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Harry Reid: Just Kidding About Wanting Paper to Go Under

No doubt these are tough times for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, what with a new Nevada newspaper poll showing him lagging behind his 2010 Republican challengers. But Reid says he was wasn't venting anger at the press when he told an advertising executive at the Las Vegas Review-Journal, "I hope you go out of business."

Reid's comment before the start of his speech last week to the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce has created a firestorm in Vegas political circles.

The conservative-leaning Review-Journal editors are apoplectic over the perceived threat, but Reid and political reporters at the editorially liberal Las Vegas Sun (owned by Reid's friend, Brian Greenspun), think the Review-Journal ought to lighten up.

"Clearly he wasn't serious," Reid spokesman Jim Manley says. "Once again, the editors at the Review-Journal got it wrong."

The publisher of the Review-Journal, Sherman Frederick, penned a scathing editorial on Sunday titled "Enough is enough, Harry. Stop the childish bullying." Frederick depicted Reid as a menacing mobster, calling the senator's comment 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."

Nevada's leading political reporter, Jon Ralston of the Las Vegas Sun, countered that Frederick's "ridiculous rant" was "garbage."

Ralston wrote that Frederick's editorial was nothing more than "an effective, if transparent, marketing gimmick," adding that "I suppose it is possible he actually believes what he wrote, even a more frightening proposition."

Ralston tells The Sleuth he can't imagine anyone in Nevada politics not understanding that Reid was joking to the Review-Journal ad exec. "It's just so typical of Harry Reid's humor to say something like 'I hope you go out of business.'"

Indeed, Reid does have a penchant of saying whatever comes to mind. He once called President George W. Bush "a loser." He called Justice Clarence Thomas "an embarrassment," and blasted former Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan as "one of the biggest political hacks we have here in Washington."

No dispute about it, Ralston says, Reid's poll numbers are "horrible." But knowing the senator as well as he does, Ralston says Reid isn't the type to take polling seriously, especially poll numbers released in August of 2009 involving a race to take place in November of 2010. He says there's zero chance Reid was seriously threatening the Review-Journal and he can't imagine the paper's editors truly perceived Reid's comment to be a threat.

"I find it unfathomable that anyone would think Harry Reid was not joking," Ralston said.

A new poll conducted by the Review-Journal shows Reid losing to either of the top two emerging Republican challengers if the election were held today.

Not a good situation for Reid. But Republicans still lack a clear viable candidate and Reid, as of the end of June, had $7.3 million cash on hand.

By Mary Ann Akers  |  September 1, 2009; 2:14 PM ET
 
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Comments

So Republicans "joke" about buying Obama tags for a President Hunt in Idaho. Or the pastor of the AK50-carrying congregation in Arizona prays for Obama to die and burn in fire-ville. Or they accuse Obama of wanting to euthanize Grandma. What was Reid "joking" about that was so horrible that the conservative-leaning Review-Journal editors are so upset about???

Posted by: thebobbob | September 1, 2009 4:41 PM | Report abuse

Reid is refreshing. It would be a shame if he didn't get re-elected.

God knows that Bush, Thomas and Greenspan are all exactly what Reid said.

The latter was not just a hack, but someone who set the groundwork for this horrible economic situation.

Posted by: MikeK3 | September 1, 2009 4:43 PM | Report abuse

Listen, these are elected officials and we expect them to be above all the name calling and shirt sighted vindictiveness they have shown.

How about our elected officials start acting like adults and try to act like you have our best interests in mind rather than showing they do not.

Oh yes, if Bush's Patriot Act was trampling your rights then why is Obama's decision to hire a vendor to cull the internet to collect your comments not the same? It cuts both ways.

Posted by: zendrell | September 2, 2009 9:42 AM | Report abuse

can't leave this unchallenged, sorry:

"Oh yes, if Bush's Patriot Act was trampling your rights then why is Obama's decision to hire a vendor to cull the internet to collect your comments not the same? It cuts both ways."

These two aren't in the same league. The Patriot Act is a far-reaching law that was crammed down our throats after a terrible tragedy. It tramples on our civil liberties and basically nullifies parts of the Constitution.

Obama's team is merely collected widely disseminated comments from people on the web, readily available to anyone with the time. This is to learn more about what the people actually are saying without the filter of the media and hype.

Posted by: MNightShamalamadindong | September 2, 2009 10:56 AM | Report abuse

Reid is the Democrats best and America's worst.

Posted by: ekim53 | September 2, 2009 11:05 AM | Report abuse

I wonder if Harry would make the same remark to the Las Vegas Sun ad exec? If not, why not? Wouldn't Greenspun question Harry's mental faculties for chosing such an unwarranted provocation?

Posted by: dougmatt | September 2, 2009 11:46 AM | Report abuse

Harry Reid and his twin Nancy Pelosi have sucked the air out of this health reform program, and all the spending they are responsible for. Harry can't take the heat now that he is out of his element. He can't deny he wants to derail our economy. Harry baby does not deserve to grab the brass ring.....the numbers prove, the party is over.

Posted by: MOMLEE | September 2, 2009 2:07 PM | Report abuse

MNightShamalamadindong:
These two aren't in the same league. The Patriot Act is a far-reaching law that was crammed down our throats after a terrible tragedy. It tramples on our civil liberties and basically nullifies parts of the Constitution.
________________________________
Really? It is not? Like all the material ole Hoover collected at the FBI? Amazing how easy it is for the members of both parties to split hairs on what the government should and should not collect. But I do know for a fact that if it were a Repub Pres doing this all you civil rights types would be up in arms screaming.

And as I remember correctly there were quite a few Dems who were for the Patriot Act.

Posted by: zendrell | September 2, 2009 2:47 PM | Report abuse

Gimme a break!!! The Patriot Act was crammed down our throats????
I think I remember that there was a pretty fair amount of support from both sides of the aisle for the Patriot act. And exactly how did it trample on our civil liberties?By monitoring communications of suspected terrorists? By taking unprecedented steps to address unprecedented threats?

Entirely different scenario for Obummer's Heathcare debacle. A one sided liberal attempt to move towards socialism by cramming a bill down our throats that no one can really understand! To spend us deeper into a hole of debt that will take decades to clear.

Posted by: brooklynborn1 | September 3, 2009 10:24 AM | Report abuse

Harry Reid is a product of the Searhlight, Nevada school system which doesn't say much for his home town. He is the most ignorant political leader I've ever heard. Talk about always saying the wrong thing, that's Harry Reid. He's a small man who let the power he has go to his head...I'm sure there's no brain in the cranial cavity. What a jerk! Ithink the mere fact that he's the Senate Majority Leader doesn't say much for the majority in the Senate. Are they as dumb as he is? They elected him. Talk about politcal hacks!

Posted by: murzek1 | September 4, 2009 10:44 AM | Report abuse

Harry Reid is a product of the Searhlight, Nevada school system which doesn't say much for his home town. He is the most ignorant political leader I've ever heard. Talk about always saying the wrong thing, that's Harry Reid. He's a small man who let the power he has go to his head...I'm sure there's no brain in the cranial cavity. What a jerk! Ithink the mere fact that he's the Senate Majority Leader doesn't say much for the majority in the Senate. Are they as dumb as he is? They elected him. Talk about politcal hacks!

Posted by: murzek1 | September 4, 2009 11:01 AM | Report abuse

As a resident of Nevada, I think that the RJ and Sherman Fredericks over-react to anything the Dems say, and under-react to bad behavior of the Repugnants. They will take any occasion to knock Harry, and many times used so called "facts" from far right wing organizations to support their positions.
In this case the RJ acted like a little child when someone calls them names. Their editorials do not represent the views of Nevada, and they will do anything to get rid of Harry. However, when their fair-haired boy Ensign is caught in an affair and refuses to discuss it, they give him a pass.
Harry is right; biased journalists who make up facts should go under.

Posted by: pcarman | September 4, 2009 11:35 AM | Report abuse

Lord , reading any of this mess makes me feel like I got "gizzed" by rancid Readywhip bombs. Just trying to talk about Reid makes me feel this way every time I try.
Frankly, Harry needs to take his Tinker Toys back to Arixzona and stay away from the Senate forever.

Posted by: jackolantyrn356 | September 5, 2009 6:07 PM | Report abuse

Dear Harry, How could you possibly think you can make stupid statements and then say "I was just kidding". That has been a joke for decades around Washington, say something stupid then say, "I'm Sorry". You sound like 19% Nancy Pelosi. She must have a very large family to get a favorable 19%. I am sure with your money (clean or not), you will be alright, when you lose the election, do not despair. There a lot of jobs out there, Americans do not want to do.

Posted by: bnboftn | September 6, 2009 5:27 AM | Report abuse

One thing Harry should retire with the witch Nancy p.We should not have a old man like him in office,he is getting senile just like Nancy p.I never believed in a old man or woman holding a high office in congress.Kick them all out with the BLACK messiah.AHMEN -HUSSEINS Preacher ought to appreciate that

Posted by: johnschmeski | September 8, 2009 5:39 PM | Report abuse

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