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CNN Panel Shreds National Enquirer After Bezos Post: ‘Disgraceful Journalism, Appalling Behavior’

CNN’s Situation Room covered the big news of Jeff Bezos accusing the National Enquirer of extortion and blackmail in a comprehensive panel discussion on Thursday night.

Jeffrey Toobin told Wolf Blitzer said it really does look like the Enquirer operates on the basis of “either you do what we say or you will be embarrassed and humiliated.”

But he also noted the close relationship between David Pecker, the head of the Enquirer‘s parent company AMI, and President Donald Trump:

“[Pecker] told me and he’s told others that the reason he paid Karen McDougal $150,000 was to suppress her story and help Donald Trump get elected president, so the idea that the National Enquirer is some journalistic enterprise that is independent of politics is just absurd.”

Blitzer asked if what Bezos is alleging they did is a crime. Toobin didn’t go that far yet but said, “It’s disgraceful journalism. It’s appalling behavior on the part of American Media… This is appalling journalistic behavior on the part of the National Enquirer.”

Gloria Borger pointed out the Enquirer isn’t exactly journalism and said Bezos’ post “rips the band-aid off” the tabloid.

The Guardian White House correspondent Sabrina Siddiqui went back to their political connections and the “catch and kill” for Trump. “When you’re telling Jeff Bezos that you want him to explicitly say on record that your actions are not politically motivated,” she noted, “you are reaffirming that your actions are politically motivated.”

Washington Post assistant editor David Swerdlick agreed that it’s worth wondering what AMI’s motivations were in all this.

You can watch above, via CNN.

[image via screengrab]

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Josh Feldman is a Senior Editor at Mediaite. Email him here: josh@mediaite.com Follow him on Twitter: @feldmaniac