Herenton gets applause and boos on national broadcasts - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Herenton gets applause and boos on national broadcasts

Two major national broadcasts from the heart of the Bluff City brought two very different reactions to appearances by Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton.

Tom Joyner did his radio show from the Convention Center and Justin Timberlake performed a concert on Beale. Mayor Herenton visited both and was boo-ed as a network anchor introduced him.

Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton is no stranger to criticism.

In January, he presented a key-to-the-City to Tigers star Deangelo Williams at FedExForum and was himself met with boos. The Mayor wouldn't comment then, but his assistant did. "For him to get that kind of reception, I don't think is very deserving, not at all," said Pete Aviotti.

Between then and now, a citizen group launched an effort to recall the Mayor. It failed when it fell thousands of signatures short of the required number.

Then today, in front of a national television audience, Herenton was booed again while he was presenting a key to Justin Timberlake. "The crowd did not seem to be too pleased with Mayor Herenton," said Brian Riddick, who watched from Beale. "They said boooooo. Audibly, audibly. Very audibly."

"I thought it was bad for the city, to be honest with you, right there on national tv," said Davin Roberson, also in the crowd.

But it wasn't the only feedback he got this week. Herenton also paid a visit to the nationally syndicated Tom Joyner morning show - also broadcast from Memphis - where he reportedly received a standing ovation.

His spokesperson did point out that the reaction to the Tom Joyner event was equally overwhelming - in a positive sense - and that the two shows clearly drew two very different audiences.

Although the Mayor would not comment about the network broadcast this morning. We have talked to him about criticism before, particularly during the recall effort. He is typically very quick to point to all of the progress he says the City has made on his watch.

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