This newspaper traces its roots to before Las Vegas was Las Vegas.
We've seen cattle ranches give way to railroads. We chronicled the construction of Hoover Dam. We reported on the first day of legalized gambling. The first hospital. The first school. The first church. We survived the mob, Howard Hughes, the Great Depression, several recessions, two world wars, dozens of news competitors and any number of two-bit politicians who couldn't stand scrutiny, much less criticism.
We're still here doing what we do for the people of Las Vegas and Nevada. So, let me assure you, if we weathered all of that, we can damn sure outlast the bully threats of Sen. Harry Reid.
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.
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.
Let's hope against hope that Harry Reid's stint in the Senate is nearly over.
***STATEMENT FROM REPUBLICAN SENATE CANDIDATE DANNY TARKANIAN***
“Todays report that Reid wishes that one of Nevada’s newspapers would go out of business requires a response from those who would wish to replace him.
“Reid’s comment is a shameful statement and another reminder that he has lost complete touch with his role as our representative. Thousands of his constituents work at this newspaper every day. From the senior editors, to the secretaries to the deliverymen, Reid has just wished them out of a job. Reid is obviously callous to the fact that he represents a state experiencing its highest unemployment ever.
“If you noticed I didn’t use the word ‘Senator’ today in my statement. If Reid wishes any one of his constituents the pain and life-changing difficulties of losing their job, then he is not a Senator. He is a disgrace.”