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Like Bezos, Ronan Farrow Says He Was Also Blackmailed After Reporting on Enquirer and Trump

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Like Bezos, Ronan Farrow Says He Was Also Blackmailed After Reporting on Enquirer and Trump

2019-02-08 16:52:371 Oct 2018 01:53 AM EST

By Laura Tucker, Staff writer; Image: Ronan Farrow (Image source: Fuzheado via Wikimedia Commons)

 

This just doesn't seem like it's a much of a coincidence. Jeff Bezos published a scathing piece stating that The National Enquirer and the boss of the tabloid's parent company, American Media Inc., were trying to blackmail him with intimate photos, indicating it may have been so that he would agree to have the paper he owns, The Washington Post, go easier on  AMI and Donald Trump.

 

Hours later Ronan Farrow is reporting that he also faced "blackmail efforts from AMI" because he had reported on Trump and the Enquirer. His other reporting brought down Harvey Weinstein and earned The New Yorker a Pulitzer Prize for Public Service. His reporting also brought down Eric Scneiderman, and Les Moonves. 

According to Farrow, the son of Mia Farrow and Woody Allen, he and "at least one other prominent journalist" who'd reported on the National Enquirer and Trump, received blackmail threats from AMI.

 

Ronan retweeted Bezos' post about his article and added, "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.) 

Farrow published an article in the New Yorker last April about the Enquirer's practice of "catch and kill." This would be stories being buried by paying off sources, and this particular use of it benefitted Trump during the 2016 campaign.

 

It turns out it's not just Bezos and Farrow, as now other journalists and media outlets are claiming that they have also been targeted by AMI after they reported on the National Enquirer. 

A former Association Press editor, Ted Bridis, retweeted Farrow's comments and wrote, "We were warned explicitly by insiders that AMI had hired private investigators to dig into backgrounds of @AP journalists looking into the tabloid's efforts on behalf of Trump. Never saw evidence of this either way, and it didn't stop our reporting."

 

In a separate tweet he referenced Bezos's post that AMI, the Enquirer, and their attorneys "tried to shut down public interest reporting on tabloid's work on behalf of Trump." 

The Daily Beast reported that AMI attorneys aggressively responded to reports that were published last week regarding Bezos's investigation of the Enquirer. During their reporting, Daily Beast and "a member of its staff were threatened by AMI's attorneys."

 

The Washington Post reported on Tuesday that "documents obtained by The Post show that attorneys for American Media sought to persuade the Daily Beast not to publish its initial report suggesting that Trump's allies may have been involved in the effort to expose the Bezos affair. 

"According to a draft legal complaint, Enquirer attorneys threatened to sue the Daily Beast if it used any information provided by a former Enquirer executive who had been hired by the website," continued the report.

 

In 2017 Mike Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough claimed in a Washington Post op-ed that "top White House staff members warned that the National Enquirer was planning to publish a negative article about us unless we begged the president to have the story spiked." 

The two wrote that they "ignored their desperate pleas."

 

Later that day on their show, "Morning Joe," Scarborough said, "We got a call that, hey, the National Enquirer is going to run a negative story against you guys."  

He claimed "three people at the very top of the administration" called and told him, "If you call the president up, and you apologize for your coverage, then he will pick up the phone and basically spike this story." They were even calling Scarborough's children and his close friends.

 

AMI released a statement on Friday that said it "believes fervently that it acted lawfully in the reporting of the story of Mr. Bezos. Further, at the time of the recent allegations made by Mr. Bezos, it was in good faith negotiations to resolve all matters with him." 

'Nonetheless," continues the statement, "in light of the nature of the allegations published by Mr. Bezos, the Board has convened and determined that it should promptly and thoroughly investigate the claims. Upon completion of that investigation, the Board will take whatever appropriate action is necessary."

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