Accuracy in Media

The Baltimore Sun as expected endorsed Baltimore Mayor Martin O’Malley for governor today over his Republican opponent and incumbent Robert Ehrlich. The Sun still smarting from having the governor in their words “blacklisting” a reporter for his reporting on Ehrlich is supporting the hometown mayor all the way.

That they are doing so isn’t a problem for me, but their editorial endorsement belittles Ehrlich and his accomplishments over the years including taking a $1.3 billion deficit that he inherited from his Democratic predecessor to a surplus of $1 billion.

I can see the paper doing its level best to play up the mayor’s strengths while downplaying the governor’s accomplishments but what I can’t understand is how they can write the following with a straight face.

Mr. Ehrlich wants voters to believe he would have accomplished much more if only the Democrats in the General Assembly had not thwarted him at every turn. But that’s not much of an excuse for the inertia of the last four years. Governors from California to Virginia have overcome such political barriers. They show flexibility, build coalitions and strike compromises. Annapolis has never been about monolithic rule. Even under Democratic governors, it has always required balancing the interests of poor and wealthy, rural and urban, liberal and conservative. We have no reason to believe Mr. Ehrlich would address the state’s neglected agenda. Mr. O’Malley can, and therefore merits our endorsement.

Even before Ehrlich took office the Democrats were ripping apart his agenda. Couple that with the incredibly lopsided Democratic numbers in the state house. The Republicans are outnumbered roughly 6 to 1, making it far more lopsided that Virginia or California. Ehrlich has no choice but to compromise and the Democrats still attack him.

The real absurdity goes to the statement that Annapolis has never been about monolithic rule and that the interests of liberals and conservatives have been balanced under Democratic governors. If Annapolis hasn’t been about monolithic rule then why don’t the Democrats give Republicans a chance to have more of a voice in the legislature? Maybe some of them could step aside and let a Republican take their seat? Not in my lifetime.

As for balancing interests, if the Democrats really want this then why did they repeatedly override Ehrlich’s vetoes this year?

Even the Washington Post said in endorsing Ehrlich, electing O’Malley it will lead to the return of one party politics in Maryland. And not even the Post wants to see that.

The Sun should have at least set aside their philosophical differences with Ehrlich to make an honest assessment of his administration. But I guess that was just too much too much to ask.




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