Covering Taylor.

I took this photo as I returned to my room in the Marriott during the jazz festival. Those of you who follow me on Instagram have already seen it:

Contrary to the popular belief that Detroit is deserted and desolate, Jefferson was hopping that night. A large motorcycle was idling at the light as I strolled by, with a bumpin’ sound system aboard, blaring “Papa Was a Rolling Stone.” And it only occurred to me later that the opening line of that song is, “It was the third of September,” and this photo was taken on September 3. That’s either an amusing coincidence or a reflection of an exceptionally well-curated playlist.

Anyway, also of note with reference to pop music: The “musty old hall in Detroit” where mourners of the Edmund Fitzgerald prayed in Gordon Lightfoot’s song? That’s it on the left. Old Mariner’s Church. Never been inside, but I bet it’s not musty.

So! Midweek, almost! What’s going on? Well, in Tennessee they’re looking for a Taylor Swift reporter, no seriously, they are:

USA TODAY and The Tennessean/, part of the USA TODAY NETWORK, seeking an experienced, video-forward journalist to capture the music and cultural impact of Taylor Swift. 

Swift’s fanbase has grown to unprecedented heights, and so has the significance of her music and growing legacy. We are looking for an energetic writer, photographer and social media pro who can quench an undeniable thirst for all things Taylor Swift with a steady stream of content across multiple platforms. Seeing both the facts and the fury, the Taylor Swift reporter will identify why the pop star’s influence only expands, what her fanbase stands for in pop culture, and the effect she has across the music and business worlds. 

The successful candidate is a driven, creative and energetic journalist able to capture the excitement around Swift’s ongoing tour and upcoming album release, while also providing thoughtful analysis of her music and career.

We are looking for a journalist with a voice — but not a bias — able to quickly cultivate a national audience through smart content designed to meet readers on their terms. This reporter will chronicle the biggest moments on the next portions of Taylor Swift’s tour, offering readers of USA TODAY, The Tennessean and more than 200 local news sources an inside view.

This journalist must be willing (and legally allowed) to travel internationally.


It so happens I’ve been able to live my life almost entirely unaware of Taylor Swift’s output. When her tour barnstormed the country this summer, I dialed up a best-of playlist on Spotify and listened critically over the course of a few days. My verdict: It’s no surprise why she’s so successful. She has sunk a taproot deep into the hearts and minds of women and girls, ages 14-32, and speaks directly to them. And she, or she and her co-writers, or she, her co-writers and her producers, manage to package this communication in almost flawless pop songs. She’s also social-media savvy in ways that only a digital native can be, and projects a persona that says, “I’m not the one who steals your boyfriend. But I could be your best friend.”

I’ve added one song to my Liked playlist, “Anti-Hero,” and will take it off eventually, but for now, it’s fine.

There. Do I get the job? Yeah, didn’t think so. Not video-forward enough.

Want to know everything about Tim Scott’s love life, such as it is? Interesting and amusing WashPost Style story (gift link):

For months, Scott explained, a friend from church had been trying to set him up with a woman the friend knew. Scott had told him that he wasn’t ready for a relationship. Then, late last year, the friend texted Scott the woman’s photo.

“You know what?” Scott recalled telling his friend after seeing the picture. “I’ve prayed on it. Tell me about her again?”

He got the woman’s number. They started talking, hitting it off with discussions about God and using a phone app to do a Bible study together. Scott said he loved her laugh. They had dinner at a downtown Charleston restaurant. She got the steak, he got the swordfish, and they shared even though, as Scott would later learn, she didn’t care for swordfish. They played pickleball, and Scott was embarrassed to find out that he was the “weak man on the court.”

He wouldn’t tell me her name, and the campaign declined to make her available to chat, even off the record. Technically I can’t verify that she exists, except to note that for a presidential campaign to essentially reverse-catfish America would be insane. (By way of corroboration, DeCasper offered that she’s personally hung out with her at the zoo.)

Scott said he had theories about why other campaigns might want to draw attention to his being single. It’s just a way to “sow seeds of doubt” about his campaign, he said, a way “to say that, ‘That guy isn’t one of us.’”

“It’s like a different form of discrimination or bias,” Scott said. “You can’t say I’m Black, because that would be terrible, so find something else that you can attack.”

I wonder if she lives in Canada.

With that, I’m outta here. Happy Wednesday.

Posted at 7:34 pm in Current events, Detroit life |

32 responses to “Covering Taylor.”

  1. Susan G said on September 12, 2023 at 9:17 pm

    I read the Tim Scott article this morning and thought “why did I waste my sacred mornIng coffee time on this?”

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  2. alex said on September 12, 2023 at 9:19 pm

    It so happens I’ve been able to live my life almost entirely unaware of Taylor Swift’s output.

    Me too.

    “It’s like a different form of discrimination or bias,” Scott said. “You can’t say I’m Black, because that would be terrible, so find something else that you can attack.”

    Grow some balls, Miss Thing. A celibate fag that don’t fuck? You’re the poster child for what the religious right has been preaching. Be it, do it. You’ll be worth even more to them than you are already for being a Black hack.

    Might knock Lady G a little off balance but I’m sure she’ll recover. Anyone who can go from Never Trump to Trump’s personal rim-job-giver back to Never Trump and then back again can survive any political maelstrom.

    What a special state South Carolina is.

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  3. Sherri said on September 12, 2023 at 11:36 pm

    This makes the Mel Tucker/MSU thing small potatoes. Columbia allowed an OB/GYN to assault untold numbers of patients, and even let him return to practice after he was arrested.

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  4. Brandon said on September 13, 2023 at 1:57 am

    If Tim Scott is elected President, he’ll be the first bachelor to occupy that office since Grover Cleveland.

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  5. Dexter Friend said on September 13, 2023 at 3:22 am

    Detroit never used to scare me, as I went to Tigers games and walked from downtown to Tiger Stadium and enjoyed Belle Isle once in a while and patronized bars like Lindell AC after baseball games.
    That was then. The VA contracted examiners set me up with my eye exam in Detroit west of Eastern Market a few blocks in the Cass Corridor. No other place a little closer? No.
    That area I am not familiar with but I assumed parking would be at least a short walk from this office building and with me using a rollator walker these days I didn’t want to be spotted as a lost tourist and easy-pickin’s for a shakedown. Like I tried to convey, I am not a paranoid sheltered person scared of the world, but I also have street smarts enough to not go into neighborhoods I do not know or even have read about. Every city and many towns have areas where you must have your wits about you, right? This exam is for the appeal process I am going through for VA disability claims. So far I have been turned down for all 4 claims my local vet-rep said I would surely be approved for. Anyway, I decided to not go to the Cass Corridor office.

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  6. nancy said on September 13, 2023 at 7:46 am

    This appointment in the Cass Corridor is a contemporary story, not from back in the day? If so, I can assure you — ASSURE you — that you’ll be fine there. The area is entirely gentrified. Hell, I’ll drive you there, if you like. P.S. It’s now known as Midtown.

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  7. Little Bird said on September 13, 2023 at 9:21 am

    I’m pretty sure Taylor owns her production label. But I’m betting she has help with the song writing. Her fan base is much bigger than that too, my 73 year old next door neighbor traveled to go see Taylor in concert. She teaches dance, so it’s not really that odd that she would like Taylor’s music.
    As for myself, I know some of her music, and I actually like some of that, but I wouldn’t dream of paying the asking price for those tickets.

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  8. Icarus said on September 13, 2023 at 10:13 am

    I’m definitely not a Swiftie, but I do enjoy her music. And she is an amazing businesswoman.

    Some dude tried to screw her out of the ability to play her own songs and she turned the tables on him.

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  9. Icarus said on September 13, 2023 at 10:19 am

    Dexter Friend @5: I understand your concern. As I am older and no longer as spry as I used to be, I am cautious as well. That said, there are very few hoods I fear to tread back in Chicago.

    Here in Olive Branch, it irks me when my SIL refers to some section of Memphis as a Ghetto. While not the worst, I grew up in a poor, bad neighborhood in Chicago, and what she considers Ghetto wouldn’t even meet the broadest definition outside of hyperbole.

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  10. FDChief said on September 13, 2023 at 10:58 am

    Here in the People’s Republic of Portland we do “ghetto” as idiosyncratically as we do everything else.

    We don’t do “big contiguous blight” but “pocket hoods” (the old Columbia Villa in North was the exception…) where you go from “kinda rundown” to “okay that’s pretty scary” in a couple of blocks.

    Mind you…we do racism; it’s no coincidence that in the biggest city in a state where it was illegal to be Black until well into the 20th Century that our poverty and all its attendant troubles such as homelessness and addiction are concentrated in the old redlined neighborhoods.

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  11. Deborah said on September 13, 2023 at 11:55 am

    Santa Fe has a few streets that we avoid walking down as much as possible, one is a block over from us. There’s a house on that street that has a bunch of rundown vehicles parked on the lot, one time I counted 14 and it’s not that much space. We drive down that street all the time because it’s on the way to places we go to a lot. We’ve definitely seen drug deals go down there, a car pulls up to the curb, a guy goes over to it hands something over and the car pulls away. Once we saw a guy shooting up there. I can’t figure out how they get away with all of it. The houses around it are nice, you’d think people would complain but I guess everyone is afraid of them, I know we are. They have a junkyard dog that goes nuts when you walk by, it’s penned in but it jumps up very high making me think one of these days it’s going to jump out and kill someone. There used to be a trailer on the lot but that got hauled away, word was that it was a meth lab. Apparently the people who live there now are from an old Santa Fe family that goes way back, supposedly they owned a lot of the land around them, including the land our condo building is on.

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  12. Dexter Friend said on September 13, 2023 at 11:57 am

    I really appreciate this offer and information, nance.
    Yes this is a current thing, but this contracted outfit , called QTC, already cancelled my Detroit appointment and put me on their “fast list” for a closer appointment.
    What a screwed up organization they are. They called and told me they had a Dayton opening. Further than Detroit, I took it anyway. Next day, they called and asked me if I would rather go to Fort Wayne. Yes. Ok… they then canceled Dayton and put me into the Fort Wayne slot. Oops! In the interim of 5 minutes, the slot was filled.
    Ok…I’ll go to Dayton then.
    Guess what?
    Dayton slot also filled in that few minutes.
    Run around?
    What does it sound like?

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  13. Sherri said on September 13, 2023 at 2:10 pm

    I criticize a lot of tech leaders these days, but I want to take a moment to note the passing of John Warnock a few weeks ago. John was the last of a kind, the co-founder with Chuck Geschke of Adobe, startup guys who weren’t 20-something college dropouts but were grownups with PhDs and families. They weren’t assholes, and while Adobe wasn’t a perfect place to work, it was better than average because it wasn’t run by assholes. Neither John nor Chuck were the type to humiliate people in meetings, like Steve Jobs or Bill Gates were wont to do. I’ve been in meetings with John and Chuck, and I never cried afterwards, like happens at Amazon regularly.

    Adobe was a successful company, I enjoyed my time working there, and I respected Chuck and John. We haven’t seen their like since.

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  14. Jeff Borden said on September 13, 2023 at 3:39 pm

    More proof we’re in a heap o’ trouble politically. Mitt Romney, 74, one of the few sane members of the QOP, will not seek reelection next year. He says it’s time for new blood, a call Nancy Pelosi has yet to hear. I didn’t vote for him and don’t agree with him on most major issues, but he was generally a decent fellow with a sense of propriety. God knows who Utah will choose to replace him.

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  15. Julie Robinson said on September 13, 2023 at 5:27 pm

    We are fighting it all in our little corner of central Florida. I’ve written about the banned book library we’re housing at our church. Now we’re also offering the banned-in-Florida AP African American history class.

    As discussions were flying in meetings, the frustration of educators was channeled into a new mission. If they couldn’t teach it in high schools, they could offer it through our group. The teachers are volunteering their time, and students will have to write essays and take the AP test at the end if they want college credit. The rest of us can audit the class by doing the reading and participating in discussion groups.

    So yesterday I was at church when a TV reporter who follows Sarah on Faceebook called. She wanted to send a crew over to interview her. Only, Sarah is on vacation and was in Seattle yesterday. No problem! They interviewed her over zoom, brought the crew over for outdoor shots and a closer from the reporter, and aired it on the 5:00 news. Also the 6:00 news and noon news today.

    Yesterday morning there were 400 people signed up for the class. Now it’s over 700. Take that, Ronny.

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  16. Heather said on September 13, 2023 at 6:16 pm

    Great work, Julie!

    I’m not afraid here in Chicago, but I have to admit that I am a bit alarmed by a rash of armed robberies in some neighborhoods I visit a lot, Logan Square and Wicker Park. These are gentrified neighborhoods with a lot of young people and a lot of businesses. They’ve hit bars and robbed everyone inside, and robbed people on the street in the middle of the day. It does seem like a coordinated effort as several robberies will take place within an hour or so. Being extra vigilant isn’t much help when someone is sticking a gun in your chest.

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  17. David C said on September 13, 2023 at 6:18 pm

    That’s so cool, Julie. I hope it doesn’t give your daughter’s church a Nazi problem and there isn’t push-back from the mouth breathers. Stay strong.

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  18. Deborah said on September 13, 2023 at 6:46 pm

    Very cool Julie, good for your daughter. It feels good to hear positive news like that.

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  19. susan said on September 13, 2023 at 6:54 pm

    How neat, Julie. I hope your daughter stays vigilant for DeSantis-cretins.

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  20. Julie Robinson said on September 13, 2023 at 7:11 pm

    There was definitely a part of me that wasn’t sure if we wanted that publicity or not.

    The day continues to excel–I got all four of us signed up for the new covid vax next Tuesday. Only took 45 minutes online, lol.

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  21. Dave said on September 13, 2023 at 7:59 pm

    Meanwhile in Florida, I see that Death-santis’s surgeon general, a Desantis selected lackey named Joseph Lapado, has recommended no one under 65 get the latest Covid vaccine.

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  22. LAMary said on September 13, 2023 at 10:24 pm

    Dexter, I worked as a contractor for QTC for about four months. I was offered a job there one time earlier and declined after reading the glassdoor reviews online. When I accepted the second time I was hurting for bucks and the glassdoor reviews said “not as bad as it used to be.” It was a fucking snake pit. Veterans Affairs relies on them to find practitioners where they don’t have someone. It’s ugly.

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  23. Dexter Friend said on September 14, 2023 at 3:29 am

    Thanks LA Mary for confirmation of my suspicions regarding QTC; I knew it was in LA, so that’s for-sure the same place. My eye doc at the VA explained why the VA review boards won’t accept her exam results for evals. They rate differently; my doc said she does not even understand their convoluted system.

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  24. Dexter Friend said on September 14, 2023 at 3:38 am

    Heather, I made friends with a WWI vet back in 1979. He asked me to drive him to Logan Square to visit his daughter Ann and her husband Leo and their kids, and I did, never having been there. My friend was Bert, at age 88 his daughter was in her mid 40s with a 15 year old boy child. The streets were busy with kids playing, and then the teenage boy came in to visit his grandpa, and the kid showed proudly his scars. I remember at least one stab wound and two bullet wounds, meaning 2 shooting incidents, both where the bullet went clear through his torso. Tough neighborhood then, and I can see tough now as well.

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  25. Jeff Gill said on September 14, 2023 at 9:51 am

    Julie, my very best to your daughter & her church. May their tribe increase!

    The McKay Coppins story in The Atlantic from his upcoming biography of Romney is worth reading if you can get at it.

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  26. Jeff Borden said on September 14, 2023 at 1:28 pm

    Regarding our fears of certain places: Where are the safe places? Gun violence is everywhere. Churches, schools, retail stores, restaurants, offices, factories. You could make a persuasive argument that there is no place in ‘Murica where you don’t have to worry. The streets of a “bad neighborhood” and the peaceful hall of a synagogue are equally deadly in a violent society like ours.

    More QOP corruption. The fascist meatball governor of Floriduh has the same grift going as Clarence Thomas according to today’s Washington Post. Must be in the QOP DNA.

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  27. Julie Robinson said on September 14, 2023 at 2:40 pm

    As I write this Sarah’s on the phone with a national reporter from NBC and the numbers have reached almost 800.

    Ladapo is a complete jackass and the only people who listen to him are those who are vaccine deniers and the like. He has all kinds of crackpot ideas.

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  28. FDChief said on September 14, 2023 at 2:58 pm

    Of all the post-sanity wingnut fetish objects, the anti-vaxx obsession (Covid reflexively, but now lots of other anti-vaxx weirdness is creeping in…) is the weirdest.

    How can anyone with a functioning hindbrain be pro-polio? Pro-rubella? Pro-shingles? I mean…you want living testimonies to “vaccines are safe” just grab any GI; Christ, we’re filled with ‘em. Yellow fever? Yep! Plague? Yabetcha! We get more vaccines than dairy cows and with nothing more than sore arms.

    You’d think that all these “facts and data” wingnuts would notice a distinct lack of excess mortality amongst GIs once you control for everything else.

    Or, hell, look at the other dataset; excess Covid deaths amongst their anti-vaxx pals…

    But, no.

    Republicans. Sheesh. Can’t live with ‘em, can’t shoot ‘em…

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  29. Jeff Borden said on September 14, 2023 at 5:19 pm

    There’s a certain satisfaction in watching them put themselves in grave danger for an orange slob on a golf cart. Darwin would approve.

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  30. annie said on September 14, 2023 at 7:25 pm

    maybe you can shoot them. with all the “stand your ground,” “open carry,” “he was an illegal alien (or looked like one)” rhetoric flying around, there must be a loophole somewhere. I’m talking about the anti-vaxxers, not Republicans, among whom, sadly, I have a few relatives. I don’t want to shoot them.

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  31. Deborah said on September 14, 2023 at 7:27 pm

    The Clintons were in town for Bill Richardson’s funeral which was held at the Basilica at the Plaza in Santa Fe, which is a beautiful cathedral on the outside but not so great on the inside. I watched some of it online but while I was watching Bill Clinton’s eulogy our power went out for some reason, it came back on 15 mins or so later but I wasn’t in the mood anymore to listen to it.

    I leave Saturday so I’m spending all of my time getting everything squared away with not being here for 3 more months. It’s so beautiful now, everything is so green and lush, surprisingly after the hot, hot, hot few months we’ve had with no rain. Fall is creeping in, which is fine temperature wise, with lows in the the low 50s and upper 40s, such nice sleeping weather. We’ve been having rain lately which is great but aggravating that it has taken so long to finally get here this summer. I will miss the mountains as I always say, but looking forward to the lake and the hustle and bustle of the city of Chicago.

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  32. Sherri said on September 14, 2023 at 8:40 pm

    Anti-vaxx belief has spread to pet owners. Some dog owners don’t believe that rabies vaccination should be mandatory and that it can cause doggie autism.

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