EPISODE TWELVE

Fake News

Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick talks to his supporters at the end of primary voting in downtown Detroit in the 2005 mayoral election. Kilpatrick finished second, placing him in a difficult position to win re-election.  Courtesy of the Detroit Free Press.

Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick talks to his supporters at the end of primary voting in downtown Detroit in the 2005 mayoral election. Kilpatrick finished second, placing him in a difficult position to win re-election. Courtesy of the Detroit Free Press.

As rumors about a wild party at the mayor’s mansion continue to spread, Kwame Kilpatrick must fend off an increasingly unsympathetic media. Meanwhile, his opponent in the next election has a double-digit lead. Can the hip hop mayor survive?

LISTEN TO EPISODE TWELVE


Another Frenzy

Former deputy police chief Gary Brown, left, during a press conference with his attorney. Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick fired Brown during a police investigation into rumors about a party at the Manoogian Mansion.  Courtesy of the Detroit Free Press.

Former deputy police chief Gary Brown, left, during a press conference with his attorney. Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick fired Brown during a police investigation into rumors about a party at the Manoogian Mansion. Courtesy of the Detroit Free Press.

Detroit mayor Kwame Kilpatrick addresses the press in front of the Manoogian Mansion in 2003. During the press conference, Kilpatrick defended his recent firing of Gary Brown and denied having a party at the mayoral mansion.  Courtesy of the Detroit Free Press.

Detroit mayor Kwame Kilpatrick addresses the press in front of the Manoogian Mansion in 2003. During the press conference, Kilpatrick defended his recent firing of Gary Brown and denied having a party at the mayoral mansion. Courtesy of the Detroit Free Press.

Why did the mayor let go of the person who’s in charge of investigating the cops?
— Reporter Heather Catallo
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THE CHALLENGER

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Kwame Kilpatrick jokes with the media after he and his wife Carlita voted in the 2005 Detroit mayoral primary. Detroit has an open primary system, so the top two vote-getters would run against each other in the November election.  Courtesy of the Detroit Free Press.

Kwame Kilpatrick jokes with the media after he and his wife Carlita voted in the 2005 Detroit mayoral primary. Detroit has an open primary system, so the top two vote-getters would run against each other in the November election. Courtesy of the Detroit Free Press.

Mayoral candidate Freman Hendrix addresses a crowd at his campaign party after polls closed in the 2005 primary. Hendrix cast himself as a safe, responsible choice for mayor, highlighting the scandals swirling around his opponent.  Courtesy of the Detroit Free Press.

Mayoral candidate Freman Hendrix addresses a crowd at his campaign party after polls closed in the 2005 primary. Hendrix cast himself as a safe, responsible choice for mayor, highlighting the scandals swirling around his opponent. Courtesy of the Detroit Free Press.

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I saw a collective effort on the part of a lot of people in the city, including Detroit’s media, endorsing him.
— Kwame Kilpatrick
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Time for Some Offense

Political consultant Adolph Mongo designed a provocative ad suggesting that Kwame Kilpatrick was the victim of a modern-day lynching by Detroit’s mostly white media. The ad appeared in two black newspapers, setting off a firestorm of controversy.

Political consultant Adolph Mongo designed a provocative ad suggesting that Kwame Kilpatrick was the victim of a modern-day lynching by Detroit’s mostly white media. The ad appeared in two black newspapers, setting off a firestorm of controversy.

People say they don’t like negative ads. That’s BS, they love it.
— Adolph Mongo
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A PANDEMIC AT THE DEBATE

Freman Hendrix sits on stage during the second mayoral debate against Kwame Kilpatrick at Wayne State University in Detroit. In that debate, Kilpatrick took Hendrix to task for his response to how he would make sure Detroit was ready for a flu pandemic.  Courtesy of the Detroit Free Press.

Freman Hendrix sits on stage during the second mayoral debate against Kwame Kilpatrick at Wayne State University in Detroit. In that debate, Kilpatrick took Hendrix to task for his response to how he would make sure Detroit was ready for a flu pandemic. Courtesy of the Detroit Free Press.

It was one of the best takedowns that I have ever seen in my life. And the crowd went crazy.
— Christine Beatty
Over the course of three debates, Kwame Kilpatrick and Freman Hendrix sparred on the issues, but things also got personal. Hendrix called Kilpatrick out for his flashy persona, and in one debate Kilpatrick insinuated that Hendrix had a criminal record.  Courtesy of the Detroit Free Press.

Over the course of three debates, Kwame Kilpatrick and Freman Hendrix sparred on the issues, but things also got personal. Hendrix called Kilpatrick out for his flashy persona, and in one debate Kilpatrick insinuated that Hendrix had a criminal record. Courtesy of the Detroit Free Press.


FOUR MORE YEARS

Kwame Kilpatrick gives a speech to supporters at the Detroit Marriott Renaissance Center after polling closed on election day in 2005. He came from behind to secure an upset win over challenger Freman Hendrix.  Courtesy of the Detroit Free Press.

Kwame Kilpatrick gives a speech to supporters at the Detroit Marriott Renaissance Center after polling closed on election day in 2005. He came from behind to secure an upset win over challenger Freman Hendrix. Courtesy of the Detroit Free Press.

It was like, ‘What the hell?’ They’re stealing this election right out from under us. How does that happen?
— Greg Bowens, spokesman for freman hendrix
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Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick celebrates his victory among family, friends, and volunteers at the Detroit Mariott Renaissance Center early in the morning following election day.  Courtesy of the Detroit Free Press.

Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick celebrates his victory among family, friends, and volunteers at the Detroit Mariott Renaissance Center early in the morning following election day. Courtesy of the Detroit Free Press.

Supporters of Kwame Kilpatrick rejoice after he gives a speech. Several supporters wore shirts emblazoned with “Freman Who?”  Courtesy of the Detroit Free Press.

Supporters of Kwame Kilpatrick rejoice after he gives a speech. Several supporters wore shirts emblazoned with “Freman Who?” Courtesy of the Detroit Free Press.

Kwame Kilpatrick speaks to the crowd at the Fox Theatre in downtown Detroit as he is inaugurated for his second term as mayor.  Courtesy of the Detroit Free Press.

Kwame Kilpatrick speaks to the crowd at the Fox Theatre in downtown Detroit as he is inaugurated for his second term as mayor. Courtesy of the Detroit Free Press.

You can’t hide behind the seal of the mayor forever, or governor, or president. It’s just not possible.
— Greg Bowens, SPOKESMAN FOR FREMAN HENDRIX

EPISODE CREDITS

Crimetown is Marc Smerling and Zac Stuart-Pontier. This season is made in partnership with Gimlet Media and Spotify. This episode was produced by John White, Samantha Lee, Soraya Shockley, and Rob Szypko. The senior producer is Drew Nelles. Editing by Zac Stuart-Pontier and Marc Smerling. Fact-checking by Jennifer Blackman. This episode was mixed, sound designed, and scored by Kenny Kusiak. Original music this season composed by Homer Steinweiss. We recorded some original music at Rustbelt Studios in Detroit in partnership with Detroit Sound Conservancy. Special thanks to Carleton Gholz and Maurice “Pirahnahead” Herd. Additional music by Kenny Kusiak and John Kusiak. Additional mixing by Bobby Lord. Our theme song is “Politicians In My Eyes” by Death.

Our credit music this week is “Survival Kit” by Phat Kat. Archival research by Brennan Rees. Archival material courtesy of WXYZ and the Walter P. Reuther Library at Wayne State University. Show art and design by James Cabrera and Elise Harven. Thanks to the Detroit Free Press, Peter Bhatia, Mary Schroeder, Mary Wallace, Max White, Randy Lundquist, Erick Hetherington at D&D Video, Devin Scillian, Melissa Samson, the Charles H. Wright Museum of African-American History, the Detroit Historical Society, Brendan Roney, Mike Martin, Ron Fleming, Art Blackwell, Harold Gurewitz, ML Elrick, Darci McConnell, Charlie LeDuff, Zak Rosen, Elizabeth Clemens, Miles Feldsott, and everyone who shared their stories with us. Detroit is an amazing place, and we’re honored to tell a small part of its story.