The richest man in the United States blogged that he has a problem. The National Enquirer threatened him with publishing photos that were obtained somehow from his private e-mail. The photos were of Mr. Bezos were described as follows: “A full-length body selfie of Mr. Bezos wearing just a pair of tight black boxer-briefs or trunks, with his phone in his left hand — while wearing his wedding ring.” The photos were sent to Lauren Sanchez, with whom he was having an affair, an affair that resulted in the announcement of the Bezos divorce.
The soap-operaish magazine offered to not publish the photos if Mr. Bezos would acknowledge that the Enquirer’s coverage of him was not politically motivated. Mr. Bezos wrote that he would not “capitulate to extortion and blackmail.” The coverage of the story has praised Mr. Bezos for his brilliant strategy to thwart the efforts of the Enquirer. One commentator noted that Mr. Bezos has greater stature because we now know he is “like one of us.”
Could we pause for a minute? Those of us who reach 55 years of age, as Mr. Bezos has, (or older) have learned learned a thing or two and grown up a bit or three. Here is a list of some of the lessons we who will never be billionaires have learned:
1. What you send in e-mail is not private. Hackers, who are also wearing only underwear, sit int their basements day and night, some in Pakistan and some in Duluth, finding ways to hack into others’ information. They prefer credit card and bank info, but if they can entertain themselves with photos of scantily clad entrepreneurs (old guys) trying to charm younger women, well, they are all in.
2. Selfies of oneself in briefs is really not at the heart of true romance.
3. Grow up, stay grown up, and find something better to do, such as setting an example for your three children.
4. There is no correlation between wealth and intelligence. Hollywood is a lab of Petri dishes for that hypothesis.There are also various political labs around the country testing the same theory (see the Commonwealth of Virginia). Sometimes the intelligence was never there, sometimes the intelligence loses in a coup d’stat of the brain by ego, money, or hormones. but disappear it does. Like all powerful leaders, Mr. Bezos needs a few non-sycophantic folks around him, at the ready with the phrase, “Not a good idea.” He has the funds for a nixer, a sort of substitute for arrested intelligence and/or good judgment. Ah, the blessing of self-made discretion that modest means offer.