A Trip Home for Dateline’s Chris Hansen

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By Chris Ariens Comments

The New York Times reviews tonight’s Dateline NBC titled “City of Heartbreak and Hope,” which is personal for correspondent Chris Hansen.

But Mr. Hansen, who grew up in the Detroit suburbs and was a local television reporter in the city, uses his knowledge of the territory and some old connections to inject his examination with a personal touch and a heart lacking in other accounts.He name-checks the usual history: the car boom, the 1967 riots, the decline of the auto industry as imports took over the market. And he gives the grim details of the city’s current situation: crime, abandoned properties, failing schools, some recent high-profile corruption. (Most arresting statistic: Detroit, he says, has more than 400 liquor stores but almost no supermarkets.) But he juxtaposes those ugly facts with vignettes about people who are trying to stem the tide.</blockquote