that there would be “no negative press on Trump or his organization.” George said, “When David Pecker came on as CEO, he brought with him a silent editor, and that was Donald Trump.” But now, the Trump/Pecker narrative has changed and George says, “I think there’s a very strong chance that David Pecker may end up doing time.” What’s changed, is that Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’ standing up to the National Enquirer’s alleged blackmail attempt over “dick pics” of Bezos with his girlfriend, may have invalidated Pecker’s immunity deal with federal authorities, (made in connection with a $150,000 payoff to a former Playboy model that Trump was allegedly involved with,) and Pecker is, understandably, more than a little upset. Vanity Fair:
“Several days ago, an A.M.I. leader advised us that Mr. Pecker is ‘apoplectic’ about our investigation,” Bezos wrote. “A few days after hearing about Mr. Pecker’s apoplexy, we were approached, verbally at first, with an offer. They said they had more of my text messages and photos that they would publish if we didn’t stop our investigation. . . . In the A.M.I. letters I’m making public, you will see the precise details of their extortionate proposal: they will publish the personal photos unless Gavin de Becker and I make the specific false public statement to the press that we ‘have no knowledge or basis for suggesting that A.M.I.’s coverage was politically motivated or influenced by political forces.’ If we do not agree to affirmatively publicize that specific lie, they say they’ll publish the photos, and quickly.” […]
Pecker, meanwhile, would appear to be licking his wounds. There’s already speculation that the blackmail allegations could blow up his immunity deal, which expressly warned against illegal activity over the next three years. On Friday morning, A.M.I. issued a cautiously worded statement on the matter: “American Media believes fervently that it acted lawfully in the reporting of the story of Mr. Bezos. Further, at the time of the recent allegations made by Mr. Bezos, it was in good faith negotiations to resolve all matters with him. Nonetheless, in light of the nature of the allegations published by Mr. Bezos, the Board has convened and determined that it should promptly and thoroughly investigate the claims. Upon completion of that investigation, the Board will take whatever appropriate action is necessary.”
Bezo’s blog post has been described as “the everything story” from the man who gave us the Everything Store.The Atlantic:
But Bezos’s post did something that has become common in this cultural-political moment. His blog post is, well, a blog post. But it is also so salacious, so bizarrely stimulating, that it overwhelms the thinking brain and presents instead as pure spectacle. In a little more than 2,000 words, Bezos seemed to rip every headline out of the newspaper and bind them in an eternal neon braid: the mighty power of billionaires, the immiseration of American journalism, the thin smudge of porniness that smartphones have layered onto reality—all of that, and President Donald Trump (who is a close friend of David Pecker, AMI’s chief executive), and the corruption and journalist-murdering malice of the Saudi government, which Bezos alleges is wrapped up in his story “for reasons still to be better understood.” Bezos once founded the Everything Store; now he has given us the Everything Story.
The trail of bread crumbs leading from Pecker and AMI, through Bezos, all the way to Trump and his handling of the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, does strain credulity, and sounds more like high pitched conspiracy theory than anything else. That is, until you get to the manner in which AMI probably obtained Bezo’s private pictures and texts, and that is vintage Trump. Daily Beast:
Gavin de Becker, the Amazon chief’s longtime personal security consultant and the point person for the investigation, confirmed to The Daily Beast on Wednesday that his probe has scrutinized Michael Sanchez, the brother of Bezos mistress Lauren Sanchez and a personal and business associate of Trumpworld figures including Roger Stone, Carter Page, and Scottie Nell Hughes.
On Wednesday, The Daily Beast first reported the existence of that investigation, which is taking place independent of Amazon and being funded by Bezos personally. Three sources familiar with the inquiry said it was increasingly probable that whoever leaked the text messages to the Enquirer, which ran a conspicuously large 12-page spread on Bezos’ affair, harbored political animosity towards Bezos, the owner of the Washington Post.
Michael Sanchez’s name bubbled up on the British celebrity news and gossip website Popbitch last week in the context of the Enquirer story. Stone also mentioned Sanchez in an interview with conspiracy theory site Infowars on Wednesday that sought to preempt The Daily Beast’s reporting by falsely claiming that it would accuse him of conspiring with the Trump administration to hack Bezos’ phone.
A disgruntled, pro-Trump sibling, out to aid and abet the likes of Roger “Dirty Trickster” Stone and take down Trump arch enemy Jeff Bezos, might be the key to the latest furor in Trumpworld. It makes as much sense as anything else posited so far. And, with the introduction of these names into the story, it’s very much like the man said, “It’s looking less and less like yellow journalism and more like organized crime.” And keep this thought in the back of your mind at all times: Trump’s point man with Saudi Arabia is none other than son-in-law Jared Kushner. Any Saudi wrongdoing may very well come back to roost on Kushner’s doorstep, and that could be what Bezos was inferring, when he said, “for reasons still to be better understood.”
The question now becomes, if Pecker’s immunity deal blows up and he’s pushed against the wall, what might he have up his sleeve to reveal about Trump, on those facts, to save his own skin? There’s no honor among thieves, and decidedly, the ante has upped considerably for Pecker in just the past few days. His, literal, below the belt antics towards Bezos backfired.