05/30/12 139 W, 1 I - + 7 - 5 The Adventures of Charlie LeDuff

Here's your investigative reporting video of the week, highlighted by Dave Statter of Statter911 and featuring Detroit's famous (infamous?) reporter Charlie LeDuff. The story contrasts the city's spending on a new public safety building with physical problems (notably plumbing) in some firehouses. Tough situation, for sure. And nothing (right?) like we have in the Carolinas, and on either side of the camera.

There's lots to reflect on here. The nature of investigative journalism, as well as LeDuff's "gotcha" style. The business of public relations and reputation management. The problems in urban fire departments with old stations and tight budgets. The city of Detroit, and it's one-of-a-kind fire problem. Very interesting in many ways, both the story and the issues. For more Charlie, see some of the other links in Statter's posting.

Seems like there is a lot of subject matter for Mr. LeDuff in Detroit. I have been following his reports for some time.
DJ - 05/30/12 - 11:08

I would be curious to know the real story behind the firehouses. The reporter said one house didn’t even have an engine company in it. I find it hard to believe the houses with sewage issues are in service. Surely our brothers haven’t become so cowardly to live in such conditions and not stand up for themselves.
Rescue Ranger - 05/30/12 - 11:49

There’s a provocative label, cowardly. Is the man behind the brick door a coward or a realist for not trying to break the door down with his fists? (It’s early, weak metaphor.) I’m guessing the Detroit system simply isn’t strong enough to provide resources that would obtained through such standing-up for selves. And the fires continue to start, and the trucks continue to roll. What’s Joe or Jane Employee to do? No answers here, but sympathies for sure.
Legeros - 06/01/12 - 07:59

A simple call to OSHA would surely remedy the situation if the firefighters were truly living in those conditions which is why I stated I’d like to hear the true story because all of us public safety workers know how much the media can bend the information that they own.
Rescue Ranger - 06/01/12 - 23:11

That DC got canned for his actions in the video
Mike - 06/01/12 - 23:45

RR, Big City Politics is pretty tough at times. People on the payrolls of whoever. There are no doubt OSHA rules about everything it seems, but what has happened in Detroit did not happen over night. And LeDuff is not the only one reporting it. DFD has long been know as being a neglected department. I am sure the IAFF local has fought, as best they can. But at the core is the inherent corruptness that seems to be Detroit itself.
DJ - 06/02/12 - 07:56

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