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Mainstream Media Shut Out of Internext; Even Playboy Had to Pay to Get In

Las Vegas- The large, thick-featured and well-dressed man with the Donald Trump-like hair is standing in front of the stall marked “Press” and making exasperated gestures at the two women seated behind it.

It’s Tuesday at the Internext Expo, a three-day, 5,000-person convention at the Mandalay Bay for online pornography purveyors, who discuss legal challenges, listen to seminars on maximizing site traffic, network at the convention bar and relax at racy after-show parties.

He’s got his leather attache case open, and he’s waving a printout of one of his stories to establish his credentials as a legitimate journalist.

“What do you mean, that’s not enough?” he demands.

“Sir,” says the woman on the left in a DMV tone of voice, “that’s not good enough.”

“Not good enough?” he says. “What do you mean?”

“It’s about gambling,” she says. “It’s not adult.”

“Not adult?! They don’t let children do it.”

“I’m sorry,” she says. “Sir.”

“Adult industry trade press only,” the one on the right says.

“We’re not letting a lot of people in,” the left one says.

“We didn’t let NBC in,” rightie says. “Didn’t let Playboy in either. They had to buy a ticket.”

Tickets are $300.

The man looks stunned, annoyed, like any minute the klaxon will sound, the safety valves will fail and residents within a five-mile radius will be advised to stay inside and seal their doors with tape. But after a few moments, he just gives a little arms-extended shrug.

“Ladies,” he says as he shoots them a meaningful, florid look, “I have interviews to do. I will see you later.”

I walk up to the booth and cheerfully say, well, this doesn’t look too good for me, does it?

“What company are you with?” leftie says as she gives me a little smile and a shrug.

The Las Vegas Sun.

“No local media,” rightie barks.

“I’m sorry,” leftie says.

“This isn’t a Las Vegas event,” rightie says. “It doesn’t have anything to do with you. This is a business event. We don’t want this public. This is for …”

I know, I know. The adult industry trade press.

“Only,” she says.

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