Mitch Albom and the Courage of Detroit

One of the nation's best writers has his say about Detroit, much of it applicable to the Toledo area as well:

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2009/writers/the_bonus/01/07/detroit/in...

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Thanks Mac. I would have never ran across this had you not posted it. Albom is awesome.

One of the best writers?

Not in this capacity. He's quite a good story teller and fiction writer but in this capacity he's writing as a journalist and he doesn't have a good track record as one.

If any other journalist had blatantly made up stories the way Albom has they would be blackballed from working again but because of a book he wrote some years back that won a pulitzer he gets a pass.

MikeyA

OK MA - What are you talking about?

http://www.usatoday.com/life/columnist/mediamix/2005-04-13-media-mix_x.htm

The incident garnered a fair amount of attention at the time. There appears to be no more to the story that what's contained here: Michigan State basketball players told Albom they would be at a game, their plans changed (unbeknownest to Albom), and Albom wrote that they were at the game, when they were in fact not.

Personally, I don't particularly care for his books, which are a bit too maudlin for my tastes. Tuesdays With Morrie was okay. The Five People You Meet In Heaven book I didn't care for at all. Have not read any others.

As a columnist, he is outstanding and yes, one of the best writers around, and the incident contained here hasn't done much of anything to tarnish that image, at least in my mind.

He also has a radio show on WJR. His views are often left-of-center, which obviously many conservatives have issues with.

Why did Detroit continue to slide and no one stop it? Can we learn lessons and prevent it from happening in Toledo? Your thoughts.

the Lions need new ownership.
the Tigers need to rebuild their farm system.
The Pistons never should have gotten rid of Chauncy Billups.

Oh, you meant the city?

Corrupt, incompetent politicians (yes, that has meant Democrats), loss of manufacturing, and getting a handle on health care costs that I maintain is the principal issue dragging down the Big Three.

In truth, it may be too late for Detroit. And Toledo may not be far behind.

Come on McCaskey...never underestimate Joey D. AI's contract will expire this summer, as will 'Sheed's. This is going to free up some major moolah for the Pistons to retool. Add in the fact that they already have a very good PG in Stuckey...I think the Pistons are in good shape beyond this year. However, you are correct about the Lions and Tigers (oh my)...

Pink Slip

There were many other "incidents" for example he did a story on the state of athletic dept in Saline, MI and wrote a column about how the students sat at the Taco Bell in Saline discussing the issue.

However at the time there was no Taco Bell in Saline. The nearest Taco Bell was on the other side of Ann Arbor. For anyone who's been to Saline knows it cannot be mistaken for anything North of 94.

The Michigan State incident was just one that garnered attention. And he didn't just write that they were there, he wrote about conversations they "had".

As with many other cases of journalists who falsified their stories it started off small but then as they got away with more and more they went a little bit farther.

The DFP however didn't fire him because they had already put so much stock into him and the publisher didn't want to lose money.

My hatred of him has nothing to do with his political leanings. It has to do with good hard working and HONEST journalists getting paid very little to do a noble job and a lazy fiction writer getting paid lots of money to get to rub elbows with Oprah.

MikeyA

do you have a link to a story dealing with it?

I do not have access to the Freep's archives.

I had a professor at Eastern Michigan who kept a "Mitch's greatest hits" tacked up on the wall as examples of what not to do in journalism.

MikeyA

I do not have access to the Freep's archives.

I had a professor at Eastern Michigan who kept a "Mitch's greatest hits" tacked up on the wall as examples of what not to do in journalism.

MikeyA

So what? The great Walter Cronkite ite described to America how the VietCong were storming the tiled floors of the American embassy in Saigon during the Tet Offensive. In fact, no such event occurred. The floors of the American embassy in Saigon were carpeted and the Vietcong never got in. Walter Conkrite made up the whole thing because he was against the war. Cronkite made it sound as if the Tet Offensive were some sort of resounding victory for the enemy when, in fact, it was a last gasp offensive of an enemy on the ropes.

Edward R. Murrow made up things about Sen. Joe McCarthy that stand as truth today even though history has debunked them. Murrow did it because he was against the purge on communists from the U.S. government.

In many cases, journalists invent things in the name of of "advocacy journalism". As far as I'm concerned, Murrow and Cronkite are as discredited as Greene, Albom, or the bozo from the New York Times who plagiarized and invented sources. Yet, the media establishment venerates these purveyors of fictional journalism.

'Walter Cronkite ite described to America how the VietCong were storming the tiled floors of the American embassy in Saigon during the Tet Offensive. In fact, no such event occurred. The floors of the American embassy in Saigon were carpeted and the Vietcong never got in. Walter Conkrite made up the whole thing because he was against the war.'

Perhaps there's a reference, a link, something somewhere out there that backs all this up. If so, I'd really like to see it.

dealing with CBS coverage of Tet as it relates to U.S. Embassy in Saigon. The first 20-25 seconds detail extent of VC penetration into the compound.

http://technorati.com/videos/youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3Dq1vJqTN-qVI

Again, I would like to see some credible evidence Cronkite in fact said what you alledge here. I'm not saying it didn't happen, but I've Goggled it several different ways and came up empty. Until I see something concrete, I'm frankly not buying it.

In any event, trying to pin the entire stalemate of the Vietnam War or for that matter any war on negative press coverage, regardless of what Cronkite may or may not have said, is a bit disingenuous.

major news organizations have no problem firing journalists who ran afoul in matters of ethics, even ones who routinely win awards.

Take the case of Bob Greene in Chicago:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bob_Greene

If there was something beyond the MSU deal with Albom, he would have been cut loose in Detroit, no matter how talented.

By the way, I'm not defending the MSU incident.

The problem is the Freep put as much into Albom as you can for a journalist. They dump so much money into his column and him that if they admitted that he sucks they would look stupid.

You're more than welcome to contact EMU's journalism dept. Most of the professors know of Mitch's "facts" and why most advise most of their students not to intern anywhere near him (apparently he treats people like crap but this I can't attribute so I don't know if it's true).

When I was a student they used it as an example of problems in journalism and what not to do.

MikeyA

forget the EMU journalism department....if Mitch Albom fabricated information on a regular basis, something that went beyond the one incident in question, his own peers in the field would be ratting him out, and there would be references and links to such instances online.

Nobody gets to do this on a continual basis and keep their job.

I gave you two instances that I know of and have read.

Now I know there are more but I cannot tell you just off that top of my head.

"Nobody gets to do this on a continual basis and keep their job." - Whatever. From what I've seen journalism has some of the worst ethics of any industry I've seen. That's because they have no oversight except for their own people.

Imagine what type of world we'd have if every other industry used the honor system.

MikeyA

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