In a development that makes the Baltimore Sun newsroom depicted in David Simon’s “The Wire” seem like a relative bastion of journalistic integrity, the free weekly Baltimore City Paper has disappeared a highly negative review of a recent arena appearance by country megastar/bambi-killer Jason Aldean (above). According to Baltimore Brew’s Fern Shen, Travis Kitchens’ February 4 review of Aldean’s concert (“a lot like watching a two-hour beer commercial. . . a mindless dopamine rush as precise in its effects as methamphetamine..He struts around the stage with his prop guitar like a rockstar android wiggling his ass in a manner so contrived it makes Madonna look like Miles Davis in comparison”) was removed from the paper’s website a week later at the behest of two major advertisers, Live Nation (promoters of the February 1 show at Baltimore Arena) and sports apparel manufacture Under Armor (sponsors of Aldean’s hunting show, “Buck Commander”).

 According to a source with knowledge of the situation, local Arena management found the article “terrible, more of a slam piece than a review,” complaining directly to City Paper and alerting Jeremiah Xenakis, director of marketing for LiveNationDC, who was “upset” about it.

Asked by phone and via email if he complained and threatened to stop buying any more LiveNation event advertising on City Paper – and if so, why – Xenakis  responded, “while we don’t always agree with our reviewers, we look forward to working with City Paper in the future. Thanks and have a great weekend.”

Kitchens said Aldean even spoke about Under Armour onstage that night at the concert, noting that Baltimore was “the home of one of my biggest sponsors.”

Kitchens was clearly turned off by the whole scene, as well as the music. His review described the “puke smell” in the venue, the commercialism (with opening act Florida Georgia Line working a sponsoring whiskey-maker’s name into song lyrics) and the booths selling Aldean schwag such as beer cozies with his catch-phrase, “I’m about to get my pissed off on.”