Trump receives first major newspaper endorsement, has fellow billionaire Sheldon Adelson to thank

PUBLISHED : Monday, 24 October, 2016, 12:46pm
UPDATED : Monday, 24 October, 2016, 7:02pm

The Las Vegas Review-Journal became the first major newspaper to endorse Donald Trump for president this election season, stating that, while the candidate has flaws, he’ll bring needed disruption and change to Washington.

“Mr Trump represents neither the danger his critics claim nor the magic elixir many of his supporters crave,” the paper said in its endorsement. “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.”

Trump tweeted, “Thank you Las Vegas Review Journal” with a link to the editorial.

The paper was bought by Sheldon Adelson last year, a major Republican donor who is also another billionaire linked to casinos. It remained unclear who bought the newspaper at the time of the deal.

Soon after, it was reported that Adelson bought the Review-Journal for a whopping US$140 million.

“Suspicions about his motives for paying a lavish US$140 million for the newspaper last month are based on his reputation in Las Vegas as a figure comfortable with using his money in support of his numerous business and political concerns,” the New York Times reported in January.

The Review-Journal has a circulation of about 98,000 daily, 119,000 on Sundays and “remains a prime target for anyone seeking to influence voters in Nevada,” the Washington Post’s media critic Paul Farhi wrote.

Adelson and his wife, well-known Republican donors, gave US$5,400 to Ted Cruz in November and the same amount to Lindsey Graham in March, before the South Carolina senator dropped out.

Although smaller papers have endorsed Trump, several large conservative-leaning newspapers have broken ranks and endorsed Hillary Clinton for President in recent months.

The San Diego Union-Tribune broke a 148-year-long streak of endorsing Republicans for president on September 30 and encouraged its readers to vote for Hillary Clinton.

The Arizona Republic, tweeted out a photo of Clinton gazing into the distance while announcing its endorsement. It’s the first time the Republic has endorsed a Democrat since 1890.

Republic staff received death threats after its endorsement was announced.