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Posts Tagged ‘M.L. Elrick’

Pulitzer Winning Detroit Reporter Calls Pulitzer People ‘Jerks’ Says Awards ‘Bullshit’

elrick_croppedM.L. Elrick, reporter for Detroit FOX owned station WJBK told Detroit Metro Times what he really thinks about the Pulitzer he won when he worked for the Detroit Free Press.

Elrick won the award in 2009 along with Jim Schaefer, who still works at the paper, for a piece about former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick.

When Metro Times asked Elrick about his Pulitzer, he told them he wasn’t all that excited about it and that the “Pulitzer people were jerks.” He added, “It’s like every award: Every award is bullshit unless you win it because it’s all subjective. There’s some great work that doesn’t get recognized. To think that the work is only important because someone gave you a piece of shit crystal from Tiffany’s, that’s ridiculous.”

David Ashenfelter, a former Free Press reporter himself, wrote on Elrick’s facebook page “While it is true that you and Jim broke the biggest story in decades in Detroit, it’s also true that you and Jim were significantly assisted by other Free Press staffers who worked tirelessly on the story. Be grateful that you won the biggest prize in American newspaper journalism. And be generous with the people who helped you — as well as the organization that recognized you, Jim and the team of reporters for extraordinary work.”

As part if his reply to Ashenfelter, Elrick said, “David, as I’ve often said, I think most awards are bullshit — unless the judges select you. And, as I’ve often said, I’d rather have them than not! My personal and professional admiration for you knows no bounds. As for the folks at Columbia … they were high-handed dicks.”

See the complete text of Elrick’s comments to Detroit Metro Times after the jump. Click here to read the article. Read more

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Detroit Police Clear Officers Involved in Scuffle with Reporter

Detroit police say two of their officers did nothing wrong when they blocked WJBK reporter M.L. Elrick from approaching City Council President Pro-Tem George Cushingberry, Jr. at a council meeting.

The two officers were caught on tape shoving the reporter for the Detroit FOX owned station out of the way when Cushingberry approached the meeting which sparked an investigation by Detroit police.

Accoridng to WJBK, police found the officers in question used force that was “reasonable and necessary.”

Elrick responded, “This isn’t the first time Detroit police have roughed up a reporter, or a citizen, trying to get answers, and I think it’s troubling that the chief saw nothing wrong here. We’re going to continue to try and hold public officials accountable, and I think it’s disappointing that police in a city that don’t have enough police are being used to protect public officials who don’t want to answer questions.”

Police Investigate WJBK Reporter Rough-Up

Yesterday we told you WJBK reporter M.L. Elrick was roughed up by police after attempting to interview City Council president pro tem George Cushingberry, Jr. at a council meeting.

Today we learned Detroit Police have launched a formal investigation into the incident.

Police Chief James Craig said Elrick’s run-in with a supervisor and an officer assigned to City Council protection duty appeared to be a use of force, but not an excessive use of force. He also said the Sergeant involved has been moved from the executive protection detail.

“The reporter, while attempting to force an interview, blocked President Pro Tem Cushingberry’s path and the unit responded by forcing a protective space allowing the councilman to proceed to his seat,” City Council president Brenda Jones said in a statement, according to The Detroit Free Press. “Due to the nature of the reporter’s aggressive behavior, Sgt. Robert Mitchell, the head of the unit, contacted his superior and filed an incident report. This incident is under investigation and I have, and will not have, any further comment on this incident.”

The Free Press reports “Earlier this month, Cushingberry was found with alcohol and marijuana in his car during a traffic stop earlier this month.”

Caught on Camera: WJBK Reporter Roughed Up by Police at City Council Meeting

M.L. Elrick‘s photographer was rolling when the WJBK reporter tried to speak to president pro tem George Cushingberry, Jr. at Tuesday night’s City Council city-wide community meeting and it paid off with some dramatic video.

The Detroit FOX owned camera caught two City Council security officers violently pushing Elrick out of the way as Cushingberry walked into the meeting. WJBK said it looked like the two officers cleared the way for the councilman as he walked by the reporter and his photographer.

“Did the councilman tell you to do that?” Elrick asked after following the police Sergeant who was one of the officers to rough him up.

According to WJBK Detroit police are looking into the incident.

Investigative Reporter M.L. Elrick Joining WJBK

Pulitzer Prize-winning Detroit Free Press reporter M.L. Elrick is leaving the newspaper to join Detroit Fox O&O WJBK as an investigative reporter.

“Elrick’s passion for exposing wrongdoing and standing up for our community fits perfectly with FOX 2’s problem solver team mantra,” WJBK vice president and news director Dana Hahn said, announcing the hiring.  “His experience, knowledge, and passion for Detroit will enhance our already powerful investigative unit.”

Elrick shared a 2009 Pulitzer Prize for his coverage of Detroit mayor Kwame Kilpatrick‘s series of scandals. Read more