Words of Advice:

"If Something Seems To Be Too Good To Be True, It's Best To Shoot It, Just In Case." -- Fiona Glenanne

Flying the Airplane is More Important than Radioing Your Plight to a Person on the Ground Who is Incapable of Understanding or Doing Anything About It." -- Unknown

"There seems to be almost no problem that Congress cannot, by diligent efforts and careful legislative drafting, make ten times worse." -- Me

"What the hell is an `Aluminum Falcon'?" -- Emperor Palpatine

"Eck!" -- George the Cat

Friday, February 8, 2019

Pass the Popcorn; Tabloid Ed.

The National Enquirer’s alleged attempt to blackmail Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos with intimate photos could get the tabloid’s parent company and top editors in deep legal trouble and reopen them to prosecution for paying hush money to a Playboy model who claimed she had an affair with Donald Trump.

Federal prosecutors are looking at whether the Enquirer’s feud with Bezos violated a cooperation and non-prosecution agreement that recently spared the gossip sheet from charges in the hush-money case, two people familiar with the matter told The Associated Press on Friday.

The clash between the world’s richest man and America’s most aggressive supermarket tabloid spilled into public view late Thursday when Bezos accused it of threatening to print photos of him and the woman with whom he was having an extramarital affair.

He said the Enquirer made two demands: Stop investigating how the publication recently obtained private messages that Bezos and his girlfriend had exchanged. And publicly declare that the Enquirer’s coverage of Bezos was not politically motivated.
According to the National Enquirer, what a rational person would call blackmail is, to them, "good faith negotiations".

I find it hard to conceive of how threatening to publish salacious photos of someone if they don't agree to do something is anything other than blackmail. But, no doubt, the Enquirer's lawyers will argue that.



dinthebeast said...


-Doug in Oakland

w3ski said...

Maybe I think too much of the Law, but isn't blackmail a crime?
Did Pecker not commit a crime here?

CenterPuke88 said...

From the NYT:

“Legal definitions aside, there is a foolproof definition for blackmail and extortion, according to William N. Nettles, the United States attorney in South Carolina from 2010 to 2016...Extortion and blackmail are similar concepts with overlapping definitions. “They are very, very similar,” Mr. Nettles said. “You could say that blackmail is a specific subset of extortion.”

With extortion, a person makes a threat, often physical or destructive, to obtain something or to force someone to do something. The textbook example is the mafia warning: Pay me money or I will hurt you. In 2004, an underboss of the Gambino crime family was charged and later convicted in an extortion scheme that involved a Connecticut nightclub owner paying the family for “protection.”

With blackmail, a person threatens to reveal embarrassing or damaging information if a demand is not met. That demand can be for money or something else of value. In 1792, Alexander Hamilton paid $1,000 to the husband of a woman he was having an affair with, after the man threatened to reveal the relationship. While Hamilton paid the initial amount, he ignored subsequent demands.

...In the United States, the federal government and all 50 states have criminal statutes covering extortion and blackmail. Such cases can become federal crimes if they involve “interstate commerce,” which can be as simple as emailing a threat from one state to another.”

Summary, someone will likely get time for this, and Perker and his rag have serious legal jeopardy here. When you’ve already admitted guilt and violated the agreement that stops them from hammering you, it’s not a good place to be.