Whenever I get a tourist on my tours who claims to be a “Vegas News Junkie” I love to talk to them. They love Las Vegas so much they have it in their Facebook feed and email files. They want to keep up with everything here. What’s happening, what’s new, who bribed who, who shot who and all that Vegas fun stuff.
So I like to ask them if they notice where the good Vegas news comes from? Their immediate response is “from here.” Wrong answer. Serious. Look again at the banner. You will most likely see its not from a Vegas news outlet. This is something Sazzy and I always joked about on our podcast. If you really want to know what’s happening in las Vegas, you need to go out-of-town for the news. Like the LA Times or Chicago Tribune. They have the Vegas News as it happens. News reporting here needs to be filtered first.
Small Town Las Vegas
Las Vegas may be once again nearing that 2 million population number soon, but that doesn’t mean much to the news media here. In many ways we are just a small town and the news is treated as such. We have two primary employers: MGM Resorts and Caesars Entertainment. Approximately 75% of all jobs here are tourism based. So if you run any kind of news media website or broadcast station in this town, you need to keep the two giant employers happy and looking good to the world or fear losing that all-too valuable advertising revenue they provide.
True, there are things that happen here on a pretty regular basis just because it is Las Vegas and we have casinos open 24 hours. So some things become routine and not headline making. Like last night when a man tried to drive his car thru the Golden Nugget Casino windows.. Yea, ok, nothing new. The news media kind of shrugs it off and moves on. But when you make a headline about a man who jumps into the Bellagio Fountains and does damage to the plumbing of one of America’s major landmarks, then all that is mentioned is his name, you know something is amiss.
As a comparison, we recently had a Las Vegas mother get gunned down in front of her home at 1am in the morning after she and her 21-year-old son went hunting for some local thugs who supposedly offended her teenage daughter. Before the body was even at the morgue, the news media already had half the concocted story, the make, model and serial number of the cars involved. the house address, value and condition of the home she lived in, the financial and racial profile of the family and where the son bought his gun from legally. Everything you wanted and didn’t want to know.
You would think that your states number 2 gaming company being $25 billion dollars in debt and wanting to pull a three card monte type of scheme to hide that debt would get the attention of State gaming regulators and the local news media. You would think that. But it took the media outside the Nevada boundaries to start seriously questioning before the FBI and IRS started to ask the questions the State Gaming Board should have asked. Then the local media finally went “Houston, we may have a problem over here”
What I love is when I talk to other people who have Vegas tourist focused websites or I meet people from the local media, their first comment is often that they wished they could say what I say here about Las Vegas. Like when a new show opens and it is really bad, they want to tell the world to not go see it. Instead, they have to bite their tongue and repeat the Robin Leach mantra and swear to the heavens above “Man, this new show is the best thing to ever hit Las Vegas. This is a Must See Production- a Real Game Changer” or fear losing the advertising of MGM or Caesars (and their jobs).
So basically the moral of the story is what happens in Las Vegas sometimes doesn’t get printed in Las Vegas!!
FYI: The story I mentioned about the mother being gunned down, is a made for tv movie just waiting to happen. It has the usual Las Vegas tales of pride, stupidity, strange twists and conspiracies… The trail that keeps getting pushed back is truly a “only in Las Vegas” style stories and a composite of it all can be found here: Tammy Meyers Road Rage trial