Talk-Show Host Offers Dixon Friendly Forum

Unfree State

Just hours after Baltimore Mayor Sheila Dixon blasted local media for revealing information about the state prosecutor’s ongoing investigation of buying practices while she was president of the City Council, a local talk-show host gave Dixon a friendly forum.

Ed Norris, the former Baltimore City Police commissioner and now popular talk-show host on FM Talk 105.7, said Dixon had been scheduled earlier and declined to ask Dixon questions about the ongoing investigation. In fact, it appeared that only friendly callers who supported Dixon and characterized the investigation as a “witch hunt” where aired.

At one point in the show, Norris read an email from a listener complaining that questions about the investigation were not being asked. Norris again stated Dixon’s appearance had been scheduled in the past, and that they would be focusing on other city issues.

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For Dixon, the drive-time hour turned into an oasis from the hard questions being asked by prosecutors, citizens and the media, but in the process Norris lost any semblance of a objectivity.

Norris, who himself was the target of a federal corruption investigation and eventually convicted of misusing money from a supplemental city police fund and lying on tax returns, told Dixon he understood what she was going through when she complained that she couldn’t answer the allegations being made against her by the media because of “leaked’ information that she said came from the prosecutor, or someone else.

In the past, Norris has contended many times that the federal charges which he eventually plead guilty to were the product of an over zealous federal prosecutor and that he plead guilty only in order to save himself and his family the pain of a long, drawn out trial. Norris has also said that Dixon was supportive of him during this personal crisis, so this could possibility explain the softball treatment.

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