Photo by file


By now you probably have heard about the recent profanity-laced exchange that took place between D.C. Council members David Catania and Marion Barry. Council Chairman Kwame Brown responded to the spat by enacting new rules that demand decorum and punish members who swear or otherwise demean the institution during an official meeting.

The showdown between Catania and Barry happened last week at a Council retreat. There were no cameras or recording devices in the room.

During a meeting of the Council in late 2011, Barry was waxing eloquent on a pending matter. He expressed dismay at the media for creating an environment in which he would be forced to vote in favor of ethics reform legislation. Barry then punctuated his remarks by calling the situation "Bullshit."

Kwame Brown interrupted and asked Barry to "refrain from using that type of language."

Barry replied, "No."

The exchange between Barry and Brown happened on live television during an official meeting of the Council.

Live television that is archived. You can watch it here. Barry's complaints about the media begin at 1 hour, 32 minutes, 10 seconds. His barnyard epithet can be heard at 1:33:15.

I am not particularly offended when people curse. Even if they curse at me or about me.

What offends me, however, are double standards and spineless leaders.

Barry's remarks came in the official chamber of the Council and could be heard by anyone watching the proceedings on television or online. 

Was there any official response from Brown in the days that followed? Were any new rules proposed? Was an apology demanded? Was Barry taken to the woodshed?


Only Kwame Brown knows why he did nothing when Barry alone stepped out of line.

Does Brown have different standards for different members? Or does Brown lack the spine to stand up to Marion Barry?

Only Kwame Brown knows.

Chuck Thies co-hosts the "D.C. Politics" show Thursday mornings at 11:00 am on WPFW 89.3 FM, streaming online at You can follow him on Twitter @chuckthies

0 Comments For This Article

Barrie Daneker Ward 5

different strokes for different folks...welcome to the District!


Shut the hell up, you whining white people, you can't save David Catania from this one. He was wrong and there is no comparing to Barry using a curse word on the dias.


It's as obvious as black and white.


Apples and Oranges, CT: B/S in response to one's displeasure is quite different from the F-Bomb thrown from one Honorable Councilmember to another. If I'm not mistaken, CM Cantania also stepped out of line and hurled insults at CM M Brown without being taken to the woodshed!
See what I mean? CM Barry has many issues to call attention to, but this is not one of them. Besides, why pile more of the aforementioned
bovine stuff on Ch K Brown? He already has enough stuff to dig out of.

Mahdi Leroy J. Thorpe, Jr

Chuck - you spend too much timwe attacking African-American piliticians and palying the race card. You defended Catania bad behavior on WOL today

Mahdi Leroy J. Thorpe, Jr.

I apologize for the typo's I have to proof read my comments more often. The bottom line is that this city is still racially divided and the Tom Sherwoods, City Paper, Washington Post and Washington Examiner contributes to the racial division in this city by giving passes to alleged crimes committed by white politicians and white activists while they target and attack African-American politicians and activists.

Ward 6 Resident

I am not sure if I agree that it is an issue of race. Also not sure if Chuck Thies is a racist but he sure does have it out for Kwame Brown. He goes out of his way to try and damage him. He will twist the truth and a few times he has outright lied. Honestly I am surprised he hasn't been sued for slander. Chuck, would you please let us all know where your vendetta against Kwame Brown stems from? You are in the media although you have a very small following but you should still be held to a higher standard. We deserve to know the truth and what you are trying to accomplish so that we can determine how much credibility to give to your comments. At this point you have little or no credibility but coming clean as you insist our city officials do would go a long way. What do you say Chuck? We are waiting!


The fine people of the District of Columbia, especially the fine folks of Ward-8, the Ward Mr. Barry represents (and called it a "ghetto") deserve these dubious representatives - white or black.


And exactly where does Anon 2/24 @ 1:34 live?
Certainly not in Maryland where a native former Vice President spent time in jail, not to mention the most recent political scandal in PGC.
What the "fine people" of DC really deserve is Statehood.