Thursday, May 21, 2020

Why reporter M.L. Elrick supports the Metro Times Press Club

No news is bad news

Posted By on Thu, May 21, 2020 at 8:00 AM

click to enlarge M.L. Elrick. - COURTESY PHOTO
  • Courtesy photo
  • M.L. Elrick.

I've been a fan of the Metro Times long before 2014, when they named me "Best Local Journalist Who’s Not Charlie LeDuff," a category that I understand has since been retired from the annual "Reader's Choice" poll.

My relationship with the paper goes back to the 1980s, when it was really the only place to find out where to catch the coolest acts and when it was the epitome of the crusading alternative newsweekly. It had the best cartoons, the edgiest writers, and the most far-out stories. Even the ads blew my mind — more so because I didn't have the internet to explain to me what BBW was, and not so much because I was "bi-curious" (not that there's anything wrong with that).

In the early 2000s, the Metro Times was as dogged digging into Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick as any other news organization, though even I thought it was more than a little cheeky to refer to Hizzoner as "the Kwamster."

But that's the beauty of the alternative press. Not only are there no sacred cows, but after milking the Guernsey for all she's worth, you get to twist the nipple — as many as you can grab.

I just typed: "A lot has changed over the last 35 years or so, the inevitable consequence of the entire world believing that the best things in life, like the Metro Times, should be free." But the truth is that so much has changed over the last 90 days that my friends and friendly competitors at the Metro Times have found that their uncertain future is certain to be curtains if those of us who rely on the paper don't step up and put some money on the barrelhead.

I don't believe in asking people to do anything I wouldn't do. So I put my money where my mouth is and joined the Press Club. I hear there are perks, but keeping the presses rolling (literally or figuratively) is more than enough for me.

Because only two things haven't changed since I first picked up the Metro Times back in the Fast Times at Ridgemont High days:

When I ask my favorite question — "Who watches the watchmen?" — more often than not, the answer is "the Metro Times."

And I'm still not bi-curious (not that there's anything wrong with that).

M.L. Elrick is an investigative reporter and host of the M.L. Soul of Detroit podcast.

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