A city council member in Frederick, Md., is threatening to sue the local newspaper for using his name in its stories.
Kirby Delauter reacted on Facebook over the weekend to an unflattering article about him and another council member, warning a reporter against “unauthorized use” of his name.
That, as you might expect if you showed up for a civics class back in the day, went over big at the newspaper.
“Kirby Delauter can certainly decline to comment on any story,” Terry Headlee, the managing editor of the Frederick News-Post, said. “But to threaten to sue a reporter for publishing his name is so ridiculously stupid that I’m speechless. It’s just a pointless, misguided attempt to intimidate and bully the press and shows an astonishing lack of understanding of the role of a public servant.”
(h/t: Ryan Brown)
Update 1:21 p.m. – Today, the newspaper ran an editorial on the threat. Here is a portion.
We’ve seen this behavior before (not just from Kirby Delauter) and it’s worth highlighting again. Bullying seems to be the only way Kirby “Don’t say my name” Delauter feels he can lead. Only now, the target is not the public at hearings or occasional “punk” staff member, an arrogant, self-serving, whining middle school teacher or fellow “moron” commissioner, it’s The News-Post. Instead of taking his job seriously like the voters demanded and the rest of the council seem to grasp, he’s grabbing at distractionary shoot-the-messenger tactics that make a lot of noise but, to quote Shakespeare, a man who knew drama when he saw it, noise that “signifies nothing.” Frederick County has big issues to tackle in 2015 and we have yet to hear Kirby Delauter sound out one single, sensible idea. He used the word “govern” in his slogan. Maybe he should apply that to his temper first.
Enough. Seriously. What’s Kirby Delauter going to do? Sue everyone who’s making fun of him on Twitter using the #kirbydelauter hashtag, or on Facebook? Boy, his attorney will be able to retire off that.
Reasonable men (and women) are required to move Frederick County forward. All Kirby Delauter is doing yet again is displaying his inability to control his temper, embarrassing himself, his district, the county and those who voted him into office. If he wants to govern like a taxpayer, he needs to respect the taxpayers whose money provides his paycheck, stop this silly, inflammatory nonsense, and get to work.
The first letter of every paragraph in the editorial spelled Delauter’s name.