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Sherrod Brown, standing up for America's fish!

Tom Jackson • Jan 23, 2013 at 6:19 PM

The Asian carp doesn't get much love, but it has a lonely defender at the Youngstown Vindicator.


U.S. Sherrod Brown held a Wednesday conference call press conference with Ohio reporters. The senator schedules such calls regularly. He talks about his current pet issue and then takes questions. This week's topic was the senator's new bill to battle the Asian carp and the threat that hungry carp pose to local Ohio fish.


The questioning took a turn for the bizarre when the senator was asked to diagnose a reporter's sanity and defend his hostility to the fish.


Youngstown Vindicator reporter David Skolnick asked why the Asian carp was being singled out for abuse. (I transcribed part of the audio.)


SKOLNICK: It sounds like we're persecuting Asian carp for just being more aggressive than other fish. Am I insane?


BROWN: Are you insane? I can't answer that clinically. It's not my expertise.


(A few seconds later)


SKOLNICK: So you want to kill them?


BROWN: We want them not to -- I don’t advocate on these calls killing anybody or anything. No, we want to control them, so they don’t come in. Their size, their appetites, their voraciousness --  what they do is a real problem for our interests, not just our economic interests as a state, but so much more than that.


Skolnick and Brown spokeswoman Meghan Dubyak continued the dialogue on Twitter.


I thought Dubyak got off the best line: "American fish can compete with any others in the world, but they deserve a level playing field."


Brown, a noted protectionist, regularly says that American workers can compete with anyone but deserve a "level playing field" in world trade. 

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