Emery King chastises local Detroit news media for ignoring race relations


So if somebody called you up to say that your house was burning down, would you:

a) Drop whatever it was you were doing at the time and race home to try and salvage whatever was left of your burning domicile, or…

b) Say “Thanks for the tip, buddy”, then go on munching crackers while watching American Idol.

If you have to stop and think for a minute about the answer to this question, it’s already too late. There really isn’t much we can do for you, but maybe we can still save the kids. Unless…of course…they’re watching American Idol too…

So now imagine that the house is metro Detroit, and that the flames are the current status of race relations in our cozy little corner of the state – or the entire state for that matter. I hope the picture is starting to clear up a little bit.

Last night I watched the latest episode in a local PBS series on race relations hosted by newscaster Emery King and WJR’s Paul Smith. Just a quick aside, but for those of you who may not be aware, the firing of anchorman Emery King in 2005 due to incurable institutional idiocy on the part of WDIV Channel 4 in Detroit was one of the worst decisions made in the recent history of the news industry in this city, and that really is saying something. How in the world the powers-that-be at that station could have ever come to the conclusion that their news programming would actually improve by getting rid of the best and most respected news anchor in this town is beyond me, but then most of what’s going on in the news business these days is beyond me.

Anyway, I was watching the 3rd installment of King’s program on the status of race relations in metro Detroit, and I couldn’t help but jump outta my chair and do a little dance on my livingroom floor when King proceeded to give hell to those local stations (FOX 2, WDIV Channel 4, and WXYZ Channel 7) who for whatever reason couldn’t quite fit it into their schedules to participate in a panel discussion about one of the region’s most persistently volatile and self-destructive issues that has been destroying our community for more than 50 years.

Perhaps King should have told them that this installment was going to be about sex murderers and the mommies who love them. Betcha they would have come running then, huh? Or maybe he should have promised them compromising photos of Mayor Kilpatrick with grinning farm animals in silk pajamas. I have no doubt they would have run over small children and little old ladies to get front and center for that one.

But when the topic is race relations? Please. What the hell is sexy about race relations? How can that possibly compare to Steve Wilson dashing off to a conference in Hawaii in search of Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick who already said he wasn’t going to be there? Just the sheerperverted joy of fabricating a chase scene based on false premises is so much more fun than actual reporting about an actual issue with some weight to it.

And as a professional who knows the way the business is supposed  to work, King’s heat-seeking criticisms carried significantly more authority than if they had come from just about anyone else in the Detroit news business. King can call the local news media to task because King knows the score and they know King knows the score, which is why they were scared to death of appearing on the same stage with him.

Lightweights and pretenders rarely want to tangle with the real deal.


~ by Keith A. Owens on May 30, 2007.

4 Responses to “Emery King chastises local Detroit news media for ignoring race relations”

  1. […] To read more, click here… […]

  2. Great work Keith you breathe fresh air to an archaic community,at present I’m in Colorado where in Denver they have one of four black research library;hell money is pouring into Denver’s five point area(historicaly black neighborhood)in this inviornment the media justifys the firing of Mr.King but how do the Carmen’s and Lewises do what they do whitout a breakdown?.

  3. Hey Tootsie. Good to see you back in the place.
    That’s a good question about Carmen, Lewis, and the rest of “us” who have to climb that mountain every day and try not to slide back down. I know each of them would testify that it ain’t been no crystal stair, to quote a favorite Langston Hughes poem.

    So you’re in Denver? Believe it or not, that’s where I was born and raised. My mother’s still there, so I get back at least twice a year to check up on her and visit old friends.

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