There are a lot of things that are bizarre about the way the mainstream media frames articles about Detroit, but some sort of crown should go to USA Today, for using this opener. The article is supposed to be about how Tigers owner Mike Ilitch is "driven to rebuild Detroit." Naturally, it begins with a shout-out to the man from a street drunk.
Michael Prather, 54, who says he's an unemployed general laborer, is wearing a stained black sweatshirt. His gray paints are torn. The reek of alcohol is overpowered only by the stench of his clothing. "I know I don't look so good, and the city don't look good, either," Prather says. "But things will be better. They got to. There are good people trying to make this city better. The man over there, the one that runs the Tigers and our hockey team, he's trying. He's trying real hard. You got to admire that man." WTF, USA? It's one thing to say "Detroit revitalization is not really happening." It's another to say, "here's the worst person in the city we could have used as a resource." Sure the article goes on to get quotes from reputable people, but does any other city get the unevenly walking, whiskey bottle-toting quote treatment from opening lines? We think not. · Tigers owner Mike Ilitch driven to rebuild Detroit [USA Today]