In January 2011, Newsweek Magazine (a magazine struggling to survive) published a list of dying cities in the United States. Included at number 10 was the city in which I live, Grand Rapids, Michigan. For those of us who have watched the growth of a vibrant downtown over the past 15 years, the Newsweek article seemed more than a bit unfair. The Mayor responded by sending Newsweek a good natured letter, even inviting the editors to join him at a Lady Gaga concert when she was touring through town. http://ow.ly/55oXW They did not acccept.Earlier this week, Grand Rapids published a video response – The Grand Rapids Lipdub. The brainchild of 22-year old Rob Bliss, the Lipdub is a 9-minute video shot in one continuous take in which area celebrities, business people, and public officials, joined by anyone who wanted to participate, lip sync “American Pie” through the streets of downtown.
Newsweek responded on Facebook, saying it loved the lipdub and were “big fans>” Then they proceeded to point the finger for the 10 ten list on a third-party site with which it shares content but which “our current editorial team doesn’t endorse and wouldn’t have employed. It certainly doesn’t reflect our view of Grand Rapids.” http://bit.ly/ja9NPW Hmmmm? Grand Rapids 1, Newsweek 0