Chris Hayes stunning ‘Story of the Week’ featuring Sheldon Adelson

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MSNBC: Up with Chris Hayes Jan.28, 2012


I was blown away by Chris Hayes’s mainstream coverage of Sheldon Adelson yesterday. Especially after the shocking Isikoff coverage. Hayes features Adelson in his show’s  ‘Story of the Week‘, a whooping 13 minute segment titled  ‘Democracy for Billionaires’. Hayes covers so much terrain it could be groundbreaking for the weekend morning shows. He says if Gingrich won he could move into the White House with a personal “debt to a lone billionaire”.

And that’s not all, by a long shot. Hayes explained how the lionshare of Adelson’s profits come from his casinos in Asia, several on the Chinese island of Macua.

Adelson was granted and extremely rare and  lucrative gambling license by the Chinese state, which is more or less a license to print money….. Beijing’s mayor ask Aldeson for help with a resolution pending in Congress that opposed China’s Olympic bid on the grounds of its “abominable human rights record”….Adelson made an immediate phone call to then congressman Tom Delay. [Delay] Called him back 3 hours later to say the legislation was off the agenda. Adelson was able to tell the Beijing mayor “the bill will never see the light of day, don’t worry about it”….Adelson got the license and edged out other casino offers. 

Hayes later dives into Adelson’s relationship with Israel. These are a few of the highlights:

Most troubling are Adelson’s views on foreign policy. He’s most focused on Israel where his wife was born and where he owns one of the country’s three major papers. His views on the Middle East place him far outside a mainstream that is already quite far to the right. He does not believe in a two-state solution telling Jewish Week last year the two-state solution is a steppingstone for the destruction of Israel and the Jewish people.

He even attacked AIPAC from the right when it circulated a letter in Congress urging members to fund the Palestinian Authority.

New Yorker reports he referred to the wildly praised and respected and peaceful Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyed as ‘a terrorist’.

One prominent Israeli journalist saying of Adelson “When it comes to his views on the Palestinian Israel conflict he is a right-wing extremist”.

Perhaps most worryingly Adelson is also a strenuous advocate of war with Iran.   

You’ll notice of course Adelson view on foreign policies aren’t very different than Newt Gingrich’s. And indeed the Daily Beast . . .  tracked Gingrich’s rightward drift on Israel Palestine policy over the years as his relationship with Aldeson developed, culminating in Gingrich’s offensive contention this year that Palestinians are an ‘invented people’.

Here’s Hayes’s stunner:

Now, whether or not Gingrich comes by his dangerous and morally bankrupt policy views honestly or whether he views them as a strategic means of keeping Adelson’s checks coming, the point here is less Gingrich and Adelson than the new frontier they are forging, together. 

The complete and total breakdown of our campaign finance system, combined with the explosion of inequality means that the such pairing was inevitable and is likely to grow more common in the future.

Think about it for a second. If you were a multi billionaire…. how much would you spend to own the President of the United States?

At 6:20 in the video the second part of his show includes the panel.


Whatever Adelson’s particular beliefs are …the bigger issue is the new Post-Citizen’s United Superpac Universe that we operate in…this is the frontier.. at a certain point you wonder when we’re gonna see a $100 million spent, because it’s worth quite a bit to have the President of the United States owe you a favor.

Richard Kim chimes in (9:26) and clinches some key points:

[Adelson] shoved the entire debate on Israel, which by the way, none of the Winning Our Future ads are about, you would think if you watched that, Adelson’s key issue in his life is venture capitalism, but it’s actually’s Israel.

And on that he has not only shoved Newt Gingrich to the right.. but Romney has now adopted a position that in some ways is to the right of Netanyahu. For example, at the debate in December, this is when Gingrich said Palestinians are invented people, Romney attacked him. In the last debate Gingrich doubled down on that, saying Palestinians are an invented people, Romney didn’t say anything and in fact said that Obama threw Israel under a bus!

Then they discuss moving the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in terms such as “provocative” and “dangerous”.

Truly stunning amazing coverage, go Chris!

(Hat tip Bill from Maryland in the comments)

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Glad to have a little light on two issues, [1] USA’s weird subservience to AIPAC et al (against what many consider USA’s interests) with the explanation that “It’s the money, stupid” and [2] the more general and to the 99% the equally big or bigger issue of why USA’s democracy is strictly for sale (BIG corporations and billionaire rich guys with narrowly focused not-necessarily-good-for-the-USA fixations). If these stories can get widely broadcast and amplified and… Read more »

Let me make a few cynical observations: Notice the ‘liberal’ democrat from New York. She was shifting very comfortably when the discussion about Israel came up, she knows who her donors are. As fast as she got the word, she tried to shift the debate towards generalist ‘campaign reform’ and blabbing on about judicial proceeds instead of the main issue being discussion; Sheldon Adelson and his ability to move the debate to the right on… Read more »

“Notice the ‘liberal’ democrat from New York. She was shifting very comfortably when the discussion about Israel came up, she knows who her donors are. As fast as she got the word, she tried to shift the debate towards generalist ‘campaign reform’ and blabbing on about judicial proceeds instead of the main issue being discussion; ” Good catch, Krauss. She used to be my Congresswoman. I don’t like vulgarity, but the word whose syllables begin… Read more »

Here’s the link to the New Yorker article Chris is referring to: The story told in the New Yorker addressed DeLay’s Christian Zionism: Weidner, in his deposition, described the relationship between DeLay—“a very religious guy”—and Adelson. “The link between Sheldon Adelson and right-wing religious Christians is the commonality of a strong Israel,” he said. “So it just happens to be Sheldon has taken Tom DeLay to Israel and he’s a friend.” DeLay told Adelson… Read more »

richb is bang on the money (no pun intended).

Rich Jews may be able to buy congress and candidates, but it’s the 50-70 million voters who have sympathies for Israel based on their theology that’s going to make the difference.

Why do you think Obama is sucking up for the pro Israel vote?