Everyone in the Jeff Bezos dick pic story is a gross asshole. There's Jeff Bezos, the philandering billionaire. Lauren Sanchez, who likes to fish in other people's ponds. David Pecker, the sleazy tabloid owner palling around with Trump, who incites violence against real journalists, and Saudi Prince Bone Saw, who does worse. Dylan Howard, Pecker's goon, who threatened to publish leaked photos if Bezos wouldn't publicly clear the magazine of being in cahoots with the Saudis. And there's Michael Sanchez, the gay, Trump-loving brother who sold his sister out to the National Enquirer for $200,000.

Which of these characters do you trust to tell you what actually went down? Let's go with NONE OF THEM, KATIE. The only credible option is Gavin de Becker, an internationally recognized security expert and consultant for the US government since the Reagan administration, who currently works for Jeff Bezos. And he just published an article in The Daily Beast saying that AMI got the texts from Saudi Arabia first, and then went looking for Michael Sanchez as a cover story.

Our investigators and several experts concluded with high confidence that the Saudis had access to Bezos' phone, and gained private information. As of today, it is unclear to what degree, if any, AMI was aware of the details. [Italics in original.]

If 2019 were an essential oil, it would be Michael Sanchez as the National Enquirer's beard.

De Becker points out that AMI was shouting from the rooftops that Sanchez was its only source, despite reports that it had already seen the texts before reaching out to him.

What was unusual, very unusual, was how hard AMI people worked to publicly reveal their source's identity. First through strong hints they gave to me, and later through direct statements, AMI practically pinned a "kick me" sign on Michael Sanchez.

"It was not the White House, it was not Saudi Arabia," a company lawyer said on national television, before telling us more: "It was a person that was known to both Bezos and Ms. Sanchez."

De Becker also notes David Pecker's ongoing relationship with Saudi intermediary Kacy Grine, the magazine's 100-page mash note to Prince Bone Saw, and AMI's query to the State Department as to whether it needed to register as a foreign agent of the Saudi government: "With friends like AMI, you don't need… publicists."

Not to mention the fact that the Enquirer published the stolen texts in January, but held back the salacious photographs "for some reason."

An eight-page contract AMI sent for me and Bezos to sign would have required that I make a public statement, composed by them and then widely disseminated, saying that my investigation had concluded they hadn't relied upon "any form of electronic eavesdropping or hacking in their news-gathering process."

Note here that I'd never publicly said anything about electronic eavesdropping or hacking—and they wanted to be sure I couldn't.

They also wanted me to say our investigation had concluded that their Bezos story was not "instigated, dictated or influenced in any manner by external forces, political or otherwise." External forces? Such a strange phrase. AMI knew these statements did not reflect my conclusions, because I told AMI's Chief Content Officer Dylan Howard (in a 90-minute recorded phone call) that what they were asking me to say about external forces and hacking "is not my truth," and would be "just echoing what you are looking for."

(Indeed, an earlier set of their proposed terms included AMI making a statement "affirming that it undertook no electronic eavesdropping in connection with its reporting and has no knowledge of such conduct"—but now they wanted me to say that for them.)

After the Washington Post refused to drop the story of the Saudi assassination of Jamal Khashoggi, the Kingdom's cyber goons got to work sliming "the same Jew who attacks us by day, and sells us products by night!" (Paging Jared Kushner -- looks like your BFF is maybe not a great lover of Israel after all.) Multiple outlets have reported that Saudi Arabia and the UAE have highly sophisticated hacking operations capable of accessing cell phone data without leaving a footprint, and de Becker alleges that whoever gave AMI the leaked texts in the first place got them from Saudi hackers.

We did not reach our conclusions lightly. The inquiry included a broad array of resources: investigative interviews with current and former AMI executives and sources, extensive discussions with top Middle East experts in the intelligence community, leading cybersecurity experts who have tracked Saudi spyware, discussions with current and former advisers to President Trump, Saudi whistleblowers, people who personally know the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (also known as MBS), people who work with his close associate Saud al-Qahtani, Saudi dissidents, and other targets of Saudi action, including writer/activist Iyad el-Baghdadi.

Which is oddly similar to what Sanchez himself told the Daily Beast in February -- well, except he blamed Mossad and MI-6 while denying that he'd had anything to do with the Enquirer. See, he took the money and agreed to get them a photo of his sister and her married boyfriend swapping spit, but only as a delaying tactic! According to a Page Six SOURCE, who is definitely not Michael Sanchez.

Instead, Michael said he would help the tabloid score a picture of the pair kissing. This would be, he told The Post, in return for "softer" coverage — and to push off publication of the story long enough for the couple to tell their families the truth. (The photo never happened because, although Michael agreed to try and make it happen, he had no intention of following through, insiders say.)

"Michael . . . will defend Lauren to the death," said the family friend. "That's the essence of their relationship as children, and the essence of their relationship today."


And speaking of sources, remember a couple weeks ago when the Wall Street Journal published a story saying that David Pecker was SHOCKED AND CHAGRINED to learn that AMI had offered Michael Sanchez cash up front for the stolen Bezos texts? The guy who personally negotiated with Trump and Kushner to buy up stories to protect the Trump campaign was somehow out of the loop when the next red ball dropped. Why? Dunno! But the important thing is, he had nothing at all to do with the story that would make both his Saudi buddies and Donald Trump really happy, okay?


De Becker claims to have turned over his findings to federal law enforcement officials. And while we have zero confidence that Mike Pompeo's State Department is eager to investigate his good buddies in Saudi Arabia, de Becker called his bluff in advance by making those findings public. Good luck sweeping that one under the rug, boys!

[Daily Beast / Page Six / WSJ]

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Five Dollar Feminist

Your FDF lives in Baltimore under an assumed identity as an upstanding member of the PTA. Shhh, don't tell anyone she makes swears on the internet!

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Once upon a time... about ten years ago, a group of entirely ridiculous men burst onto the scene wearing stupid hats and telling men that wearing stupid hats and telling men that walking up to women in bars and insulting ("negging") them would get them laid. This did not last long, as women also had televisions and computers and were completely aware of these tricks as well, so when some ass came up to us in a bar and said "Hey, nice nails, are they real?" we would laugh and laugh and loudly announce "Oh my god, this guy just tried to neg me! Can you believe that shit? HEY EVERYONE, THIS GUY JUST TRIED TO NEG ME!" and then refer to him as "Mystery" the whole night.

Most of the men who tried that shit only did so a few times before realizing that it wasn't going to work, and thus moved on to other things. Perhaps things that did not involve furry hats and coming off as a huge creep. We may never know, because I would assume that those who tried it are now extremely embarrassed and would never, ever admit to this to us.

Still, there were a few men willing to eat that shit up, as well as some grifters willing to take advantage of that. Said grifters tended to be extremely misogynistic and seemed more like they were teaching men how to be as despised by women as they were than teaching them how to actually be liked by women.

Some of them, like Roosh V, a creepy weirdo who actually does live in his mom's basement, actively encouraged men to rape women who were intoxicated to the point of being obviously unable to consent.

However, even that branch of the PUA tree is wilting away. Many "self-help" style PUA forums like Nextasf and RSDnation are shutting down or have already shut down. In March, Chateau Heartiste, a batshit crazy PUA turned White Nationalist/Alt-Right blog was shut down by Wordpress. This week, rape advocate Roosh V (whom you may recall once called yours truly a "Wonkette typist/clown face, would not bang") announced that he was renouncing his PUA ways and devoting himself to Jesus. He explained to the forum he manages that he would no longer be allowing anyone to discuss premarital "fornication."

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'Baby Geniuses' star Jon Voight took to Twitter early this morning to proclaim his undying love for Donald Trump, probably because there is no one left in his life who will listen to him talk about this, or anything else, in person. In this video rant, Voight encouraged members of the Republican Party, whom he apparently thinks are the only real citizens of the United States, to stand by Donald Trump and "acknowledge the truth" that he is the best President since Abraham Lincoln.

Part ONE:

People of the Republican Party, I know you will agree with me when I say our president has our utmost respect and our love. This job is not easy. For he's battling the left and their absurd words of destruction. I've said this once and I'll say this again. That our nation has been built on the solid ground from our forefathers, and there is a moral code of duty that has been passed on from President Lincoln. I'm here today to acknowledge the truth, and I'm here today to tell you my fellow Americans that our country…

Oh no, not our absurd words of destruction!

Part DEUX:

is stronger, safer, and with more jobs because our President has made his every move correct. Don't be fooled by the political left, because we are the people of this nation that is witnessing triumph. So let us stand with our president. Let us stand up for this truth, that President Trump is the greatest president since President Lincoln.

Does Jon Voight not know there have been... other presidents? Can he name them? Because really, it does not sound like it. Does he also not know that a very big chunk of the Republican Party actually does not care very much for Abraham Lincoln? Namely those defenders of Confederate statues that Trump called "very fine people?" Also, did he intentionally diss their beloved Ronald Reagan?

Who can know? Who can even tell what he is trying to say or why he is trying to say it. He doesn't appear to have tweeted much since 2016, so I'm guessing whoever's job it was to keep him from tanking his career quit. Either that... or after filming the seventh season of Ray Donovan, he found out it's going to be canceled or his character is getting killed off or something and he is now free to be a jackass? I don't know, I haven't watched the show, although my parents are very into it and mad that I haven't watched it. Literally all I know about it is that it has something to do with Boston, because they keep mentioning that to me like it's a selling point.

It seems useless at this point to note that the people who scream their faces off about how bad it is for Hollywood celebs to support liberal causes, and how they should keep their politics to themselves, etc. etc. make a way bigger deal than normal people do whenever a Big Time Hollywood Celebrity like Jon Voight or, uh, Scott Baio, supports their cause. Mostly because they're the only ones who have elected a reality TV star and the star of Bedtime for Bonzo (who by the way, also once practically ruined a perfectly good Bette Davis movie with his bad acting. Which is not to say that Dark Victory is not fantastic and probably the best thing to watch if you want to sob your face off, but he was very bad in it.) to run the country.

But we might as well do that anyway, because it actually never stops being funny.

[Jon Voight Twitter]

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