“[Jeff Bezos] alleged an “extortion and blackmail” attempt by the Enquirer’s parent company American Media Inc…On Thursday night, the consensus in media and tech circles was that Bezos did a brave and admirable thing by going public. He has won a lot of goodwill by exposing American Media’s alleged activities.” — CNN
Nice try, Mr. Pecker.
I suppose you thought you had me in quite a bind there, didn’t you? Alas, you were wrong. You may be wondering, as you lick your wounds, “What was my mistake?”
You forgot one crucial thing: I, Jeff Bezos, am a man of principle.
You see, Mr. Pecker, when I see a predatory entity attempt to take advantage of a person’s vulnerabilities, I simply cannot abide. I look vultures like you square in the face and say, “I don’t have time for you or your manipulative tactics. You may not have anything better to do with your day, Mr. Pecker, but I have thousands of low-wage, temporary warehouse employees to dangle full-time positions in front of. If I’m busy dealing with your exploitation, then who will force them to work mandatory overtime in temperatures that can reach up to 114 degrees? Certainly not an unprincipled man such as yourself.
You must understand, Mr. Pecker, that I simply cannot allow someone to twist the law to advance their own interests. Thus, in the same way that Amazon paid no federal income taxes at all in 2017, I will pay no respect to you or your legal manipulations. That’s why I’m willing to use every penny I’ve made from Amazon — which, by the way, is technically headquartered in Luxembourg, allowing it to take advantage of tax benefits that the European Commission said were illegal — in order to stop you.
Because here’s the bottom line—at the end of the day, bullies don’t win. In fact, Mr. Pecker, allow me to ask you a few questions that I once asked my own co-workers: “Why are you wasting my life?” “Are you lazy or incompetent?” “I’m sorry, did I take my stupid pills today?”
Alas, it must have been you who took stupid pills, Mr. Pecker, to think that bullying would become any man—much less a man such as yourself, the CEO of a powerful company.
Just as I refused to sign the Giving Pledge, I refuse to give into your greed. 1.3% is the fraction of my ~$140 billion fortune I’ve pledged to charity, but 0% is the fraction of my integrity I will allow you to tarnish.
Because, Mr. Pecker, when I built myself and my company up from nothing, I didn’t do it so that I could be bullied by some low-life scum like you. And I certainly didn’t patent a wristband that would allow me to monitor my employees’ every movement, including bathroom breaks, so that I could have my privacy invaded.
And so, Mr. Pecker, listen closely. It shall not be some sleazy magazine that reveals to the American people that, in the process of cheating on my wife of 26 years, I sent pictures of my penis to my mistress. Instead, it shall be me: Jeff Bezos, man of principle.