Jeff Bezos was congratulated by establishment political figures on the left and right for exposing what some have called an attempt to blackmail him by the National Enquirer.
Bezos had been threatening a lawsuit against the Enquirer for publishing his embarrassing text messages to his mistress. If Bezos’ transcripts of emails with the Enquirer’s owners are to be believed, it seems as if they threatened to release even more of Bezos’ lewd text messages if he didn’t cease and desist with his lawsuit.
Bezos, under the impression that he was being blackmailed, released the emails. Now it remains to be seen if more personal messages and photos associated with the billionaire oligarch will be released.
If not, the Amazon billionaire will have largely succeeded in what many have called an effort by a wealthy and influential individual to shut down embarrassing press coverage. Bezos claimed in his expose of the emails that pictures of his genitalia are unnewsworthy and thus worthy of legal sanctions should they be published.
However, at one point Bezos was far less amenable to the idea that wealthy individuals should be able to shut down embarrassing news coverage.
The oligarch went on the record in 2016 in defense of the now-defunct media platform Gawker, which was at the time being sued by Silicon Valley billionaire Peter Thiel and Hulk Hogan. Gawker had outed Thiel as a gay man and exposed a sex tape of the former WWE superstar.
At the time, Bezos sided with Gawker, stating that “the best defense against speech that you don’t like about yourself as a public figure is to develop a thick skin.”
The lawsuit against Gawker was ultimately successful, sending the company out of business.
Bezos spoke in the now completely hypocritical remarks at a tech conference in California:
“As a public figure, the best defense you have against… speech that you don’t like, is to have a thick skin.”
Interestingly, it seems that Bezos’ perspective on supposed media defamation has shifted completely when it targets himself, and more broadly, the progressive left.
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BEWARE: New ‘Conservative Economics’ Think Tank by National Review Hack is Another #NeverTrump Grift
Columnist Oren Cass has a history of opposing Trump and denigrating his supporters.
Public policy analyst and conservative author Oren Cass announced today that he would be establishing American Compass, a thinktank with a focus on populist economics that is set to open in May.
“Delighted to announce the formation of American Compass, whose mission is to restore an economic consensus that emphasizes the importance of family, community, and industry to the nation’s liberty and prosperity,” Cass wrote on Twitter on Tuesday.
While Cass may act like he wants to offer an “America First” vision for conservatism, his history of writings at National Review indicate that he is another Never Trumper attempting to reinvent himself in order to grift or co-opt the movement Trump is responsible for creating.
“Keeping any distance in the public mind between conservatism and Trumpism — not just checking his executive power, but continually repudiating his demagoguery and standing beside its targets — will require a Herculean effort in the coming years. Perhaps it will be impossible. But we should try, most importantly because it is the right thing to do,” Cass wrote in an article just days after Trump was elected President.
“Conservatives cannot afford to have their long-standing agenda become indistinguishable from the noxious elements of Trumpism… But to be viable (or deserving of respect) in the long term, Republicans will have to sustain that coalition independent of the antidemocratic and intolerant aspects that Trump leveraged. Some will smirk that this is impossible and guts the core appeal of Trumpism, but if that’s true, then we’ll have to ensure its gutting anyway,” he added.
In a previous op/ed, Cass lauded Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) as the paragon of virtue while denigrating Trump’s brand of politics and insulting his fans.
“The real difference is that Romney held himself each day to the highest standards of decency and felt keenly the burdens of leadership, while Trump is an entertainer committed to delivering whatever irrational blather of insults, threats, and lies will earn the most retweets,” Cass wrote.
“The Trump phenomenon does not deserve elevation to the level of some reasonable response, needed movement, or well-earned comeuppance. It is best regarded as some combination of nihilistic joke and authoritarian fantasy,” he added.
In his latest screed laying out the philosophical basis for his new thinktank, Cass never mentions Trump, or even Fox News anchor Tucker Carlson, even once. He instead name drops Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) as the model for his brand of conservatism.
“The problems animating America’s resurgent populism are very real. They will be solved neither by the ideological alignments that governed us into the crisis nor by that populism itself, which has demonstrated no ability to formulate or implement a coherent response,” he wrote.
Cass’ new project will create a “coherent response” to mounting societal problems that fits neatly within the parameters of globalism and politics-as-usual. Similar to National Review editor Rich Lowry with his book “The Case for Nationalism,” Cass is another establishment Republican attempting to make himself relevant in a political landscape that has passed him by.
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