Former Maryland Governor and current Democrat presidential candidate Martin O’Malley is thought of as a mild-mannered man with a calm demeanor. While that is generally the case when he gives a speech or and interview, he is not always giving a speech or an interview.
O’Malley, also a former Mayor of Baltimore, can have a temper.
In October of 2002, that temper got the better of him.
In addition to writing for The Daily Caller, I host a talk radio show on WBAL in Baltimore weekdays from noon until 3:00. When I was first hired I’d heard the story of then-Mayor O’Malley threatening to “kick the ass” of a host on air, but I’d never heard the audio. Assuming it had been lost to time, I never thought I would. I was wrong.
Back in 2002, awoman named Angela Dawson and her five children had been murdered in a firebombing of their home and a 21-year-old with a long rap sheet of assault and drug charges stood accused. Needless to say, these murders were a topic of conversation on the radio at the time.
The hosts, Rob Douglas and Chip Franklin, were very critical of O’Malley’s leadership of the city, particularly on the issue of crime. O’Malley, leaving an event downtown, heard the criticism and instructed his driver to take him to the station. He spent an unscheduled half hour on the air arguing with the hosts and callers, trading insults and defending his government and the police.
The Baltimore Sun reported on what transpired next:
But the mayor’s anger also erupted when a caller to the show suggested that O’Malley was absent while drug dealers had seized control of the city. The show’s co-host, Douglas, relentlessly needled the mayor, criticizing police Commissioner Edward T. Norris and implying that O’Malley was a “nitwit” who had been hiding from the public.
“If Baltimore residents are going to keep electing the same nitwits year in and year out, they get what they deserve,” Douglas said.
O’Malley fired back: “I think you do the body politic a grave disservice when you blame these heinous acts on the so-called nitwit politicians.”
Douglas tried to compliment the mayor, saying that O’Malley’s shaking hands and teary eyes “shows the passion you have for the city.”
O’Malley didn’t take it well. “On that note, that probably is a good way to exit,” he said. “And gentlemen, if you enjoyed that, come outside after the show, and I’ll kick your ass.”
No fight ever happened, no asses were kicked. As the story goes, after inviting the hosts outside for a row, the mayor immediately left the studio building, hopped into his car and his driver pulled away.