1. Is it just me or... did this cartoonist make Sarah Palin look like a transsexual?
2. Sheldon Adelson Drops John L. Smith lawsuit. Perhaps he's making a bid for better karma now that his company is teetering on the brink of bankruptcy or maybe someone finally got up the guts to tell him that he's legally off his rocker, but LVS CEO Sheldon Adelson finally pulled the plug on his ill-conceived 2005 libel lawsuit against Review-Journal columnist and author John L. Smith. Smith, who had to file for bankruptcy to cope with the financial burden of all of this even as his daughter continues a dramatic and expensive cancer battle for her life, had already apologized in a variety of ways for his inference in his book "Sharks in the Desert" that Adelson had some organized crime connections.
R-J Editor Thomas Mitchell writes today that Adelson gave up because some confidential records about his background could have been made public if the lawsuit went forward. Either way, it's over for John. And it seems that his way out was thanks largely to Vegas attorney Donald Campbell, whom I profiled as the cover boy of this year's annual Mountain States edition of Super Lawyers magazine. You can read that here.
3. Not All Exits This Week Were Graceful. Liberal political columnist Erin Neff signed off the other day after five years with the R-J's editorial page. She took a buyout. It was her decision. But now she whined to Norm Clarke in today's paper that she felt had to go because she was the token lefty anyway and that she was propelled out the door by the fact that the publisher held her column endorsing Barack Obama for a day prior to the election. Now, I don't know what the rules were for R-J columnists, but I did learn recently that New York Times columnists are not permitted to directly endorse candidates for president. So it's not an uncommon restriction; I guess they're afraid if there are conflicting endorsements from the same newspaper it would lessen the impact of the paper's official imprimatur and confuse people. (Both sides would be able to say "Endorsed by the Daily Whatever.")
But Neff did end up getting to essentially make her endorsement, so I don't know what her fuss is. And, either way, she had chosen to take the buyout anyway, so why suddenly get all haughty about it? That said, I do hope that the R-J continues to have some left-leaning local columnists to maintain the balance.
4. Joe The Correction Writer Strikes Again. I'm not going to belabor this because it's getting to be silly and, besides, someone at the Sun may try to gin up a fake controversy against me again if I go too far. But. Our old friend Joe Schoenmann was responsible for yet another very lengthy correction this week, this time a 140-worder that appeared in the Nov. 4 edition of the newspaper. (Remember this 535-word one?) It regards an Oct. 26 piece. But the Sun did not see fit to post the correction on the Internet OR to at least to fix the mistakes in the Web version of the story, so I've done them the service of typing it in:
Hey, Sun folks, how about letting your readers know the OTHER part of why these errors happened? Could it be because your reporter was relying in his reporting not on interviews or actual attendance at public meetings of the body he covers? I once did this job, covering the Clark County Commission. Those meetings are a snooze, no doubt. But it still helps to actually go to them if you're going to write about them. Otherwise, you might as well save some money and outsource this coverage to India, as that newspaper in California did.