Monday, December 20, 2004

Rachel DiCarlo has an excellent piece about Maryland governor Bob Ehrlich's feud with the Baltimore Sun. Piqued at stories in the Sun, the Ehrlich administration has banned all state officials in the executive branch from speaking with two Sun writers. Read the entire piece to get the particulars.

Ehrlich's actions may not be the most arrogant and offensive dictums ever issued by a politician, but I can't come up with anything worse off the top of my head. Being a governor and complaining about bad press is like being a moviestar and complaining about autograph seekers: If you can't handle it like a grownup, you're in the wrong line of work.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Ehrlich must play the populist to survive in Maryland, which is why he appears regularly on the HFS Sports Junkies Morning Drive Time show (and no doubt others), coming across as a regular fun guy. He has his fingers on the pulse of the people, and evidently it has emboldened him to take on the Sun. Who will defend the Sun? Only other media, and that only helps to prove Ehrlich's point. He also attacks it as a "monopoly", a sure populist criticism. He is redefining the Sun as a business, which it is, that promotes its own interests, which it does. Why must he kowtow to it? Just as any citizen can stop shopping at Target and go to WalMart. Why can't he? Because there is no one else.

Obviously, you can't take this reasoning too far, but it does resonate in a common-sense, "what are there panties all up in a bunch for" way. For sure he has goaded some high-handed drivel from the editorial page, which only helps him. And it may spur someone to start up a newspaper to rival the Sun. His obvious grandstanding does not seem to have created a backlash (yet), perhaps because of the all-time low in public confidence with the mainstream media.

The only thing Erhlich has done wrong is not found a blog out there willing to critique/hound the Sun on a regular basis. Maybe he hopes that one such will spring up due to his actions--far more feasible than another newspaper.