. . . Friday June 11, 2004

The Motormouth City

“They’re going to burn the city of Detroit down if the Pistons win, and it’s not worth it.”

So said Jimmy Kimmel during a commentary during halftime of an NBA Finals game.

His show that night was pulled from the air and he and his publicist have been forced to offer statements of apology to the City of Detroit.

Clearly, Kimmel was joking. And clearly, Detroit has a ridiculous history of arson. And clearly, stupid fans in almost any major American city will use a team’s victory as an excuse to overturn cars, riot in the streets and on occasion, light a match.

Now, if you’re from Detroit, you might be pretty pissed off. After all, your town has gone to great lengths in recent years to shed the image and real damage caused by the Devil’s Night fires that have tarnished Detroit for years (you might want to shine more attention on the Angel’s Night efforts that have included large groups of citizens trying to turn Halloween into what it’s supposed to be, a fun activity for kids). And if Jimmy Kimmel were, say, running for city council, you might decide to vote for the other guy. Or if you were really bothered, you might decide to turn the channel or write a letter of complaint to Kimmel’s bosses.

But does this rise anywhere near the level that would result in a show being pulled from the air? Regardless of who wins the NBA Finals, maybe we should all just burn the Bill of Rights. Better to go out with an inferno than to stand by and watch big media and conservative lawmakers subject one freedom after another to a slow burn.

Concentration is important!