In a remarkable coincidence, the Las Vegas Review-Journal, which was recently acquired by billionaire casino owner Sheldon Adelson, has also become the first big U.S. newspaper to officially endorse Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, whose campaign Adelson has also supported.
What are the chances?
Admittedly, the endorsement is lukewarm, at best. The newspaper’s editors acknowledge: “Yes, Mr. Trump’s impulsiveness and overheated rhetoric alienate many voters. He has trouble dealing with critics and would be wise to discover the power of humility.”
And like many other arguments advanced in favor of the Republican front runner, the rest is mostly a scathing indictment of his opponent, Hillary Clinton, including her plans to raise taxes and enlarge the regulatory state, her lack of familiarity with business and the entrepreneurial spirit, and her support for gun control.
The editorial also notes that her platform includes massive expansions of entitlements in the form of free college and a probable move to single-payer healthcare.
It concludes: “Mr. Trump represents neither the danger his critics claim nor the magic elixir many of his supporters crave. But he promises to be a source of disruption and discomfort to the privileged, back-scratching political elites for whom the nation’s strength and solvency have become subservient to power’s pursuit and preservation.”
As noted, the LVRJ’s endorsement stands out at a time when no other big metro daily has spoken in support of the controversial candidate. Instead, many pubs with editorial pages well known for their traditional conservatism, such as the San-Diego Union Tribune, Arizona Republic, The Dallas Morning News and The Cincinnati Enquirer, have endorsed Clinton.
Even more unusual is the number of publications breaking tradition by issuing endorsements in the first place.
Last week, fashion mag Vogue came out in favor of Clinton, joining The Atlantic Monthly, whose cover story arguing for the Democratic candidate marks just the third time it has endorsed a presidential candidate in 150 years of publishing (the others were Lincoln and LBJ).
USA Today also strayed from its usual practice with an anti-endorsement, encouraging readers to vote for anyone but Trump.