Singer, rapper, and possible politician Kid Rock on Monday denied press credentials to the Detroit Free Press as he opens the new Little Caesar's Arena, saying the Free Press was unduly critical of him.
The action came as a response to the column published Sept. 3 by Free Press Editorial Page Editor Stephen Henderson who wrote Kid Rock is not the proper performer to open the stadium, built with taxpayer funding.
"You guys wrote a f****ed up story and allowed it to be published. You want a quote, there it is," the artist's publicist Kirt Webster told the Free Press on Monday.
The paper noted its staff pays for tickets to concerts, but requests press credentials so it can bring in cameras and laptop computers to file stories.
The paper argued Webster's column was an opinion piece, separate from its news coverage, and said the newsroom has given fair coverage from several angles to the debut of the Little Caesar's Arena.
Among Henderson's criticisms, were claims the native Michigander, who is white, is a singer who "got rich off crass cultural appropriation of black music, who used to wrap his brand in the confederate flag — a symbol inextricably linked to racism, no matter what its defenders say — and who has repeatedly issued profane denouncements of the very idea of African Americans pushing back against American inequality."
Kid Rock said he would no longer use the confederate flag in 2011 after receiving an award from the NAACP.
Webster, Kid Rock's publicist, was not appeased by the paper's arguments.
"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," he said.
Earlier Monday, Kid Rock railed against critics, including the Free Press, in a Facebook Post, saying he would stop donating to charitable causes who have failed to stand by him against attacks.
"They are trying to use the old confederate flag BS, etc. to stir the pot, when we all know none of this would be going on if I were not thinking of running for office," he wrote.
Kid Rock, whose real name is Robert James Ritchie, has hinted he might run for U.S. Senate as a Republican for the seat currently held by Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich.
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