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Sun Feb 10, 2019, 03:16 PM

Bezos' character is flawed; Pecker's is malevolent

As stories go, the face-off between Jeff Bezos and David Pecker (paging Charles Dickens) has all the elements of a 21st-century battle royale between good and evil, represented by the richest man in the world, who happens to own The Washington Post, and the pied piper of sleaze, respectively.

Thank you, God.

Such is the stuff of columnist prayers: scandal, sex, money and, quite possibly, extortion, blackmail and an epic turn of events via shame, redemption and culture-shifting litigation. The only way the script could be improved would be if there were also a Russian connection and a bread-crumb path to Donald Trump.

Briefly, for those just waking up, Bezos, creator of Amazon, may have proved all too human when he apparently fell in love with a woman not his wife and, as often happens, fell into a hormonally induced trance during which he texted her intimate messages and pictures.

Enter Satan, aka an unknown person, who apparently secured several of those messages along with 10 photos and provided them to the National Enquirer, which is owned by American Media Inc. and where Pecker is publisher. After some of the texts (but no photos) were published last month in the Enquirer, Bezos decided to find the thief and asked security expert Gavin de Becker to lead the investigation. Whereupon, the brilliant minds at the Enquirer apparently decided to threaten Bezos. In writing.

The gist of the threat was a suggestion that the photos would be published unless Bezos asserted that there was no political motive to the publishing of the texts. Naturally, one wonders what else they might be hiding at the Enquirer, other than, perhaps, a trove of Trump stories, photos and, possibly, assorted dossiers that have been stashed in a vault. Recall that AMI cut an immunity deal with investigators who were looking into Trump’s knowledge of the Enquirer’s catch-and-kill practice, including buying Playboy model Karen McDougal’s story alleging an affair with Trump.

Rather than go further down the road of threats, alleged extortion and blackmail, Bezos called Pecker’s hand on Thursday, raised him significantly, and essentially said, “No dice.” At great risk of personal shame, Bezos published correspondence between respective lawyers in an essay on the online publishing platform Medium.

https://www.heraldnet.com/opinion/parker-bezos-character-is-flawed-peckers-is-malevolent/

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