Charlie LeDuff interviews dead politicians for Fox 2 News in search of solutions for Detroit

After a controversial segment last week in which the Fox 2 reporter interviewed an image of deceased former Mayor Coleman A. Young, the city’s first black mayor, LeDuff went face-to-face tonight with former Wayne County Executive Ed McNamara, who died in 2006.

McNamara’s image was displayed on a TV screen, and his lips were replaced with the live mouth of Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson, always a prankster.

“We’ve been hearing about him up here,” McNamara said of controversial Wayne County Executive Robert Ficano, whose administration has been accused of corruption. “He’s been making headlines up here.”

McNamara, whose administration also came under suspicion, bragged that the feds “never laid a finger on me.”

LeDuff pointed out, “That’s because you died, sir.”

It was classic LeDuff – pointed, outrageous and funny as hell.

It’s unlikely to offend viewers like the first segment on Mayor Young. The main qualms were that the former mayor’s mouth was replaced with exaggerated lips and buck teeth from Steve Hood, a political analyst for Fox 2.

Those who thought it was in poor taste are likely to find tonight’s refreshingly enjoyable.

LeDuff recently published a book, “Detroit: An American Autopsy,” about growing up in Detroit and returning as a reporter.

Got tips or suggestions? Contact Steve at sneavling@gmail.com

Steve Neavling is an investigative journalist and former city hall reporter for the Detroit Free Press. Living on the city’s east side, Neavling explores corruption, civil liberties and the underbelly of an oft-misunderstood city.    

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Steve Neavling

Steve Neavling lives and works in Detroit as an investigative journalist. His stories have uncovered corruption, led to arrests and reforms and prompted FBI investigations.