More thoughts on trial by media and innuendo

What does Sheldon Adelson have in common with Lance Armstrong?   On the surface, one might say nothing; Adelson is 82 years old and Armstrong is 41.  Adelson made his money and fame in business and Armstrong made his in sports.  Adelson has become a legend of sorts by his political contributes that run into the millions of dollars; he gave, for example, ten million dollars to Newt Gingrich’s presidential campaign.   Armstrong has become a legend of sorts by raising millions and millions of dollars for cancer survives; Lance’s foundation has sold 80 million  “Live Strong” yellow bracelets .

They meet and find common ground in the front page of newspapers.  The stories are not flattering for either one, in fact both have been accused and convicted of horrendous crimes in the pages of the daily newspapers.  Armstrong has been the target of self-styled drug purists and malcontents for years – at least since 1999.  Adelson is a more recent target of self-styled purists, since he has taken a very active and public position in American politics with his political contributions, Adelson has become a target too.  Now, those shooting at him have not owned up to belonging to an opposite political philosophy, nor admitted that were using their bully pulpit for political purposes.  But then, those attacking Lance Armstrong never admitted to their own personal addenda either.  In both cases, the attackers, the shooters, claim the moral high ground, professing to be only motivated by the public good.  Who could argue with motives like that?

The most recent attack on Adelson makes my point – one of the major wire services is running the headline: Sands’ ties to Macau gambling figure draw scrutiny; it is only the latest one in a series of stories “exposing” the corruption and sin that lies behind Adelson and his money. The story is referencing once again, the fact that Nevada Gaming Control has shown some concern over operations in Macau in general; the VIP portion of Macau’s industry is very different from Nevada’s and does not have the same level of regulatory control.

The headline does however bring out some new information; the Sands has a customer that gambles in both Las Vegas and Macau.  He has transferred some of his deposits from one place to the other; as casually and you and I make bank transfers to pay bills or fund investments.  In my mind, that is not much different than a Harrah’s customer transferring points from one property to another.  However, there is more to the story than money transfers;  the man was identified by a Congressional committee as a member of  a Chinese mob in 1992;  the identification came up in a senate committee investigation.  The man was never accused, tried or convicted of any crime – but now 20 years later by innuendo, Sheldon Adelson is dealing “with the mob.”  This is not the worse crime Adelson has been convicted of by the media; some media outlets have found his relationship with Israel to be worse than criminal, they find it sinister and evil.  They, those nameless ones, know that Adelson is part of a Zionist plot to destroy Iran; they have implied he is complicit with Jewish sins (he is of course Jewish) and that the bombs that land in Iran will probably be paid for by Adelson and carry his picture. – Okay, I made up that last part about buying the bombs and putting his picture on them.

We are a country governed by laws, not by men – it is the most fundamental principle of our nation.  One set of those laws creates a structure for ascertaining guilt – and innuendo, political finger pointing, un-vetted accusations and committee identifications of criminal association are not within that structure.  The press of course is not part of legal structure for determining guilt; however, it as served a valuable public service by printing both sides of stories, investigating corruption and exposing malfeasance; and because of the importance of the role of the press in our society it is protected by the constitution – freedom of the press.  As it should be – but we are foolish when we take in their innuendo as facts.  Sheldon Adelson has not be accused, indited, tried or convicted of anything – except in the press.  Here is where Sheldon and Lance join hands – they are being tried by the press and by committee; not a court of law and the laws of our nation.  Sheldon Adelson is being tried for supporting the GOP, Lance for being a winner and may be for being an arrogant winner.

I did not, and still do not, think any one person, Adelson included, should be able to donate so much money that he can influence the outcome of an election and worse, if his candidate is elected to be able influence the presidency directly.  Of course all presidents have friends and advisers who exert a degree of influence on the president denied to you and I, but usually they have not so openly purchased that influence.  I think donations of that level ($20 million) can and will eventually corrupt our system.  But at the moment it is legal.  I do not agree with Adelson’s choices very often either, but that too his right and within the law.  So what is my complaint?  I would like to see the writer of those pieces sign their work and include their party affiliation and declare which candidates they are supporting.  Or, as in the case of Lance Armstrong, may be some statement like anybody but Lance, or I belong to the “Hang Lance Armstrong Part.”  That would help all of us sort out the truth from the fiction.  In the interest of full disclosure, I do not take drugs to win and have not bought a candidate of either party, although I have sent rather small contributes to candidates of both of the major parties in my life.


2 Responses to “More thoughts on trial by media and innuendo”

  1. 1 rexdstock1 August 26, 2012 at 7:23 pm

    There used to be lines that provided information as to what it was we were seeing: journalism: who, what, where, when and why doesn’t care about party affiliation (if the editors do their job, if the publisher allows them); editorial was that murky place where the bully pulpit was used but it was still under the auspices of ‘opinion’; advertising was the soap box that liars lured readers to their wares. Now, it is all advertising, because it is almost all owned by some flaming asshole like Sheldon Addelson…

    And, I’m pretty sure the feds are investigating Sheldon for activities more recent than the one you mentioned.

    The Lance shit just pisses me off. The anti doping us crowd proved absolutely nothing other than things are just like they were when I was fighting with the AAU people about whether or not my swim times were valid since they didn’t (always) come from AAU sanctioned events… It was all political bullshit.

    They take away my sports Kenny, and this world will devolve faster than a dead bird on a hot Vegas highway…


  2. 2 Ken Adams August 27, 2012 at 1:43 pm

    You can have your sports Rex, and if you just think of Adelson has a power hitter for a team you hate, it will be easier to appreciate his playing even while hating him.

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