Ignorance at this level is inexecusable.
Fed up with what he considers reporting with a liberal bias, a Maryland county councilman this weekend threatened to sue a local newspaper reporter for using his name in an article about local government, and even claimed his name could not be used without his permission.
The reporter, and her editors, told the councilman to grow up.
According to the Frederick News-Post, Frederick County Councilman Kirby Delauter wrote on Facebook Saturday that News-Post reporter Bethany Rodgers had no right to “an unauthorized of my name and my reference in her article” about Lauter’s and another councilman’s concerns about parking spaces.
Rogers apparently attempted to reach Delauter by phone to comment on the report, but he declined to take the call. Then he went further.
Delauter is a Republican, but that kind of arrogance sounds like it’s coming from the Obama White House.
Rodgers responded with incredulity. (And actually pretty civilly, under the circumstances.)
Then Delauter went yet another step further.
The gist of Delauter’s complaint seems to be that the News-Post is too biased to report the news fairly, and at least one other Republican official agreed with him.
“I did not see his post, but I think The News-Post is extremely biased and someone should sue them,” Councilman Billy Shreve told the paper.
That may or may not be true, but it’s irrelevant.
Any elected official who thinks he can keep any news media — whether it’s the Daily Worker, the Wall Street Journal or BizPac Review — from publishing his name in connection with the public business is sadly, sadly mistaken about the nature of the First Amendment.
“Kirby Delauter can certainly decline to comment on any story,” News-Post Managing Editor Terry Headlee said in the article.
“But to threaten to sue a reporter for publishing his name is so ridiculously stupid that I’m speechless. It’s just a pointless, misguided attempt to intimidate and bully the press and shows an astonishing lack of understanding of the role of a public servant.”
That it’s a Republican who’s so ignorant in this case is even sadder.
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