Saturday, April 24, 2010

Dateliine's damage won't easily be undone

If you have ever bought raccoon in Detroit please send me an email. If you have ever had the '"West Side Value Meal," which would be 'coon with Badass Beer, I'll buy your next meal for you. Chances are you could use the help. If you watched Dateline last Sunday and were upset at the lack of positive highlights, I hope you know you're not alone.

I doubt Chris Hansen was out to do in the city. As I mentioned, I saw him preview the piece and I believe he had good intentions. However, what I saw last Sunday was the same old story with 'coon, Kid Rock and Robert Bobb thrown in.

People around the globe know Detroit has problems. I know they know because I see all the reminders they get every time something negative in the city happens. It gets blown up and pushed out through the media. I acknowledge that once I was part of the process, but I have also spent considerably more time lifting up positive developments in the city for the Detroiter, Detroit News and Model D.

Those stories have highlighted neighborhood redevelopment happening across the city, as well commercial investment being made. I thought the Dateline piece would have included some mention of those activities. I was disappointed that not one of the many strong neighborhoods in the city was included. At the very least, Hansen could have drove through Indian Village or Palmer Woods. Or, walked through Mexican Village, strolled Eastern Market on a Saturday, lunched in Campus Martius (that sax playing guy is actually getting better) or feather bowled at the Cadieux Cafe. There was a crowd of people waiting to get into the Opera House this afternoon, and there was new art on display in the lobby today when I walked into the downtown YMCA. Surely showing the world that despite the economic crisis there are still waayy more folks interested in supporting our vibrant cultural arts community and engaging their minds than there are folks desperately scouring the alleyways for raccoons.

Now public officials and community leaders are trying to call NBC to the carpet. But the 'coon's been let out of the bag, and there's no putting him back in.

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