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City Department Spokesman Praises Vandalism:

The Baltimore Sun reports:

A large billboard advertising local air times for the conservative radio talk-show host has been defaced.

Robert Murrow, a spokesman for the city's Department of Public Works, saw the vandalism as he drove to work this morning on I-83 near the Guilford Avenue exit. He called The Sun, saying that someone had poured paint on the image of Limbaugh's face....

"It looks like they took globs of paint and threw it on his face. It looks great. It did my heart good," said Murrow, who admittedly is not a Limbaugh fan.

Kurt L. Kocher, chief spokesman for the city's Department of Public Works and Murrow's supervisor, took issue with Murrow's statement.

"As much as you don't like Rush Limbaugh, you don't endorse vandalism, period," Kocher said. "It's an outrageous comment, and he shouldn't have said it. It is not our policy. I think he got overenthusiastic about his feelings for Mr. Limbaugh. I am very upset about that comment, and I've let him know I'm very upset about that comment. It's his personal comment and it's wrong. It does not belong out there in any kind of official capacity. As far as I'm concerned, he was not speaking for the department."

I'm with Mr. Kocher on this one.

Thanks to NewsBusters for the pointer.

PersonFromPorlock:
For what it's worth, I agree with you. But it ought to be noted, purely for snark, that Limbaugh's face wasn't much more hidden by the paint than his commentary is by the endless ads on his program.
5.10.2007 3:31pm
Martin Ammorgan (mail):
The Boston Tea Party was also an outrageous event.
5.10.2007 3:34pm
Martin Ammorgan (mail):
i.e. "As much as you don't like The Stamp Act and the Townshend Acts, you don't endorse vandalism, period."
5.10.2007 3:36pm
Houston Lawyer:
Rush is selling ads, not ideology. Publicity is good for him regardless of its content. The best thing that could happen to Rush would be Hillary's election as president.

At least Murrow didn't express hope that Rush would be sent to prison and raped there.
5.10.2007 3:37pm
wooga:
Martin,
If a British government official participated in the Tea Party, he should have been - at a minimum - fired.

Murrow, as an employee of the Department of Public Works, should not be endorsing vandalism. That would be the rule even if Rush were the devil incarnate.

Do you not get basic principles of logic and duty?
5.10.2007 3:44pm
John Herbison (mail):
This kind of vandalism deserves condemnation. So does Rush Limbaugh's hatemongering.

Lyndon Johnson is reported to have said concerning racial demogogy, "If you can convince the lowest white man that he's better than the best colored man, he won't notice you're picking his pocket. Hell, give him somebody to look down on, and he'll even empty his pockets for you." This lesson is not lost on the hosts of Hate Radio regarding ideological demogogy--give a common schmuck loser a "liberal" or an "illegal alien" to look down on, and he'll empty his pockets for your advertisers.

If George Wallace were alive and healthy today, he would likely be crying, "Xenophobia now! Xenophobia tomorrow! Xenophobia forever!!!"
5.10.2007 3:57pm
Anderson (mail) (www):
How many spokesmen does the Baltimore public works dep't need, anyway? Scroll down for answer!







("One fewer.")
5.10.2007 4:06pm
Martin Ammorgan (mail):
Wooga, with all due respect, our Attorney General is lying to Congress (i.e. us) as we write. The fact that a spokesman for the city's Department of Public Works get more criticism here for malfeasance in office amuses me greatly.
5.10.2007 4:13pm
SmokeandAshes (mail):
I am also bothered by the fact that this public spokesman felt the need to call the Sun and make a statement completely unrelated to his job. I am surprised the paper didn't do the usual song and dance of "anonymous public official" or "some public officials". If I was the boss, I think I might have to see if any unexplained leaks might lead back to this guy.
5.10.2007 4:16pm
tvk:
Depending on the precise circumstances (specifically, whether he was speaking in his personal capacity or as an employee), which do not appear crystal clear from the report, isn't this First Amendment protected speech? Even after Garcetti, as long as he was speaking in his personal capacity about a matter of public interest (concedely not exactly a strong a public interest, but a matter of public interest nonetheless), to the newspaper, it would be risky for the department to fire him for it.
5.10.2007 4:24pm
WHOI Jacket:
Well, John, why don't you get a law passed forcing Rush off the air. Also, he and his listeners could probably stand for a little re-education too...
5.10.2007 4:38pm
M. Gross (mail):
The fact that a spokesman for the city's Department of Public Works get more criticism here for malfeasance in office amuses me greatly.

I'm unsure that Mr. Volokh has an obligation to use his blog to chastise misbehavior in the exact proportions random commenters desire.
5.10.2007 4:41pm
John425:
Posted from Ace of Spades....

Two boys in Boston were playing baseball when one of them was attacked by a vicious Rottweiler. The dog had already locked his jaws on the Boy's' legs.

Thinking quickly, the other boy ripped a board off of a nearby fence, wedged it into the dog's collar and twisted it, breaking the dog's neck.

A newspaper reporter from the Boston Globe witnessed the incident and rushed over to interview the boy. The reporter began entering data into his laptop, beginning with the headline, "Brave Boston Red Sox Fan Saves Friend From Jaws Of Vicious Animal."

"But I'm not a Boston Red Sox fan," the little hero interjected.

"Sorry" replied the reporter. "But since we're in Boston, I just assumed you were."

Hitting the delete key, the reporter began again, "John Kerry Fan Rescues Friend From Horrific Dog Attack."

"But I'm not a John Kerry fan either," the boy protested.

The reporter replied, "I assumed everybody in this state was either for The Red Sox, John Kerry, or Ted Kennedy. What team or person do you Like?''

"Well, I'm a Texas Ranger fan, and I really like President Bush," the Boy answered.

Hitting the delete key, the reporter began yet again: "Arrogant Little Republican Bastard Kills Beloved Family Pet."
5.10.2007 4:42pm
rarango (mail):
Speaking of hatemongering, whatever happened to Air America?
5.10.2007 4:53pm
Martin Ammorgan (mail):
I was referring more to the comment section, M. Gross. As I readily acknowledge, this is not my site and I appreciate the forum it offers.
5.10.2007 4:54pm
r78:
Dad, what did you do in 2007 while our government was torturing people, kidnapping people and sending them to Syrian prisons, and imprisoning people for years without charges or due process?"

"Honey, I took a stand against defacement of billboards."
5.10.2007 4:56pm
ed o:
yep, we are such monsters, r78. it makes me wonder why you are still in this country and haven't migrated to some more hospitable climate.
5.10.2007 5:01pm
A. Zarkov (mail):
"If George Wallace were alive and healthy today, he would likely be crying, "Xenophobia now! Xenophobia tomorrow! Xenophobia forever!!!"

The implication here is that anyone who opposes amnesty or open borders is a xenophobe. That would make the governments of most if not all the world's countries xenophobes, including Mexico. It's a felony to enter Mexico illegally. Mexico defends its southern border. Even the label "xenophobe" is not accurate. A phobia is an irrational and controlling fear. What's irrational about wanting to control who comes into your country?
5.10.2007 5:02pm
r78:

yep, we are such monsters, r78. it makes me wonder why you are still in this country and haven't migrated to some more hospitable climate.

Oh, I was hoping that that the anti-American criminals who are perpetrating these atrocities would leave . . .
5.10.2007 5:13pm
Martin Ammorgan (mail):
or at least resign or be forced from the DOJ!
5.10.2007 5:14pm
Adeez (mail):
"Speaking of hatemongering, whatever happened to Air America?"

Actually, just fine. Indeed, I'm listening to it right now as I write this! However, there's really not much hatemongering going on right now. A lot of truthmongering though, if I may makeup a phrase.

I guess you'd actually have to listen to know though.
5.10.2007 5:17pm
rarango (mail):
Adeez: one person's hatemongering is another person's truthmongering. Listening to a good jazz station or good classical music will be much better for your mental health.
5.10.2007 5:28pm
Mike BUSL07 (mail):
another day, another batch of fresh trolls on volokh...
5.10.2007 5:28pm
r78:
Mike BUSLO7 - "trolls?" C'mon call em what they are "terrorists" or "communists" or "trade unionists".
5.10.2007 5:40pm
Shelby (mail):
I'm glad to hear that Air America has changed its programming in the last six months. For a while there it was almost as loathesome as Michael Savage.
5.10.2007 5:44pm
Adeez (mail):
Rarango---I think I visit enough to make the following assessment: I disagree with you on many issues but find that you're bright, respectful, and not one of the clowns. In other words, someone cool who I don't mind agreeing to disagree with.

That being said, please don't rush to judgment about something you know nothing about. It's easy to make a blanket accusation against something w/o knowing the facts. I listen to it all the time, and I promise you it is not a leftist equivalent of Rush. As an easy illustration, they always allow conservatives, Republicans, etc. on for debate. Indeed, Randi Rhodes (whose show has a ton of callers, and thus, is really hard to get through on as a caller) puts right wingers at the top of her queue so they can get priority. Tom Hartman constantly invites right wingers and libertarians as guests so they can engage in civil debate.

So, if you can cite specific instances of hate mongering, please let me know. If you're relying on others' collective characature of it, then you're very misinformed and ought to listen for yourself.
5.10.2007 5:46pm
rarango (mail):

Adeez: thanks, and likewise I admire your passion for your ideals.

You are correct: I have never listen to Air America nor I have listened to Rush Limbaugh. and you are further correct that I really shouldnt make judgments on things about which I know nothing but assume much. Point taken and I apologize for what I honestly intended to be sarcastic

I am sure we will have further discussions on further issues. :)
5.10.2007 5:53pm
ajftoo:
Martin Ammorgan (A.K.A. Martin L. Morgan),

Does Pajares &Schexnaydre condone its associates libeling the AG?
5.10.2007 6:21pm
Martin Ammorgan (mail):
Truth is a defense to libel. Gonzales is a liar, and not even very good at it.
5.10.2007 6:33pm
r78:
ajftoo - posting personal information about another poster? Very, very classy.

I think that your disregard for privacy and willingness to try to intimidate people who disagree makes you a candidate for a job in the DOJ. Oh wait, did you go to Regents University?
5.10.2007 6:48pm
WHOI Jacket:
Don't feed the trolls.
5.10.2007 7:15pm
Dave N (mail):
I agree with r78's point (something I seldom do), but not the snarkiness. I post semi-anonymously. A person reading every post I ever made could probably figure out exactly who I am and who I work for. I do not try to hide it but I do mask it. That said, the views I express are my own and not those of my employer.

Certain posters like Clayton Cramer are readily identifiable. Others like Kovarsky have a unique enough name that they are not posting anonymously either.

On the other hand, r78 chooses to post anonymously, as do ajftoo, rarango, adeez, and many others. If they posted a link to a website, I might be curious and look. Otherwise, I respect the anonymity this site provides. In my view, the level of anonymity a poster wants here is that person's choice and belongs to no other.

"Outing" of any kind, whether done by the left or the right or anyone in between, is reprehensible--and that is true if it involves Mary Cheney, a poster here on Volokh, or anyone else.
5.10.2007 7:24pm
Martin Ammorgan (mail):
Yeah. Thanks a lot Detective ajftoo. Turns out my boss went to law school with Gonzales and I'm to have my office cleaned out by 6:00 p.m. CST.

And since you linked my (former) firm, I should point out that all views expressed here by me are strictly the truth.

But in all seriousness, it's not very cool to just post contact info. My e-mail is real. You have a problem, write me personally.
5.10.2007 7:31pm
whit:
"Indeed, Randi Rhodes (whose show has a ton of callers, and thus, is really hard to get through on as a caller) puts right wingers at the top of her queue so they can get priority"

you want SPECIFIC instances of hate mongering? how about when randi rhodes said that president bush should be "taken out like fredo" (who was assassinated on a boat for those unfamiliar with godfather movies) and then she made a sound similar to a gunshot going off.

essentially, she was advocating the assassination of bush. i heard an audiotape of this incident. it happened.

if rush et al had done the same with clinton, can you imagine the outrage.

fwiw, i have listened to rhodes, hartman, the young turks (not sure if they are air america, but same station), mike malloy, etc. i find them mildly entertaining, even though i am definitely not a "progressive" but imo rhodes' advocating assassination brings "hate radio" to a whole other level.
5.10.2007 7:47pm
wooga:
Wooga, with all due respect, our Attorney General is lying to Congress (i.e. us) as we write. The fact that a spokesman for the city's Department of Public Works get more criticism here for malfeasance in office amuses me greatly.

So now you are conceding 'malfeasance.' Comparing this rabid loon to the Boston Tea Party was just plain silly.

Just because someone ELSE does something bad does not excuse THIS UNRELATED bad behavior. Suppose every poster and commenter on this site was a baby eating partisan hypocrite. That means nothing as to the merits of this post, and cannot serve to rehabilitate your defense of Mr. Murrow.
5.10.2007 8:29pm
Nikki:
Yeah, the guy (whose name I've already forgotten) shouldn't have said this in his official capacity.

But also: Rush Limbaugh does not need Secret Service protection just because someone vandalized one of his billboards. (Click through to the article.)
5.10.2007 8:33pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
r78. What's wrong with sending people to the Syrians? Syria is on the UN Human Rights Commission. Doesn't that mean something?
5.10.2007 9:41pm
Random Commenter:
"The fact that a spokesman for the city's Department of Public Works get more criticism here for malfeasance in office amuses me greatly."

Haven't been reading the site or its comment threads for long, have you? It's a bit unreasonable to expect Eugene et al. to temper every post with a derogatory remark about the AG/Bush/Halliburton/etc to keep the monomaniacs happy.
5.11.2007 4:31am
Martin Ammorgan (mail):
Actually I've been reading it for a long time. It was exactly my frustation with the "see no evil" policy here (except for OK) that caused me to register to comment for the express purpose of tweaking the powers that be.
5.11.2007 12:37pm
ajftoo:

it's not very cool to just post contact info. My e-mail is real.


So, you libel the AG in a comment, on an unrelated post, using your firm's email, and then complain that I've posted your contact info? Wow.

(For the record, the point of linking your bio and firm's site is to make it searchbot friendly, so prospective clients get to know the real Martin L. Morgan when they google.)
5.11.2007 3:09pm
Colin (mail):
Pretty classless, ajftoo. I think all his clients will learn is that crass and anonymous internet cranks don't like him very much. I doubt they'll care.
5.11.2007 3:58pm
Martin Ammorgan (mail):
Confession: this is Martin L. Morgan evil paralegal. Whenever Mr. Morgan is off battling for justice, I secretly use his computer to go on the internet and libel the AG.

P.S. I also surf porn sites, so anything naughty on his hard drive was put there without Mr. Morgan's knowledge or consent.
5.11.2007 5:18pm