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Blackmail and Extortion

Witcover: Bezos' gutsy pushback against gossip journalism

Witcover: Bezos' gutsy pushback against gossip journalism

Jeff Bezos, owner of The Washington Post and said to be the world's richest man, has accused the gossip-mongering National Enquirer of attempted extortion and revealed details from his own extramarital affair rather than allowing the Enquirer to smear him with them.

Mr. Bezos, in a statement reported in a long page-one account in his own newspaper of the tabloid's attempt, quickly earned praise from other journalism outlets for standing up to the Enquirer's publishing firm, American Media Inc.

He reported that the threat of extortion came after he had begun investigating how the Enquirer had obtained evidence of the affair with a former Los Angeles television anchor, Lauren...