Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson blasts Detroit in 'The New Yorker' magazine

(WXYZ) - Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson is facing some heat for comments he said about Detroit in a national magazine.

In this week's issue of The New Yorker  (subscription required), Patterson was profiled and the headline, "Drop Dead, Detroit."

Patterson was pretty candid on what he thinks about the city and its bankruptcy problem.

In the article, he states:

Anytime I talk about Detroit, it will not be positive. Therefore, I'm called a Detroit basher. The truth hurts, you know?  I used to say to my kids, 'First of all, there's no reason for you to go to Detroit. We've got restaurants out here.' They don't even have movie theatres in Detroit - not one.

He went on to say that if you have to stop for gas in Detroit, that's just a call for carjacking.

Patterson didn't talk much about his accident last spring that has left him seriously injured.

We did reach out to Patterson today and his office issued the following statement:

It is clear Paige Williams had an agenda when she interviewed County Executive Patterson. She cast him in a false light in order to fit her preconceived and outdated notions about the region. Mr. Patterson's record on advancing regional issues in a transparent and responsible manner is unparalleled. His initiatives have had a positive impact on the region such as Automation Alley, CLEMIS, and his leadership on the Cobo Authority.

The mayor's office had no comment. Reverend Charles Williams II and the Michigan chapter of the National Action Network are demanding a public apology from L. Brooks Patterson for his remarks. The network plans to hold a press conference on Tuesday at 11 a.m.

Many Detroiters were upset to hear the slams against the city and told 7 Action News that Patterson went too far.

"He needs to check into some things," said Detroiter Derrick Porter.  "Maybe he needs to come down here and live or something and we live in the area and it's not that bad."

"We do bike a lot.  There is a ton of stuff to do. The science center is offering a ton of activities, and I go to the DIA pretty often," said Brittany West who lives in Detroit.

We found out that it wasn't just Detroiters upset with Patterson's scathing remarks.

"We live in Livonia," said Mark Hourigan.  He and his wife regularly bring their daughter downtown.  Tonight they had been at the North American International Auto Show.

"They're so many different restaurants that we haven't even been to yet.  Just driving around, it's amazing," said Trisha Hourigan.

"I love it, it's nice," said Greg Stier.  He and his wife live in the small town of Algonac.

"I'm from a town of four-thousand and I come here once a week," said Stier.

We did find others who rarely visit downtown Detroit, like Chad Reagen's brothers who live in Oakland County.  Reagen said his siblings rarely go to Detroit.

"I think they think it's unsafe.  They have that perception," said Reagan.

Native Detroiter Jessie Jordan who now lives in Royal Oak told us that some of the perceptions exist for a reason.

"I have no problem you just can't stray too far in the wrong area. But it's getting better," said Jordan.

He and his friends said Detroit will never be the city it once was if people keep talking out against it.

"If people aren't going to participate, it's not going to work.  In order for the city to thrive, people have to go downtown. They need to go to the businesses there and make the city active again," said Dan Radlick of Royal Oak.

7 Action News did reach out to The New Yorker and the author of the article for comment but we have not heard back from them yet.

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