Friday, December 23, 2011

Ron Smith Redux

On Wednesday I drove up to Pennsylvania and had a chance to celebrate Ron’s life with his family and colleagues. June even gave us a tour of Ron’s man cave in the basement. I even spied a small bust of Lenin on a bookshelf. I’m a sucker for irony, so that gave me a bit of a chuckle.
At the visitation, people were buzzing about comments made by a certain former boss of mine on WBAL radio.  The comments, it seemed, generated a bit of controversy. This prompted me to go online and listen for myself (you can do the same here…scroll down to the audio section on the right corner of the page, and the link in question is the second one from the bottom).
During his brief interview with Marta Mossberg, C4, and Dr. Richard Vatz, former Governor Bob Ehrlich remarked that Ron Smith was “too cynical” and that his “ego wasn’t small.” He also said that Smith “hated to admit he was wrong,” and was “entertained” by his wife June.  He also recounted how much he relished inviting Smith to a “crow-eating dinner” after he won the governorship, a feat Smith judged to be impossible.
With respect to Ron’s alleged cynicism, this comment from his final Sun column is evidence to the contrary:

What is a mere individual to do? Live as sane and decent a life as you can, love your family and friends and understand that everybody is in this together.”
Ehrlich is entitled to his own opinions, of course. While I disagree with Ehrlich's remarks, their validity perhaps concerns me less than does the inappropriateness of their timing.

The WBAL event to which he called in was, in essence, an on-air wake.  Ehrlich almost sounded like he was dialing into a Friars Club roast.  
However, this particular comment stands out from the rest:

Ron Smith “was insecure in his lack of formal education but incredibly secure in his intellect.”

The use of the term “insecure” by the Princeton-educated Ehrlich is what drew the ire of some of the people I spoke to, because it implied that Smith – an autodidact and a voracious reader – was somehow ashamed of not having gone to college.
I don’t get how you can credibly call someone “insecure” and egotistical in the space of 90 seconds, but I guess that’s beside the point.
In any event, few people who knew Ron would ever use the word "insecure” to describe him. Anyway, leave it to someone with Gump-like faith in a convicted aide’s “honesty” to see phantom insecurities in Ron Smith.
Anwyay, listen to the comments for yourself and make up your own mind as to their validity or appropriateness.

1 comment:

  1. Ron Smith was a tad above Rush- the accolades to him as "reasonable" were ludicrous. Like other bal commentators, ehrlich included, his show was a drumbeat of sycophanitc, ill educated callers from the back woods.