• They say good things come to those who wait. We’ll let you be the judge of that as Jim Schaefer (Twitter @DetroitReporter/Facebook Jim Schaefer) returns to Red Shovel HQ for the first time since his April appearance in our “Pulitzer Secrets” episode. This time, Schaefer even catered his reunion with his ol’ partner M.L. Elrick (Twitter @elrick/Facebook ML ELRICK/Instagram ml_elrick), Marc Fellhauer (Twitter @MarcFell) and Shawn Windsor (Twitter @ShawnWindsor)!
  • THE STRAIGHT DOPE:  The discussion over banned words that began last week when ML’s wife Tresa Baldas (Twitter @TBaldas) of the Detroit Free Press joined us continues with Schaefer, who is one of the bosses deciding which words are verboten at the Free Press (we think “verboten” is still OK — for now). As an added bonus, there is an update on the whereabouts of Tresa’s holiday decorations.
  • It’s been more than a dozen years since Schaefer’s ground-breaking Free Press investigation into how fentanyl came to the United States and started killing metro Detroiters by the hundreds. But this is the FIRST TIME Schaefer has publicly shared some of the crazy things that happened to him when he went to Mexico to see where it all started.
  • Among the things Schaefer clears up is that the man who invented fentanyl is NOT the same guy who peddled Corinthian Leather. (FWIW, for our money, there may have been no smoother cat than Ricardo Montalban.)
  • Highlights of Schaefer’s long – but well-told! – stories include: Being surrounded by armed police who insisted he and his partner accompany them to meet the local police chief; Finding everything in his hotel room missing, then magically returned after a few choice words from his fixer; Trading pants with his photographer partner; and navigating a labyrinthine Mexican prison to come face-to-face with the Father of Fentanyl
  • In a digression, the revelation that Schaefer is a slob is trumped by the disclosure that ML lines up his french fries before eating them. In a moment of derring-do that could cost him frequent flier miles, Shawn asks whether the Free Press would still undertake such an ambitious project. You’ll have to listen to get Schaefer’s answer.
  • To ML’s delight, Shawn turns his rhetorical guns on Schaefer. Schaefer, who is now a boss, takes note.
  • THE GREAT DEBATE: CMT has decreed that it will play an equal number of videos by male and female artists. Marc and Shawn debate whether this is enlightenment or pandering, while ML mourns the passing of Patsy Cline … and waits patiently for a chance to talk about some REAL music in Room 7609.
  • GEEK OF THE WEEK: Marc clears up some confusion over this week’s winner, which is a big relief to Chicago Bears fans.
  • ROOM 7609: Julian Cope checks into our NuWave suite with his band The Teardrop Explodes and “Read It In Books,” a tune later covered by Echo & the Bunnymen. ML reveals that this song isn’t the ONLY thing those two Liverpool bands have in common.
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  • REPRESENT! Please be sure to let our sponsors know you heard them on the podcast! We can’t go on without continued sponsor support, and they really do keep track of referrals from loyal listeners. So if you need a mortgage, consider Hall Financial and tell them ML sent you. If you like to place a wager, open an account at My Bookie  Use promo code SOUL to double your initial deposit!
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