Following in the footsteps of Donald Trump, Kid Rock denied a newspaper press credentials for his concert on Tuesday after it ran a negative opinion piece about him.
The musician is headlining a series of concerts inaugurating the Little Caesars Arena in Detroit beginning Tuesday night, and the Detroit Free Press was informed by his publicist that its reporters would not be welcomed to cover the first performance after a critical column by Free Press editorial page editor Stephen Henderson.
“You guys wrote a f—ed up story and allowed it to be published. You want a quote, there it is,” publicist Kirt Webster told the paper. “To be published without doing any fact checking on what Kid Rock has done for the city of Detroit? We don’t condone bad behavior. We won’t reward bad behavior.”
During the presidential election, Donald Trump routinely denied access to news outlets that offended him or his staff, including The Washington Post, Univision, BuzzFeed and Politico.
In a column titled, “Kid Rock opener at Little Caesars Arena is middle finger to Detroiters,” Henderson criticized the decision to have the musician open the taxpayer-subsidized arena.
Henderson slammed the musician as someone “who got rich off crass cultural appropriation of black music, who used to wrap his brand in the Confederate flag … and who has repeatedly issued profane denouncements of the very idea of African Americans pushing back against American inequality.”
“This isn’t about music and whether Kid Rock is any good. Lots of people can argue, legitimately, about that,” he wrote. “It’s about culture — our culture, in our city. This is a place of incredible, rich diversity, of immigrants and native peoples and the descendants of slaves, all hardened by our history but resilient and powerful in our determination for a bright future.”
The musician responded to the criticism in a Facebook post on Monday proclaiming that he “love[s] black people.”
“I am the bonified KING OF DETROIT LOVE and it makes me smile down deep that you haters know that! Your jealousy is merely a reflection of disgust for your own failures and lack of positive ideas for our city,” he wrote. “I am however very disappointed that none of the people, businesses or charities I have so diligently supported in Detroit have had anything to say about all these unfounded attacks from these handful of jackasses and The Detroit Free Press.”
In a statement, regional editor Jeff Taylor said the paper is “disappointed” to be denied press credentials for the concert, but promised to continue to cover the opening of the arena.
“We’re disappointed by it,” Taylor said. “Henderson’s column was an opinion piece, which is separate from news. We have covered the opening of the arena extensively and fairly in our news coverage, and from a variety of perspectives. We’ll continue to do that, factually and fairly, and to cover Kid Rock and the issues as well.”