Maybe I'm Just Too Demanding/ Maybe I'm Just Like My Father, Too Bold

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Buried in the third paragraph of an interview with outgoing Maryland Gov. Bob Ehrlich (R), Len Lazarick notes:

Rather than conduct a series of one-on-one interviews, Ehrlich's press office invited reporters to dine on seafood stew over rice—but only print journalists from newspapers who had endorsed his re-election, which was just about all of them except for The Sun.

Ehlrich had made some nice feints toward libertarianism in office—an openness to medical marijuana, a veto of an anti-Wal Mart bill—but he spent months fighting the Baltimore Sun because he viewed them as biased against him, finally cutting off their access to his office. Too bad he felt like he needed to underline that mild thuggishness as he exited the state house.

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  1. Did you watch Purple Rain last night, Dave?

  2. I was wondering the same thing, David. Now, that song is stuck in my head, and I keep having flashbacks to clumsy 5th-grade attempts to get a girl to make out with me.

  3. Dave, I agree. As a Maryland resident, however, I will miss having four more years of relatively sober policy to combat Maryland’s ultra-liberal state government. All-Republican rule at the federal level has been bad enough, but I shudder now that all-Democratic governance will again be concentrated in this state.

  4. I can understand his beef with the Baltimore Sun, a liberal newspaper about as objective as the Cold War Pravda. On the other hand, I’m not sure he helped himself by often looking petty in continuing his feud. The bottom line is that despite having some PR savvy, Ehrlich is a hard-core, “take-no-prisoners” guy when it comes to Republican party loyalty.

  5. Ehrlich wasn’t just a medical marijuana guy; he’s one of the “drug war is an abject failure guy.” With a healthy dose of hell no! to gay marriage of course. Sticking it in the eye of the Sun? Fine with me.

    For genus Republicans, the Maryland variety are a decent species.

  6. This post pretty much sums up Ehrlich’s critics. They can’t come up with any objective slam of the guy, so they resort to “HE’S JUST A BIG MEANIE”!!

    So what if he wasn’t a sweet teddy bear, and that he hurt peoples’ feelings? He was an excellent governor. He is as perfect an example of a moderate Republican as Bloomberg (fucknuts) is not.

    However, the sheep voters of Maryland just couldn’t bring themselves to pull an “R” lever again, and so we’re back to the 100% unchecked Democratic regime.

    Yep. My home state. The Prius Latte Limp-dick capital of the world.

  7. He had his good points, notably on the drug war. I’d take him over Bloomberg any day. But he was a crony-capitalist too, and his biggest beef with the Sun — the reason he infamously blacklisted one of its correspondents, requiring public employees across the state not to speak with the reporter — is because it exposed his administration’s sales of public lands at below-market rates to politically favored developers.

    I’m all for taking land out of the government’s hands, of course, but it has to be done transparently. With his war on the Sun, Ehrlich only tried to make the process less transparent.

  8. I’d always heard that lyic as “Maybe I’m just like my father, two-fold” but in looking at some lyrics sites it looks like Weigel is right. Not as bad as “‘scuse me while I kiss this guy” but still.

  9. de stijl,

    Brother! I have been in heated arguments because I swore that he sang “2-fold.” I thought it made more sense. Maybe I’m like my father, twofold, maybe I’m like my mother.
    Alas, we are wrong. The last time I argued it, we pulled out the lyric sheet from the album.

    There are other songs’ lyrics that I have misheard, and was disappointed to learn the correct lyrics. I cannot think of the examples at this moment.

  10. I can add a number of specific faults, but then again, I have not sipped the GOP kool-aid. What I find ironic is that O’Malley and Ehrlich are really quite similar aside from the politics.

  11. Jesse,

    My impression (only as a resident of Baltimore and regular reader of The Sun) was that it wasn’t just the land deals; Ehrlich had a real (and it appeared to be personal) problem with the lead political reporter David Nitkin. No doubt the land deal madness irked him, and he said as much in interviews, but his feeling was that he was getting pounded non-stop by the paper on every issue, so why give him access to make it easier? The guy had no friends in the state; you have to expect him to push back somewhere.

    And him and O’Malley are nothing alike….other than being white males from Baltimore. Which in itself is quite a feat, but that in it doesn’t glue them together as one in the same. O’Malley takes scumbag to a whole new level, even for a politician from Maryland. The guy managed to campaign on the fact that he lowered crime in the city, which came as a surprise to everyone in the city that crime was down. He was king at stats manipulation for crime reporting and he was/is no friend to any libertarian causes that I’m aware of. He’s certainly no Kurt Schmoke who might have been incompetent, but managed to keep the lies to a minimum and was a vocal anti-Drug War guy. The one upside of him winning the election is that I get rid of him as my mayor. Unfortunately, he can do much more damage in the statehouse, and he’s going to.

  12. OMalley is the biggest douchebag in the world. Ehrlich, while not a libertarian, was “more libertarian” on more issues than 99% of our “elected leaders.”

    The Baltimore Sun is a joke and looked like real asses with their KKT endorsement in 2002.

  13. Rob,

    I’m married to a Sun reporter, which might give me some biases here but also gives me, I think, some extra insights as to what’s good and bad about the paper’s coverage of Ehrlich. Some of the reporters there have an axe to grind, and some don’t; the distinction, while important to you and me, was lost on Ehrlich’s people, who tended to attribute any negative coverage at all to “bias.” Say what you will about Nitkin, but I haven’t seen any compelling evidence that his reporting included substantial inaccuracies. The specific error that the Ehrlich administration pointed to as an excuse to blacklist him wasn’t even his — it was in a graphic that ran alongside one of his articles but was created by other hands.

    At any rate, if you go into politics you’re going to get some critical press coverage. It goes with the territory. Ehrlich’s thin-skinned reaction only made it harder for the fair-minded reporters to do their jobs — and less likely that the administration’s point of view would be represented in the stories.

    It reminds me of something that happened when I worked for Liberty. We were selling an audio documentary about Ayn Rand that included statements from both her admirers and her critics. It wasn’t very well-done, frankly, but that’s neither here nor there. The Official Objectivists didn’t like the fact that it included so many criticisms of her, so they asked to have their comments withdrawn. The editor decided to go along with their request, more or less. The result: People still bought the documentary, but now they only got the side of the story that the Official Objectivists objected to. Their protest wound up shooting themselves in the foot.

    The governor basically did the same thing. I think it’s basically accurate to say that the Sun started the Ehrlich years with a slant against the man. I think it’s even more accurate to say that his reaction to its coverage only made the slant worse.

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