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May 23, 2016 12:28 pm

New York Times Raises Front-Page Alarm About Las Vegas Newspaper’s Zionist Owner

avatar by Ira Stoll

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Casino and media mogul Sheldon Adelson and Dr. Miriam Adelson, co-owner of the Las Vegas Review-Journal. Photo: Wikipedia.

Casino and media mogul Sheldon Adelson and Dr. Miriam Adelson, co-owner of the Las Vegas Review-Journal. Photo: Wikipedia.

The internal machinations at a Las Vegas newspaper owned by the family of Sheldon Adelson are the subject of a front-page New York Times article that runs more than 2,300 words.

What does it all amount to? Some reporters and former reporters complaining about their editors and owners. As someone with experience in the newspaper business, I can tell you with a high degree of certainty that this is not news. That is what reporters and former reporters do — they complain about their editors and owners. It comes with the territory.

Why does it deserve front-page coverage in the New York Times, and at such extensive length?

The Times is remarkably transparent about it:

With newspapers struggling to survive, it is not uncommon for wealthy businesspeople to step in and buy them — Jeff Bezos with The Washington Post, for instance, and John Henry with The Boston Globe. Each case presents potential conflicts in covering the owner’s businesses, as well as concerns that the owner might attempt to influence coverage.

The problem is particularly acute for The Review-Journal. Mr. Adelson, the chairman of the Las Vegas Sands Corporation, is a casino magnate, a powerful Republican donor, a patron of education and a fierce defender of Israel, and his myriad interests present an almost singular example of how aggressive journalism can collide with the pursuits of a paper’s owner.

What makes the problem “particularly acute”? The Times explains, with amazing candor, that it is because Mr. Adelson is “a fierce defender of Israel.”

Never mind that John Henry owns the Boston Red Sox, which are as big a deal in Boston as casinos are in Las Vegas. Never mind that Jeff Bezos is the founder and CEO of Amazon.com, which is a big force in business. The newspaper owner who gets the lengthy front-page treatment is Mr. Adelson, because — this really gets the New York Times worried — he is “a fierce defender of Israel.”

There’s no evidence in all 2,300 words of the Times article that the Las Vegas paper’s position on Israel has been affected by the new ownership, or that the paper’s coverage of Israel is particularly influential outside of Las Vegas, or even inside Las Vegas.

The Las Vegas paper is a strange topic for the Times to focus on, of all the possible areas where newspaper ownership could possibly create a “possible conflict” or a concern that an owner “might attempt to influence.” (As opposed to an actual conflict or actual influence by the owner.) Never mind that, in capitalism, the owner of something usually gets to do what he wants with it, which is usually the whole point of paying a lot of money to buy something.

If the Times wants to go looking for “possible” conflicts or places of concern where an owner “might” attempt to influence things, it might instead examine its own situation.

In the very same issue of the Times that raises the front-page, 2,300-word alarm about the supposed horrible threats to the journalistic integrity of a local newspaper in Nevada falling under Zionist ownership, an article appears under the headline, “Mexico Prepares to Counter the ‘Trump Emergency.’” It reports on “a growing, if uncoordinated, chorus of influential Mexicans worried about what a Trump victory could mean for the complex relationship between the United States and Mexico.”

The article about these “influential Mexicans” doesn’t appear on the Times’ front page. And, mysteriously, the article makes no mention at all of the richest person in Mexico, Carlos Slim, whose company, according to Yahoo! Finance, owns 19,853,000 shares — more than $200 million worth — of New York Times Company stock. That means Mr. Slim controls more of the publicly traded New York Times stock than any other institutional or individual investor. Ochs-Sulzberger family trusts control another class of Times Co. shares that control the company.

Where’s the front-page news article on the “particularly acute” possible conflicts presented by Mr. Slim’s investment in the New York Times Co. and the Times’ coverage of Donald Trump’s candidacy? There isn’t one.

That absence, and the double standard on display in the treatment of Mr. Adelson versus the treatment of Mr. Slim, is a good indication that what’s going on here isn’t impartial, unbiased journalism, but just another nasty attempt by the Times to find some way to bash Israel and its defenders. It’s more than a little ironic that in bashing the Las Vegas newspaper for supposedly reflecting its owner’s bias, the Times displays its own.

One final point about the front-page Times article is worth mentioning. The Times refers to “Sheldon G. Adelson, the paper’s new owner.” In all 2,300-plus words of the article, there is no mention of Miriam Adelson. Yet the Las Vegas Review-Journal‘s ownership statement says it “is owned by the family of Sheldon and Miriam Adelson through their controlling interest in News + Media Capital Group LLC.” If this were some other institution entirely ignoring a woman’s ownership role in a business and focusing exclusively on a man’s role, the New York Times would justifiably describe it as sexism. Never mind whether it is sexist or not, the Times‘ omission of Dr. Miriam Adelson’s role in its description of the newspaper’s ownership is inaccurate.

More of Ira Stoll’s media critique, a regular Algemeiner feature, can be found here.

The opinions presented by Algemeiner bloggers are solely theirs and do not represent those of The Algemeiner, its publishers or editors. If you would like to share your views with a blog post on The Algemeiner, please be in touch through our Contact page.

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  • siftit

    American intelligence disseminates whatever they wish through organs like the NYTimes, LA Times, etc. Wake up, people, there is no free press.

  • jakob wasi

    What a lot of pious rot. Adelson is using his recently bought newspaper to fight a lawsuit and to push his narrow political agenda. There’s no anti-Semtism here, only the naked power of an authoritarian who has little respect for the Constitution.

  • Isahiah62

    funny thing that when ADELSON’s money was going into DEMOCRAP coffers ………..not a word from same

  • Isahiah62

    NY SLIMES know they cannot come out and SAY the media is controlled by JEWS

    so they say ISRAEL instead
    cute? not really

    NYT has been judenhass since Duranty lied about Stalin

    never changed
    thks for pointing out what I would say
    yes NYT is controlled by a RICH MEXICAN
    and written by PAID by SOROS hacks and other assorted leftists

  • Al Talena

    And Jews continue to buy the anti-Jewish NY SLime

  • Martin Bookspan

    I’ve said it before and I’ll continue to say it: Every Jewish subscriber to the N. Y. Times MUST immediately cancel the subscription; and every Jewish reader who is not a subscriber MUST stop reading that foul rag……

  • Steve Butman

    Mr. McCann is 100% on point. The NYT is as biased (if not more so) than Al Jazeera, the BBC and/or NPR. It’s a complete waste of natural resources and time

  • Dommy

    “The Times substituted for religion. If The Times said it, it was the absolute truth.”

    So typical.

    New Yorkers may recall frequently hearing this gem:

    “As it says in today’s New York Times — The Bible . . .”

    — Ed Koch

  • Gillian

    When approached by a student who attacked Zionism, Dr. Martin Luther King responded: “When people criticize Zionists, they mean Jews. You’re talking anti-Semitism.”

  • nat cheiman

    NY Times is history. Check out if it survives

  • Ani

    Kind of ironic given the NY Times well known antisemitism and anti-Israel slant. Guess supposed bias is only OK if it promotes your views. And I’m unaware that Adelson has used his ownership to avidly promote his views. The same cannot be said for the NY Times ownership.

  • Diogenes

    The Times has in fact devoted ore column inches to Jeff Bezos’s ownership of the Washington Post than to Sheldon Adelson’s ownership of the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

    Until the story was broken, Adelson’s acquisition of the Review-Journal was secret. It occurred just before the presidential primaries, and, though not disclosed, affected coverage of the campaigns.

    Is there any evidence that Carlos Slim’s part ownership of The New York Times has affected coverage of Mexico. There is abundant evidence, provided by journalists at the Review-Journal, that Adelson’s ownership of their paper has affected coverage.

    For better or worse, Sheldon Adelson is a national figure. What he does is much more newsworthy than what his wife does.

  • stevenl

    The anti-Semites at the NYT are not after Adelson but Trump.

  • joe diesendruck

    Mr Adelaon,

    In time, as I wrote to you – please stop your papers bias against Israel or drink from your own poison ! I guess you are already.


  • joe diesendruck

    Mr. Adelson,

    When are you going to stop paying salaries to those pricks?
    Pretty soon they will say you can’t own the paper.



  • Docvisuals

    The NYT makes for decent toilet paper, in a pinch…

  • brenrod

    lets hope for a miracle that the NYT and its owners are destroyed

  • Thom McCann

    The NY Times is one of the most corrupt media in the world.

    NYT executive editor, Max Frankel, on the pressure on the Pulitzer Prize board’s decision to give their reporter John Burns an award despite his not being recommended by the selection jury:
    “We didn’t hide our disappointment. we went around muttering about it…
    The advisory board, in its wisdom, reached around the jury.”

    In the 1930s a NY Times foreign correspondent started living a nice life in Russia complete with all sorts of comforts one would hate to do without, including the services of a number of prostitutes.

    The NY Times’ reporter in Russia was Walter Duranty, who received a Pulitzer Prize for his “reporting.”

    The Soviet Government was doing a lot of wonderful things, the world learned from his articles.

    After the fall of the Soviet Union it became clear that Duranty was on Stalin’s payroll, so there was some discussion about revoking his 1932 Pulitzer Prize.

    The Pultizer Board statement (Columbia University –Nov 21, 2003): “The famine of 1932-1933 was horrific and has not received the international attention it deserves. By its decision, the board in no way wishes to diminish the gravity of that loss….”

    However the NY Times then managing editor said he should keep the Pulitzer as taking it away would be “rewriting history.”

    I wonder how those millions of Soviet citizens who were murdered may have felt about “rewriting history.”

    Punch Sulzberger’s father (Arthur Ochs) was accused of deliberately burying accounts of Nazi atrocities against Jews in the back pages of the NYT during WW II.

    The Times has never apologized for that.

    The American Council for Judaism was formed in 1942 solely to fight the creation of a Jewish state in Palestine while 20,000 Jews were being sent to the gas chambers;
    one of its founding members was Arthur Hays Sulzberger.

    Matt Seaton, staff editor for The New York Times opinion section said that the NY Times will not scrutinize Palestinian racism “until Palestinians have a sovereign state of their own.” (Algemeiner, Oct 30, 2014)

    Does that standard apply to the other terrorist organizations like Hezbollah, ISIS, the Moslem Brotherhood, the Taliban, Al Queda, etc.?

    Punch Sulzberger was the one when asked “If an American soldier runs into a North Vietnamese soldier, which would you like to see get shot?” answered:
    “I would want to see the American get shot. It’s the other guy’s country.”

    South Vietnam was not the North Vietnamese’ country. The North Vietnamese was the invading enemy.

    Michael Oren, Israel’ former ambassador to the U.S. called the New York Times editorial-page editor, Andrew Rosenthal, after the paper published an op-ed by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in which Abbas startlingly claimed the Arabs had accepted the UN Partition Plan of 1947.

    The conversation went thus:
    “When I write for the Times, fact checkers examine every word I write,” I began. “Did anybody check that Abbas has his facts exactly backward?”

    “That’s your opinion,” Rosenthal replied.

    “I’m an historian, Andy, and there are opinions and there are facts. That the Arabs rejected partition and the Jews accepted it is an irrefutable fact.”

    Rosenthal smugly said,
    “In your view.”

    Oren then mockingly asked, “Tell me, on June 6, 1944, did Allied forces land or did they not land on Normandy Beach?”

    Rosenthal replied, “Some might say so.”

    Arthur S. Brisbane in his final column as The New York Times public editor (ombudsman, a position solely created in the wake of the Times 2003’s Jayson Blair scandal) said this,
    “Across the paper’s many departments, though, so many share a kind of political and cultural progressivism — for lack of a better term — that this worldview virtually bleeds through the fabric of The Times.”

    Jill Abramson, new editor of the New York Times 2011 said,”In my house growing up, The Times substituted for religion. If The Times said it, it was the absolute truth.”

    She was unceremoniously fired later on.

    That’s what you get for believing in false gods.

    “READ “All The News Unfit To Print” by Eric Burns, expert media analyst, of how the Times inaccurately reports events.

    • An incredibly incisive post and one that should be shared widely.

    • All you democrats with your long standing biased coverage now howling, as unfair! Time to go pound sand!