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Answer to Scurrilous Attack on Ron Smith by Jewish Times Writer

Completely unfounded attack claiming Ron Smith was anti-Semitic is countered by enclosed defense of Mr. Smith and criticisms of the source, The Baltimore Jewish Times, and writer, Issachar Friedmann.

Two weeks ago, to its discredit, The Baltimore Jewish Times printed a scurrilous attack on Ron Smith by one of its writers. I sent in the following response, which they published on their website.

--Richard E. Vatz

To the Editor:

As perhaps the most frequently appearing in-house guest professor on Ron Smith’s WBAL-Radio talk show over the last decade, I take exception to the canard issued by writer Issachar Friedmann regarding “the indisputable fact” that Ron was “the No. 1 media anti-Semite in the Baltimore AM dial” or that he was anti-Semitic at all.

If Ron was an anti-Semite, he hid it pretty well. I am Jewish; his favorite producer was Jewish; he had Jewish colleagues who revered him, and his guests sported many Jewish experts. I knew Ron for decades and never heard him make an anti-Jewish slur. Never.

It doesn’t matter. To accuse a recently deceased man of such a horrible label is easy to do through age-old logical fallacies.

Guilt by association: Ron liked the political positions of Joseph Sobran; ergo, he must be an anti-Semite? He liked Pat Buchanan. I was with Pat on Crossfire and his radio show – am I an anti-Semite?

Argumentum ad populum: “Ron Smith was widely viewed as racist by the local African-American community.“ Well that certainly is dispositive. Where is the evidence for that claim? How could C-4 and Gregory Kane never see that side of Ron?

Non Sequitur: Friedmann says Ron was “not much taller” than Michael Bloomberg, yet called him the “Little Mayor,” allegedly proving Smith’s anti-Semitism. Where to begin with that one? Ron was about 5 inches taller than Bloomberg, and if making remarks disparaging height were evidence of anti-Semitism, we would have to adjust the estimate of anti-Semitism up about one thousand notches.

It is hard to say whether Friedmann’s ugly column alleging Ron Smith’s anti-Semitism is more illogical or cowardly, waiting, as the author did, until after Ron’s death to print it.

Friedmann’s poorly researched calumny will not stain the preeminent talk show host Ron Smith’s memory among sophisticated people, only among gutless and desperate rumor-mongers.


Richard E. Vatz, Ph.D.
Towson Distinguished Professor

Red Maryland

The Premier blog of conservative and Republican politics and ideas in the Free State, named one of Maryland's best political blogs by the Washington Post.



This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Meir Kagan July 28, 2012 at 01:51 PM
Continuation I do not recall either Sen. Mikulski or Sen Paul Sarbanes ever appearing as a guest on Smith’s program. In contrast, Sen. Ben Cardin, who is Jewish, frequently did. Yet Smith made a point of introducing him as Maryland’s “junior”Senator, while he never referred to Sen. Mikulski as such while she was in that status." END Friedmann TEXT. Further, even if Smith’s dealings with other WBAL employees or other individuals who claim to be Jewish were cordial, that is quite irrelevant to Friedmann's argument. Any Jew the least bit conversant with the history of anti-Semitism in America (with apparently excludes Professor Vatz! ) knows that Henry Ford was the most notorious anti-Semite of the early part of the 20th century, evidenced by his widespread dissemination of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. The Ford Motor Company employed numerous Jews. Yet none of them were discriminated against or treated any differently than the company’s non-Jewish employees, despite Henry Ford's well-publicized bias.
Shmuel B. May 11, 2013 at 03:02 PM
Lest we forget: for Ron Smith, trivialization of the Holocaust was, at best, a trivial matter. Case in point: Ann Coulter was a welcome - and as much as her busy schedule allowed- a frequent phone-in guest on Smith’s radio program. On Smith's January 14 2009 show, she took umbrage with liberals’ criticism of her attack upon single mothers in her most recent book – criticism which she characterized as a “Second Kristallnacht.” Even for her- who once famously declared that all Jews need to be 'perfected' by converting to Christianity- such a Holocaust reference is despicable and wholly inappropriate. Not surprisingly, she also then went out of her way to assail Holocaust survivor George Soros as a Nazi collaborator. Whereas an upstanding and principled conservative such as David Brooks, Michael Gerson or George Will would have been outraged by such talk, not only did Ron Smith not challenge Coulter’s malice or take issue with her ridiculous assertions, he ate it up. Precisely the caliber of behavior that one would expect from a devoted acolyte of arch anti-Semite Joseph Sobran! And the Coulter incident was typical.
Shmuel B. May 11, 2013 at 03:07 PM
Prof. Vatz contends that "Friedmann’s poorly researched calumny will not stain the preeminent talk show host Ron Smith’s memory among sophisticated people, only among gutless and desperate rumor-mongers." As the full-letter (above) demonstrates, Friedmann's piece was meticulously researched; and Vatz's defense of Pat Buchanan et al. has earned him the opprobrium of the Baltimore Jewish community. No wonder his nickname on (the Towson) campus is "Prof. Snickerdoodle" !
Steve May 11, 2013 at 03:44 PM
Vatz was also a former advisor to the White Student Union. Enough said.
N.O. Marans May 11, 2013 at 04:26 PM
Good point, Steve! Further: Vatz claims to be Jewish. He is as authentically Jewish as skinhead Daniel Burros and al-Qaida spokesman Adam Gadahn (Pearlman)!


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