Unbeknownst to the audience, Fouts and his top aides were determined to ban The Macomb Daily from the State of the City speech. They raised the usual complaints about Macomb Daily staff writer Norb Franz, who is a dedicated watchdog, keeping tabs on the Fouts administration.
But the mayor’s team backed away after it was pointed out that the speech was a public event and banning the county newspaper would amount to trampling on freedom of the press.
This behind-the-scenes incident was similar to a situation two years ago when Warren Cable TV’s video of the State of the City caught a woman in the crowd sarcastically chuckling at one of Fouts’ remarks.
The mayor responded by tracking down who she was and berating her employer (located outside the city) because this worker failed to show proper respect for the mayor.