On Feb. 7, 2019, Ronan Farrow said he and another prominent journalist who had reported on President Trump and the National Enquirer received threats from the owner of the publication American Media Inc (AMI) over their reporting.
Farrow revealed his allegation hours after Jeff Bezos, Amazon CEO and owner of The Washington Post, acknowledged he was being extorted and blackmailed by the same company who threatened to publish explicit photos of him and his mistress unless he stopped investigating the National Enquirer.
On the evening of Feb. 7, 2019, Farrow tweeted on Twitter:
I and at least one other prominent journalist involved in breaking stories about the National Enquirer’s arrangement with Trump fielded similar “stop digging or we’ll ruin you” blackmail efforts from AMI. (I did not engage as I don’t cut deals with subjects of ongoing reporting.)
In April 2018, Farrow reported in the New Yorker a story about how the National Enquirer buried stories which helped Trump during the 2016 presidential campaign by paying off sources.
Ted Bridis, a former editor at the Associated Press (AP) responded to Farrow by tweeting that he was warned that AMI had hired private investigators to get information on AP journalists who were investigating the National Enquirer’s support of Trump. He also claimed in the tweet that the National Enquirer, AMI, and its lawyers “tried to shut down public interest reporting on tabloid’s work on behalf of Trump.”
Noah Shachtman, Editor and Chief of The Daily Beast tweeted on Feb. 7 in response to Bezos:
In the process of reporting those stories, The Beast and a member of its staff were threatened by AMI’s attorneys.
Bezos and Farrow said they did not give in to the alleged threats by AMI, but Bezos said his investigation team uncovered many did. Bezos wrote on Medium that numerous people contacted him about their experiences with AMI, and they had to give in to their demands because their livelihood would have been destroyed.
AMI entered into a non-prosecution agreement contingent on not committing crimes for three years. If Bezos’ and Farrow’s allegations are true, the company may be in violation of that agreement
Written by Barbara Sobel
Edited by Cathy Milne-Ware
Washington Post: Ronan Farrow says he also faced ‘blackmail efforts from AMI’ for reporting on the National Enquirer, Trump
Newser: Ronan Farrow Says AMI Tried to Blackmail Him
Chicago Tribune: Ronan Farrow, like Jeff Bezos, says he also received ‘blackmail’ threat over reporting on National Enquirer and Trump
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