Observing from beyond the solar system, a cultural outsider looks in.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

City Hall Revokes Kiefaber's Constitutional Rights

In a bizarre and illegal move, Baltimore City officials have banned former Senator Theatre owner Tom Kiefaber from attending public meetings at City Hall in clear violation of his constitutional rights.

Mr. Kiefaber has never harmed anyone and is not a physical threat, but City Hall officials clearly do not like what they think he might say. Kiefaber made one spontaneous peaceful protest at a City Council meeting and was thrown out. A week or so later, he was thrown out of a Board of Estimates meeting he had sat in for 40 minutes without saying a word and without doing anything, apparently because city officials thought he might have an opinion about the next item on the agenda, the West Side "Superblock" project.

The Baltimore Sun appears to be in collusion with City Hall on this, as I will illustrate below. When I saw the Sun article, which does not include a quote from Kiefaber, a hunch told me to call Kiefaber and find out what happened.

My call quickly confirmed that the Baltimore Sun had received the letter from City Solicitor George A. Nilson, but Kiefaber had not received it. When Kiefaber got a late Saturday afternoon call from the Sun about a letter he did not have, he questioned Sun reporter Tricia Bishop about why they had the letter and he did not. Bishop told him that Nilson had sent it to an address in Sparks, Maryland, where Kiefaber has not lived for over a year.

Bishop asked Kiefaber for a quote over the phone, but given Kiefaber's experiences over many years with the Sun, which has a pattern of either not quoting him or twisting his words and cherry picking the most negative part of his words out of context, Kiefaber insisted on putting the quote in writing. Kiefaber says Bishop then got miffed and wrote in her article that he refused to comment.

After the Sun article came out this afternoon, Kiefaber called the Sun and spoke with Steve Kilarp, who appeared to see that an injustice had been done and promised Kiefaber that if he sent him a quote in writing, he would make sure it got into later editions of The Sun. Kiefaber sent Kilarp the following quote in email:

I appreciate an opportunity to comment on this article for later editions of The Sun. Ms. Bishop reports incorrectly that I refused comment. That is not true. I merely insisted on providing prompt answers to her questions, in writing, a methodology that Ms. Bishop refused to indulge. She was apparently miffed and proceeded to mischaracterized my position in her error-laced article.

Rather than update the article as promised, however, someone at the Sun apparently decided they did not like the quote he sent them, and instead updated the article with the following lie in bold print:

Kiefaber refused to make a comment on the letter or criminal summons by phone, saying he preferred to do so in writing. No written statement had arrived late Saturday. He also said that The Sun was not covering him fairly.

Kiefaber then called the Sun again and spoke to Content Editor Andy Rosen. Kiefaber asked Rosen why the Sun had not printed the comment he sent them, and had instead lied and said he did not send a comment. Rosen told him they were not going to update the article.

Kiefaber also asked Rosen to meet with him to discuss the pattern of the Sun's documented smear campaign against Kiefaber. Rosen said no and hung up the phone, according to Kiefaber.

The Sun's article also falsely states that Kiefaber was recently escorted out of The Senator Theatre. I was there. Kiefaber came out on his own. Nobody escorted him. Kiefaber also called the police himself after his argument with the new operators.

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Blogger Isy Aweigh said...

Might be fun to post a copy of the police report. Those documents aren't known for their precision, but it would clearly state who called them.

Another fun thing you can do is go to the sherrif's office and get a report on his police record. It's part of the process of emigrating to another country, so the paperwork is very straightforward (because the US doesn't make it hard to leave, just to come in.) Costs about $35. That should clear up his rep a little.

I'm horrified that he's been banned from City Hall meetings. In view of his peaceful record, that's completely nuts and unjustifiable.

July 24, 2011

Blogger Laura Serena said...

Interesting suggestions. I don't know if there is a police report, because there was never any arrest. Not sure if they bother to file them then. I do know that he verified with them that the 911 logs show that he called them (for the incident at The Senator).

July 24, 2011

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Typical dirty politics and dirty media coverage in Smaltimore.

I love Isy's idea. Any recorded accounts that can be obtained and published would be great.

July 25, 2011

Blogger Laura Serena said...

How funny. I just noticed that Sun reporter Tricia Bishop has totally rewritten the article, after I exposed her bias in this post. She's taken out her assertions that Kiefaber wouldn't comment and that he was escorted from The Senator. How telling.

Also, all of the comments on that article have been removed by the Baltimore Sun, apparently when Bishop put up her totally new version of the article.

July 30, 2011

Blogger Laura Serena said...

OK. What is up with the Sun? Now all the comments on that article are back. They were all gone last night. Maybe that's because she was still changing the article?

July 31, 2011

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm not sure what's up with The Sun. I've noticed that the comment counts have gone down on some of the articles written about TK.

Last I read, the comments that were removed were not the personal attacks on TK, but valid criticisms of Baltimore City, the Cusacks, defenses of TK, etc. It appears that some of the comments that TK made were also removed, but the "fake" TK comments were not removed. Please note: This was true the last time I read the comments. I'm not sure if the comment counts/content has changed since yesterday.

...and The Sun wonders why their subscriptions are down. I wouldn't even line a bird cage with The Sun because it's already filled with "droppings" (there's another word I'd rather use - "droppings" is more polite).

August 04, 2011


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