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December 18, 2015

Op-Ed: Review-Journal Sold to Adelson—Why You Should Worry

LAS VEGAS, NV—In a deal so shrouded in secrecy that its own reporters and staff had no idea who their new owner was, multi-billionaire Sheldon Adelson has bought the Las Vegas Review-Journal, arguably the city's most important newspaper, as well as several smaller Nevada dailies, for a reported $140 million. The deal was brokered by Adelson's son-in-law, Patrick Dumont. As those who follow politics are aware, Adelson, besides owning two major casinos in the city, is a major funder of Republican political campaigns, and many will recall how, during the 2012 election season, just about every Republican candidate made the trek to Las Vegas for meetings with Adelson, all seeking to suck his dick a share of the mogul's money and support. The most recent reports regarding the 2016 election have Adelson likely to throw his support behind Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, currently the third-highest ranked candidate, though Adelson's wife Miriam is said to favor the No. 2 candidate, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz—the election of either of whom would be a disaster for the country, and especially the adult industry. Yes, that adult industry; the one which has many making plans to move lock, stock and barrel to Nevada—as several already have—should the AIDS Healthcare Foundation-promoted "California Safer Sex in the Adult Film Industry Act" become state law, or the proposed revamp of California's Health Code, new Section 5193.1, be adopted in its current form. Despite the growing popularity of the internet, newspapers still play an important part in the politics of a state—or a country; Adelson owns two (conservative, anti-Palestinian) daily newspapers in Israel—and for what is arguably Las Vegas's most important paper to be under the control of a powerful conservative bodes poorly for our industry. AHF has already announced plans to seek to revamp Nevada's laws to enact the same destructive measures that are driving the adult industry from California, and with a religious conservative in charge of the editorial page of the Review-Journal, Michael Weinstein may easily find himself garnering support from one of the most powerful political funders in the country. There's only one group in the adult industry that is consistently fighting to keep the industry safe, legal and viable in the current market: Free Speech Coalition. As a board member of that organization, I know how important it is that adult industry members and customers support FSC's ongoing legal and political battles. Donations may be made here.

 
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