Friday, October 24, 2008

Can You Spot All The Cliches?

Oh brother. CBS News decided to analyze contributions from gaming moguls to John McCain's presidential campaign. It's one of the silliest things I've seen in the network news in quite a long time. See for yourself...

Watch CBS Videos Online

Can we count the Vegas cliches?

* They're always Vegas "tycoons" and "titans" aren't they? Do they call the CEOs of GM and Chrysler "auto moguls"?

* Which one, Steve Wynn or Sheldon Adelson (mispronounced, of course), does this twit think equals Elliot Gould?

* Why is she focusing on Adelson and Wynn who have a combined three casinos in Vegas and none elsewhere while not mentioning Terry Lanni, another McCain co-chair, whose MGM Mirage owns 10 resorts in Vegas, two in Reno and five in other U.S. states?

* Why is the notion of campaign cash for access portrayed as novel and shady when it's Vegas but not when it's, say, Hollywood? Something tells me movie studio execs have given more than the collective $1.2 million she's "caught" the gaming bosses giving this year. What's their evil motive?

* She couldn't reach Wynn or Adelson, so she grabs some schlub from Gaming Today that nobody's ever heard of before to talk -- not very eloquently -- about the intersection of politics and gaming? What, CBS has never heard of Jon Ralston? Erin Neff? Molly Ball? J. Patrick Coolican? George Knapp? Dave Berns? Jeff Simpson? John L. Smith? In this day and age of belt-tightening, CBS spent all that money to send her to Vegas to do a hackneyed piece in which she conducts but one interview, that with a doddering fool?

* Gotta love the Three-McCain slot reel at the end. That's a good one for the casinos to think about putting on the machines for Halloween. You know, for a good scare.

What's most bizarre about this report is not that they decided to take an interest in campaign donations. That's a fine idea. It's that they did it without any context at all.

The reporter, Sharyl Attkisson, doesn't actually compare this year to any other election year, she just claims it's different this time out and then asks the clueless, ineloquent schlub that nobody's ever heard of to explain why. She states that Steve Wynn is a Democrat, but my instinct is that's not true. I do know that Elaine Wynn made a big deal about changing her registration to Democrat to participate in the caucuses in January and at the time I thought she said that this is a bit of a political schism between the couple. Either way, the reporter ignores the fact that Mrs. Wynn is one of Barack Obama's biggest boosters in Nevada and she's thrown fundraisers for the Democrat, too.

There's more. Attkisson acknowledges McCain's opposition to sports betting and his frustration that the gaming lobby batted it off, but she doesn't bother to use the footage of him more recently explaining his broader views on the gaming business. She doesn't take note of the fact that he's been supportive of Indian gaming in his home state of Arizona. She doesn't provide any information at all on either McCain or Obama's current views on gaming. And she seems to believe that the Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-SIN CITY, would let any Congress screw too badly with his own state's golden geese.

And here's the best part. The reporter suggests that Wynn and Adelson are afraid of a "hike on the tax on gaming." Uh, hello. There is no federal tax on gaming revenues. Sorry, lady. Oops.

Finally, in typecasting Wynn and Adelson, it clearly escapes Attkisson's imagination that they might have many reasons, not just concerns about raising a tax that doesn't exist. In Adelson's case, for instance, he's obsessed with Israel. He believes McCain is better on Israel. That, as much as anything else, dictates his politics. And maybe they, like most rich corporate CEOs, are just more inclined to support Republicans. You know, like in every other industry.

I will give her one teeny-tiny thing. Somehow she managed not to work What Happens Here Stays Here. Thank goodness for small favors.


MrsVJW said...

I find it hilarious that one of the "new" Microsoft ads that played before the clip crashed IE on me....

I enjoy seeing this, because I live outside Chicago and I think McCain pulled every one of his ads here a week ago.

They're all still trying to figure out Nevada. It's a state that has gone through a lot of population change in the past few years and ya'll are hard to call.

mike4dice said...

Great analysis! But NV as a "key battleground state" with 5 (0.93%) electoral college votes? I don't think so!

RJ Guy said...

Hi Mike - I beg to differ. Yes, it's only 5 electoral votes, but there aren't a whole lot of swing states in general and we're clearly one. Consider that in a 10 day period ending Monday, we will have had Obama, B. Clinton, Palin, Biden and Michelle Obama make campaign visits. We're pretty important this year.