Saturday December 26,2015 : MORE REVELATIONS IN ADELSON-ASSOCIATED NEWSPAPER CASE (Update)
Respected journalist resigns from Connecticut newspaper citing conduct of alleged Adelson front-man.
The repercussions from Sheldon Adelson's allegedly stealth purchase of the Las Vegas Review-Journal spilled over into Connecticut Thursday with the resignation on ethical grounds of Steve Collins (54), a respected and professional journalist working for the Bristol Press, a publication owned by one Michael Schroeder.
Schroeder is allegedly fronting for Adelson as the manager for News + Media Capital Group LLC, the newly-created Delaware company which purchased the LVRJ at a premium price of $140 million earlier this month
Schroeder initially stone-walled attempts to identify the owners behind the company.
The Erik Wemple blog for the Washington Post covered Collins' Thursday resignation over a mysterious article on Nevada judges and commercial courts which appeared in the Bristol Press under the by-line “Edward Clarkin”, an individual who is proving remarkably difficult to find.
The article followed a strange tasking of three LVRJ journalists to monitor Nevada judges, one of whom has clashed with Adelson. The resultant report by the Journal reporters was never published, however.
Collins, whose professional decision to resign is likely to lead to financial stress for himself and his family, discussed his resignation with Wemple and on Facebook, commenting:
"I have watched in recent days as Mr. Schroeder has emerged as a spokesman for a billionaire with a penchant for politics who secretly purchased a Las Vegas newspaper and is already moving to gut it.
"I have learned with horror that my boss shoveled a story into my newspaper – a terrible, plagiarized piece of garbage about the court system – and then stuck his own fake byline on it.
"He handed it to a page designer who doesn’t know anything about journalism late one night and told him to shovel it into the pages of the paper. I admit I never saw the piece until recently, but when I did, I knew it had Mr. Schroeder’s fingerprints all over it. Yet when enterprising reporters asked my boss about it, he claimed to know nothing or told them he had no comment.
"Yesterday, they blew the lid off this idiocy completely, proving that Mr. Schroeder lied, that he submitted a plagiarized story, bypassed what editing exists and basically used the pages of my newspaper, secretly, to further the political agenda of his master out in Las Vegas. In sum, the owner of my paper is guilty of journalistic misconduct of epic proportions."
Wemple's attempts to give Schroeder the right of reply were unsuccessful.
This would have been useful, because Wemple describes the Bristol Press article thus:
"Through interpretation and multiple readings, this blog is guessing that it seeks to advance the interests of moguls, by advocating for something known as “business courts” managed by judges familiar with the technicalities of commercial disputes.
"Peel back a couple of layers, however, and it turns into a hit piece against Nevada District Judge Elizabeth Gonzalez, who is presiding over a case involving Adelson’s Sands Casino. “Sir, you don’t get to argue with me,” Gonzalez admonished Adelson himself last spring in testimony for the case.”
Collins is adamant that there is no excuse for the behaviour of Schroeder, commenting:
“I don’t really care that he’s working with Adelson. What I care about is that there’s been a secretive and a sort of sleazy way of handling things, and the list of journalistic no-nos just keeps growing and reached the point where I was just fed up.”
Collins gave Schroeder the opportunity to read his parting Facebook shots, but was merely fobbed off with a "we'll talk later" response.
“I can’t teach young people how to be ethical, upstanding reporters while working for a man like Michael Schroeder," Collins concludes.
"I can’t take his money. I can’t do his bidding. I have to stand up for what is right even if the cost is so daunting that at this moment it scares the hell out of me.”