DETROIT (WWJ) – It’s a packed room Thursday evening at Detroit’s Hotel St. Regis, as the National Association of Black Journalists are hearing from ex-Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick.
Kilpatrick said he’s ready for any question from reporters, many of whom covered the text message scandal that cost him his job and landed him in prison.
“The journalists in Detroit, they need a good story with some good facts, and right out of the horse’s mouth; no speculation, I said it, and I’m prepared to do that. I’m looking forward to it,” Kilpatrick said.
But is this appearance a good idea as he faces trial in federal court on corruption charges?
“You know, they said, ‘You shouldn’t do this,’but I think, for me at this particular point in my life it’s good,” said Kilpatrick. “I wanna talk about what you wanna discuss. I told you — it’s no holds barred. Those things I can’t talk about because of ongoing issues, I won’t. But those things people think I might not, they should ask anyway, because I bet you I will.”
Meantime, WWJ Newsradio 950’s Vickie Thomas said that, because it’s a members-only event, Kilpatrick’s appearance has led to a spike in NABJ membership, especially among non-minority journalists.
“Our own Charlie Langton, he’ll be in the crowd tonight. The ex-mayor knows M.L. Elrick, the former Detroit Free Press reporter who blew the lid off the text-messaging scandal, has been a longtime member of the group. We also have a new strong contingent from Channel 7 Action News,” said Thomas, who is president of the NABJ’s Detroit chapter.