Viewers of the Superbowl on Sunday were confused at a strange commercial that praised and flattered journalism excessively, but the real reason it aired is much more salacious.
According to a report in the New York Post, billionaire Jeff Bezos had planned for the commercial to publicize his spaceflight company Blue Origin.
But he pulled the ad after details of his extramarital affair with former television anchor Lauren Sanchez surfaced. According to the report,Sanchez, who is also a helicopter pilot, had captured some of the footage for the commercial.
Instead, he rushed together a commercial praising journalists with voiceover work by Tom Hanks.
Here's the Superbowl commercial:
Washington Post Super Bowl message: Democracy Dies in Darknesswww.youtube.com
The report cited a source that claimed the ad he pulled cost Bezos between $15 and $20 million.
"There was talk that he spent so much money on it because he wanted to be close to her," said the source. "But the speculation is that he pulled the ad because it would be embarrassing because Lauren worked on the ads."
Bezos also faced backfire from journalists who complained that he had spent too much on producing the ad when the industry had been bleeding out through layoffs.