PBS and Politico reporter Jon Ralston notes that until recently the Las Vegas Review-Journal has taken sharp editorial positions against public money being used to subsidize stadium projects. But that was before plutocrat Sheldon Adelson bought the paper to turn it into an agitprop toy. Adelson recently installed former Arkansas Gazette publisher Craig Moon to be his lackey.
But on Sunday, after prominent stories given to the newspaper by its new owner, the RJ has switched its position and come out in favor of public money for a new stadium being pushed by said owner, Sheldon Adelson, to possibly host the NFL Raiders. The editorial was featured on the home page of the site, right below a story leading the site about public financing for the proposal, which already has catalyzed a blizzard of negative comments.
So now there is no pretense that Adelson, who overpaid for the newspaper and tried to keep it secret, wants to use the RJ for a hobbyhorse he has been on for decades, ever since he owned a behemoth convention called COMDEX, which appeared yearly at the Las Vegas Convention Center, sparking decades of ill will between the event’s proprietor and its landlord.
Last week, Moon ordered the removal of a daily disclosure of Adelson’s ownership of the paper (a disclosure that the staff fought for). Have to feel bad for the journalists there trying to do their job, only to see the Review-Journal turned in to a joke by Adelson, with Moon playing the role of executioner in the death of a serious newspaper.
Adelson has just begun to play with his new toy, showing how he will use the synergy between the news pages and editorials to accomplish his agenda.