Accuracy in Media

Mainstream media’s efforts to blame everything on President Trump took a bizarre turn this week when the Washington Post ran a story that appears to accuse the president of orchestrating a hit job on the Post’s publisher that led to the end of his marriage.

Jeff Bezos, who owns the Washington Post and is widely thought to be the world’s richest man, announced in mid-January that he and his wife of 25 years, Mackenzie Bezos, were divorcing.

The announcement came just a day before the National Enquirer released an expose’ on Bezos that revealed the affair and provided numerous photographs of him with Lauren Sanchez, a former news anchor from Los Angeles with whom he is believed to be involved.

The photos were taken over a period of months, the Enquirer said, after one of its reporters noticed Sanchez with Bezos at a ceremony for a space rocket launch. But the article also included romantic text messages from Bezos to Sanchez, and Bezos has launched an investigation to learn how the Enquirer obtained the texts.

On Wednesday, the Post ran a piece headlined, “Was tabloid exposé of Bezos affair just juicy gossip or a political hit job?” by Marc Fisher, Manuel Roig-Franzia and Sarah Ellison.

“When the National Enquirer published explicit text messages between Amazon founder Jeffrey P. Bezos and the woman he was having an affair with, the world’s richest man made clear he wanted to find out how the tabloid got hold of his private communications,” the Post wrote.

“Bezos commissioned and investigation into the Enquirer’s investigation of his love life, thereby leaping into a roiling mix of political attacks and conspiracy theories featuring the president of the United States, key figures in special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s probe of Russian interference in the 2016 election, minor Hollywood celebrities and the owner of The Washington Post, Bezos himself.

“Depending on whom you believe, the Enquirer’s expose’ on Bezos affair was a political hit inspired by President Trump’s allies, an inside job by people seeking to protect Bezos’s marriage, or no conspiracy at all, simply a juicy gossip story.”

The Post’s evidence Trump was involved in its publisher getting caught by a tabloid having an affair is that the Enquirer “has acknowledged taking actions during the last presidential campaign that benefited Trump politically” and that Trump “has repeatedly lodged attacks on the Post’s coverage of him and on Bezos, who bought the news company in 2013.”

Moreover, Michael Sanchez, brother of Bezos’ mistress and “a pro-Trump Hollywood talent manager who is also an acquaintance of provocative Trump backers Roger Stone and Carter Page,” is among those accused of providing the info to National Enquirer. He denies any involvement and said Gavin de Becker, who is head of security for both Bezos and the Washington Post, is accusing him in an effort to deflect from his own failures to protect the boss.

He also claims he was “told by multiple people at American Media, the Enquirer’s parent company, that the Enquirer set out to do ‘a takedown to make Trump happy.’”

De Becker, ordered by Bezos to investigate how the tabloid obtained his texts, told the Post he concluded Bezos was not hacked.

“Rather, de Becker said in an interview, the Enquirer’s scoop about Bezos’s relationship with … Sanchez began with a ‘politically motivated’ leak meant to embarrass the owner of The Post – an effort potentially involving several important figures in Trump’s 2016 campaign.’”

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