My Segments on Stossel

Saturday, June 19th, 2010

Here’s the segment Berwyn Heights Mayor Cheye Calvo and I did for Stossel’s show this week:

And here’s an audience question-and-answer session Calvo, the Wall Street Journal’s Mary Anastasia O’Grady, and I did for an extended web version of the show:

Digg it |  reddit | |  Fark

27 Responses to “My Segments on Stossel”

  1. #1 |  Bob | 

    Dude! Smokin’!

    You got about 3/4 of the way through that with only one “”, then your resolve started to crack, apparently… and you let some slip in near the end.

    It may seem trivial of me to harp on this, but it’s not. Certainly, I already totally agree with your message, so you’re preaching to the choir in that regard. All I can do is point out technical errors in your delivery.

    And this is a big one. Sure, I’d like to think that trivial crap like how someone looks on camera shouldn’t be important, but it is. I don’t make up these rules.

    You looked great, your message and Calvo’s message was… devastating.

    Keep up the good work!

  2. #2 |  Helmut O' Hooligan | 

    Great job by Radley, Mayor Calvo and Ms. O’ Grady. I love to see this stuff on network television! I suspect that some regular viewers of FOX may have done a spit take or two during this segment. Keep up the good work, Radley.

  3. #3 |  Lucy | 

    My mom and I watched this and wanted a little more outrage. Calvo, having gone through that (and I know he’s sponsored good anti-SWAT legislation) seemed pretty waffley, somehow.

  4. #4 |  Adam Thierer | 

    Terrific job, Radley. This para-military war against civilians has got to end. And, if it doesn’t, I agree with your idea of requiring all such raids to be taped so that the public can judge for themselves if such tactics are warranted and courts / legislators can start holding them accountable.

    Are you aware of any legislation pending anywhere that would require such a thing?

  5. #5 |  Windypundit | 

    Dude, you are definitely looking more relaxed in front of the camera.

  6. #6 |  Mark | 

    Great job. Great in front of the camera.

  7. #7 |  Marty | 

    Mayor Calvo’s obviously put some thought into where he stands and I suspect his position is evolving. I thought he did a good job explaining why he thought this was such a complex issue.

    Mary O’Grady almost stole the show- making fun of Bloomberg, ‘unintended consequences’, etc.

    You all looked very relaxed and I thought you did superb job, Radley!

  8. #8 |  Chris | 

    Good segment Radley.

  9. #9 |  BSK | 


    I have a more general question about these situations. A lot of the conversation I’ve seen around the Columbia incident and even some of Stossel’s questions for Mr. Calvo have revolved around WHO the victims were, largely in terms of race and class. People often talk about the Columbia incident happening in the suburbs. Stossel emphasized the fact that Calvo was a mayor. What I fear is that the implication of this thinking seems to be if these were poor people, or brown people, or people without political connections, or people living in a rundown apartment, there wouldn’t be quite the outrage. I mean, I think part of the reason the Missouri video went viral was that it seemed such an odd juxtaposition to see a SWAT team in the suburbs but probably not so much if it was in the inner city. In reality, this is excessive no matter where the locale, absent hard evidence that a given situation poses the requisite danger to require such force.

    Now, I haven’t seen you specifically harp on these points, but you are obviously at the forefront of this conversation, so I’m curious to hear your thoughts.

    So, my question is, to what extent does race and/or class and other issues factor in to our responses? In reading your work, I see you’ve remained fairly consistent in a variety of cases regardless of these things but, frankly, that is not the norm. For every Columbia incident, how often do these things happen in the ghetto and not go viral? And, in thinking about your role at the forefront of this effort, what do you think is the best way to demonstrate the fact that these techniques are NEVER appropriate and not just when they happen to nice people in the ‘burbs?


  10. #10 |  Cyto | 

    BSK – the emphasis on the mayor et. al. is that they are obviously victims of an out-of-control drug war. The mayor’s status as “obviously and easily identifiable as innocent” underscores the nature of the beast we have unleashed.

    The outrage here is for all victims of the illegal and illegitimate war against drugs – but you really cannot underscore that point by holding up a tenement housing crack addict and his sometimes prostitute common-law wife whose rights were violated in an illegal search. You need something that isn’t even an edge case. The raid on the mayor’s house is such a case – it is indefensible from every angle. The fact that the county narcotics machine continues to defend it simply serves to highlight just how dystopian our times are.

    I suggest you read through the archives of Radley’s work for more ghetto-centric examples. Heck, he won some major hardware for his reporting on justice in Mississippi – several cases involving black defendants are featured and closely followed by the readers here. These articles would be a great place to start – just be sure to lock yourself in a safe room without anything breakable nearby. You’ll definitely want to throw stuff and break things before you get halfway through. There is a reason Radley has a reputation for gut-punch journalism.

  11. #11 |  Michael not Mann | 

    When Bill O’Reilly covered this raid with Charles Krauthammer, they referred to this raid as “botched”. Maybe you can get Stossel to send a copy of the show to O’Reilly.

  12. #12 |  BSK | 


    Thanks for discussing, but I think you missed my point.

    First, I acknowledged that I recognize Radley is not specifically to blame for the problems I see, since his work does seem to cut across racial and class lines. I’m sure there is lots of his work I’m not even aware of, but I do realize that this issue is not really with him. I just approached him about it because he is one of the experts in this field, so to speak.

    As to your comment that mayor is “obvious” implies that non-mayors are not-so-obvious. You are attaching special status to him… maybe because he’s white, maybe because he’s the mayor, maybe because he’s from a nice suburb. There is nothing wrong with any of those things being true, but there IS something wrong if we say someone like THAT is obviously the victim of an out-of-control drug war but people who lack those characterstics… well… MAYBE they aren’t really victims of it all. Maybe they had it coming.

    I’m not saying you necessarily hold this belief, but it is the inevitable conclusion of this type of thinking.

    If we say, “How could they do this?!?! He was the mayor!” or “How could they do this?!?! They live in a house in the suburbs!” (both things I’ve seen written in these very comment sections) then our outrage is not at the actions themselves but the status of the victims. We should be saying, “How could they do this?!?! These are innocent men and women!” Their race, class, living situation, employment status, profession should not matter. All that should matter is guilt or innocence AND the appropriateness of the response to any real guilt that does exist.

    What is the difference between the “tenement housing crack addict and his sometimes prostitute common-law wife” and the guy in Columbia with the wife and kids and dogs in the nice house in the ‘burbs who DID in fact have drugs on him (not what the drugs believed, but he was still ‘guilty’ of something). To me, both situations are the same. Minor, non-violent offender. To say one is an edge case and one is not is to play into these perceptions. Both had their rights violated EQUALLY and both situations should be seen as the same. There is no fundamental difference between the two, only in how we perceive them. We, as a society, are more okay with the rights of the already-marginalized being stomped on than the privileged. This is for a whole host of reasons and I seek not to blame anyone. Instead, I ask that people who truly claim to be about liberty and the protection of rights, extend these efforts to EVERYONE, not just the people who look like you or whose situations remind you of your own. Don’t only get upset when it’s the mayor’s house… get upset when the guy sleeping on the street gets hassled for no good reason. He is in need of just as much protection, if not more. To pretend or believe otherwise is to ultimately undermine the cause for rights and freedoms.

  13. #13 |  Sean L. | 

    It was a great segment. My observation was about the one pro-drug war person who sat on the panel. He completely ducked the costitutionality question, but it has become completely clear why these people hold on to their views In the face of overwhelming evdence of it’s complete failure; It is a religious view, pure and simple.

  14. #14 |  Marty | 


    I’ve seen several posts where it’s been pointed out that the cops ‘are coming after us, now…’ or something similar. The whole drug war is based on racial discrimination- crack cocaine has more severe penalties than cocaine, marijuana was initially considered a Mexican drug, etc…

    People who weren’t black and poor seemed to dismiss complaints of brutality and abuse in the ghetto as ‘look at what the cops have to deal with’ kind of thing. As pointed out in this video, we all have to deal with this now.

    The lesson from James Madison: ‘…on a candid examination of history, we shall find that turbulence, violence, and abuse of power, by the majority trampling on the rights of the minority, have produced factions and commotions, which, in republics, have, more frequently than any other cause, produced despotism. If we go over the whole history of ancient and modern republics, we shall find their destruction to have generally resulted from those causes.’

  15. #15 |  PeeDub | 

    Radley, the drug warrior dodged the question about whether or not he’d reenact alcohol prohibition by saying something like, “well, we’ve already closed that door.” Did you get the impression that he was trying not to say, “yes?” That he really *would* be in favor of alcohol prohibition??

  16. #16 |  Dan | 

    Excellent program. What I find very encouraging is the number of younger college age kids involved in the liberty movement. These times are a golden opportunity for the libertarian and constitutionalist movements to build a foundation for future generations to build on after the collapse of our fascist governemnt/corporate system. What Ron Paul & others are doing is giving people the tools to revive the elemental concepts of liberty; this is vital since the educational system no longer emphasizes the Constitution and other foundational documents, and this has been a breath of fresh air to college age kids since they’ve not really been exposed to this material in the public schools. More and more people in my area are becoming aware of these issues and fewer people are being fooled; and this is a very good thing.

  17. #17 |  JS | 

    Dan “Excellent program. What I find very encouraging is the number of younger college age kids involved in the liberty movement. These times are a golden opportunity for the libertarian and constitutionalist movements to build a foundation for future generations to build on after the collapse of our fascist governemnt/corporate system.”

    Man I wish I had your optimism. I sincerely hope you’re right and I’m wrong because I see no chance of ever winning the battle against tryanny in America.

  18. #18 |  TC | 

    First off, thanks for all your contining efforts to make us all safer, and it’s too bad the reference is safer from our own police….

    Bill O and Especially Hannity need their asses kicked. Intolerant wipes that they both come off as.

    I I’m so happy to see and hear Sotssel as wel as the judge speak about how our govt has intruded and continues to intrude upon our lives. With in reality isno mandate from the people. Or actual authority that backs up their claims either.

    Good job.

  19. #19 |  Dan | 

    JS, I think in the short term you are correct. Any chance of rebuilding a system with meaningful liberty in it can only be estab. after the present system has been reduced to rubble. And, of course it’s not a sure thing; most likely it will be a fight to the death. What I see as hopeful signs are the number of people in my rural area who are not beeing fooled anymore. And many of them are younger people. People who used to take Fox or CNN as gospel truth no longer do. And Ron Paul’s books are pretty common around here as well. The teaching that Paul has done has educated alot of folks on these issues and that has been a great thing.
    With the gov’t destroying the economy and 25% unemployment I don’t see how things can continue as they are now all that long. It won’t be pretty, but I think the Liberty movement gives people the concepts and tools to rebuild something from the ashes. I don’t know if that will happen. but at least some people are trying.

  20. #20 |  Jay | 

    I forget his name, but the cop who was arguing that the drug war was winning seemed confused. It was as if he remembered what he was saying was supposed to make sense, but as he was saying it, it didn’t.

  21. #21 |  auggie | 

    Yeah Jay,
    I think that cop was regretting coming on the show w/out backup. I think most prohibs would attack the other panelists morals when they start losing the argument. example; Do you want murdering crackheads roaming our neighborhoods? or Why not legalize murder and rape?
    I’m glad we didn’t hear those. Maybe that’s why Stossel couldn’t get anyone else because they finally realize how stupid they sound and the public is starting to see that the emperor wears no clothes.

  22. #22 |  Terence | 

    Does anyone know how many cops have in fact been killed in raids on suspected drug houses (seems like a phony excuse to me)? There must have been lots and lots of them, given the number of raids. Maybe hundreds of cops have died in drug house raids. Why else would they always storm in with guns blazing?

  23. #23 |  Boyd Durkin | 

    There is no harder nut to crack than the corrupt police union. Those bastards are aweful human beings. Keep up with the cracking.

    Not only does this emperor have no clothes, auggie, but we can see he isn’t even human.

  24. #24 |  Yizmo Gizmo | 

    Good job but bad news on the horizon. Maryland is indicting
    Chalvo and Balko for felony wiretapping for talking about this
    embarrassing incident.

  25. #25 |  Kristen | 

    BSK, it’s about marketing & demographics. Marketing & demographics is all about generalization, which pretty much goes against the libertarian mindset, but there you have it.

    In order to make headway in ending the war on drugs, you have to demonstrate to politically engaged people (white male tea partiers, for example) how the war affects them directly. You need to show concretely and without question that this stuff could happen to them.

    Yes, poor minorities in urban areas are subject to these raids much, much more often than people like Calvo, but it’s the Calvos of the world that are going to help get some action on this issue.

    Sad but true.

  26. #26 |  BSK | 


    Interesting perspective. And I share your final thought, that this is a sad but true reality. However, I would hope that within circles that ARE aware of these issues, such as these, we can make sure we are not playing into this. Again, I’m not seeking to fault anyone. Just asking for proportional attention be paid to all victims. And they don’t all need blog posts or publicity. But they do need our support and advocacy.

  27. #27 |  markm | 

    Outrage against mistreated blacks/poor people is never going to get as far politically as the realization that it could happen to your own family. And if it can happen to the Mayor, it can happen to anyone. Even to those who live in nice, pigmentation-challenged neighborhoods and “never do drugs”. (A claim that deserves it’s own post, but I’m too busy.)

    Likewise, I doubt the anti-Vietnam War movement would have been even 1/10 as popular if Johnson hadn’t been drafting middle-class white kids as AK-47 fodder. People on the other side of the world getting napalmed? Gee, that’s terrible, pass the butter please. Your own a** in danger, that gets your attention.