For the last few years we have been showing you WJBK-TV reporter Charlie LeDuff chasing down a series of fire commissioners looking for answers as to why the Detroit Fire Department is in the sad state it is in. But this time Charlie is on the receiving end, with another TV reporter asking the questions, after the Pulitzer Prize winner was involved in a drunken fight Sunday following Detroit’s St. Patrick’s Parade. LeDuff was back in Detroit after an appearance Friday to promote his book Detroit: An American Autopsy on HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher.
While I have been critical of his handling of a few stories, I am generally a LeDuff fan, believing his in your face advocacy journalism may be particular suited for the tragedy that has become Detroit. In this performance I have to give LeDuff a mixed review.
First, good for him for not acting like the people LeDuff has reported on in the past. He didn’t run from WXYZ-TV reporter Bill Proctor and listened as Proctor asked some embarrassing questions about urinating in public, calling three women “whores” and getting into a fight and biting a security guard (described in one article as an off-duty Detroit cop). I guess it would be a bit hypocritical if Proctor had to chase down LeDuff or LeDuff pulled a Fred Wheeler and knocked the microphone out of Proctor’s hands.
But Charlie LeDuff’s answers were vague and not very forthcoming and he had no comment for print reporters who were following the story. LeDuff is just lucky the man asking the questions was pretty docile and that LeDuff wasn’t questioned by a clone of himself.
Here’s my suggestion for Charlie LeDuff. If you want to get this behind you and leave a favorable impression over an apparently ugly incident, do your own report about it on WJBK-TV and be every bit as tough on yourself as you would be on any Detroit news maker. Don’t let yourself off easy.
A police report says that Fox 2 reporter Charlie LeDuff is accused of “aggravated felonious assault,” following a fight in which he allegedly bit a man after the St. Patrick’s Day parade in Detroit.
LeDuff called three women “whores,” got into a fight inside a private tent party, and bit a security guard during the fracas, the police report says.
7 Action News Investigator Bill Proctor broke the story that everyone is talking about. He also interviewed LeDuff about the alleged fight and urinating in public.
The man, whom the police report identified as Sunny Miller, 54, of Detroit, then called Fox 2 News to tell them about LeDuff. Miller was working security, city officials said.
Miller told police he then heard LeDuff arguing with three women whom he called “whores,” the report said, and when others confronted him, a fight broke out, according to the report.
Miller tried to separate LeDuff from the group of people with whom he’d been fighting, and LeDuff bit Miller’s left index finger, breaking the skin, the report says.
Another officer was flagged down and saw bite marks on Miller’s finger, the report said.
LeDuff was cited for aggravated assault, according to the police report. He couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.