Philly Today: David Oh’s Green Beret Lies Come Back to Haunt Him

Plus, apparently not everyone is excited to go back to school.

David Oh, who is running as a Republican for mayor of Philadelphia, just saw his 2011 Green Beret controversy resurface

David Oh, who is running as a Republican for mayor of Philadelphia, just saw his 2011 Green Beret controversy resurface (Getty Images)

Check each morning Monday through Friday for the latest edition of Philly Today. And if you have a news tip for our hardworking Philly Mag reporters, please direct it here. You can also use that form to send us reader mail. We love reader mail!

David Oh’s Green Beret Lies Come Back to Haunt Him

I had completely forgotten about David Oh’s claims that he once served as a Green Beret. After all, that was a 2011 controversy. And a lot has happened since then, amirite?

But now that Oh fancies himself mayor of Philadelphia (he’s running on the Republican ticket), the Great David Oh Green Beret Controversy of 2011 has resurfaced.

If you’re having too much of a back-to-work and back-to-school week to click on the links, allow me to summarize:

In 2011, David Oh ran for City Council-at-Large. Part of Oh’s origin story included claims that he was a Green Beret. Yes, one of those elite special ops soldiers who go on secret missions and stuff. These claims came into question, and Oh eventually apologized for misrepresenting his military background or, as some put it back then, for outright lying about it.

The Daily News, back when it was a special kind of Philly tabloid as opposed to the shell of itself that it is today, had a field day with these David Oh Green Beret claims. One Daily News cover from 2011 showed Oh wearing a green beret (I’m pretty sure it was photoshopped) above the headline “Oh Fudge!” In another Daily News headline, political writer Chris Brennan called the candidate “Ramboh.”

The funny thing is that all these years later, Oh has actually changed his tune. He now says he did serve in the Green Berets.

No doubt we’ll have some fun with Oh and his Green Beret claims for a while, just as we did in 2011. And it is important for the press to keep our elected officials and wannabe elected officials in check. But let’s keep in mind that Oh has about as much chance of winning a mayoral election in this overwhelmingly Democratic town as the Flyers have of winning the Stanley Cup. If only the Philly GOP could maybe, maybe put up a reasonable candidate who didn’t, say, lie about his military service record, perhaps Republicans could at least have a shot. Sam Katz certainly did.

Apparently Not Everybody Is Excited for School to Begin

An 11-year-old Philly girl is in police custody after allegedly calling in a bomb threat to her school on the first day of classes. There wasn’t actually a bomb. But we’re sure Green Beret David Oh would have been the police department’s first call had the need to defuse a bomb arose.

About SEPTA’s “Bus Revolution”

After an initial round of feedback, SEPTA has gone back to the drawing board with some of the aspects of its “Bus Revolution” plan that it first unveiled earlier this year. You can read the most current version of the plan draft here. Next up, expect public meetings and more public meetings. Basically, SEPTA is slashing bus routes in the city. And in the suburbs, we’re looking at on-demand bus service. What’s that old SEPTA slogan? We’re getting there. Yeah. Eventually. Maybe. It only took you a million years to figure out the SEPTA Key card thing and now you’re dumping that.

Oh, I shouldn’t sound so hopeless. SEPTA does have a solid leader these days. And you can read all about her in this Philly Mag profile.

So Much Cheesesteak News

I’ve been closely following the saga of Jim’s West, the latest iteration of the original 1939 Jim’s Steaks on 62nd Street in West Philly. First, we were all excited to hear that this historic spot was reopening. Then came news that this reopening plan was marred by a fair amount of drama. Well, that drama has now become a full-blown legal battle. The gloves are off. And you can read the latest news about it all right here.

In less dramatic cheesesteak news, Frank Olivieri, the owner of Pat’s Steaks in South Philly and direct descendent of the inventors of the cheesesteak, tells me that he’s planning to open his first-ever second location. And if all that goes well, he’s eyeing a nationwide expansion.

Local Talent

Maestro, the Leonard Bernstein biopic starring and directed by Jenkintown’s lone heartthrob, Bradley Cooper, just opened at the Venice Film Festival. Reviews are generally positive. Deadline calls Maestro “the work of a very assured filmmaker bringing a strong vision to the screen.” The Hollywood Reporter declared the film a “layered examination” of the relationship between Bernstein and his wife, played by Carey Mulligan who, according to that same review, “has never been better.” Of course, not everybody is going to like Maestro, and the critic at Mashable was a bit disappointed, writing, “Bradley Cooper falls just short of greatness once again.” Maestro debuts to the rest of the world in December.

Because there just aren’t enough podcasts in the world, Rittenhouse native Kevin Bacon just started one.

Finally, lots of people got stuck at the muddy Burning Man festival thanks to extreme weather. But yesterday, WMMR DJ Pierre Robert finally made it out. Click here to read his account of the big mud piles, the even bigger exit queue, and, of course, the Orgy Dome. (Word is that Green Beret David Oh is still there rescuing those not so fortunate.)

By the Numbers

5: Confirmed sightings of the convicted murderer who escaped from a Chesco prison last week. He’s still on the loose. Police have widened the search area. We may need to call in the A-Team — or at least Green Beret David Oh — for this one!

232nd: Out of the 499 school districts in Pennsylvania, the ranking of the Philadelphia School District in terms of the amount of per-student spending, according to the Inquirer‘s new tool that allows you to see how much money your district has for its students. You’ll never guess which school district ranks first. Yep, Lower Merion, which is literally across the street from Philadelphia.

$3,295,000: Asking price for this pretty fabulous house in Chestnut Hill that disproves the old saying “they don’t build them like they used to.”

And from the Nada-Yada Sports Desk …

Trea Turner was on the paternity list for last night’s game vs. the Padres in San Diego, so the Phils called Weston Wilson up from Lehigh Valley. Poor planning, Trea! You were on such a roll! That 15-game hitting streak?

All righty, then. Edmundo Sosa was covering for Trea at shortstop, and Garrett Stubbs was spelling J.T. Realmuto behind the plate. Michael Lorenzen was on the mound for us, and righty Pedro Avila for them. The scoring didn’t begin until the fourth, when Fernando Tatis Jr. smacked a solo homer and a Manny Machado single and a Xander Bogaerts double, plus a Bryson Stott error on a fielder’s choice, brought in two more. The Phils, meanwhile, had hit into four double plays by the start of the sixth.

The bottom half of that inning was ugly, with the Padres loading the bases with no outs and a Bogaerts single, then a bloop single that scored two more: 6-0. I’d had enough; I made popcorn and watched the U.S. Open. Final score: 8-0. We were due for a dud, I guess. Bryce? For God’s sake, regrow the beard.

They’ve got one more game against the Padres, tomorrow at 4:10.

On a more serious note, our hearts and sympathies go out to former Eagle and current WIP talker Hugh Douglas on the loss of his son. 

All Philly Today sports coverage is provided by Sandy Hingston.