Detroit News editor apologizes after reporting satirical story about Ted Nugent and Kid Rock as fact


  • Harmony Gerber /
  • Ted Nugent.

Our rule at Metro Times is that satire should be so over the top that no reasonable person would mistake it for the truth. But the ramblings of Ted Nugent and Kid Rock are so extreme that it can be hard to distinguish them from fiction, apparently even with members of their own in-group.

Case in point: Detroit News editorial page editor Nolan Finley apologized Friday after he published a short item in his newsletter about the two rock stars, failing to realize that it was from a satirical website called The Hard Times.

"Sloppy work ... from me," Nolan admits in his Friday newsletter. "Thursday's newsletter included an item about a bedside visit between an ailing Ted Nugent and Kid Rock. I failed to notice it was from a satiric website, and was a spoof. My apologies. I should have been more careful."

Earlier this week, Nugent revealed he had been diagnosed with a case of COVID-19 that left him bedridden for days. In the video, Nugent, who has downplayed COVID-19 and called it "not a real pandemic," remained skeptical of doctors and vaccines even as he was coughing. It was later reported that Nugent tested positive days after performing at an "anti-mask" grocery store in Florida.

The Detroit News's original item has since been deleted, but it read: "Nobody does COVID-19 like Ted Nugent. The Motor City Madman is down with the virus, and summoned his buddy and fellow Detroit rocker Kid Rock to his bedside for a symbolic passing of the torch should he not recover."

The link sent readers to an article from The Hard Times headlined "Ailing Ted Nugent Summons Kid Rock to His Chambers." The Hard Times is a sort of music magazine version of The Onion.

The article is filled with fake quotes that apparently didn't set off any alarm bells over at The Detroit News, including one in which the ailing Nugent endorses Kid Rock as his successor by saying, "Whether it is threatening elected officials, taking a near-sexual pleasure from killing animals, or engaging in inappropriate relationships with adolescent girls, Kid must be ready to lead by these principles."

Another quote attributed to a roadie named Dusty "The Stink" Booker calls Nugent a "washed-up, over-opinionated, and generally racist knob," adding, "being a reactionary douchebag who appeals to the lowest common denominator and stopped being taken seriously as a musician years ago, Kid Rock is the best choice."

And the kicker: "At press time, Kid Rock was actively trying to scrub all evidence that he grew up as a spoiled rich kid from the internet in preparation for his induction."

Uh, did Finley even read the original article? And anyway, even if the story were true, we have to wonder what exactly is the value of using the pages of one of Detroit's major newspapers to amplify the voice of a COVID-19 denier like Nugent, especially while Michigan reels from the worst outbreak in the U.S., and vaccine hesitancy remains an issue, especially among conservatives.

Stay on top of Detroit news and views. Sign up for our weekly issue newsletter delivered each Wednesday.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at [email protected].

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Detroit Metro Times Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Metro Times Press Club for as little as $5 a month.