By Gerry Smith – Bloomberg
The National Enquirer’s publisher denied having links to Saudi Arabia after new questions surfaced about a magazine the company printed last year promoting the Middle Eastern country.
American Media, which owns the Enquirer in addition to magazines such as Men’s Journal and Us Weekly, “does not have, nor have we ever had, any editorial or financial ties to Saudi Arabia,” the company said in a statement Monday.
Around the time of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s visit to the U.S. last March, American Media produced a nearly 100-page glossy magazine celebrating the country as “The New Kingdom.” The company also sought funding from Saudi Arabia, and it asked the Justice Department if it might have to register as a foreign agent in service of the country, the Wall Street Journal reported on Monday.
Amazon.com Inc. Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos broached the issue last week when he suggested that the Enquirer publisher may have Saudi loyalties. In a blog post, he accused American Media of trying to blackmail him with compromising photos. The billionaire questioned whether critical coverage of Saudi Arabia by his newspaper, the Washington Post, might have spurred the publisher to retaliate against him.