M.L. Elrick and Jim Schaefer won the 2009 local reporting Pulitzer Prize for their Detroit Free Press investigation of Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick. Last week, Elrick complained to Detroit Metro Times about his name not appearing on the “piece of shit crystal from Tiffany’s” that he got for winning the top prize in journalism.
“The Pulitzer people were jerks,” he told the alt-weekly. “My issue is that what could have been the one thing I would be grateful to pass down to future generations is instead an essentially worthless hunk of crystal because neither my children nor grandchildren will pick it up and say, ‘Boy, I’m so proud of Grandpa Free Press Staff!'”
Former Free Press reporter David Ashenfelter scolded ex-colleague Elrick — now a Fox 2 Detroit investigative reporter — for his comments and reminded him that he was “significantly assisted by other Free Press staffers who worked tirelessly on the story.”
Be grateful that you won the biggest prize in American newspaper journalism. And be generous with the people who helped you — as well as the organization that recognized you, Jim and the team of reporters for extraordinary work.
Here’s what followed on Elrick’s Facebook page: