With Reid, the quality of mercy and memory sometimes seems a bit strained

Harry Reid and Bob Brown at Chamber of Commerce meeting in 2009.

I was wondering how the Review-Journal would handle the rich irony of Harry Reid nominating former R-J publisher Bob Brown, president of the Opportunity Village Foundation, to the National Council on Disability.

To my surprise the paper didn’t shirk.

“Brown is former publisher of the Las Vegas Review-Journal, whose editorial board frequently clashes with Reid and advocated against his re-election in 2010,” the R-J reported today. “After shaking his hand at a chamber event in 2009, Reid told Brown: ‘I hope you go out of business.’”

Brown was the paper’s advertising director at the time.

The account didn’t go into the details, such the fact Brown was named publisher less than a week after Reid was re-elected in November 2010. He replaced Sherman Frederick as publisher and Mike Ferguson took the other half of Frederick’s job as CEO of Stephens Media, the paper’s owners.

Both Brown and Ferguson were ousted from their jobs three years later, while Frederick remains a consultant, columnist and occasional blogger for the newspaper.

Frederick took considerable umbrage with Reid when he made that g0-out-of-business remark.

Frederick blogged:

“Such behavior cannot go unchallenged.

“You could call Reid’s remark ugly and be right. It certainly was boorish. Asinine? That goes without saying.

“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.

“No citizen should expect this kind of behavior from a U.S. senator. It is certainly not becoming of a man who is the majority leader in the U.S. Senate. And it absolutely is not what anyone would expect from a man who now asks Nevadans to send him back to the Senate for a fifth term.

“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.

“For the sake of all who live and work in Nevada, we can’t let this bully behavior pass without calling out Sen. Reid. If he’ll try it with the Review-Journal, you can bet that he’s tried it with others. So today, we serve notice on Sen. Reid that this creepy tactic will not be tolerated.

“We won’t allow you to bully us. And if you try it with anyone else, count on going through us first.”

Though there were never any details that came my way, there were widespread rumors that Reid or one of his minions had in fact given a veiled threat to the owner of the newspaper chain.

I, on the other hand, shrugged off Reid’s remark and called it a ringing endorsement of the paper by Reid.

I invited the senator to drop by for an editorial board meeting:

“Thanks for the endorsement, Harry. Now, how about dropping by for an editorial board meeting to discuss health care reform and cap and trade? A little exposure to some libertarians might do you good. If you can eat jack rabbit stew, you can surely gnaw on a couple of sinewy editorialists.”

The rest is history.

 

2 comments on “With Reid, the quality of mercy and memory sometimes seems a bit strained

  1. Steve says:

    Fair weather friends.

  2. Athos says:

    He never showed up, did he, Tom? What’s the old saying? “Those who rob Peter to pay Paul, can always count on the vote of Paul”.

    Greid. The Poster Child for the Mormon Religion.

    Pelousy: The Poster Child for Catholics.

    This country needs a Spiritual Revival.

    It’s also hard to believe that was 5 years ago!

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