Charlie LeDuff says he’s no partisan hack | Metro Detroit News | Detroit | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #hacker

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Steve Neavling

Charlie LeDuff’s iconic boots.

Whatever you do, don’t call Charlie LeDuff a conservative.

The Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter who was fired from the Detroit News over the weekend for using a coded phrase to call Michigan’s Democratic Attorney General a misogynist slur pushed back against claims that he’s become a right-wing provocateur.

“I like conservative people, [like] my grandparents,” LeDuff said Tuesday on ML’s Soul of Detroit, a podcast hosted by investigative reporter ML Elrick. “All of a sudden I’m some right-wing dude. What are you talking about? I don’t like war. I don’t like old people getting abused. I don’t like cheaters. I don’t like bad public policy. I don’t like corruption. I’m not afraid.”

When asked if the “right-wing” label bothered him, LeDuff replied, “Yeah, it does. It does.”

Over the past two years, LeDuff has been accused of lurching to the right to attract a conservative fanbase. On his podcast, No Bullshit News Hour, LeDuff has focused much of his attention on airing grievances about Democrats, immigration, COVID-19 nursing home deaths, Hamas, Hunter Biden, Ukraine, the “deep state,” the media, and defunding the police.

Among his recent guests were conservatives such as former U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers, presidential candidate Perry Johnson, and Breitbart writer Poncho Ortiz, whom LeDuff called “the baddest reporter on the border.” LeDuff also interviewed Robert F. Kennedy, whose long-shot bid for president as an independent has drawn more support from Republicans than Democrats.

LeDuff’s page on X, formerly known as Twitter, is riddled with sensational and unflattering images of Democrats, and he uses brash adjectives to describe left-leaning politicians. He’s referred to President Joe Biden as “bumbling,” “stumbling,” and a “beach blanket.” He’s also called U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Detroit, a “cheater, thief, and scam artist.” On Aug. 15, LeDuff suggested Hillary Clinton, not Russia, interfered in the 2016 election.

He also frequently appears on Fox News and conservative podcasts, including one hosted by Tim Pool, a liberal-turned-conservative firebrand.

As a result, LeDuff has gained a passionate right-wing following. Among them is former Michigan Republican Party Chairwoman and election denier Meshawn Maddock, who recently called for a fundraiser to support LeDuff.

On Elrick’s show, LeDuff pointed out that he previously asked tough questions to Republican gubernatorial candidate Tudor Dixon regarding her position on abortion, and, in opposition to the party’s de facto leader Donald Trump, repeatedly denied there was widespread election fraud in 2020. (LeDuff worked as an absentee ballot processor in Detroit, where he said he saw no evidence of fraud.)

“I’ve bent over backwards in life to be of some service to the community,” LeDuff told Elrick.

LeDuff called Attorney General Dana Nessel the slur after her office denounced a Detroit News column LeDuff wrote alleging impropriety regarding an investigation into Traci Kornack, a personal injury lawyer and treasurer of the Michigan Democratic Party who was accused of bilking an insurance company out of nearly $50,000 by using the account of an elderly, brain-damaged client.

Elrick’s co-host Shawn Windsor told LeDuff that he missed the feature stories about everyday Americans that helped make LeDuff a household name.

“I think sometimes we get lost in this idea that unless we’re busting somebody’s chops, you’re not performing a service as a journalist, and I’ve never ascribed to that,” he said. “I think all of it is important. … Finding out what folks do in their day-to-day life and writing about that and capturing that … that matters.”

LeDuff said he plans on getting back to those stories.

“Let me take a break, get some sleep, take a deep breath, and go back and do some of that stuff,” LeDuff said. [It’s] the shit that made me happy.”

LeDuff admitted that he sometimes gets in his own way.

“Yes, there is some rage inside me,” LeDuff said. “I try to keep it out of the newspaper and be nice and sober and do my work. And then I go to my social media and fuck myself up.”

Elrick and Windsor reminded LeDuff he shouldn’t call women vulgar names.

“The c-word, man, I don’t think you can use that on anybody,” Elrick said.

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