Tag Archives: Jeff
The lawyer for the chairman of the National Enquirer’s parent company said there wasn’t any blackmail, extortion or political motivations involved in the fight between the tabloid and Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon.
Photos and other details about Bezos’s extramarital affair came from “a reliable source” known to Bezos — and not from President Donald Trump, Saudi Arabia or Trump adviser Roger Stone, said Elkan Abramowitz, an attorney for David Pecker, chairman, chief executive and president of American Media Inc.
“It was a usual story that National Enquirer gets from reliable sources,” Abramowitz said on ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday. He didn’t name the source.
In a public blog post Feb. 7, Bezos published letters from lawyers representing AMI who demanded he drop a private investigation into the company — or else it would publish more embarrassing photographs about the wealthy businessman. Bezos accused the National Enquirer publisher of extortion.
Bezos’s post referenced Pecker’s connections with the Saudis and suggested more would come to light. The Amazon founder, who also owns the Washington Post, also appeared to be making references to that paper’s aggressive investigation of the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, who wrote for the paper, and the seeming reluctance of the Trump administration to hold Saudis responsible despite that assessment by the intelligence community.
“It absolutely is not extortion and not blackmail,” Abramowitz said. He suggested the letters were an attempt to resolve differences because Bezos didn’t want another story about him and AMI “did not want to have the libel against them that this was inspired by the White House, inspired by Saudi Arabia or inspired by the Washington Post,” the lawyer said.
A Saudi Arabian envoy, Adel al-Jubeir, said in an interview airing on CBS’s “Face the Nation” on Sunday that the kingdom had nothing to do with the leaks to AMI and “this sounds to me like a soap opera.”
Federal prosecutors are reviewing the National Enquirer’s handling of its story about Bezos to determine whether the company violated an earlier cooperation deal with prosecutors, according to two people familiar with the matter.
Bezos Blackmail Charge Intensifies Proxy War With Trump
AMI agreed not to commit crimes as part of that deal to avoid prosecution over hush-money payments to women who claimed relationships with Trump. Michael Cohen, Trump’s former lawyer, played a pivotal role in some of the payments and has pleaded guilty to related charges.
Asked whether he’s worried that the Bezos revelations have put the cooperation agreement in jeopardy, Abramowitz responded, “absolutely not.”
Abramowitz also said while AMI has sought financing from the Saudis, it “never obtained any, doesn’t have any Saudi Arabian finance.”
Bezos said last month that he and his wife, MacKenzie, were divorcing, in an announcement that came just hours before the Enquirer reported that Bezos had been having a relationship with another woman. Bezos hired a private investigator, Gavin de Becker, to learn how the texts were obtained and “to determine the motives for the many unusual actions taken by the Enquirer.”
I have a feeling it’s happening more often.
As Amazon begins to place a large footprint on every part of America, some people are wondering if that’s entirely a good thing.
Last week, I wrote about a very clever filmmaker who changed the music on Amazon’s latest ad and made the company seem like an alien invader, there to gobble all before it.
Now it’s becoming a trend.
Was he portrayed as an innovative tech genius, bringing joy to all the people of the world?
Instead, here was a man who communicated through a twisted telepathy and spoke in the robotic tones of someone who’d really rather like to immolate you, as soon as you serve no further purpose to him.
He knows how to hit you where it truly hurts.
If you don’t do what he says, he threatens to, gasp, take away your Amazon Prime status.
And who can live without that?
You might think that anyone who achieves power is likely to face a certain level of ridicule.
What’s different with Amazon is that too may stories are now emerging in which the company appears entirely without heart.
You might imagine there’s little Amazon can do about that.
Growth, after all, is the only characteristic America respects in companies.
You have to get bigger and bigger until you burst, rather like the average American diner.
Yet Amazon executives are surely concerned that a company claiming to put consumers at its core may become a little more unpopular with those very consumers.
Some might wonder whether, instead of this being Amazon’s prime time, it’s actually the beginning of the end.
Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek.
In today’s America, we tend to feel gray areas are a touch passé.
You’re either right or you’re wrong. And if you can’t see which you are, then you’re two slices short of a sandwich.
How, though, can you even begin to persuade someone who’s mistaken — or even worse, vehemently disagrees with you?
A new study makes a curious suggestion, one that won’t please everyone.
The study, conducted by Brendan Nyhan of Dartmouth College and Jason Reifler of the University of Exeter, is entitled The roles of information deficits and identity threat in the prevalence of misperceptions.
They’re very polite about the fountains of knowledge pouring into today’s humans.
“Why do so many Americans hold misperceptions?” the researchers ask.
To which I reply: “Why do many Americans now put mis in front of pleasant words, instead of calling them that they really are? Lying has become misspeaking? Oh, I don’t think it has.”
Nyhan and Reifler come to a startling, even painful conclusion: “In three experiments, we find that providing information in graphical form reduces misperceptions. A third study shows that this effect is greater than for equivalent textual information.”
Yes, if you want to persuade your half-cut, halfwitted neighbor or colleague about the parlous state of the world and the dangers of fascism/socialism/democracy/self-help books, your best bet is to show them a chart.
Worse, it seems that a chart is better than even text. Goodness, is that where I’ve been going wrong all my life?
I can, though, already see Jeff Bezos’s eyes rolling into the back of his head and emerging with a very red hue.
As the Amazon CEO explained in his latest letter to shareowners: “We don’t do PowerPoint (or any other slide-oriented) presentations at Amazon. Instead, we write narratively structured six-page memos. We silently read one at the beginning of each meeting in a kind of ‘study hall.'”
So no slides or charts and graphics for Bezos. All he wants is a short story. Could he, perhaps, misperceive the benefits of charts?
Still, charts surely can’t be so effective, otherwise everyone would have tried them.
Moreover, it’s not as if you can create a chart to describe every false belief. How, for example, do you create a chart for a CEO who simply thinks his touch and feel is always right?
Nyhan and Reifler explain that a considerable reason why people hold on to false information is purely psychological. It confirms their world view.
“On high-profile issues, many of the misinformed are likely to have already encountered and rejected correct information that was discomforting to their self-concept or worldview,” they say.
Yes, but it’s not as if that nice man on CNN with his Election Night charts has ever persuaded many people, is it?
Expect, though, the rising stars in many companies now rushing to create charts in order to show that they’re right and their brain-manacled bosses are wrong.
Expect, too, that American politics will now be revolutionized with the presentation of definitive charts of right and wrong.
You think I’m wrong about that?
Send me a chart to show me why.
Billionaire Jeff Bezos shed some more light on his plans to take us to the moon. At the Space Development Conference in Los Angeles, Bezos said that his Blue Origin space venture will play a critical role in this so-called lunar settlement.
“We will have to leave this planet,” Bezos told Geekwire. “We’re going to leave it, and it’s going to make this planet better. We’ll come and go, and the people who want to stay will stay.”
He thinks the Earth should be zoned for residential and light industrial use, while much of the heavy industry will move to other planets or the moon. He predicts this will happen in the next 100 years. As Gizmodo described it, “humans will ultimately use the functionally unlimited expanse of space as a giant solar powered manufacturing sector slash garbage dump.”
Bezos did say that the exploration and eventual settlement of the moon “won’t be done by one company.” He noted a desire to collaborate with NASA or the European space agency, but said it will ultimately require “thousands of companies working in concert over many decades.”
The private space race has been heating up in recent years with Bezos and fellow rocket billionaires Elon Musk and Richard Branson.
Over the weekend, Branson said that he and Bezos are “neck and neck as to who will put people into space first.” But, he added, they “have to do it safely,” calling it a “race with ourselves” to ensure that they each build a shuttle that is safe enough to send people to space.
Don’t hold your breath for private space travel to go mainstream anytime soon. To put things in perspective: Fewer than 600 people, nearly all from the public sector, have ever gone above the Kármán line—the point about 62 miles above Earth that marks the beginning of space.
The next war on drugs will be fought by bureaucrats. A new strain of startups is making sure legal marijuana businesses are ready. The post The Pot Startups Prepping for Jeff Sessions’ New War on Drugs appeared first on WIRED.
With soaring revenues, international expansion plans and even a cloud computing division, Alibaba could still prove to be Amazon’s biggest …