The prolonged battle between Aberdeen City Councilman Mike Hiob and local newspaper The Record continued this week with the politician getting in the latest jab – a list of the top “uses” for the newspaper he read during Monday night’s city council meeting, which include wrapping fish, washing windows and checking to see how many headlines were ripped from The Dagger.
This war of attrition has been going on nearly since Hiob took office in November 2003 and was likely fueled by Hiob’s dislike for what he has called “sensational headlines” and “wrong information” in the paper and the newspaper’s dislike of Hiob’s propensity for verbose, minute and typically unwarranted/unjustified criticism – or nitpicking.
Hiob, 49, is known among his supporters and detractors alike as “Hollywood,” most likely due to his moonlighting as a frontman, lead singer, guitar player and harmonicist for several local bar bands. He is a former city council president who has never lost an election in his three successful bids for office in Aberdeen, but has been labeled a whiner, a stooge and worse by the local newspaper.
The Record, 141, is a weekly newspaper “serving Havre de Grace, Aberdeen Perryville and Port Deposit since 1868.” It has survived floods, fires, tough political and financial climates and, in the interest of full disclosure, has employed no fewer than nine (9) current members of The Dagger.
The battle, small town politician vs. small town newspaper, raged in recent weeks when Hiob criticized the periodical during a public meeting for screwing up an editorial or something like that. That Friday, Hiob saw his comments and statements turned into a headline in that week’s The Record. A week later, Hiob was fodder for the paper’s editorial cartoon. Monday night, Hiob fired back with the following, a copy of which was provided to The Dagger:
Aberdeen City Councilman Mike Hiob’s Top 12 uses for “The Record”:
12.) Starting recreational campfires to roast marshmallows at “family outings”.
11.) A classic method of wrapping “fresh fish” for transportation between the market and home.
10.) Constructs papier mache’ projects at home with “the kiddies”!
9.) Relieves daily stress by using it as a “word search”, circling many grammatical and spelling errors.
8.) Washing dirty windows the “old fashioned” way.
7.) To support Aberdeen’s recycling program, places it directly into the curbside recycling bin, where the City receives $30.oo per ton! (1.5 cents per pound)
6.) When shipping “items of value” through a freight company, crumples it up and uses it as packing material.
5.) Protects flooring from “splatter” during weekend painting projects.
4.) Keeps a running tab on “The Record” reporter and editor “retention” and compares it to Aberdeen Mayor & Council Members post election “retention”.
3.) Enjoys hearing that local “reporters” spend countless hours on “The Dagger” blog searching for “their” next headline.
2.) Rolls it up and uses it to “swat flies”.
1.) Marvels at editorial cartoons depicting the “best uses” of their newspaper by an Aberdeen City Councilman.
Small-time feud or necessary evil, is it important for local politicians and local media to clash? Is it in the best interest of the community for the paper or the elected official to keep up the fight? Any bets on who might win this war? Is it worth tuning in to see the newpaper’s certain rebuttal?