- The Washington Times - Monday, March 10, 2003

Big-time journalist and political pundit John McLaughlin attacked D.C. Mayor Anthony A. Williams and his administration last week and found out that Mr. Williams has a "pit bull" in communications director Tony Bullock.
That's according to Matthew Faraci, the producer for the "McLaughlin One on One" show, who Mr. Bullock called Mr. McLaughlin's "chief twit." In Mr. McLaughlin's March 2 piece, he asserted that Mr. Williams' administration is so corrupt and unproductive that Congress may need to step in and provide more oversight of the District.
The city's defenders, with Mr. Bullock at the head during Kojo Nnamdi's "D.C. Politics Hour" on WAMU-FM (88.5) on Friday, said Mr. McLaughlin ran his piece out of personal spite because the city didn't respond to repeated calls by Mr. Faraci that they plow Mr. McLaughlin's street in the expensive Massachusetts Avenue Heights neighborhood.
Mr. Bullock, who claimed he has been a regular viewer of the "The McLaughlin Group" for 20 years and usually enjoys it, told The Washington Times: "The whole episode is an abuse of power by John McLaughlin. What he did last weekend was despicable and it was beneath him."
But Mr. Faraci told The Times that Mr. Bullock and his bullies were distracting from Mr. McLaughlin's legitimate scrutiny of Mr. Williams' administration and its deficiencies.
"That program wasn't really about the snow. The mayor just made it about that to distract from the real issue. Williams has done well in terms of the budget, but in terms of the managerial side, he hasn't done so well. He hasn't gotten rid of the Marion Barry holdovers," Mr. Faraci said.
"At first, people in D.C. gave Williams a lot of leeway because he wasn't Marion Barry and that's all he needed to be," Mr. Faraci said. "But now people are starting to look and say, 'Hey, you're not doing anything either.'
"Williams hasn't gone into the second, third and fourth tiers of the people who run the government. He hasn't changed any of those people and those are all Marion Barry people," Mr. Faraci said. "He has everybody believing we're living in an age of District renewal, but the truth is it's the same old story."
Mr. Bullock was ballistic.
"Maybe McLaughlin ought to move to Maryland if he has such trouble with the way the city is run. John McLaughlin has never spent an hour studying how this city runs or operates. He knows nothing about the issues facing the mayor and the District government," Mr. Bullock said.
"His issue is that he was mad because he couldn't get preferential treatment to have his street plowed. At the time he called, we were engaging in emergency transports for dialysis patients, and he was told he would have to wait. Apparently he doesn't like to be told to wait, and that's what all this is about.
"When we're on the verge of war in Iraq, with huge issues facing this nation, you would think he'd have something else to talk about. He ought to confine himself to matters he knows about," Mr. Bullock finished.
Mr. Faraci told Mr. Nnamdi he was shocked at the behavior of Mr. Williams' "pit bull."
"I've always thought of Mayor Williams as a very soft-spoken gentleman, and every time I've seen him on TV I've been impressed with him. To see this split personality of Tony Bullock, I was surprised that Mayor Williams would have a communications director like that," Mr. Faraci said.
According to Mr. Faraci, Mr. Bullock said in a private phone call that Dorothy Brizill, a political activist who is one of Mr. Williams' most outspoken critics and was on Mr. McLaughlin's show, was a "wacko." Mr. Bullock denied any recollection of the comment. As for his name-calling, he told Mr. Nnamdi that he was going to repent.
"I do owe him an apology for that. That was not appropriate for me to do that, but it was in the heat of the moment. We were very angry, and justifiably so, at the assault on this District government, on its citizens, and on the mayor personally by John McLaughlin, who frankly was, in my estimation, out of control."

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