December 24, 2008, - 10:33 am
By Debbie Schlussel
The biggest story here in Detroit isn’t the dying auto industry or the mountains of snow and tundra-like low temperatures. It’s Detroit News columnist and ESPN contributor Rob Parker’s extremely rude question to Detroit Lions Head Coach Rod Marinelli.
The question not only crossed over the line for a so-called professional journalist, but with the Lions at 0 and 15, it’s also an enormous piling on on a guy who is already down and probably out. Here’s the video. I agree with all of the FOX NFL analysts comments, especially Terry Bradshaw. Rob Parker crossed the line and did this to get attention. It isn’t the first time.
For the record, I knew Rob Parker. He and I both used to have radio talk shows on a CBS Radio station in Detroit, and my show came on after his, every night. While he did not treat me badly, he is what I call a “militant,” for whom everything is racist even when clearly it is not. When I called a pro athlete who was Black–I think it was Latrell Sprewell–a “thug,” he said I was “racist,” even though I’d called a criminal White athlete a “thug,” too.
When I discussed affirmative action on my show and how I was against it–he called my show, angrily. But the fact is that he had a show and his lackluster column in The Detroit News because of race. At the radio station, he was mostly absent, and the show was basically done entirely by his on-air co-host. His colleagues at the News tell me he’s heavily edited, and his column is still terrible.
And that’s why a guy who says the kind of things Rob Parker said to Rod Marinelli about his daughter is in the position to begin with–affirmative action. He’s a lackluster columnist, and there are other Black writers at the paper who are far better–like Terry Foster. The Detroit News should fire Parker, but they won’t. And race isn’t the only reason.
The paper has a problem disciplining its reporters who commit blatant acts of misconduct. As I previously reported on this site, Detroit News “reporter” David Shepardson made up a whole story on an Islamic terrorist being beaten in jail, then having been deported. But I got the incident report, and the injuries were far more minor than Shepardson reported. Oh, and the terrorist was still here and hadn’t been deported. The entire article was fiction. And I exposed it on this site. Shepardson was not only not disciplined, but he was promoted for the fabricated story, and is now the Detroit Newsistan’s Washington reporter.