Thursday, July 30, 2009

Gans to Jacko to Murray: Las Vegas news media hometeam drop the ball again

Interesting to see this morning that once again the Las Vegas print media is not exactly providing blanket coverage of its most far-reaching news story of the day. The police investigation into celebrity drug addiction and the issuing of fraudulent prescriptions is the biggest of its kind, is receiving international coverage and is centered on Flamingo Road in Las Vegas, where investigators searched the offices of Michael Jackson's personal physician, Dr. Conrad Murray.

One Los Angeles detective only hinted at the scope of the scandal when he said:

"It’s long been suspected that friendly doctors have been enabling celebrities in Hollywood to feed their habits. However, the real extent of what’s been going on is truly shocking. We are uncovering a massive trade in fraudulent prescriptions.”

So where are the Las Vegas newsmen? The Las Vegas Sun is on its third day of covering prostitution at the Rio pool, The Review-Journal notes that Wynn resorts profits freefell 91 percent in the second quarter (the one during which his star attraction Danny Gans died), but they continue to shy away from the big embarrassments.

In fact, Vegas McCloud impersonator and Review-Journal editor Tom Mitchell has yet to assign a reporter to follow upon his gossip columnist's July 11th item about a local doctor aproached to provide drugs to Jacko:

"How widespread has the practice of doctor-shopping become in Las Vegas? Will the investigation into Jackson's prescription drug abuse lead back to the Las Vegas medical community, given Jackson spent a good deal of time here in recent years? Will the intense scrutiny uncover more leads in Danny Gans' drug-related death?

"Doctor-shopping 'has become very common'...

"The physician felt pressured to accommodate a VIP.
He treated a high profile casino executive who wanted sleeping pills. A week later, the executive wanted a refill and a week after that he requested another refill 'and I said no'...

"The sad thing, he said, is that someone else filled the void.
"'It's Elvis Presley all over again.'"

As we'd predicted, the Danny Gans story has become a watershed moment for the news media in Las Vegas. How long can they run? And what's their excuse this time?

(UPDATE: The Sun posted a brief story on the records seized from Dr. Murray on its website at 2:55 pm. The Review Journal ran five sentences at 3:12 pm.)

No comments: