Ken Cummins’ attack on Mark Plotkin (Loose Lips, 11/6) was as bizarre as it was unfair, and it was plenty of both.
Did Cummins just wake up and realize Mark wears his passions on his sleeve? There’s a news flash. Big deal.
Then there’s the contradictory logic that goes: Plotkin is such a wealthy white snob he “has no connection with the daily experience of most city residents,” yet he constantly asks candidates for office where they stand on rent control. I wonder why LL didn’t come right out and accuse Mark of using The D.C. Politics Hour to keep his rent down. Maybe the column “lacks the freshness and spontaneity” that made it “such a welcome staple early in this decade.”
Most outrageous of all is the hooey that D.C. residents would rather have potholes filled than democracy. For starters, we want both. I, for one, don’t care about potholes nearly as much as I want the residents of my city to have the same rights as other Americans. Second, if people think representation in Congress and true home rule are frills we have to earn through “good behavior,” then I’m grateful Plotkin is trying to advance more important values. My prediction is history will give him credit the Cumminses of today would deny him.
Is Plotkin perfect? Not on your life. He interrupts constantly, he dominates, and he slurps his food. But his focus is on the right things. He cares about the city, and he wants it to succeed. His show manages to entertain and inform (and often makes news). And he’s created a public persona for himself through his personality and the strength of his ideas.
While the radio show can be a
little much sometimes, the secret to
it (and what makes it bearable) is
that Mark and Derek (now Mark and Kojo) both understand how ridiculous the “esteemed commentator” can
be. Only Ken Cummins misses the joke, apparently.
Mark may have been wounded by the harshness of your attack, but I’m not expecting him to go away, or change. For while Loose Lips may sink ships, they ain’t sinking Plotkin.
P.S. Calling my friend Tom Sherwood an “elitist” from the “white enclave of Ward 3” is false to the point of absurdity. Spend a little time with him, in any part of this city, and you’ll find a person of integrity and trust who relates to people easily and genuinely, without regard to race or class.
DISCLOSURE: I have been an (unpaid) analyst on the WAMU Maryland Politics Hour for roughly seven years. This year, Mark and I appeared together on the News Channel 8/WAMU Radio election night simulcasts. Occasionally, we meet for dinner. Sometimes I pay. Sometimes he pays. He slurps regardless.