Crime is down in the 'D' and I am the Easter Bunny - FOX 29 News Philadelphia | WTXF-TV

Crime is down in the 'D' and I am the Easter Bunny

Posted: Updated:

OFF THE CHAIN OPINION

by Charlie LeDuff

DETROIT -- Everybody got their five minutes with Dave. Everybody got to pet the bunny. Everybody but poor ol' me.

After his Wednesday State of the City speech, Mayor Dave Bing's men passed him around to the media, each outlet getting a whopping five minutes to feed Hizzoner carrots -- five minutes is an old-school political way of keeping the q & a superficial. That's how you interview Hollywood starlets, not serious public servants.

My bosses nominated me for the chore. But Dave was a scared rabbit. Dave said no. Dave's guy told my boss: "This is not the right time."

Maybe some other reporter, they offered.

My bosses at FOX 2 told the mayor's man no. Nobody tells them how to run their newsroom. And so Mayor Hasenpfeffer got no added airtime on Channel 2.

In his speech, Bing talked about public/private partnerships to tear down buildings, federal grants to pay firefighters and cops, billionaires buying up downtown for a dime. We might be living on federal welfare, the mayor seemed to say. But don't worry, the future's gonna be swell.

He reminded me of Lennie Small, the oafish farmhand in the Steinbeck novella "Of Mice and Men." Lennie dreamed too, of a beautiful farm with rabbits that he could pet and puppies he could brush and an alfalfa patch he could rake. But Lennie killed a woman before the future ever arrived.

And so it seems with Bing and Detroit.

I do not challenge his integrity. No one should. He is an honorable man on the face of things. He does not steal. But his lack of attention to basic services has put Detroit down the rabbit hole. His lack of political skill and municipal expertise has led to infighting and gridlock. The future? Forget about it. We have to focus on the here and now.

What would I have asked Dave? What are you doing about crime? The cops have quit. Arrests are down. Murder and shootings are way up. Dave says all other violent crime is down.

I would not let him get away with that. Police precincts close after 4pm. People have stopped calling the police. So crime statistically goes down. Give us something better Dave. People were looking for hope. He gave them the hand.

Firefighters have stopped waiting for ambulances because they come late or not at all. This would be just a three million dollar fix by many estimates. But over four years Dave has overseen its collapse.

Public safety is job number one for any mayor and Bing has failed.

I would have asked him why.

How about some heads up on the emergency manager who is coming to take his and the city council's paychecks. How's that supposed to work? What can we expect? What will be his or her greatest impediments?

Dave said he does not know and has not been included in the loop on Lansing's discussions for the biggest city in Michigan. The city where Dave is supposedly top bunny!

That financial review paper is due to the state treasurer any day now and the emergency manager is likely to come any week now and Bing says he doesn't know anything.

I would have asked the mayor, if the emergency manager does come, is he planning to move out of the Manoogian Mansion and back to his cabbage patch in the ‘burbs?

  • Charlie LeDuffCharlie LeDuffMore>>

  • The Americans with Charlie LeDuff: A righteous voice from the Ferguson chaos

    The Americans with Charlie LeDuff: A righteous voice from the Ferguson chaos

    Wednesday, August 20 2014 9:21 PM EDT2014-08-21 01:21:50 GMT
    Charlie heads to the frontlines of Ferguson and finds a voice of reason and bravery against impossible odds.
    Charlie heads to the frontlines of Ferguson and finds a voice of reason and bravery against impossible odds.
  • Court: Ex-judge Wade McCree immune from civil suit

    Court: Ex-judge Wade McCree immune from civil suit

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 2:04 PM EDT2014-07-22 18:04:29 GMT
    The infamous selfie taken by Judge Wade mcCree. The infamous selfie taken by Judge Wade mcCree.
    A federal appeals court has upheld a lower court's ruling that a disgraced Detroit judge cannot be sued by a defendant in a child support case he presided over.
    A federal appeals court has upheld a lower court's ruling that a disgraced Detroit judge cannot be sued by a defendant in a child support case he presided over.
  • LeDuff: Where is the respect for the real hosts of the Super Bowl?

    LeDuff: Where is the respect for the real hosts of the Super Bowl?

    Super Bowl XLVIII is in New York.  Well, not exactly.  The Super Bowl's host city is actually East Rutherford, N.J.  Sometimes it's hard to get respect in America if you're not from places like NYC or LA.
    Super Bowl XLVIII is in New York.  Well, not exactly.  The Super Bowl's host city is actually East Rutherford, N.J.  Sometimes it's hard to get respect in America if you're not from places like Los Angeles., Washington, D.C. or New York.  If you live in New Jersey, you're in the shadow of the Big Apple.
  • Charlie LeDuff: Off The ChainCharlie LeDuff: Off The ChainMore>>

  • Sayonara Bingaling

    Sayonara Bingaling

    Friday, December 13 2013 7:35 PM EST2013-12-14 00:35:18 GMT
    LeDuff: From my perch, I can say Bing was a mayor who preferred to get his nails polished but never dirty.
    LeDuff: From my perch, I can say Bing was a mayor who preferred to get his nails polished but never dirty.
  • LeDuff goes inside massive Detroit Police raid

    LeDuff goes inside massive Detroit Police raid

    Tuesday, December 3 2013 7:57 PM EST2013-12-04 00:57:27 GMT
    On Tuesday, police in Detroit teamed up with Michigan State Police and federal law enforcement officers to conduct a massive raid the size of a city block.
    On Tuesday, police in Detroit teamed up with Michigan State Police and federal law enforcement officers to conduct a massive raid the size of a city block.
  • Is this the crest of dawn in this thing we call a city?

    Is this the crest of dawn in this thing we call a city?

    Friday, November 8 2013 6:12 PM EST2013-11-08 23:12:53 GMT
    LeDuff: Darkness Rules. And then on a corner of a street called Crusade, a case of what should be considered normal becomes the extraordinary:a streetlight gets repaired. And the curtains get pulled back from the iron door.
    LeDuff: Darkness Rules. And then on a corner of a street called Crusade, a case of what should be considered normal becomes the extraordinary: a streetlight gets repaired. And the curtains get pulled back from the iron door.
Powered by WorldNow

WTXF-TV
330 Market Street
Philadelphia, PA 19106-2796

Phone: (215) 925-2929
Fax: (215) 982-5494

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices