Does anyone think that Sheldon Adelson’s core concern is casino gambling? But even were that so, does anyone really think that Israel is not close to his heart? He has said that he wished he served in the Israeli army not the U.S. one. He vigorously opposed the Iran Deal and called on President Obama to nuke Iran. Along with Haim Saban, he has launched a multi-million-dollar initiative against the boycott campaign against Israel. He gave a reported $15 million to Republicans in the last presidential cycle, and is currently conducting the beauty contest for Republican candidates for president, in which support for Israel is key. He has opposed the formation of a Palestinian state: saying there is no such thing as a Palestinian and that Muslims just want to kill 100 percent of Jews.
Well, last night National Public Radio did a story on Adelson’s controversial (and originally secret) purchase of the Las Vegas Review-Journal and reporter David Folkenflik and host Ari Shapiro discussed the political implications of the deal but never once mentioned Israel. Folkenflik suggested that Adelson’s concern is the “hospitality industry.”
Sheldon Adelson [is] a billionaire many times over, I might say – enormous investor in casinos, hotels, has interests in Las Vegas, Nevada, in the country at large and internationally as well, as well as being a huge, huge player in political circles in the Republican side of things…
[I]t’s a huge issue for [journalists at the paper]. I mean, they’re – they cover the gambling. It’s called the gaming industry out there. They cover the hospitality industry. They cover Mr. Adelson and his family’s interests as well as his competitors’ interests and as well as the arguments of his critics and those who might want to regulate it in a different way.
In addition, of course, Nevada is a very competitive state at the presidential level, and they’ve got to cover the political implications of things there as well.
Adelson started a newspaper in Israel. And he and Saban, another giant Israel supporter, mused about buying the New York Times. And he is funding an organization that has praised Hitler and blamed Jews for anti-semitism– because it is pro-Israel.
Folkenflik and Shapiro’s elision is typical of the media’s coverage of the Israel lobby; they turn a blind eye. It really feels like a coverup. And so folks have a right to speculate that the lobby is an elephant in the room and not a ferret. NPR’s Ailsa Chang practiced the same partial journalism re Adelson and his contributions on Capitol Hill to stop on-line gambling. The report mentioned his contributions to Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina. Is it just a coincidence that Graham is a neoconservative on foreign policy?