Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Craig Ferguson, Flint, and Murders


Whoever's in charge of PR for Flint should be in crisis mode after an appearance last night on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson by two local nurses named Christy and Rachel who were vacationing in Los Angeles. Feguson brought the pair up on stage. After complimenting their wardrobes, Ferguson asked a simple question: "What goes on in Flint, Michigan?" Christy's response: "Murders."

The crowd seemed to love it, prompting Ferguson to dole out a mild rebuke: "Excuse me, I just have to talk to the audience...That's not funny. What the hell's wrong with you? Murders? Yeah!" 

You can see the episode here. It's at the very beginning of the show.

22 comments:

  1. Unfortunately, perception is reality; one promulgated by Flint's annual appearance on the FBI's 'most violent cities' list.

    This is how a majority of the rest of America sees Flint, which is really sad. How many people in this country even know where Buick or General Motors was founded?

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  2. Torrey Hammerberg XIIMay 14, 2013 at 4:42 PM

    I correspond sometimes by email with the daughter of a rock and roll artist from Newark, another town that often shows up in the top 10 worst cities. She asked where I was from, and I said Flint. As it turned out, she lived in one of the better parts of Newark, and she understood completely when I told her I grew up in one of the better parts of Flint. There are still good parts of Flint. Newark, and every other city. But I suspect that these girls are from Grand Blanc or some other suburb.

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    1. what good part?

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    2. This isn't where I grew up, but I can't find other neighborhoods with pictures. There are still areas that are good, including the one pictured. They aren't quite as large and classic as these.

      http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/showthread.php?t=163915

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  3. Would it have made good TV if Christy had said "world class heavy duty and extended body pickup truck manufacturing"? I'd think not.

    Obviously Ferguson wanted the response they provided...it fit right into his schtick.

    I'd guess based on showbiz experience that the studio audience was asked to fill out info cards upon arrival, and an assistant producer spotted the Flint connection, from which a quick creative conference arrived at a comedy plan and they were coached as to the question Craig would ask and what response was wanted.

    They got to be on stage briefly, he got some laughs. We got bumped around a bit. No big deal. There are thousands of podunk small cities that no one knows anything about. At least we've got mindshare, so the next time something notably good happens here it'll be much easier to get people's attention.

    Consider this PR perspective, which over the years I've seen attributed to Liz Taylor, Huey Long, George M. Cohan, Harry Truman, Charles Finley and others: "All publicity is good publicity. Say anything you want about me as long as you spell my name right."

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    1. I've been to Craig's show. Nothing is scripted. The audience doesn't fill anything out. If people are picked out of the audience, it's totally random. Craig is a master of improv, which you'd know if you watched his show at all. If you watched his show, you'd also know that the man has a huge heart, and would rather not make a joke at the expense of the feelings of others. I'm including a clip to the beginning of his show the night of the Boston marathon bombing... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N3euqEFe58w

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  4. Splattered CadaverMay 14, 2013 at 7:33 PM

    Parts of Grand Blank in 2013 are pretty much equivalent to East Village in 1990, Berry Patch in 1995, or Circle Drive in 2000. GB and Carman don't quite have the cache of days yon. These gals might be from Clio or Davison, but nowadays that is close enough to Flint. Besides, they are nurses- thee most underrated profession.


    ... and give the blonde credit- great timing, great mannerisms, and funny. If they ain't from Flint, then I say give 'em a Flint Pass.*



    *an old 105 Rock Card "Flint Pass" scrawled across it with a sharpie

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  5. Flint is beyond fixing with "PR" or the natinal guard as they have mentioned bringing here sevetal times the oast couple years. Flints reputation isn't really a secret if you watch the news.

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  6. The only difference between your town and Flint is that the Grim Reaper just likes to visit us first. ~~Michael Moore. I'm not saying that I agree with everything he says, but this statement is true.

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    1. I'm not saying it's not true. In many ways the crime rate sums up everything that happens to Flint. And if I wasn't from Flint I would have thought it was pretty funny. But I feel like we're beyond the joking point when it comes to Flint and Detroit and many other cities. I hate to think we now just accept that American cities get like this now.

      But it's a comedy bit. Craig's not expecting a nuanced answer. Although he's a bright guy. He might have found it refreshing.

      Then again, I probably would have cracked up if she had been from Newark.

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  7. What is the problem here! These two gals made a comedic flip comment about a city that has made national news because of the murder rate. Would it have been more accurate if the blonde making the comment was Diane Sawyer. I think not. Sorry Flint, but the truth is the truth, no matter how distasteful it is or how much we don't like hearing the words. Good job girls. The segment did exactly what it was meant to do....entertain.

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    1. Hear, hear! We must keep the masses entertained while their cities crumble into the ground, wages plummet, debt skyrockets, and the gap between rich and poor widens every day. Laugh it up! It's hilarious. But for God's sake, don't take steps to correct the problems or talk about them in a serious way.

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  8. Torrey Hammerberg XIIMay 15, 2013 at 10:14 AM

    Flint. Coming soon to a city near you.

    I used to hear how bad Flint was from the people around Detroit, even in Detroit. The media in Detroit made a point to make out that Flint was much worse, and even overestimate the DISTANCE between Flint and Detroit. Detroit, regardless of crime RATES, is a whole lot scarier and on a much grander SCALE.

    The distance myth continues. The other day, Mitch Albom was discussing a situation where a Detroit celebrity was spotted at the Holly Hotel. Mitch, who probably lives in the same County as Holly, incredulously observed that Holly is three quarters of the way to Flint, which he apparently thinks is near Katmandu or Timbuktu. Look at a map, Mitch.

    It also reminds me of the parody song Deteriorata, which states that no matter how bad things may seem, they are always worse in Milwaukee. Probably, Chicago media do a number on Milwaukee. And Chicago, once the bastion of good PR, is going downhill fast, murders rising dramatically in a city with some of the strictest gun laws in the country.

    But suburban areas around large cities are also rapidly deteriorating. Remember when they talked about all the boarded up stores in Downtown Flint? Nowadays, suburban malls and shopping centers in many areas sit empty or largely vacant, or never occupied in the first place. Some malls have even been torn down.

    Remember when California and San Francisco were always on the leading edge, ahead of the curve on new trends and fads? Well, Flint is the new San Francisco for setting trends. You have to come back now, Gordo!

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  9. Schadenfreude is the basis for a lot of humor.

    People love having someone or someplace that they can feel superior to.

    If you go through a phase during which you don't have much to brag about, and you're the butt of a lot of jokes...well, hey, that's in itself something to brag about.

    Humor is good for people...so we're helping to manage America's healthcare costs.

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  10. My husband and I were born in Flint, MI, attended Flint Schools, and our first jobs were based in Flint, MI. When we go to Florida in the winters, Ft. Myers area...we meet people from other US States, and Canada. When asked where we live, in place of saying Flushing, MI...you say Flint. Why, well people read and hear about Flint...and then after talking with them, we say 14 miles west in a small town, called Flushing. These girls may be from the surrounding areas, however if they are nurses IN FLINT, they are familiar with the many shootings, and murders which do occur, sadly enough, in FLINT.
    Flint was a GM Town, my grandparents, parents and myself all worked for FLINT based General Motors plants. I started at BUICK, 1976. That plant is no longer there. My father and Mother worked at AC Spark Plug, so did my grandparents...in the 50, 60's. I drive through Flint on occasion, but it is a dying town. (no pun intended).

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    1. Craig Ferguson (is Ferguson a Flint street name?)May 16, 2013 at 4:44 PM

      Dying? Hell, I'm LIVING until I'm dead. Besides, wasn't Ft. Myers ground zero for the foreclosure crisis?


      This might be the longest conversation ever held about Craig Ferguson.

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  11. The truth is that the media reports so little of what goes on here. You never hear them mention the number of calls for shots fired into homes that are not responded to. The PD is so understaffed that they just can't answer all the calls they get. Sadly, people get used to it and see it as just another day in Flint. What really gets me is that shots fired into an occupied home is reported as malicious destruction of property. If it's occupied, I'd call it attempted murder.

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  12. This happens all over the place, Dave, reporting crimes as something less serious than they really are. And many cities appear better on paper because of the misreporting. All over, things like assaults by young people are referred to schools for discipline, in order to reduce crime statistics and keep younger people from having criminal records. Many more serious crimes are reported as something like disorderly conduct. Flint is bad, but the rest of the country is catching up fast.

    But I am also upset that many people think that the whole State of Michigan is like Detroit and Flint. It has to affect tourism. I've even seen ignorant people from other parts of the country post things on blogs like they wouldn't even vacation in Traverse City just because it's in Michigan. Has anyone ever looked at a good old fashioned paper map? Things like Google Maps give little perspective, only a map that covers a large area with next to no detail, or a detailed street level map that only covers an area of a few miles square. Intermediate scale maps are totally useless, with no city limits or street names shown, just a bunch or roads with no description.

    And I think all online information has the same kinds of limitation. Web news page links often don't have a date or any indication of the location. I'm sorry, Channel 7 News doesn't tell us much, nor does a nationally duplicated Circle 7 logo clear that up, for instance, with suburban towns with nationally duplicated names being mentioned.

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    1. Milwaukee, Chicago, Indianapolis, Cleveland and Detroit have been explaining away their mall take overs and public disturbances as "mischievous youth". A far shot from what is really going on.
      Especially, when you know someone who got carted to the hospital or
      buried the week-end before.

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  13. Jan Worth-NelsonMay 17, 2013 at 6:07 PM

    I found these girls -- and Craig -- charming and refreshing -- even while I was groaning: Oh, gawd, here we go again. Well, maybe I just have a taste for gallows humor on a long Friday night. I'm with jWilly -- assuming you don't get shot at on Hamilton Ave., it's good for the health to laugh at the absurdity of it all.

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  14. Yo people putting down. flint and. think it's funny is NOT to those of us who have to live here ! So glad youqr getting some pleasure from our pain!!

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    1. Spoken like a true'toid.

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