The man who knew so much is off the air

November 14, 2008|By LAURA VOZZELLA | LAURA VOZZELLA,laura.vozzella@baltsun.com

D aren Muhammad has been kicked off the WOLB airwaves and, wouldn't you know it, there's a conspiracy there.

For years, Muhammad has had a public-affairs show, the radio equivalent of vanity publishing: He paid the station to air it.

He offered city politics chitchat juiced up with cloak-and-dagger stuff, like how the deaths of former City Councilman Ken Harris in September, city contractor Robert Lee Clay in 2005 and federal prosecutor Jonathan Luna in 2003 are connected - and covered up by the news media, which, of course, are controlled by the Jews. (Oy vey!)

WOLB officials told Muhammad on Friday that they wouldn't air him anymore. The reason Muhammad gave The Baltimore Sun's Justin Fenton: He's been raising too many questions about Harris' death.

Muhammad recently attached himself to a faction in a family feud among Harris' relatives, who've established rival memorial funds. He's on the side of Sylvia Harris, the late councilman's mother. Muhammad said he lost his radio slot after a lawyer for Harris' widow, Annette, called the station to complain about statements he'd made.

"For obvious reasons, I have no intention of repeating some of the on-air statements made during the recent broadcasts of the program," said the attorney, Neil Duke. "Suffice it to say that there were inappropriate statements directed at Annette Harris, her family and even the late Kenneth Harris that were so discourteous that the family felt it necessary to voice its concern to the radio station."

But WOLB general manager Howard Mazer said Muhammad was axed for other reasons. "It has nothing to do with Ken Harris," he said. "It's a business decision."

Mazer did say the decision was based on the "content of the show. There's been different things that have happened, and we decided that, you know, it's time to make a change."

Muhammad has offended before. Back in 2006, he speculated on the air about then-Comptroller William Donald Schaefer's love life. (Must have been a slow conspiracy day.) I'm not sure Schaefer has ever minded attention of any sort, but his spokesman complained, and Muhammad was suspended for several weeks.

In July, former Baltimore City police spokeswoman Ragina Averella sued Muhammad and Radio One in Circuit Court, claiming he'd spread false rumors on the show about her romantic life. The suit seeks $500,000 in damages. Averella's lawyer, Stuart Arnovits, said that the case is "in the process of being resolved."

Muhammad told Fenton he plans to hold a "rally and demonstration" outside the station at noon today. And you thought he'd go quietly.

A chin reappears

One day, Baltimore City schools are in the hands of this bearded guy who's standing firm on graduation standards, drawing dropouts back into class and generally offering hope.

The next day, no beard!

Is the reform over?

Andres Alonso hasn't been clean-shaven since 1986, the summer before he became a teacher, The Baltimore Sun's Sara Neufeld reports. (Says he hates to shave. Takes 10 minutes a day he doesn't have.)

But Alonso pulled out the razor this week to participate in a fundraiser called Mustaches for Kids. Participants line up sponsors to pay them to grow mustaches. No head starts allowed, so Alonso first had to get the salt-and-pepper fuzz off his face.

In so doing, the distinguished-looking schools chief revealed a boyish, dimpled mug: Doogie Howser, CEO.

Anybody having trouble taking orders from this baby face?

Apparently not. Alonso reports positive reaction: "Awe and admiration, of course."

Connect the dots

John Coale, the Democratic McCainiac, just returned from Alaska, where his wife, Fox newswoman Greta Van Susteren, interviewed Sarah Palin. He enjoyed the moose chili, caribou hot dogs and the would-be VP. "Still am smitten," he reported via e-mail. "But heat and hot water went out in hotel (temp was 25 in day about 10 at night) also a woman died on our plane home, yikes!" The longtime Democratic fundraiser didn't fear a frosty reception back home, despite his support for John McCain. "I think the Dems in Md. will forgive me now that they won everything." ... Baltimore City Council President Stephanie Rawlings- Blake visits the D.C. City Council today to learn about education reform and other stuff in the works there. While she's at it, she'll get Council Chairman Vincent Gray to shake on a bet. The Ravens play the Redskins Dec. 7 in Baltimore. If the Ravens win, Gray will treat Rawlings-Blake and her staff to dinner at Ben's Chili Bowl. If the Redskins win, Rawlings-Blake will provide Gray's office with a crab cake lunch. And Brandon Scott, employed by "wacko-for-Joe-Flacco" Rawlings-Blake despite his "unabashed" Redskins tendencies, would work in Gray's office for a day.

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