Making unwarranted excuses for Harry Reid


Here’s the perfect illustration for what is wrong with most Harry Reid watchers in Nevada.

Because Sen. Reid has become such a big player in national politics, the local media and other watchdogs tend to cut Sen. Reid slack for failing to pay attention to Nevada. They overlook his incredibly weird statements. And, I am sorry to tell you, they judge the senator’s ethically challenged slimy deals as only silly lapses.

“Reid-isms” they call them.

Wake up, Nevada watchdogs. What we are witnessing is not a quirky old man bumbling his way around the national stage.

Harry Reid long ago left Nevada behind to evolve into something like the Frank Underwood character in “House of Cards.”

The sooner the Nevada media gets that straight, the better.

I draw your attention to a piece that falls into this trap. It’s by Jon Ralston writing freelance for Politico.

He writes about the latest deal by Sen. Reid — the use of campaign funds and the ensuing cover up to funnel money to his granddaughter. It is a pretty ugly deal.

But, as local reporters too often are want to do, Ralston shrugs it off as a “blind spot” of Sen. Reid’s. His piece is headlined “Harry Reid’s Kryptonite.” That’s the perfect headline for home-court reporters who secretly see Sen. Reid as some kind of super hero.

Look, this isn’t “small ball” as the piece tries to downplay it. This is a pattern. It is another in a long line of brazen ethical breaches by a politician who thinks he can get away with anything these days.

Of course, when you say that, Harry Reid and his staff will try to block the criticism by calling you a “hater.” If by that you mean that you hate slimy deals and cover-ups, then by all means call me a “hater.”

As a sidebar to this sick relationship between the local media and Reid, I would also draw your attention to the bended-knee approach taken to Sen. Reid’s office.

After the FEC questioned Reid’s expenditure to his granddaughter, Ralston says he queried Reid’s staff who then, by his own admission, spent a few days just flat out trying to misdirect legitimate questions.

Yet Reid’s office gets let off the hook by being portrayed as super-competent, but handcuffed by Reid’s silly old “blind spot” for his family.

What bunk. That’s the kind of journalism practiced by reporters willing to sugarcoat the truth today for better access to the senator tomorrow.

This was clearly an unethical enrichment of Reid’s family. It isn’t the first time and it won’t be the last. Furthermore, Reid and his staff tried to hide it from the FEC and from reporters.

Let’s stop making excuses for Sen. Harry Reid.

Unless, of course, you enjoy being treated with the disdain of Frank Underwood’s initials.

PS: I hope local media stay on top of the loose thread of two local foundations — Caesars and NV Energy — supposedly set to give money to Reid’s granddaughter’s New York City theater company. Inappropriate wouldn’t begin to describe those transactions. A little more reporting, please.