Sherman Frederick is the publisher of the Las Vegas Review-Journal. He is also a columnist and a blogger.
More than anything, he is a hack.
Take Frederick's latest (lack of) effort. He's still trying to squeeze blood from a stone in his continued war on Sen. Harry Reid. In his first attempt to suggest Reid was guilty of colluding with disgraced governor Rod Blagojevich, Frederick reprinted an entire email attack from the National Republican Senatorial Committee.
Then, in a blog post on Thursday, Frederick wrote:
The subpoena of Sen. Harry Reid in the Gov. Rod Blagojevich mess could get interesting at just the wrong time for Reid.
Democrats are trying to downplay the federal trial and the role party luminaries may play in it. I'm not so sure. This case could give the public a rare glimpse into what could be a very gritty and colorful lesson in power politics. And the good part is we won't have to use our imagination to make some judgments about who said what. Blago's phone was tapped, so there will be a transcript to give us the exact words and context for Reid's conversation.
Unless, of course, Sen. Reid said "good bye" and Gov. Blago said "good buy".
Remember that there is absolutely no evidence that Reid did anything wrong in discussing with Blagojevich filling Illinois' vacant U.S. Senate seat. Reid would have been derelict in his duties as Senate Majority Leader if he hadn't had a conversation with Blagojevich.
But Frederick says transcripts of phone calls could show that Reid was guilty of something. Just as they could show that Reid acted in an entirely professional and appropriate manner in dealing with Blagojevich. Or they could show absolutely nothing.
And if you're the publisher of one of the nation's top 50 most widely circulated newspapers, you could turn nothing into a partisan (and lame) attack.
Here are a couple of dictionary definitions of hack:
1) a professional who renounces or surrenders individual independence, integrity, belief, etc., in return for money or other reward in the performance of a task normally thought of as involving a strong personal commitment
2) a writer who works on the staff of a publisher at a dull or routine task; someone who works as a literary drudge
Sherman Frederick could be a hack because he surrendered his personal integrity in return for advancing GOP attacks. Or he could be a hack because he regularly writes droll and ignorant partisan smears.
Or it could be both.