“Democracy is the worship of jackals by jackasses.” – H.L. Mencken

So the Michigan Chronicle decided to say what every sane person in Detroit already knows: Martha Reeves is a huge mess who has no business in public office. All it took was the taint of a public corruption scandal, comments that Council was her second job, a bizarre campaign flyer that suggested (among other things) that the Vandellas were also running, and an appearance on Devin “Tom” Scillian’s Flashpoint worthy of the FAIL! blog. Also a poll suggesting that Detroit voters are already prepared to vote Reeves out of office. Attacking Martha Reeves at this late date won’t rock many boats.

Rather than praising Bankole Thompson for stating the obvious, we should ask why Detroit’s other editorialists and pundits aren’t doing the same thing. And what took them so long? Anyone who spent five minutes listening to Martha Reeves back in 2005 knew that she was wholly unqualified for public office. Yet, there was no serious vetting of candidate Reeves by local media. Little was said about her personal financial problems and even less about her obvious cognitive failings. It seems Detroit’s media was afraid to speak ill of the woman because she sang pop songs a half-century ago.

That it takes this level of grotesque stupidity for the punditry to acknowledge reality is telling. For Christ sake, Devin Scillian sat there on Sunday and let Martha assert unchallenged that, among other things, you can use stuff on the internet for free however you want. How do you not follow-up on that? Especially with a professional musician. She called him Tom and he didn’t blink. And yes there is something to be said for letting an interviewee trip themselves up but can we not correct elected officials when they state obvious errors of fact?

The pundit class in this town intentionally gelded themselves for fear of being branded as bullies for asking direct, fair, and tough questions of public figures.

This is a media culture that breeds a Rochelle Riley, who said we should “vote for solvency” yet whose game show process for selecting Council candidates left an incumbent with a foreclosed home, a challenger with a $400,000 tax bill, and another incumbent who has barely paid property taxes because of a tornado that allegedly hit her house in “1993 or 2002.”

This is a media culture where a “journalist” (ok Michigan Citizen editor but close enough) suggests that the Detroit Free Press distracted the city with their Pulitzer Prize-winning coverage of the mayoral scandal. Oh noes, there was sex! How shall we ever focus on mere public works projects ever again? Kudos to Stephen Henderson for offering a forceful defense of his paper’s fine work. Occasionally there is a real journalist lurking around.

And this is a media culture that compels an apology from Crains Detroit’s Tom Henderson for a rational and insightful column about the folly of the Quicken tax credits. A valid viewpoint from a veteran journalist might inflame the tender sensibilities of Dan Gilbert and we cannot risk that. Never mind that the original article was attacking tax policy, not Gilbert or Quicken.

All of which happened in the ten days. Ed Murrow once said that we are not descended from fearful men. If that’s true then we’ve managed to be chickenshit all by ourselves. (Michigan Chronicle)

Categories : Jackals & Jackasses



If Michigan is gonna pay for LeBron James he should at least be on the Pistons.


The Michigan Citizen is a tabloid and it very much held that position — not worthy of comparison to mainstream journalism — until the Free Press and Detroit News lowered their value to that of tabloids. The real shame is that, even in light of Pulitzers, Detroit mainstream journalism has become an unserious enterprise.


After reading that apology from Tom Henderson, I just wanted to punch myself straight in the dick. The fact that he felt the need to write a whole article fellating Dan Gilbert just frustrates the fuck out of me. Its gross that he isn’t allowed to make a point like that without clarifying that he loves Dan Gilbert’s huge, thick, throbbing entrepreneurship.

Not to mention its pathetic that “Tom” Scillian can’t even muster up the cahones to call out Martha Reeves on her insane ramblings. What is the point of a show like Flashpoint if not to challenge local officials on their platforms? If a local, elected official cannot defend their postions or stances on different topics, why in the fuck should they be an elected official in the first place?


DHall must have taken quite a beating at the Townsend if everyone is riding Gilbert’s tip.


OK, I saw the Martha Rose fiasco on Flashpoint and I disagree. Scillian made his points and she is such a loon, kind of like Monicay, that she seriously hung herself. If he had been heavy-handed, you know what he would have been accused of, because Martha Rose ain’t gonna take that from no white anchor. After all, she is also doing the Lord’s work, just ask her.


The assumption that our local TV news anchors are bright enough to do anything of the sort is rather foolish.


GC, I often agree with you, but we do disagree on this point. Everyone has a different style; Mr. Skillian might not be the most aggressive, and in some interviews, I agree, he just hasn’t gotten the job done; however, in this case, his lower key style worked, as he made his points despite her loony answers. She showed herself in a most unflattering light…

Woodwards Friend
July 31st, 2009 at 11:01 am

I get that Devin Scillian has a low-key style and usually that works for him but when an elected official is saying something that is patently untrue, she should be challenged. I don’t think doing that is the same as going Lou Gordon.


They are bright enough to bust small time scam operations, but not smart enough to report on actual news that would affect more than, say, six people.


I think we all need to take a deep breath and put on Devin’s soothing “A is for America” album.


GC, you’re such a healer. Can we have some herbal tea, too?

WF and Motz, what ever happened to the good old days when a drunk Billy Bonds challenged the Coleman to a throwdown at the Joe? Guess now we have to settle for whitebread Devin, huh?

Happy weekend!

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