Normally, I view the Annapolis Capital as a good paper with often a fine bead on state politics due to its location. But after reading Brian Griffiths’ column, you have to wonder about their judgement.
Griffiths, the editor-in-chief of the Republican blog Red Maryland, writes regular columns published in the Capital. In his latest oeuvre, he argues that Gov. Larry Hogan is unbeatable. OK, so far. That’s a matter of opinion–I happen to disagree–but a perfectly legitimate position.
The way Griffiths goes about making his case through a series of ad hominum attacks and utter falsehoods is not.
Regarding Ben Jealous, Griffiths writes the following:
Former NAACP President Ben Jealous, darling of Bernie Sanders supporters, who has yet to propose a policy that would not be fully endorsed by the Communist Party.
It’s like Griffiths feels bad that that he missed out on the Red Scare of the 1950s or has watched Red Dawn far, far too many times. Reviving McCarthyism, however, is not a serious attack but a smear. Surprise, surprise but Jealous is not a Commie pinko who hates America and does not advocate for Leninism or gulags.
Instead of making a serious attack based on Jealous’s advocacy for policies he views as failed, reheated old-style liberalism, Griffiths goes for the reheated, old-style smear. No editor at the Capital saw this and said this is unserious and over the top?
Griffiths goes on to do the same to Rich Madaleno:
Ultra-left-wing state Sen. Rich Madaleno, infamous for being a flip-flopping fabulist — but most famous for personally insulting first lady Yumi Hogan.
The idea that Madaleno insulted Yumi Hogan is practically the definition of fake news. Madaleno wrote the Governor a letter asking him to ban travel to Indiana because of its endorsement of rank discrimination in its so-called Religious Freedom law. In the letter, Madaleno had the audacity to compare the Hogan’s family to his own by pointing out that the law would allow discrimination against Hogan’s family because of the First Lady’s divorce and against his own because he is married to man.
Griffiths can only think this an insult if he thinks either divorce is shameful and unmentionable in polite society or that Madaleno had no right to compare his own marriage to that of the Governor’s. In other words, Griffiths and others who mindlessly mouth this ridiculous, false attack are really just smearing Madaleno for being an uppity gay guy who thinks that he’s normal.
And I haven’t even gotten to “ultra” and “flip-flopping fabulist.” Again, why does the Capital turn itself into a smear machine?
Good debate and strong views are healthy in opinion columns. But what value is the Capital adding through publication of regurgitated smears? Are there no Republicans available who can make a positive argument for Republican policies and critique those of Democrats without basing it in lies and smears?
If you want a serious analysis of the unworkability and upper-class bias of Jealous’ free college proposal, go check out Barry Rascover because you won’t find it–or anything else that passes for thoughtful analysis–in Griffith’s column in the Capital.
If Griffiths wants to keep publishing this dreck on his blog, he should feel free. I suppose the Capital can too but they can do better and should be held to account for publishing lies and smears.