A Cheap Slander

When it comes to selecting a replacement for State Senator P. J. Hogan, who is resigning to take a better paying job lobbying the state on behalf of, get ready, a state entity I don’t have a dog in the fight.

From the standpoint of amusement and blogworthiness naturally I’d like a cross between Al Sharpton and Edwin Edwards but we are talking about gray, milquetoastish Montgomery County which churns out socialist do-gooders so that isn’t going to happen.

Having said that, what is being done to one of the supplicants for the vacant position, Delegate Charles Barkley, by his opponents assisted by the Washington Post is simply wrong.

In her column on Sunday, the Post’s Lisa Rein gives a rundown on the people vying for the position.

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Top billing fawned over someone who is not even in the race, Delegate Nancy King. The only woman on the list, by the way. Then three male contenders were mentioned. When Rein got to the paragraph on Mr. Barkley this is what she had to say:

Barkley, 56, served as chairman of the county’s House delegation for five years and has established a good reputation as a legislator among his colleagues. But his interactions with female delegates are perceived to make some uncomfortable, though no one will speak publicly about it.

What is this crap? First off, I don’t know what “uncomfortable” means. Is he rude? Brusque? Have personal hygiene problems? Is he ugly? Clearly Rein wants us to believe that Barkley has a Ted Kennedy problem when in comes to dealing with his 50-something female colleagues but she won’t say so and neither will anyone else.

Is this crap supposed to be journalism?

Yesterday, Rein gets another crack in at Barkley in a story titled Supporters Rally to Barkley’s Defense. The focus of this story is Barkley’s defenders denying the rumor that Rein first floated on Sunday.

This is just inexcusable nastiness but increasingly par for the course for Post reporters.

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