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Shell Shocked

Posted 9/18/2002

Your good eggs are all Democrats (City Paper primary endorsements, Sept. 4). What a surprise! As I snatched up a copy of your weekly free liberal rag to line the bottom of my peach-faced African lovebird's cage, for some reason my curiosity led me to make the mistake of perusing your endorsements for the primary election. What a joke!

Why continue perpetuating the myth that Republicans are evil? The monopoly stranglehold of our statehouse by Democrats has created an air of substantial corruption. The party of the people has done nothing for African-Americans besides put a few of them into cake jobs as delegates and state senators. Isn't it time for some independent thinking as a guiding force in your paper's opines?

I remember when opening the pages of this paper would open my mind and my beer would get warm as I lost myself in the columns of renegade thought. It seems nowadays your writers are all showcasing their biased journalistic talents for jobs at The Sun or the Washington Post. What a waste of paper!

You silly liberals won't be happy until we live in a socialist hell. Then you'll be out of business as all the advertisers' businesses will become government agencies that won't find the budget to print weekly birdcage liners. At least my beers won't get warm anymore.

Rob Mayes

Editor Lee Gardner responds: Don't hate the playa, hate the game. Democrats ran unopposed in all but one of the city's State Senate races (the 41st District); in each of the city House of Delegates races where Republicans did run (the 43rd, 44th, 45th, and 46th districts), the GOP fielded three or fewer Republicans, which makes for a noncompetitive primary, which means there's no point in us endorsing anyone.

True, we offered no endorsement in two of the Republican primaries where there was a race, but we amply explained why. And if you retrieve the endorsements piece from the bottom of the birdcage and take a closer look, you will, in fact, find that we did endorse serious Republican primary candidates where we found them. I'm not saying you won't see a host of Dems in our general-election endorsements--we are a weekly free liberal rag after all--but don't willfully ignore facts if you want us to take local Republicans more seriously.

Settling for Less

As the former director of the International Rescue Committee at the Baltimore Resettlement Center, I was heartened to see a front-page article in the City Paper describing the important contributions refugees and immigrants are making to community revitalization in Southeast Baltimore (East Side Story, Aug. 28). Ms. Nicole Leistikow does an excellent job of highlighting the spirit of American humanitarianism inherent in refugee resettlement, as well as the practical contributions refugees make to the community and the economy. As described expertly in the article, refugees epitomize "family values."

There are three omissions in the article that I would like to address. First, without the vision and support of the Maryland Office of New Americans, principally Pat Hatch, the Baltimore Resettlement Center would not exist. Second, while volunteers are an important component of the International Rescue Committee's refugee resettlement work, the article fails to recognize the tireless efforts of IRC's staff who often work late into the night and on the weekends to assist refugees. Finally, the entire U.S. Refugee Resettlement Program is at risk. This year, due to bureaucratic obstacles as a result of heightened security measures coupled with a lack of political will, only 24,000 of the 70,000 refugees President Bush committed to resettling in the United States have been admitted. At this rate, it will be impossible to achieve the critical number of refugees needed to continue the revitalization of Southeast Baltimore.

Andrew Robarts

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
Washington, D.C.

Cry Me a Rivera

So, Gerry Rivers is still whining because David Folkenflik of The Sun caught him hoking up a report from Afghanistan (The Mail, Sept. 12). He's crying because Michael Anft picked it up for comment in City Paper (Media Circus, Aug. 21). Everyone's picking on Gerry, who forgets that even paranoids have enemies.

I know David Folkenflik, not well because we worked in different areas of The Sun before my retirement in 1998. But I know enough about him to respect his work, and I know enough about Geraldo not to have any respect for him. If it comes down to who I believe, a Folkenflik tops a Geraldo every time.

I really thought Fox News would have the sense to sack him after the Afghanistan debacle, but I guess the network's suits don't know the difference between a newsman and a clown. I heard GR accuse Folkenflik in one interview of "penis envy." Is that desperation or what?

Geraldo is a victim of a practice followed by many people in the TV business. He's addicted to auto-fellatio, right out before God and everyone, with absolutely no shame. Geraldo apparently believes what he thinks about himself and wants others to believe it too. He has attained a "high profile" in the TV "news" business largely because of incessant self-promotion; his proclamation of himself as a deserving minority and a bottomless reservoir of bullshit!

He announces that he's heading back to Afghanistan. I guess we're in for another round of, "I'm standing on sacred ground . . . ." but maybe this time he'll get closer--like 50 miles from where whatever happened happened.

GR accuses Folkenflik of a "hatchet job." Obviously he felt the blade. Perhaps this trip to Afghanistan won't produce a hatchet job; maybe some inflamed Afghan will swing a chair and take his head off. (The last guy missed.) Gee, can you imagine the "tributes" that would follow. Geraldo Rivera is no Danny Pearl, who was a real newsman, not a clown.

Bob Erlandson

The writer is a former reporter and foreign correspondent for The Sun.

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