If Jeff Bezos was looking to wind down after his interesting news week with the distraction of a little late-night comedy television, well, “Saturday Night Live” probably wasn’t the place to tune in. Bezos’s news was the comedy.
The show’s cold open was a “Meet the Press” spoof in which cast members portrayed host Chuck Todd, Eugene Robinson of The Washington Post, Peggy Noonan of the Wall Street Journal and former Democratic National Committee chairwoman Donna Brazile. Throughout the 6-minute bit they go low and pretty much stay there.
- Quick rewind: If the news got buried for you this week under the talk of Seattle’s snowpocalypse, Bezos used a post on Medium to hit back at the National Enquirer, accusing the tabloid and its parent company of blackmail and extortion over its threat to publish nude pictures Bezos allegedly texted to a love interest.
- Unfit to print: “SNL’s” mockery of the situation is less about Bezos’s predicament, and more about the “serious” news media’s appetite for the story. The New York Post probably won the week with its front page headline (did HuffPo have it first?) about the latest twist in the story. But “SNL’s” best laugh may have come from its own shot at writing headlines:
- Who’s laughing now?: Amazon and Bezos have been the subject of “SNL” comedy in the past — the Echo Silver for seniors was a classic. But as GeekWire editor Todd Bishop pointed out on Friday, how long before the public saga over the CEO’s private life becomes too much to take for the tech giant?
- More news about the news: Speaking of the media and Bezos, Axios had a little scoop Sunday morning. The news site got its hands on an email that Washington Post associate editor Bob Woodward sent to Bezos on Friday. The legendary Watergate reporter offered encouragement to the owner of his newspaper, writing that he was “proud” of Bezos for stepping forward in “such a difficult situation.” He called Bezos’s decision to take on AMI “very gutsy and definitely right.”
- No extortion, says AMI lawyer: Meanwhile, Elkan Abramowitz, an attorney for AMI chairman and CEO David Pecker, told ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday that “it absolutely is not extortion and not blackmail,” noting that there were no political motivations driving the story involving Jeff Bezos and his affair with TV host Lauren Sanchez. Bloomberg has more on Abramowitz’s comments, and legal scholars are continuing to debate the matter. Speaking to CNN’s Anderson Cooper last week, legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin noted: “It’s disgraceful journalism. It’s disgraceful behavior. Whether or not it’s an actual crime? I am frankly not prepared to say at this point.”