Thursday, December 17, 2015

A Poor Investment By A Savvy Investor

You might ask why Sheldon Adelson would want to own a newspaper. He's made a tidy sum with his casino interests, and now he's said to have gone and purchased a local Las Vegas newspaper at a time when print is dying. Not exactly looking for much of a return on investment, is he?

Free copies of the Las Vegas Review-Journal in every hotel room
Could it be a vanity purchase? Some billionaires might buy an expensive sports car, or even a sports team. They are well-heeled adults buying toys, essentially, and who considers amusements as investments? A billionaire spending $140 million? Not breaking the bank on that transaction.

So we come to the next puzzler. Why would Sheldon Adelson want to play with a newspaper. Look at what it did to Charles Foster Kane. Who wants to end up alone, dreaming of a sled and no one around you knowing what it is that you're talking about with your last breath.
Speaking of Citizen Kane---

The average pundit is going to assume that Mr. Adelson bought the journal so that he could direct its editorial slant and promote the conservative causes that he is known to support with his financial might. So concerned are local, though liberal, politicians that they are demanding the new investors reveal themselves. That way, when the newspaper criticizes them or fails to support them when it's election time, they can blame media bias.

According to the research done by the newspaper in question, it is Mr. Adelson's step-son-in-law who put the deal together, and the Las Vegas Review-Journal isn't the only paper in the mix. There are indications that the Adelson group is putting together an entire portfolio, taking a page from Rupert Murdoch whose FoxNews arm is highly influential in the American political scene.

As was pointed out by James DeHaven, Howard Stutz, and Jennifer Robison of the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Mr. Adelson is also a fervent backer of Israel, as is his wife. They are both donors to Republican campaigns, offering their financial might to help get conservative politicians elected. Are they going to use the newspaper as yet another weapon in their arsenal?

The pen is mightier than the sword.

No wonder so many are worried about a shift in the influence that a dying medium can exert on the older voter who is most likely to still take the daily paper and actually read it. Enough words extolling the virtues of one candidate and a billionaire could turn a voter's head. But don't all the other newspapers do the same? Is it only an issue when it's not your side that's gaining an ally?

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