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Driving With 'Dr. Death'

Since I haven’t written enough about WJBK Detroit reporter Charlie LeDuff in the past week (”Scribes Turn Page, Excel in TV“), here’s another mention: LeDuff, who was a reporter at the NY Times and then the Detroit News before ending up at the Fox O&O in Detroit, has an offbeat little film from his Detroit News days that includes a drive around town with Dr. Jack Kevorkian, and a philosophical discussion on life and death with the often dyspeptic doctor.

Kevorkian died this morning in Royal Oak, Michigan. He of course is known for assisting the suicides of over a hundred people, earning him the moniker “Dr. Death.”

Calling LeDuff’s work “offbeat” is somewhat redundant; it all seems to be enjoyably off kilter.

This clip is from October 2008. LeDuff told me in our recent interview that, while he’s new to local TV, he’s worked in video for years; his print stories often had a web video component, and he’d had a show called Only in America that aired on the old Discovery Times channel. He also majored in documentary film in grad school.

As LeDuff and Kevorkian drive around Michigan in the doctor’s tiny little car, Kevorkian talks about life, death and religion.

Helllllll, no, I wouldn’t want to be burn,” he says.