MGM Picks Ellen for Softball Questions

Here’s a followup on a story from yesterday, concerning Mandalay Bay security guard Jesus Campos and the Ellen DeGeneres show.

It appears the parent company of her show, MGM, feared how Campos would answer questions from Sean Hannity and others.

From The Daily Mail:

Mandalay Bay shooting hero Jesus Campos was pressured into giving his only interview to Ellen DeGeneres because the giant company that owns the Las Vegas casino feared he would spill the beans about the shooting timeline if he was grilled by real journalists, DailyMail.com has learned exclusively.

MGM is worried that families of the 58 people murdered as well as many of the 546 injured in the Mandalay Bay massacre will launch lawsuits potentially worth billions of dollars against the company, sources tell DailyMail.com.

And they thought Campos might not keep his story straight under the pressure of the TV lights and tough questioning.

That is why Campos, 25, appeared on a daytime chat show hosted by a fast-talking, dancing comedienne, rather than take questions from TV hardhitters such as Fox News’ Sean Hannity, NBC News or ABC News.

‘MGM was behind the decision to call off all the interviews and did a deal with Ellen, knowing she would not play hardball on the timeline as long as she had the exclusive,’ a TV insider told DailyMail.com.

Campos had originally agreed to do five interviews, all on Thursday last week, but suddenly went missing, his union boss, who was helping set up the deal, told DailyMail.com in an exclusive interview.

David Hickey, president of the Michigan-based International Union, Security Police and Fire Professionals of America, would not confirm that MGM was behind the decision, but said the company certainly influenced Campos.

‘I was in a meeting with MGM’s upper management and they were definitely concerned about how tough someone like Hannity would be on him and they voiced their opinions,’ Hickey said.

‘It certainly wasn’t my choice that he should appear on that circus,’ said David Hickey, president of the Michigan-based International Union, Security Police and Fire Professionals of America

He said all sides had agreed parameters for the interviews. ‘Everyone knew he wasn’t to talk about security protocols, staffing or training or give out names of employees.’

But he said the company — that, like most of Vegas’s casino industry, obsessively controls what employees are allowed to say to the media — was pressuring Campos not to give too much away.

‘I thought they were being negative, telling him that someone was going to be tough and how they were worried about his health — it wasn’t the thing he needed to hear four hours before the interviews were going to begin.’

Hickey said he met with the MGM executives at a location in Las Vegas where Campos was staying. They met in the living room but he wanted a word with some of the management team in private so they went into the bedroom.

When they returned, Campos had gone, and Hickey said he hasn’t seen or heard from him since.

The next thing he knew the security official had bailed on the five interviews. Then he learned on Monday that instead of appearing on a news show he would go on Ellen.

Ellen greeted Campos with a hug at the start of the interview, and didn’t push him with tough questions during their chat.

Will we ever know the truth? Probably not.

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