Sunday, October 17, 2010

Sunday Readings: Hoover, Reid-Angle, Wynn

This past week, I extensively juggled two significant stories out of Vegas, the Reid-Angle race and the opening of the Hoover Dam's bypass bridge. So which one, on this fine Sunday, did more Americans read about?

Well, lookit:

Parade Magazine, inserted into more than 30 million copies of Sunday papers and is the largest circulation magazine in the world, put the bridge on the cover. I can't say the piece is even all that great, but that's a pretty big hit for a built-within-budget $240 million public works project at a moment when public works projects and government spending in general get a pretty bad name. (See Dig, Big.)

Meanwhile, a few other things from the Sunday papers:

* Reid-Angle Ugly. I must agree with CityLife editor Steve Sebelius' assessments on Twitter of Laura Myers' strange side-by-side profiles of Harry Reid and Sharron Angle. As Sebelius notes, the opening anecdote of the one on Reid is about 30-year-old, unproven claims of Mob dealings while the opening for Angle's was all about her scrappy, up-from-the-bootstraps early life. By the time you finish both pieces, you probably have a reasonably well-rounded perspective on both people, but given that most people don't go much farther than the headline and first 300 or 400 words if that, it's weird. And, as Sebelius also said, the contrasting headlines -- referring to Reid as a focus-group-hated "career politician" and Angle as a focus-group-loved "political outsider" -- was disturbing and noticeable. Still, it is also worth noting that Sun publisher Brian Greenspun put yet another essay about Reid's greatness on the front of his newspaper without any disclosure that his family has given about $370,000 to federal Democrats since 2006. It just goes back to what I've been saying over and over again, that the R-J deserves its lumps for a lot of its Reid-Angle approach, but so does the Sun. And nobody else in the mainstream media seems to wants to point out that both are flawed in very similar ways. And, yes, that also includes the Sun's story placement and the tone of its political reporting.

* And Another R-J Thing. The state's paper of record never bothered to do any significant fact-checking of the claims made during Thursday's debate. That's shameful, an abdication of one of the paper's most significant roles.

* Reid-Angle National. There were two interesting columns about or involving the Senate race in today's Sun, one by Maureen Dowd of The New York Times and one by David Broder of the Washington Post. Each chose to shorthand the race in colorful ways. Dowd called it a battle between "the former boxer and the former competitive weightlifter," which sent me to look up that, yep, the 61-year-old marm was once a weightlifter and made me wonder why nobody else really has put that specific contrast to work. Broder, meanwhile, referred to the debate as a "contrast between the unacceptable and the profoundly uncomfortable" without actually specifying who was who. (Given that Broder's a liberal, I assume Angle's the "unacceptable.")

* Now I Get It. Howard Stutz does a pretty good job today of giving perspective on the confusing financial casino dealings of late and what it means. It helped me keep it all straight, anyway.

* Krolicki Love. I'm intrigued that incumbent Lt. Gov. Brian Krolicki has somehow become the Republican who the left-leaning media can love. Or the Republican they can endorse to prove they're not completely in the Democrats' pocket. Today, the Las Vegas Sun endorsed him, a week after the consortium of gay publications did so as well. Perhaps it's because the lieutenant governorship has no power? Does anyone seriously think either of these groups would be writing such kindnesses of him if he had run against Reid for Senate, as he was expected to until he was sidelined by a fairly specious, now-dismissed indictment?

* Wynn's Villa Extravaganza: If you're curious what Steve Wynn's home at the Wynn looks like, head to Architectural Digest to see the slideshow. The article is a little strange, though: the Golden Nugget was not a 1990s Wynn creation, Parry Thomas was not a lawyer and there's nothing new about the fact that Wynn has an Ivy League education or waxes eloquent about the Precambian explosion. Still, the pictures are cool.


Ellen said...

Yes, thought the AD article was a bit stange - don't know where they got their facts. Pictures were great - although posted by Steve Friess many months ago and he did not get the credit! ;-)

Anonymous said...

who is Steve Freid?

Anonymous said...

As the Press of Atlantic City points out, any buyer of Borgata would assume 50% of the resort's outstanding debt, placing the purchase price at $687.5 million, not the commonly reported (including by yours truly) $250 million. That's still a bargain, considering the amount of revenue Borgata generates.

David McKee