Your story “The New Prohibition” (4/18) would better have been called “The New Yellow Journalism.” Your writer, Jason Cherkis, maligned, misquoted, and misrepresented every aspect of an important story. This is to be expected, since your ace reporter is a little boy who lives with his parents in Rockville. With a little twisting of the truth he was able to tell a tale of homophobic, ball-busting MPD dicks, an ABC Board on bar owners’ payroll (or at the least, on their speed dial), and bar owners tipped off to the inner workings of all investigations.
To make his point (and probably prove to anyone who knows his sources just how far out in Rockville this little boy lives), he quotes a “community activist,” Robert Pittman. Pittman, as Washington City Paper told the story, is a former advisory neighborhood commissioner who discredited himself by refusing to surrender his ANC office keys to incoming commissioners after his term had expired. The police were called in to mediate the dispute. Not exactly a “Deep Throat” for young Woodward.
As for Pittman’s allegations that the ABC Board tips me off prior to any actions, nothing could be further from the truth (as evidenced by a $3,000 fine for loud music, closure for a week, a $500 fine for not having prior approval for the name “Madam’s Organ,” and other fines for minor violations to the tune of $6,000 over two years).
You the editors should take the extra five minutes to check your reporters’ sources and credibility. Cherkis certainly did not: He placed a call to me with some “follow-up” questions, but when I returned the call his mom said he had gone to bed. (I hope she made him brush his teeth and wash his pee-pee!)
As for Pittman’s fear of feeling “raped,” he needn’t worryhis head is so far up his ass that nothing else will fit.