Detroit News auto writer Scott Burgess recently checked his phone messages and got an earful from an angry reader. Here’s an except from that call:
I’m looking at the Auto Show section of the newspaper. You do a pretty good job, ah — you know what? Of promoting foreign cars. What’s wrong with you idiots? This is Detroit, the Motor City. The Auto Show’s here in Detroit. You know what? You guys are just letting your freak flag fly, aren’t you? Why don’t you show all the foreign cars in a great light in the newspaper? …
You guys are assholes. You wonder why our economy is doing so bad. You know what the thing you should do, is promote American cars. I’m sure China’s doing a great job of promoting our cars in their country, aren’t they? And Europe too, you know. Sure, the German auto show probably does a great job of promoting all the American cars in their papers, don’t they. You guys are idiots. You know what, take your foreign cars, shove ‘em up your ass, you know what — ok — and start to help promote American cars in Detoit, you assholes. …
“I get these messages two or three times a week,” Burgess tells me. “I chose this one to make the video [for his Facebook page] because it was less racially charged than some of the ones I get and this guy sounded more sober than some of the others.
“My guess has always been that a couple of guys are sitting around, having a beer and see something I wrote and it gets them worked up. My phone number runs right at the end of every story, and who doesn’t have a phone on them nowadays?
“Really, I don’t mind that much. People should be passionate about their city and the things they build. But tearing everyone else down has always rubbed me the wrong way. So I had a little fun with it.”
Burgess invites readers to friend him on Facebook and watch the video version of this call.