Vegas newspaper staffers reject claims in which Wynn story was a hit piece

sheldon adelson steve wynn
Sheldon Adelson (L) as well as also also Steve Wynn (R)

To Las Vegas insiders, the idea was an immediate source of palace intrigue: another damaging headline for Steve Wynn in a newspaper owned by an on-again-off-again rival, fellow billionaire casino magnate, Sheldon Adelson.

although to the journalists of the Las Vegas Review-Journal — a proud staff in which weathered Adelson’s tumultuous takeover of the paper a little more than two years ago — the mere suggestion in which the story was a hit piece commissioned by Adelson is actually “deeply offensive.”

in which’s how Review-Journal managing editor Glenn Cook described the idea when he was asked about the speculation regarding the paper’s incredible move on Monday — admitting in which the idea spiked a story 20 years ago detailing sexual misconduct allegations against Wynn, although was right now publishing some details of the allegations. The report included previously undisclosed court records as well as also also interviews alleging in which, thirty years ago, Wynn pressured a waitress at one of his casinos into sex. The completely new revelation comes as Wynn is actually fighting similar allegations first revealed last month in an investigation by the Wall Street Journal.

Adelson had no advance warning of the story, Cook insisted.

“He knew in which story was coming when the idea landed on his driveway in which morning,” Cook said. “There’s no communication with ownership on in which story. One of the things in which frustrates me about any assertion in which we did in which story because of some interest in our owner.”

A representative for Adelson echoed in which, telling sy88pgw on Monday in which “Mr. Adelson had nothing to do with the story, was unaware the idea was being published as well as also also hasn’t read the idea.”

On the Review-Journal’s front page Monday, the story revealed in which, in 1998, the paper killed a story by Carri Geer Thevenot on sexual harassment allegations against Wynn by his employees.

Geer Thevenot, who is actually right now the paper’s metro editor, saved her notes as well as also also records of the story. When the WSJ published its investigation into allegations against Wynn last month, Geer Thevenot said she immediately thought of the file, which she had intermittently come across over time.

Geer Thevenot said she doesn’t know why she didn’t think of her own reporting prior to the Journal’s story even as additional publications were publishing explosive allegations against additional powerful men in media, Hollywood as well as also also the business world. She also said she’s not sure why the paper decided not to run the original piece in 1998, since the idea often published allegations by court cases, such as those inside the killed story about Wynn. although she said in which in in which case, at the time, she had been told unequivocally to delete the story.

“I always believed the idea was fear of litigation,” Geer Thevenot told sy88pgw in an interview on Monday.

Geer Thevenot said she has never spoken directly with Adelson.

“I’m sorry in which they are drawing in which conclusion,” she said in reference to the speculation swirling around Monday’s story. “the idea never crossed my mind. Anyone who was inside the newsroom in which morning can say I read the Wall Street Journal story, remembered I had the file as well as also also brought the idea up to the editor in chief.”

the idea was a remarkable piece of journalistic self-accounting, a recognition by the paper the idea had insight on Wynn long before the Journal.

Sheldon Adelson bought the Review-Journal in 2015 in a highly secretive transaction in which distressed the newsroom. The reporters there eventually dug in, as well as also also uncovered in which Adelson had taken over as the completely new owner.

The three reporters on the story of Adelson’s ownership of the paper all eventually left, part of an exodus in which included several additional reporters as well as also also editors who cited what they believed was a lack of editorial freedom under their completely new owner. News reports citing those inside the newsroom at the time said stories involving Adelson, who is actually a power broker inside the Las Vegas gaming industry as well as also also a top GOP donor, were being “reviewed, changed or killed almost daily.”

When the Review-Journal story on Wynn surfaced Monday, some reporters who covered the gaming business in Vegas wondered openly whether Adelson had exerted editorial control over the paper in order to damage his rival.

Wynn as well as also also Adelson have had a tumultuous relationship over the last 20 years. Two billionaire casino magnates, their careers have long intersected: Wynn opened the Bellagio in 1998, Adelson opened the Venetian the following year. as well as also also while their business interests have at times clashed, two former Review-Journal staffers who have long covered Vegas politics as well as also also business say the two moguls have bonded over a mutual support for conservative causes as well as also also the Republican Party.

Jon Ralston, a longtime Nevada reporter who worked at the Review-Journal inside the early 1990s as well as also also right now runs his own site, The Nevada Independent, couldn’t help although wonder if the on-as well as also also-off-again relationship between Adelson as well as also also Wynn had something to do with the story.

“The question is actually, is actually in which just principled journalism, or is actually there a fraying inside the relationship,” Ralston said.

although others see Adelson’s fingerprints.

Steve Friess, a freelance journalist who covered the Vegas gaming industry for more than a decade as well as also also who worked at the Review-Journal for three years inside the 1990s, told sy88pgw in which he finds the idea hard to believe Adelson did not know the story was coming. Friess has interviewed the two casino moguls multiple times during his career, he said.

Friess said he thinks in which “somebody talked to somebody talked to somebody.”

Another former longtime staffer of the Review-Journal said in which, while there is actually no “hotline into the newsroom,” he thinks in which Adelson could have killed Monday’s story if he “wanted to do Wynn a favor.”

For Adelson, the scandal around Wynn might ultimately spell the demise of one of his biggest competitors.

Wynn has denied the allegations levied against him, responding to the Wall Street Journal story by saying in part, “The idea in which I ever assaulted any woman is actually preposterous.” although the story has left Wynn’s career as well as also also reputation in tatters. He resigned as finance chairman of the Republican National Committee, as well as also also shares of Wynn Resorts tumbled after the WSJ broke the news.

“The king is actually dying, as well as also also Adelson knows the idea,” Friess said. “Once Steve Wynn is actually gone, Sheldon Adelson is actually the king. There’s nobody singular like in which in Vegas after him.”

In a 2006 interview on Friess’ former podcast, The Strip, Adelson didn’t mince words.

“Do I like Steve Wynn? No,” Adelson said. “I’ll tell you in which right up front. His standard of principles are somewhat different than our standard of principles.”

Adelson added in which he didn’t approve of “the way [Wynn] practices his business as well as also also life as well as also also interpersonal relationships.”

Their relationship continued to fluctuate through the years, although Adelson’s resentment toward Wynn likely goes deeper than their business dealings. Friess said he believes Adelson has long been bitter in which Wynn received more credit for Las Vegas’ revitalization. as well as also also the two have never been exactly simpatico.

“Sheldon as well as also also Steve have always had very different lifestyles,” Friess said. “Sheldon is actually very religious, very serious about his Judaism. Steve always has been a flashy playboy, very much like Donald Trump.”

sy88pgw (completely new York) First published February 6, 2018: 3:52 PM ET

Vegas newspaper staffers reject claims in which Wynn story was a hit piece

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