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I would like to be a hometown booster and say Pugh really gave it to one of the nastier right-wing commentators on American TV. But the truth is the mayor desperately needs better media advice. It was not a good look for the mayor or Baltimore. (Ulysses Muñoz / Baltimore Sun video)

It was clear from David Zurawik’s harsh critique of Mayor Catherine Pugh’s appearance on Laura Ingraham’s “Ingraham Angle” show who he believed delivered the winning performance. Regrettably, Mr. Zurawik — a self-described “hometown booster” — gave the award to Ms. Ingraham, despite our mayor’s fierce contention that the young people of our city deserve to have their voices heard on the urgent issue of sensible gun reform legislation (“Baltimore Mayor Pugh gets into an on-air spat with Laura Ingraham — and it wasn’t pretty,” March 8). Surely, Mayor Pugh deserves some credit for going head-to-head with Ms. Ingraham, whose approach is to conflate issues, confuse and belittle her subjects with gunfire-speed accusations and distortions. Our mayor held her own and did not back down in defending her support for the young people whose time has come to make a difference. Eager to get Ms. Pugh to commit to corralling buses for the annual pro-life march in Washington, Ms. Ingraham saw no irony in assailing her for calling for an end to the utter lunacy of easy access to assault weapons (like the one used to massacre 14 Florida high-schoolers and three adults) by those not old enough to buy a beer.

This is the sorry state of our current reality that a mayor who is working hard to change the conditions that have created the perception of Baltimore as a city only of danger and violence should be assailed for challenging a demagogue whose aim was to perpetuate the very worst notions of our city. Indeed, we could use some more “hometown boosters.”

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To answer Mr. Zurawik’s question, “What the hell is Pugh going on Ingraham’s show for?” The answer is simple. She was asked by the producer, and it was her desire to do so. It’s time to call-out the “alternative facts” of influencers like Ms. Ingraham and her ilk. If we only talk to those who agree with us, we’ll inevitably find ourselves, well, where we are now.

Gregory Tucker, Baltimore

The writer is a communications consultant to Mayor Pugh.

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