Sheldon Adelson’s Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Day

Pro Publica and PBS’s Frontline are out today with a joint blockbuster report on suspected corrupt dealings that casino magnate Sheldon Adelson–the largest donor to pro-Republican and pro-Mitt Romney Super Pacs–may have engaged in to get his largest gambling parlor built, in the Chinese territory of Macau. An executive and a senior attorney in Adelson’s company warned against trying to unduly influence the decisions of a Chinese government official with large payments, but according to the story, more than $700,000 was paid to the official anyway. Now, Adelson and his company are under investigation by the Justice Dept. and the SEC for possible violations of the Federal Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA). I heard reports about the Pro Publica/Frontline scoop on “All Things Considered,” with Lowell Bergman, one of three reporters on the piece, the others being Matt Isaacs, and Stephen Engelberg. On The Rachel Maddow Show, Engelberg was a guest.

But that strong dose of traditional investigative reporting is the least of what is about to hit Mr. Adelson, not by a longshot: The irrepressible Sarah Silverman has prepared some new comedic and political mischief for her co-religionist Sheldon Adelson. According to TechPresident’s Nick Judd, in a piece headlined, “Sarah Silverman Uses YouTube, Bikini Bottoms to Kickstart an Online Anti-Adelson Campaign

“Sometime in the next two or three days, an ankles-in-the-air Sarah Silverman will probably appear in your Facebook news feed with a political stunt video designed to hijack the 21st-century media cycle as we now understand it. If casino mogul Sheldon Adelson would just stop giving money to super PACs supporting Mitt Romney’s candidacy, she says in a new video, she will put on bikini underwear and perform a sex act with him that is so far out of its normal context—the video hypes it up with the tagline “traditional lesbian sex”—as to make it almost-but-not-quite acceptable to describe to a family audience.”

For those who recall Silverman’s 2008 campaign video, “The Great Schlep,” this latest effort promises to inject a welcome hit of serious humor in to the presidential campaign. I can’t imagine that Pro Publica/Frontline and Sarah Silverman coordinated their efforts, but I bet they couldn’t be happier with the coincidence of their two efforts coming out within days of each other. Regarding Adelson’s free-spending efforts to elect Mitt Romney, it must be said that a Romney victory in November would probably spell be the end of the investigations and possible prosecution of wrongdoing at Adelson’s company. That’s quite a way to potentially buy yourself a stay-out-of-jail card–by yourself a new president and a new justice department. For all her bawdy humor, Silverman is clearly trying to influence the public discussion over this, as the website for her effort,, also includes a page headlined, Who is the $100 Million Man?

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  1. […] the NYC market only a couple blocks from my office; the great Canadian band Library Voices; Sarah Silverman’s bawdy video that pokes fun at right-wing casino magnate Sheldon Adelson; a new album from Bob Dylan; the […]

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