Harry Reid cheers unemployment in Las Vegas media!

posted at 11:36 am on August 31, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

That, I think, is a better takeaway than the “threat” meme resulting from Harry Reid’s bon mot with the Las Vegas Review-Journal, which has been highly critical of the Senate Majority Leader.  Reid went out of his way to be rude to an advertising manager at the LVRJ during a luncheon, then tried clumsily to claw backwards a bit later.  Nevertheless, the LVRJ took Reid to task for his attack:

On Wednesday, before he addressed a Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce luncheon, Reid joined the chamber’s board members for a meet-’n'-greet and a photo. One of the last in line was the Review-Journal’s director of advertising, Bob Brown, a hard-working Nevadan who toils every day on behalf of advertisers. He has nothing to do with news coverage or the opinion pages of the Review-Journal.

Yet, as Bob shook hands with our senior U.S. senator in what should have been nothing but a gracious business setting, Reid said: “I hope you go out of business.”

Later, in his public speech, Reid said he wanted to let everyone know that he wants the Review-Journal to continue selling advertising because the Las Vegas Sun is delivered inside the Review-Journal.

Does anyone dispute that this remark was rude, mean-spirited, and petty, especially considering Reid’s lofty position?   I doubt it.  However, Sherman Frederick at the LVRJ reads just a little too much into it:

But to fully capture the magnitude of Reid’s remark (and to stop him from doing the same thing to others) it must be called what it was — a full-on threat perpetrated by a bully who has forgotten that he was elected to office to protect Nevadans, not sound like he’s shaking them down. …

If he thinks he can push the state’s largest newspaper around by exacting some kind of economic punishment in retaliation for not seeing eye to eye with him on matters of politics, I can only imagine how he pressures businesses and individuals who don’t have the wherewithal of the Review-Journal.

Eh.  What was the threat?  Reid may wish on the next falling star that the LVRJ’s ad dollars dry up?  The US Senate has nothing to do with a local newspaper, so Harry Reid’s ability to threaten Frederick’s paper is extremely limited.  He might have friends in Nevada who can cause them trouble, but even these days, most politicians know better than to strongarm newspapers over editorial policy.  Buying them off works better, at least in Chicago.  Given Reid’s rapidly-dropping popularity in Nevada, I doubt that anyone would take that seriously as a threat outside of the LVRJ’s newsroom.

To me, it’s only slightly more sinister than the oft-expressed sentiment in the blogosphere that certain newspapers go out of business, with the New York Times at the top of the list.  As consumers, we probably have more power in the aggregate to effect that than Reid does with the LVRJ.

Susan Ferecchio has a better take at the Washington Examiner:

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., could be facing one of the toughest re-election battles of his career and while he has pronounced himself ready and eager for the fight, there is evidence the pressure might be getting to him.

Reid last week fully antagonized the Las Vegas Review-Journal Newspaper, which has been critical of him, by reportedly telling its advertising director “I hope you go out of business” while the two shook hands at a Chamber of Commerce event. …

While Reid may perceive the paper’s treatment of him unfair, it employs more than 100 people. The unemployment rate in Las Vegas, meanwhile, jumped this month to more than 13 percent, according to the Sun.

That sounds like two better angles.  Reid is losing his cool and showing that the barbs are sticking to his flesh — and he wants to see people unemployed in Las Vegas.  One can make the latter argument about his entire legislative agenda of high spending, pork projects, and government control.

I’m certain I’ll get a lot of disagreement on this, so let’s poll Hot Air readers:



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It’s so bizarre to see a major city newspaper that is even remotely conservative and at odds with a liberal Senator. That must drive Reid nuts. None of his colleagues have to deal with a big hometown newspaper that is not a lapdog for them.

But it seems that the Review-Journal is not going out of business. In fact, it is now carrying the liberal Las Vegas Sun, by distributing its Sunday paper inside its own.

rockmom on August 31, 2009 at 12:34 PM

Las Vegas is the Democratic stronghold in the state. The rest of the state is much more conservative and much more Republican.

The recession is hurting in Las Vegas hurting bad, and it’s the people who vote Democratic the most reliably, who are hurting the most. (The heavily unionized hotel workers)

If the LVRJ turns hard against a Democrat, it’s going to be hard for that Democrat to win, in this environment. A perfect storm, as it were.

MarkTheGreat on August 31, 2009 at 12:35 PM

What a dream to imagine Reid, Schumer and Dodd all sitting in their campaign headquarters on election night remembering their glory days and asking the question “what did we do to upset the serfs (aka mob)”

Then they can make a Chuckie sandwich! Do it for Teddy!

NathanG on August 31, 2009 at 12:36 PM

Never engage in a war of words with someone who buys ink by the barrel.

Tennman on August 31, 2009 at 12:21 PM

And never get in a food fight with somebody named Pudd’nhead. (Learned that the hard way.)

whitetop on August 31, 2009 at 12:36 PM

I wonder what post Obama will give him?

barnone on August 31, 2009 at 11:42 AM

BO will just make this loser when he loses re-election the “czar of nevada,” replacing the duly elected senator.

photoboy74 on August 31, 2009 at 12:36 PM

Reid remains alive by the consent of everyone around him.

Kralizec on August 31, 2009 at 12:37 PM

Harry Reid will be sufferig from “electile dysfunction” next year…

psrch on August 31, 2009 at 12:39 PM

Why would Reid worry. What’s true for most states is especially true in Nevada. The people don’t vote. The election is made by the mob, who use enforcement & intimidation through their union goons.

Jeff from WI on August 31, 2009 at 12:44 PM

The US Senate has nothing to do with a local newspaper, so Harry Reid’s ability to threaten Frederick’s paper is extremely limited.

WRONG! The late un-esteemed senator from Massachusetts Ted Kennedy tried to deviously shorn Rupert Murdoch of both the New York Post & the Boston Herald through an amendment he had Fritz Hollings put on one of their bills thus keeping Kennedy’s animus (& fingerprints) secret. As they say, you can look it up.

thegreatbeast on August 31, 2009 at 12:47 PM

Yup, Las Vegas carries the state. These days it might go like this:

“Bring me your mail-in ballot when you get it. Just sign it and bring it to me. Don’t mark any of the candidates, I will take care of that. And if you tell anyone you will never work in this industry again. Capiche?

crosspatch on August 31, 2009 at 12:52 PM

Tark the Shark’s son is gonna throw some whoopass on Reid next Nov. The Cuda is gonna do at least one campaign stop for him is my bet.

His Dad was basketball coach at UNLV when the Cuda and I were in college.

Sapwolf on August 31, 2009 at 12:54 PM

Can’t wait to see MSNBC lay it into Reid. Oh wait, hes not a Republican so they will ignore it.

Speedwagon82 on August 31, 2009 at 12:55 PM

A
B
AND
D

are all correct on the poll.

LegendHasIt on August 31, 2009 at 12:59 PM

Ed,it sure sounds like you are giving the old codger the benefit of the doubt.Why is it these old farts get away with saying whatever they want and the media just says,”oh,that’s just old harry”!To me that is no different than giving old teddy,the perfecter of the waitress sandwich,kennedy an excuse for his detestable behavior!

ohiobabe on August 31, 2009 at 1:09 PM

He ain’t too smart is he Uncle Jed

bluegrass on August 31, 2009 at 11:50 AM

I’ve been involved in races against Democrats against Harry Reid’s Democratic party in NV, including races downticket from his reelection effort. Make no doubt about it; Harry is a vicious political infighter, and should never be counted out until all the ballots are counted.

I agree he could be taken down this year, but even under the worst scenario for Dems, it won’t be a cakewalk. Keep yuor powder dry, and consider making a donation to his GOP opponent, because lord knows they’ll need it.

JohnGalt23 on August 31, 2009 at 1:11 PM

I also sent Mr.Sherman a thank you for calling reid what he is,a bully ! We can always hope that newspaper is finally waking up to what this admin. is doing to vegas.

ohiobabe on August 31, 2009 at 1:11 PM

Hey Harry, grab your “golden ticket” and step to the back of the line with the rest of the unemployed.

yoda on August 31, 2009 at 1:28 PM

Sounds like a royalist who things that the election process is a given in his favor. Kind of like Saddam before the fall.

Hening on August 31, 2009 at 1:30 PM

Why would Reid worry. What’s true for most states is especially true in Nevada. The people don’t vote. The election is made by the mob, who use enforcement & intimidation through their union goons.
Jeff from WI on August 31, 2009

You are mostly right Jeff, the reality is left wing groups actively get out the vote for their more important and top ranking Democrats. There will be lefties from all over the country driving poor people, minorities, etc. to the polls to ensure Reid wins. It doesn’t matter what the polls say now, come election day, Reid is likely to win.

Until conservatives who hold real jobs and are invloved with their children take some time off and get active….we will always be at a disadvantage.

Acorn, The GI Forum, La Raza, Lulac, and all of the others have a nasty habit of proactively showing the poor how to maximize govenment handouts instead of actual employment or self reliance and then preaching the virtues of the politicians who keep it coming.

I believe this is what has been described as the liberal plantation which is very fitting. Why else would you do everything possible to keep inner cities poor and dangerous and keep the borders open allowing Mexican slaves to come across by the millions against the wishes of the American people?

Goodeye_Closed on August 31, 2009 at 1:31 PM

With articles like this who is still reading TIME? The GOP has become the party of nihilist? 90% of our currency has been tainted with cocaine, the highest concentration has been found in D.C.

http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1917525,00.html

Dr Evil on August 31, 2009 at 1:33 PM

Sounds like the typical non-threat threat that any mobster issues. Like ‘How’s your family doing?’. Reid is doing everything in his power to make as many people unemployed as he can.

Sporty1946 on August 31, 2009 at 1:34 PM

Harry Reid won by 425 votes in 1998. Which means he lost by 1000 votes, but votes were found in cars, basements, back rooms, etc a la Franken. He should not even be a Senator today.

angryed on August 31, 2009 at 1:42 PM

RE: Polls. Is there ever really a need for a ‘not sure’ button?

Urban Infidel on August 31, 2009 at 1:48 PM

The author of that article… Sherman Frederick… happens to be my best friend’s uncle. Interesting…

msipes on August 31, 2009 at 1:48 PM

Harry Reid has shown himself to be a small, petty, vindictive man and this is far from the first time. He and the rest of the Dem. leaders are JERKS. That being said “the people” keep electing them so they deserve what they get. If you elect a jerk he will act like one! lol

mullethead on August 31, 2009 at 1:51 PM

“To me, it’s only slightly more sinister than the oft-expressed sentiment in the blogosphere that certain newspapers go out of business, with the New York Times at the top of the list.” You must be joking. Are you seriously comparing the not just potential but actual and concrete power and influence of the Majority Leader of the U.S. Senate with the opinions of a few individual bloggers who are exercising their free speech rights? What he says often has real, and mostly painful, consequences. On the other hand the bloggers are mostly just getting something off their chests to a small community of readers. Hmm, you’re not just comparing apples and oranges here; you’re comparing one molecule of “orange” with the yearly apple crop of the state of Washington.

boqueronman on August 31, 2009 at 2:06 PM

Ah, Nevada? I don’t think this guy’s got your back.

pjean on August 31, 2009 at 2:24 PM

When Rush Limbaugh says of President Obama and his agenda “I hope he fails”, he cannot command armies, FBI, etc. to carry out his hopes. And yet, to hear some Democrats tell the tale, Limbaugh may as well have personally destroyed not only the President’s agenda, but his presidency and the entire country.

When the Majority Leader of the US Senate says “I hope you go out of business”, he has the ability to influence legislation that can in fact command those forces. It behooves the voters of NV to ask themselves if they want one of their two votes in the Senate to be cast by this person, and we all may see fit to communicate our displeasure with his leadership role to the other 58 senators in his caucus, nine of whom could presumably join the remaining 40 members to form a coalition to elect a more temperate Senator to the Majority Leader position.

The Monster on August 31, 2009 at 2:24 PM

Reid has cost Nevada thousands of high-tech jobs and has done NOTHING to alleviate unemployment and single focus industry in Las Vegas!
Time for this mean, elitists old fool to hit the road. As the sign says: ANYBODY BUT REID FOR CONGRESS”!!
NEVADA – Re-elect Reid at your own peril!!

JonR on August 31, 2009 at 3:07 PM

Fair points as always, Captain.

Just a bit of constructive (I hope) criticism regarding the poll associated with your piece: options 2

The pressure has gotten to Reid and he lashed out in pettiness

and 4

Rising unemployment in Vegas OK with Reid if it silences his opposition

are not mutually exclusive.

HobbesDFW on August 31, 2009 at 3:25 PM

Eh. What was the threat? Reid may wish on the next falling star that the LVRJ’s ad dollars dry up? The US Senate has nothing to do with a local newspaper, so Harry Reid’s ability to threaten Frederick’s paper is extremely limited. He might have friends in Nevada who can cause them trouble, but even these days, most politicians know better than to strongarm newspapers over editorial policy. Buying them off works better, at least in Chicago. Given Reid’s rapidly-dropping popularity in Nevada, I doubt that anyone would take that seriously as a threat outside of the LVRJ’s newsroom.

C’mon, Reid made his bones giving casino licenses to the Mob. He’s earned his seat the old-fashioned way– machine politics. Don’t forget the average citizen in Nevada is NOT a taxpayer. Does the LVRJ own its own building? Does it bank locally? Does it employ union labor? Does it buy insurance? Does it answer to the state and county for its fire safety, safe handling of kerosene, handicapped parking, equal opportunity in employment, advertising practices, wage policies? Then it’s vulnerable.

Chris_Balsz on August 31, 2009 at 3:30 PM

I know I’m in the vast minority, but with only the little bit of info provided so far, I think Reid was joking.

I don’t want to give him a break, but it just sounds like dry humor to me. It fits my style, anyway.

connertown on August 31, 2009 at 3:51 PM

I worked for the LVRJ in 1994 (-1996) in their Ad Creation Dept.

Occasionally, I’d be asked to proof the “hot run”, and while pagination was always a concern, it was Because we’d carried “The Sun”, even back then.
They’d had their own “office” and address off Valley View Blvd., but the work was all done at the R-J location. Only in recent years has the operation Moved Completely to the LVRJ HQ.

The Sun, a family-owned company, is as openly Liberal as they come. They make no excuses, and with what little (Writing) staff they had; they’d Outsource from (most) Liberal Papers from all across the U.S..
The R-J, more “Moderate” than “Right”, was heavily influenced by the decisions and direction (from the relationship) the two’s Publishers had.
Sherman Fredericks of the R-J would oft advocate opposing views, and as an editorial page, it seemed to lean further and further to the Left over the years, which caused me to cancel my subscription early…

I was Tired of The Sun being FORCED onto me; I’d called and asked them to save the paper/print, but I was told I HAD to get it as part of my delivery… so I constantly threw it out. On occasion, I’d be tempted to read a headline; but I’m Understating it when I say there was “partisanship” there.

I think Reid’s comment came from the fact that the Greenspun family, longtime friends and supporters of his, own The Las Vegas Sun.
They’re in disarray now more than ever before, and as a result, he wants their competitor, the LVRJ, hurt every much Financially as they are.

While clearly an act of desperation on his part, he meant every word of what he said. His jealousy has got the best of him, and he’s feeling the heat of a few Dark Horses polling Far ahead of him at this point… and he feels the noose tightening around his neck.
With the Sun to have less of an impact Cheerleading for him, combined with the R-J’s overpowering (and Moderate) message drowning out his liberal agenda, he’s grasping at straws.

(Here’s an old article [2008] from the Sun:)
http://www.lasvegassun.com/news/2008/jan/18/brian-greenspun-will-make-big-change-get-what-we-n/

nationspatriotcom on August 31, 2009 at 4:45 PM

Apparently,according to what I’ve read here,folks in Nevada are just about the same as folks eveywhere else:disinterested,unconcerned and just deliberately ill-informed.That is until three weeks before election day,when they all become politcal geniuses by listening to the propaganda that is force-fed to them by their unions,community organizers(sorry I couldn’t help myself)and assorted special interest groups.
That is why people like Ried,Rangel, Murtha and Specter are still in office and, unfortunately, will probably stay there.

DDT on August 31, 2009 at 4:49 PM

I don’t live in Las Vegas any more, but I’d gladly vote Dirty Harry into the unemployment line. Go Tark!

Mangy Scot on August 31, 2009 at 9:19 PM

Sounds to me like the “Chicago” politicians (Obama and his thugs)are rubbing off on Harry Reid. What a classless man.
It is about time that we see a major newspaper stand up to a bully like Harry “the war is lost” Reid. Anybody reading this article should be appalled. It is time to wake up and clean house in 2010. I’m sick and tired of elected officials who think they can do anything, say anything, vote any way they please, cheat on their taxes, suspiciously end up millionaires after a lifetime of being a public servant, and conduct themselves as though there is no reckoning day for their actions. Obama is trying to turn us into a banana republic with a 3rd world country corrupt type government. Harry Reid is drunk on his Kool aid. Maybe after the 2010 election (hopefully with many democrats losing) Congress will finally start paying attention to what the American people want, and not what the liberals want. After all, we put them in the office and we sure can take them out. There are plenty of honest, hard working, intelligent, and capable people who are able to replace Senator Harry Reid. He is an embarrassment to Nevada. Hopefully he will be retired Nov. 2010. I am just one vote but it will count.

KCinLV on August 31, 2009 at 9:35 PM

I vote F: “Does Harry Reid actually deserve the benefit of this much doubt?”

Cylor on September 1, 2009 at 4:35 AM

Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi; Bringing our contemptible Congress to new lows.

Cybergeezer on September 1, 2009 at 8:49 AM

Comment pages: 1 2