Daily Show's Ambassador Bridge yuck up

Jan 11, 2013 at 2:52 pm
A recent Daily Show segment on cable TV’s Comedy Central about opposition to the new publicly owned bridge across the Detroit River that Gov. Rick Snyder wants to build is a perfect example of why we love the show.

Serious journalists (and even the semi-serious here at the MT) have, at last count, printed exactly 4.35 million words trying to explain how ludicrous it is to think the Canadians are trying to pull a fast one on us by offering to front the money for a new span that will provide competition to the privately owned Ambassador Bridge. Then along comes Daily Show correspondent Al Madrigal, who, in a single 6-minute piece, completely exposes the opponents for the dimwits and ignorant blowhards that they are.

Our favorite moment in the piece that aired on Jan. 9  has Madrigal shoving a microphone into the face of New Black Panther Party leader the Rev. Malik Shabazz, whose group (as he has previously confessed to us) takes funding from billionaire Ambassador Bridge owner Manuel “Matty” Moroun.

A high-profile, blustering opponent of the publicly owned bridge, Shabazz is true to form when he bellows, “In this town I kick the ass — not kiss the ass, kick the ass.”

To which Madrigal, not missing a beat, responds, “Which is exactly why I have a difficult time trying to tell you how to run your Black Panther business, but you are working for the man.”

It’s almost as funny as the Tea Party supporter who warns that the Canadian offer is really a "Trojan Horse" designed to conceal the real intent of delivering “China steel and Chinamen” to build the proposed bridge.

There are some glaring factual errors in the piece. Madrigal is apparently confused about the statewide ballot measure (supported by Moroun) that sought to but the whole bridge issue before voters. It sounds like the Daily Show correspondent thought only Detroiters voted on the proposal, which was soundly defeated at the polls last November.

Madrigal also needs to look at some updated Census Bureau numbers, considering that he makes reference to 1.8 million Detroiters. Too bad there haven’t been that many people living in this town since, oh, the mid 1950s.

But at least Madrigal and his Daily Show amigos know that they are spoofing around, unlike the unintentional jokesters who actually want us to take their arguments against building a new bridge seriously.