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Here's what stands out in my memory of the late Charlie Cain, longtime Detroit News politics reporter


We had just gotten home yesterday and I couldn't believe it yesterday when I did a quick pass-through on Facebook and saw that Charlie Cain, former long time reporter with the Detroit News, had died.  As the former pressroom manager at the State Capitol, I got to know him well.  We worked together, socialized and even took a vacation to Cuba.

What stands out in my memory about Charlie?

He was a true journalist in the best sense of the word.  He could cover any story about any person and not insert his own opinion.  He covered both sides of a person or issue and then let readers make up their own mind.

That's a real contrast to the practice of journalism today where reporters insert their bias and their opinions into just about everything and don't trust readers or viewers to make up their own mind.

When President Jimmy Carter loosened travel restrictions to Cuba, Charlie and I applied for visas to take a vacation there and got them.  We were among the very first Americans to take advantage of this ability to check out the land of Fidel Castro.  We spent more than a week getting a full flavor of a country that was suffering from an overwhelming lack of development. 

His curiosity as a reporter was in full gear from the time our plane took off in Detroit to the time we came back. We toured everything from Havanna, to Cienfuegos where there was a Russian sub-base to the Bay of Pigs.

As I try to process Charlie's passing, I just hope that somewhere, he put down what he learned from his career where he saw the manifold challenges of reporting during a period when public perception of the profession moved from being a calling to one of disdain. 

Charlie Cain had a non-reporter side.  His two daughters were part of a play group of spouses of state capitol reporter and their kids.  I remember his excitement when he called me right after his first daughter was born.