Mark Fabiani, who feasts off celebrities in trouble, is now representing Las Vegas casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, whom Forbes estimates is worth $25 billion, the 15th richest plutocrat in the United States.
Through a front group, Adelson purchased the Las Vegas Review-Journal newspaper on December 10. But the identity of the purchaser was kept secret for several days. When the paper revealed Adelson was the buyer, the staff revolted. Adelson poured $100 million into the 2012 election and had pursued a libel suit against a staffer who went broke defending himself.
Staff members had been suspicious earlier when told to tail Vegas judges, including one who had chastised Adelson in an ongoing case. The editor-in-chief resigned, claiming he did so after he learned about Adelson buying the paper. The paper said he had resigned before the Adelson purchase was revealed. Fabiani was author of a message from the new owner giving management's side.
Fabiani represented Bill and Hillary Clinton over the Whitewater and Monica Lewinsky scandals; he counseled cyclist Lance Armstrong during the doping scandals.
The Chargers hired Fabiani in 2002, supposedly to campaign for a taxpayer-subsidized stadium in San Diego. However — in the opinion of many people (including yours truly) — Fabiani knew that the Chargers preferred to go to Los Angeles but wanted to keep San Diego in their back pocket. This required some delicate wordsmithing. Then, as zero hour approached in L.A., Fabiani was tasked with alienating San Diego, so National Football League owners would conclude the region did not want to put taxpayer money behind the stadium and permit a move to L.A.
He has done an excellent job alienating San Diego and its leaders, but the team now faces a problem: it may not be able to get to L.A., at least in the next several years. So, the team might have to repair community relations, even though it still intends to get to L.A. That would require doubletalk on steroids.
Multi-billionaire Stan Kroenke wants to move his St. Louis Rams to a stadium he intends to build in Inglewood. He says he could accommodate another team, but it appears the Chargers and Kroenke have a cool relationship. The Chargers and Oakland Raiders say they want to build a stadium in Carson, but the financing there is quite dubious. Also, Kroenke could afford to pay a fat relocation fee to the league owners; the Chargers and Raiders can't afford that. A big relocation fee offer could get owners on the fence to join Kroenke.
One route out: the Chargers could suddenly sell the team to a moneybags who could match Kroenke's relocation fee. If that happens, or if it doesn't happen and the team returns to San Diego, Fabiani could be odd man out. But he has lots of clients.