The execrable and unscrupulous Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid will retire from the U.S. Senate in 2017, and few on the right will miss him much. The Nevada senator, who set his legacy on fire in 2012 by making unfounded allegations of fraud against the GOP presidential nominee and who called two private citizens “un-American” from the Senate floor, is utterly unrepentant.
Ed observed this week that Reid displayed nothing even resembling contrition for his irresponsible actions in the last presidential cycle when he justified his unprincipled attacks on Mitt Romney by observing that they had their intended effect. When pressed on the fact that many saw Reid’s unsubstantiated accusations against Romney as “McCarthyism,” Reid didn’t deny it. As Mr. Morrissey noted, he essentially conceded that this contemptible practice is actually rather effective.
It turns out that Reid’s propensity to intimidate his political opponents is a facet of his approach to governance that is well known in Nevada. This week, the veteran Silver State political journalist Jon Ralston revealed that one of his 2012 columns that was critical of Reid was spiked by the editor of the Las Vegas Sun who wanted to shield the then Senate Majority Leader from justified censure.
“It’s finally time to publish a column I wrote contemporaneously with the Nevada senator’s McCarthy-like tactic during the 2012 campaign,” Ralston wrote on his blog. “The column was never published because Las Vegas Sun Editor Brian Greenspun attempted to protect his friend, Reid, from the criticism.”
“I never wrote for the Sun again,” Ralston revealed.
On Thursday, Ralston joined the hosts of Morning Joe where he excoriated the Sun’s editorial staff over their lack of journalistic ethics (hat tip to Washington Free Beacon):
He noted that the excuse The Sun gave for spiking his column, the excessive nature of invoking the late Sen. Joe McCarthy, was undone by the fact that the term “McCarthyism” had been used just days prior in the paper to describe Republicans. Ralston added that Greenspun had helped his friend Reid by scuttling unfavorable coverage of the senator during his 1998 and 2010 reelection campaigns, too.
The collusion that Ralston is alleging here between a powerful Democrat and the institution ostensibly tasked with holding him accountable is perfectly corrupt. The Sun has a responsibility to perform an internal review of Greenspun’s practices and to respond to Ralston’s allegations comprehensively. If they do not, using Reid’s logic, the paper is essentially confirming that they underserved their readership and abdicated their mission in order to secure the support of an influential politician. After all, if they won’t reveal their internal communications to the public for a comprehensive audit, they must be guilty. Right?