Kwame Kilpatrick trial | Nameless bloggers spin wrong message - KMSP-TV

Take hateful, racist online comments for what they're worth: nothing

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DETROIT (WJBK) -

I had the pleasure of appearing on the Charlie Langton Show on 1270-AM Thursday morning with Daniel Ferguson III, who doesn't exactly see eye to eye with me on most issues -- and not just because he's about 6-foot-8.

For starters, Ferguson believes the media and Detroiters who turned their backs on his brother-in-law, Kwame Kilpatrick, are responsible for the former mayor's fall from grace.

I, on the other hand, think Kilpatrick's misuse of city funds, general ineffectiveness, serial adultery and attempt to cover that up with perjury and $8.4 million in taxpayer money had more than a little bit to do with his 2008 resignation.

But if there is one point on which Ferguson and I stand shoulder to shoulder, it's our disdain for the chicken-hearted bloggers and ding-dong ditch cowards who pollute online forums and, consequently, our community.

If it wasn't for the First Amendment, I'd like nothing more than to unplug these yellow bellies who hide behind screen names and phony identities while spewing invective at the former mayor, his co-defendants and their families.

Now I'm no apologist for the Kilpatricks or Fergusons, but everything I write has my name on it and has been thoroughly researched. Much of it has been pretty hard-hitting. All of it has been fair. And if you disagree, you can always find my e-mail, Facebook or Twitter address attached to my work so you can let me know about it.

But the commenters with their supposedly clever noms de plume adhere to no standards -- and have no accountability.

Rumor, innuendo and, far too often, racist rants are the coins of their dark realm.

These pathetic losers are so blinded by their own hatred and prejudice that after Jim Schaefer and I broke the text message scandal in the Free Press in 2008, we got more than a few messages from irate callers telling us they liked the text message stories but couldn't figure out why we were still part of the conspiracy to keep the Manoogian Mansion party quiet!

For the record, Schaefer and I have been pursuing leads on the party for nearly a decade -- and haven't found a scrap of proof or credible witness yet.

One of the worst things about these bomb throwers is that they fuel the wrong-headed world view of Kilpatrick, Ferguson and their friends and family who believe the former mayor is the victim of a vast conspiracy to topple black leaders. Kilpatrick has used their hateful words twice in attempts to rally support to his cause -- first, in the infamous 2008 State of the City address in which he said he and his family had received threats, and then last month in his bid to get his trial moved out of Detroit.

What hacks me off the most about these paper tigers is that, at a time we should all be coming together to help rebuild our community, they only serve to push us further apart.

Follow M.L. Elrick's coverage of the Kilpatrick & Co. trial daily on Fox 2 and at www.myfoxdetroit.com. Contact him at ml.elrick@foxtv.com or via Twitter (@elrick) or Facebook.

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