The man who taught David Simon how to be a reporter

David Ettlin (Credit: Bonnie Schupp)

“David Michael Ettlin taught me to be a reporter at The Baltimore Sun, which is to say, I love the man for everything he is, and everything he isn’t,” writes David Simon.

To those who actually ran the paper, David Ettlin was decidedly not cut from the right cloth to truly represent the dignified gray lady. …

True, he didn’t look like an editor of one of the world’s most dry and dour newspapers. And now and again, he said the wrong thing. And sure, like a lot of us in the newsroom, he didn’t seem to regard the world as more than a bottomless reservoir of tragedy and farce from which a daily paper fills its columns.

I suspect every newsroom has a staffer like that. At the old Milwaukee Journal, it was my boss Tom Lubenow — a guy with great news judgment but considered a little too loud and uncouth to rise above assistant metro editor. (A former colleague reminds me of one of Lubie’s best lines: “The shit’s gonna fly when I hit the fan.”)

* Police reporter: Right man, wrong look (Baltimore Sun)