A Michigan activist fighting massive water shutoffs in Detroit called out a local TV reporter for questionable comments he made during an MSNBC segment.
Maureen Taylor, state chairwoman of the Michigan Welfare Rights Organization, accused WDIV’s Hank Winchester of trying to minimize the crisis by suggesting that some customers have the means to pay but refuse. Winchester also said the water department has been working with customers to avoid the shutoffs, which by most accounts is not true.
“To suggest that people don’t want to pay their water bill is scandalous,” Taylor said.
“There are tens of thousands of low-income families who can’t afford their rising water costs.”
The city has already shut off water to more than 4,500 residents and sent out notices to 46,000 others.
Winchester said the original segment was eight-minutes long and included him defending Detroiters who are unable to pay for water bills. He said the truncated video was created by supporters of Taylor.
Taylor said she’d return to the show if Winchester wasn’t involved, saying he “doesn’t know what the hell he’s talking about.”
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.