(CNN) - A spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid on Monday responded to a scathing column published in Sunday's Las Vegas Review-Journal that recounted an unfriendly encounter between Reid and the paper's advertising director, in which the Nevada senator told the executive: "I hope you go out of business."
"Clearly he wasn't serious," Reid spokesman Jon Summers told CNN in an e-mailed statement. "Once again, the editors at the Review-Journal got it wrong."
A follow-up phone call to Reid's office seeking more details on the encounter was not immediately returned.
Review-Journal Publisher Sherman Frederick detailed the incident, which occurred on August 26 at a Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce luncheon.
"As [Director of Advertising] Bob [Brown] shook hands with our senior U.S. Senator in what should have been nothing but a gracious business setting," Frederick wrote, "Reid said: 'I hope you go out of business.'"
In the op-ed, Frederick shot back that his paper can "damn sure outlast" Reid.
Frederick called Reid's remark 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."
"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," Frederick wrote, "I can only imagine how he pressures businesses and individuals who don't have the wherewithal of the Review-Journal."
The Review-Journal has been a vocal critic of the Senate Democratic leader. Sunday's piece is the latest in a series of editorials sharply critical of Reid.
The morning of Reid's confrontation with Brown, the Review-Journal published an editorial entitled "Not Wild About Harry," which accused Reid of "being the face and voice of an increasingly statist, job-killing liberal agenda" and reminded readers of a poll that shows Reid trailing two leading Republican contenders in possible 2010 senatorial match-ups.
According to a Mason-Dixon poll of Nevada voters from earlier this month, Reid faces 11 and five-point deficits against two leading Republican challengers for a 2010 Senate bid.
The Review-Journal endorsed Sen. Reid for a fourth Senate term in 2004, but during Reid's earlier run against Republican John Ensign in 1998, the paper backed Ensign.
What a stupid old geezer! I hope the man is voted out of office, along with the lying Pelosi and Dodd. The idiots already voted Frank back in – they get what they deserve.
Reid is a liar and a socialist.
Vote him out.
ok Reid...that was a pretty bone headed statement. Not as bad as "Mission Accomplished" and you don't look as ridiculous as the ex majority leader trying to dance. But still, pretty dumb comment.
i am sick of tired of Democrats retreating on every issue and apologizing for their beleifs. MAN UP! If he wishes the paper dead, then that is his wish! If the deomcrtas do not step up to these ignorant Republican thuigs, then they deserve to go down in flames.
And if they do, the Republicans will be there waiting, so we can surrender our brains, our thoughts, our feelings, and our right to question power. We will be a corporate state.
If the paper is one of the right-wing lie spewingrags, then let it fail!
Yes sir, our good Lord is revelaing the true faces of these imposters....
Vote him out!!! shameful
Harry's got trouble brewing in Nevada! His spokesman says the editors "got it wrong." That would explain why Reids camp wasn't returning phone calls! I think Harry's been out in the sun too long, time to put him out to pasture.
I believe Senator Reid was serious. I also believe those who went to war on newspapers with the rhetoric that they waste resources (trees) are the same group that doesn't know how to recycle plastics made in the new computers we seem to need every three years. Progress and Progressives don't mix–you can't get the one from the other. As a former newspaper reporter–I hope Sen. Reid gets his butt kicked out of office not by Republicans, but by some Independent with no notariety at all–who can balance a check book.
How can "The War Is Lost" Reid be elected by the intelligent people of Nevada?
Buh bye Reid
Review-Journal Publisher Sherman Frederick’s is about as far right as you can get. You would really have to read the editorial section of The Review Journal, as I have for the past 7 years, to appreciate what an absolutely wacko bunch of right wing editorial writers are on the staff. Most folks in Las Vegas use Frederic’s columns as a barometer; if he says it: the opposite must be true. Frederick’s whole philosophy of society is simple; less taxes and more guns. On occasion he will deviate from that tired old script and push for more “far” more guns and “far” less taxes.
Well, how many papers have been shutting down lately?
Odds are that they might.
I'd rather Reid be voted out but I guess that's up to the people of Nevada.
Harry getting feisty? On his behalf, it is hard to be civil to those who continually try to discredit you.
I myself, find it difficult to think that Glenn Beck has any redeemable qualities, and would like to see all his sponsors walk away from his show.
That's your senate majority leader folks.
His own state can't stand him.
Pelosi, the Speaker of the House, her state’s broke.
Do the Democrats have any success stories? Anything to indicate that liberal economics and agenda actually work?
One does get tired of these right wing nut tabloids printing lies and hatred. It is as bad as Fox entertainment.
WHY is it okay that Democrat Congresswoman WATSON of CALFORINIA is calling for the goverment take over of oil companies.
Why does she say Fidel Castro is one of the brightest and most intelligent men I have ever met.
WHY is it okay to be a marxist communist to the DEMOCRATS.
Why are we the DEMS trying to change the constitution.
Why are these Socialists and Communists becoming so dominant.
Why do they eliminate religion.
Why are you DEMS supporting socialists and communists.
Why Dont you Democrats believe in the Constitution.
Why would you tolerate Communist like VAN JOHNSON as a White House Czar. Why. Why. Why.
I wonder why all the Liberal Democrats are so silent?
If it was a Republican, all those "not bothering to look for work", on the "government hand-out" or "give me my healthcare" house wives would be all over this post.
They must all have the day off..... oh wait they aren't part of the workforce.... they must be out protesting something today
The Review Journal has their family values poster boy, Nevada Sen. Ensign, to carry their torch to DC.
Why is it that the right wing nuts have never read the constitution, but think they know what it says?
Moderate dems have finally realized who they really voted for. The liberal socialist wing of their party is now in power. No one is safe!
The libs use class and racial warfare to divide us – Government takeover of all private business and energy supplies to control us.
One big union of workers under the direction of the Federal Government and the UN.
Mediocrity for all! Fight to preserve America. We can make things better without destroying our Constitution!
Democrats are Socialists.
Repubicans are Criminals.
At least Socialists are Better than Criminals. :P
Reid, Dodd, Frank,Pelosi,Schumer,Feinstein,Waxman, and a few
Republicans need to be kicked out so that we, the people can govern for ourselves, not the other way around!
READ OUR LIPS... ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!
I see that the republican Taliban are out in force today. Everyone who can see through their lies is labelled a communist or a socialist.
Harry Reid's departure is long overdue. He already looks like a cadaver.
I agree with everythig TT said. I am not a fan of Harry Reid, but Sherman Fredericks editorials are downright scary.