(Story reported by Tim Smith for the Clef Notes column in the Baltimore Sun)
Given Beck's cavalier treatment of Baltimore's reality, I wonder how much credence should be given to his rant against other cities:
It's like the damn planet of the apes. Nothing makes sense! ... The cops have to go, yet in Oakland [Calif.] they keep $7 million in costs for museums. You will lose the art in the riots anyway ... Newark has $39,608,662 set aside for Neighborhood and Recreational Services ... I think we can cut back on all the good times in Newark before slashing the cops. Philadelphia can save a couple cops right off the bat by cutting the $1 million set aside for mural arts — they already do that for free: It's called graffiti — or the $32 million for 'free libraries' — now, I love to read as much as the next guy, but you can't read when blood is pouring down your face.
Maybe if Beck spent more serious time in libraries, he'd get his facts straight and, maybe, notice what an essential role they play in the a city's life. Maybe -- this is too much to hope for, I know -- he'll find time to visit a museum or an opera house or a concert hall and come to see how important they are, too. (Mocking people who cherish the arts is one of the oldest, not to mention stupidest and snottiest, tricks in the demagogic business.)
(click here to read the full story on the Baltimore Sun website)