Republican mega donor Sheldon Adelson is one of the most powerful men in politics, and is reportedly willing to spend as much as $100 million to unseat Obama.
So the radio and television show Democracy Now! sent its senior producer Mike Burke to go interview Adelson at the Republican National Convention. After all, if Adelson is spending so much money to help Romney, isn’t it fair to ask him what he expects to get for all that dough?
Burke and Democracy Now! staffer Hanny Masoud tried to interview Adelson after they saw him at the convention talking to Karl Rove. Adelson refused to Ai??answer any questions, and his daughter pushed Burke. She then grabbed Democracy Now’s camera and threw it to the ground. Here’s a transcript of the exchange from Democracy Now!:
MIKEAi??BURKE:Ai??And weai??i??ve just spotted Sheldon Adelson being pushed in a wheelchair down the hall. Karl Rove is right behind him. Weai??i??re going to try to follow them to see how far we can get.
Mr. Adelson, your thoughts on the Romney-Ryan ticket?
MIKEAi??BURKE:Ai??Weai??i??re trying to follow Karl Rove and Sheldon Adelson as they go down the hallway here in the suites.
Mr. Adelson, how much money are you going to spend on this election?
ADELSONAi??HANDLER:Ai??Guys, guys, hey!
ADELSONAi??DAUGHTER:Ai??Get off me!
ADELSONAi??DAUGHTER:Ai??Get off me! Iai??i??ll hit you!
HANYAi??MASSOUD:Ai??Heai??i??s just walking.
MIKEAi??BURKE:Ai??I did not touch her. She ran back into me. She just grabbed our camera! This woman grabbed our camera.
Watch the confrontation (it begins at 10:10)
Adelson’s daughter did later apologize for the incident, and a spokesman for the tycoon also offered an apologetic response. But Adelson did not offer to answer any questions to Democracy Now!’s polite and professional reporters. For a billionaire who’s willing to spend so much money to distort our democracy, Adelson is remarkably afraid of a free press.