Patterson Responds to 'New Yorker' Profile

Brooksie sad.

The grumpy Oakland County volcano known as Mount Brooks Patterson erupted last month after some controversial remarks the county executive made about Detroit in a New Yorker profile made the rounds. Patterson, it seems, was surprised people actually read issues of The New Yorker instead of piling them on the back of the toilet to make house guests think you’re smart without ever cracking one open. Alas, people actually read it.

And the public wasn’t too happy when Ol’ Brooksie doubled down on some of the insensitive remarks he made about Detroit decades ago. One comment from the article that struck a note with the public was this:

“I made a prediction a long time ago, and it’s come to pass,” Patterson told The New Yorker’s Paige Williams. “I said, ‘What we’re going to do is turn Detroit into an Indian reservation, where we herd all the Indians into the city, build a fence around it, and then throw in the blankets and corn.” 

Since the story ran, Mount Brooks, dormant since previous accusations of hate-mongering, has erupted about how Williams played him, hard. And, he hasn’t let up: During his 20th (!) State of the County address, he had a sad over Williams’ portrayal of him, again. Crain’s Detroit Business reports Patterson told a crowd of about 500, “The reporter and I got together and she pulled the old bait-and-switch, selling me on one idea of writing a positive story about Oakland County’s success in creating jobs and stimulating economic development and attracting capital investment, but instead fabricated a sensational and titillating story that she knew would attract the interest of her editors at The New Yorker and give her the national recognition that she so obviously craves.” 

Mount Pot, meet Mount Kettle. 

After Patterson downplayed the incident for weeks, we at the Hits wondered why Oakland County’s favorite volcano still felt the need to defend his image. He’d already apologized multiple times. Why so sad, Brooks? One source had an idea.

“Brooks is known for his flirtation with women,” our reputable source told us. “He flirts with them, they flirt with him back. There’s no question in my mind that [Patterson and Williams] hit it off because Brooks was so taken aback by the story. I think he just needs to own up to it and move along.”

He did. Well, sorta. Later in his State of the County address, Patterson closed his remarks on the New Yorker piece by saying he only has himself to blame for the incident. Why?

“I was sandbagged, pure and simple. But for a guy who’s been in the public arena for as long as I have, that’s a pretty hard thing to admit.”

Yeah, that’s it. Mount Brooks should’ve just known better. After all the age and wisdom he’s gathered high atop Oakland County, he should’ve known a professional journalist he showed around town for a week would quote things he said to her. 

About The Author

Ryan Felton

Ryan Felton was born in 1990 and spent the majority of his childhood growing up in Livonia. In 2009, after a short stint at Eastern Michigan University, he moved to Detroit where he has remained ever since. After graduating from Wayne State University’s journalism program, he went on to work as a staff writer...
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