The world’s oldest profession demands its due

‘Shaun was a known and respected Pimp’

April 28, 2010|By Laura Vozzella, The Baltimore Sun

And you thought fancy-pants doctors, lawyers and the like were the only ones who obsessed about their professional status.

Pimps care, too.

Consider the e-mail The Baltimore Sun's Justin Fenton received after describing a homicide victim as a "wannabe pimp" on the paper's crime blog. One of the dead man's associates objected to the term, but not in the way you might think.

"I want to know where you get off calling someone you don't even know a ‘wanna be,' " the e-mail began.

"You need to edit your post immediately and retract that phrase you used. Why would you use a false phrase like that to describe someone who was murdered. Shaun was a known and respected Pimp from D.C. He was serious about his job like I'm sure you are of yours. If he was a wanna be pimp then you are a wanna be journalist. I was appreciative of everything else in your article except for that negative phrase you used."

It's nice to know people from all walks of life take pride in their work.

OK, forget I asked

Political gossip had it that Bob Ehrlich's gubernatorial campaign was not offering health insurance to its employees.

That would be interesting, I figured, not only in the context of the recent national health care debate, but because of who is serving as Ehrlich's campaign spokesman. Before he joined the campaign, Andy Barth was communications director for Healthy Howard, the county's health care plan for the uninsured. (Before that, he was a longtime WMAR-TV reporter.)

Barth is such a nice guy he seems unfit for politics, but I still thought it would be fun to put him on the spot. I wondered: How's the former county health care flack going to defend an employer who's stiffing workers on insurance?

Pretty easily, as it turns out.

"The Bob Ehrlich campaign does have a health insurance plan for employees," Barth told me.

If you're wondering, Martin O'Malley's campaign offers it, too.

They're playing his tune

I was a little worried that City Hall was going to get dull without Sheila Dixon. No offense to Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, but we've grown accustomed to over-the-top personalities at the helm here in Baltimore, and she's under-the-top.

A fiery shoe-brandishing mayor followed a bandleader mayor who — skipping over the relatively staid Schmoke and Burns administrations — followed the Do-It-Now, preferably-in-a-Gay-'90s-swimsuit mayor. SRB might prove herself to be an able chief executive, but she's not going to be an entertainer.

Into this municipal void steps City Council President Bernard C. "Jack" Young.

Since assuming the city's second-highest office, Young has taken to singing in public. Earlier this month, Young sang the national anthem to kick off the Roland Park Baseball League's Opening Day. He also led a crowd in "Happy Birthday" at the Enoch Pratt Free Library's Patterson Park branch, which was turning 100 years old.

"I love singing," said Young, who got his start in the male chorus at United Baptist Church East Baltimore. "I wish I could do more of it. That's a passion and something that really helps soothe me. It really does."


Olivia Obineme, a Towson University sophomore who is studying journalism, of all things, wanted to be Facebook friends with Mayor SRB.

So she tried to friend the mayor. And got this reply: "Sorry, this user already has too many friends."

Can you have too many friends? Especially if you're a politician?

SRB can come across as aloof, but it turns out the Facebook snub was not her doing.

"For years, the mayor has always used her personal Facebook page to keep in touch with friends and citizens, but there is a 5,000-friend limit on Facebook," SRB spokesman Ryan O'Doherty explained.

SRB recently created a Facebook "fan" page, which has no limits.

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