Amazon founder and Washington Post publisher Jeff Bezos has put forward a horde of what now appear to be provably false accusations and full-blown conspiracy theories surrounding President Trump and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s alleged involvement in publicizing his extramarital activities.
Last month, Bezos unexpectedly broke the news via Twitter that he and his wife of 25 years were getting divorced. Later that day, it became clear that he was pre-empting an embarrassing saga that involved the National Enquirer tabloid acquiring racy texts and photos that the billionaire executive had been sending to his mistress.
Instead of recognizing that he had conducted himself inappropriately and taking responsibility for his actions, Bezos wrote a Medium post accusing various entities of conducting an “extortion and blackmail” campaign against him.
The Amazon founder implied in his post that it was possible the National Enquirer was on a mission to destroy him due to the Washington Post’s coverage of Saudi Arabia and President Trump.
“Here’s a piece of context: My ownership of the Washington Post is a complexifier for me. It’s unavoidable that certain powerful people who experience Washington Post news coverage will wrongly conclude I am their enemy,” Bezos wrote. “President Trump is one of those people, obvious by his many tweets. Also, The Post’s essential and unrelenting coverage of the murder of its columnist Jamal Khashoggi is undoubtedly unpopular in certain circles.”
The Washington Post has taken to extreme measures in publishing unrelentingly negative stories against Saudi Arabia. Following Khashoggi’s death, The Post became weaponized into an open forum for foreign governments and radical Islamist and jihadi groups opposed to Saudi Arabia’s role in the Middle East. The Post routinely falsely categorized its deceased Islamist columnist Khashoggi as a democracy advocate, a journalist, and a voice for reform, none of which is even remotely true.
That's right, folks. Following the death of fake journalist Jamal Khashoggi, the Washington Post and Global Opinions editor Karen Attiah have taken to propping up an Iran-backed jihadi group that *tortures journalists*https://t.co/yyBYpsv9fYhttps://t.co/wvoqx5FCx4
— Jordan Schachtel (@JordanSchachtel) December 7, 2018
What the media isn’t telling you about the Jamal Khashoggi affair https://t.co/4IqtZwc8Qz
— Jordan Schachtel (@JordanSchachtel) October 16, 2018
“For reasons still to be better understood, the Saudi angle seems to hit a particularly sensitive nerve,” Bezos said in promoting the evidence-free conspiracy theory that Saudi Arabia was involved in his personal affairs.
With each day that passed, Bezos appeared to become more and more convinced that the publicizing of his extramarital affair was the result of a Trump-Saudi-National Enquirer collusion conspiracy. They were all out to get him, for a variety of reasons, he concluded.
As recently as this past weekend, a private investigator hired by Mr. Bezos was telling reporters (including individuals who work for Bezos’ Washington Post) that it was possible the Trump administration itself had “hacked” his text messages.
Washington Posts @RoigFranzia says Bezos' team thinks it's possible that the text leaks were politically motivated and that a "government entity" accessed the Bezos texts and hoo boy that's certainly something pic.twitter.com/MQuzNFbCed
— Andrew Lawrence (@ndrew_lawrence) February 8, 2019
All three parties alleged in the Bezos conspiracy theory immediately and unequivocally rejected the idea that they were involved at all. Nonetheless, the government “hacking” and Trump-Saudi conspiracy theory set off a firestorm in the media, with unrelenting coverage on CNN and MSNBC, along with countless legacy media reporters and NeverTrump commentators parroting the completely unproven claims trotted out by the Bezos machine. Some commentators, such as CNN’s Don Lemon, even celebrated the conspiratorial allegations as a “boss move.”
CNN's @DonLemon: Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos says the National Enquirer’s publisher attempted to extort him, so he pulled a "boss move," a move "only the wealthiest man in the entire world could make" https://t.co/MlX69ZkPvK pic.twitter.com/DrgMgbsP6R
— CNN Tonight (@CNNTonight) February 8, 2019
But the simple truth is much less compelling.
This week, we found out that the Bezos investigation has concluded, only to report that it was his mistress’s brother who apparently leaked the text messages to the Enquirer. The AP reported Monday:
“Private investigators working for Jeff Bezos have concluded that the brother of the Amazon CEO’s mistress leaked the couple’s intimate text messages to the National Enquirer.”
And just like that, the Trump-Saudi Arabia-National Enquirer collusion conspiracy theory — akin to the evidence-free Trump-Russia conspiracy theories that have saturated the media for the past three years — has disappeared. In an attempt to redirect his embarrassing misdeeds, Jeff Bezos smeared President Trump and the government of Saudi Arabia and falsely accused them of wrongdoing.
Given how his prized pet project, the Washington Post, has covered President Trump and Saudi Arabia over the past couple of years, they certainly should not expect an apology from Bezos any time soon.