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Update: Maryland Bloggers Respond To Mayor's Attack

Bloggasm interviewed bloggers from Salisbury who heard Mayor Barrie Parsons Tilghman say this:c

"While we face the same challenges that other cities and towns are facing, our biggest challenge by far is a small element within the city that consistently seeks to find ’smoking guns’ and conspiracies within the ranks of the city workforce. Daily, I run into citizens who are wary of the constant ‘gotcha’ mentality on the part of a few citizens and City Council members. Citizens fear standing up and serving because it is simply not worth the vilification they chance at the hands of blogs and with threatening phone calls...

This is not about differences of opinion and policy questions. This is quite simply mean-spirited ugly constant intimidation. Combined with the lies and innuendo of several bloggers this city is under siege."

Joe Albero of the Salisbury News told Bloggasm:

"To try to reach out to the public, and blame Salisbury News for the blight, for the graffiti, for the lack of business, for the real estate market taking a dive. It’s just absolutely crazy, if anything; unfortunately for her, we’re here to expose all the things that she had 12 years to cover up...

The press said directly to her, ‘do the blogs have anything with your decision not to run again?’ She said absolutely not. Then she does her State of the City address and blames everything on the blogs. It’s just incredible."

What are blogs? They are the voices of the smallest people trying to affect their government and society. I say "trying" because most blogs go ignored. It is still a bully pulpit, however. Hundreds of angry blogs are more effective than hundreds of angry people sitting at home at a computer desk. Kenneth Burns of Maryland Politics Today told Bloggasm:

"If she had pulled this in either DC or Baltimore, she would have been laughed out of the room... The only reason she’s going to get away with it is because Salisbury’s a much smaller market where they only have one newspaper, a couple television stations down there, and a couple of talk radio stations...

There was a press conference — I believe in early 2007 — where she said these blogs are mean spirited, they’re evil, and they don’t put the city in a positive light. But really they didn’t put her in a positive light because there are not too many people who approve of the job that she’s doing.”

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