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Mark Uncapher

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Mark Uncapher, is serving as President of the Montgomery County Republican Club. Mark is a long-time party activist who previously served as the Chairman of the Montgomery County Republican Central Committee.

Baltimore Brew Scoops Sun on Mayor Brandon Scott\’s “Baby Shower” Registry

Baltimore Sun is Missing in Action With Ethics Coverage

Over the Christmas holiday, veteran Baltimore reporter Mark Reutter broke the story in the Baltimore Brew that:

“Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott and his fiancée, Hana Pugh, have set up an online baby registry, requesting more than 400 items – among them cash and gift cards – from the public on behalf of their newborn son. The list of items at Babylist for Charm Jamie Scott, who was born last night, includes $50 gift cards from Amazon and Target as well as $50 cash gifts. The couple says it “needs” 50 Target cards and 49 Amazon cards, which would total $4,950 at $50 each. Cash from donors “will go towards Charm’s savings account,” the registry says, while an additional 25 $50 Uber Eats and 25 $50 Door Dash delivery cards are sought “for the parents” totaling $2,500. The couple says the cash contributions and gift cards can be sent to Pugh’s private email address.“[i]

Days after the Brew’s story broke, it reported that Mayor Brandon Scott’s baby shower registry had been switched to a private setting.[ii]  It further followed up that “The action came after the chair of the city Ethics Board and Baltimore’s inspector general said the mayor never requested a gift solicitation waiver to conduct online fundraising.  This rebutted an earlier written statement to the Brew, in which the mayor’s office had defended the baby registry as “private” and “only for friends and family” and further stated that “the Ethics Board has been consulted repeatedly in regard to this registry” and “the Board have found no issue.”

In refuting the Mayor’s “waiver” claim, the Brew reported that “the chair of the Ethics Board said the panel was not informed of the baby registry and had neither received nor approved a waiver request for Scott.  “The Board of Ethics has no record of receiving a gift solicitation waiver request for a baby registry,” Stephan W. Fogleman said in a written statement.[iii]

In short, the Brew’s Senior Editor, Mark Reutter, produced a story characterizing great political coverage.

However, for the Baltimore Sun’s few remaining subscribers depending on that paper for local news, no word anywhere can be found about Mayor Scott\’s “baby registry” or its ethics considerations.

A reader digging further can find more about the difference in the Brew’s and the Sun’s City Hall coverage.

The Brew’s byline is from Mark Reutter.  His Brew bio reflects his deep background as a Baltimore journalist.  “He has been reporting and writing on Baltimore since 1970 when he started as a 19-year-old summer intern covering cops for The Evening Sun. He worked on a wide range of beats for the Sunpapers, including inner-city housing and downtown development, and exposed (with colleague Steve Luxenberg) the corrupt practices of the Pallottine Fathers, a local Catholic order. In the 1980s, he undertook an intensive study of blue-collar life and the business history of Baltimore’s then-largest employer, Bethlehem Steel, resulting in the classic “Making Steel.” [iv]

This book is Making Steel: Sparrows Point and the Rise and Ruin of American Industrial Might.  According to Amazon’s blurb, his book “chronicles the rise and fall of American steel by focusing on the fateful decisions made at the world\’s once largest steel mill at Sparrows Point, Maryland. Mark Reutter examines workers\’ business, production, and daily lives as corporate leaders became more interested in their own security and enrichment than in employees, communities, or innovative technology. \”[v]

In short, the Brew’s Reutter is a reporter deeply familiar with Baltimore.

In contrast, the Sun’s Baby Charm coverage is from its “Politics Reporter,” Emily Oplilo.  She joined the paper in 2020 when she also first began covering the city.[vi]  Nothing in her coverage includes the baby registry.  In contrast, television outlets such as FOX 45 picked up the baby registry story while crediting the Brew. [vii] Instead, radio silence at the Sun, with not so much as even an “As first reported in the Brew….”

Today’s Baltimore Sun all too often fails at the basic blocking and tackling of local news coverage.

[i]

https://www.baltimorebrew.com/2023/12/27/exclusive-scott-and-his-fiancee-are-soliciting-gift-cards-cash-and-supplies-online-for-their-newborn/

[ii] EXCLUSIVE: Scott and his fiancee are soliciting gift cards, cash and supplies online for their newborn | Baltimore Brew; https://www.baltimorebrew.com/2023/12/27/exclusive-scott-and-his-fiancee-are-soliciting-gift-cards-cash-and-supplies-online-for-their-newborn/

[iii]

https://www.baltimorebrew.com/2023/12/29/scott-makes-his-baby-registry-private-while-ethics-officials-say-the-mayor-never-sought-a-gift-solicitation-waiver/

[iv] https://www.baltimorebrew.com/contributors/markreutter

[v]

https://www.amazon.com/Making-Steel-Sparrows-American-Industrial/dp/0252072332

[vi] https://www.baltimoresun.com/author/emily-opilo/

[vii]

https://foxbaltimore.com/news/local/baltimore-brews-publishing-of-mayor-scotts-baby-registry-sparks-debate-on-social-media

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