You might have heard that nine people were shot last night following the Detroit-Windsor International Freedom Festival fireworks. The Freedom Festival features a carnival in Windsor (I am not sure what goes on on the Detroit side, I have only gone to it in Canada) and then a large fireworks display launched from barges in the Detroit River. I always thought that the fireworks were between Canada Day and July 4th as a way to celebrate both countries, but it seems not, as Canada Day is July 1. Some sort of altercation broke out in the crowd and a man started shooting people. Some stories have suggested it was over a woman, someone trying to steal Cartier glasses, or the gunman being accidentally jostled or knocked over. Prior to the shooting there was a fight that broke out in another area involving up to 200 people, according to police.
In any case during the NBA Finals Jimmy Kimmel joked, "I have nothing really to say. I'm glad the Lakers are winning (at the half) because besides the fact that I'm a Lakers fan, I realize they're gonna burn the city of Detroit down if the Pistons win, and it's not worth it." Later he apologized and said "What I said about Pistons fans during halftime was a joke, nothing more. If I offended anyone, I'm sorry. Clearly, over the past 10 years, we in L.A. have taken a commanding lead in post-game riots. If the Lakers win, I plan to overturn my own car." The Kimmel thing was all over the news because it seems nobody here can take a joke. The news director of WXYT (the local ABC affiliate that airs Kimmel's show) even said that his apology wasn't enough. WXYT executives complained that Kimmel's next show contained more "anti-Detroit" comments and ABC actually took the rare step of pulling the show. Kimmel then had to issue a statement to get back on the air, "When you're 2,000 miles away from a city you've never lived in, it's hard to understand the sadness people feel from something that happened in their town _ even if it happened many years ago. It was never my intention to cause anyone pain. I was trying to make a joke and I'm sorry it resulted in anything other than laughter."
People here really need to lighten up and realize Jimmy Kimmel is funny.
Nearly every night during the finals there was a news story decrying Kimmel. During the (violence-free) Pistons victory parade there were snide remarks about Kimmel from news anchors.
quote:WXYZ-TV wonders what Kimmel will say about incident
Thursday, June 24, 2004
BY JOHN SMYNTEK
FREE PRESS STAFF WRITER
Wednesday's fireworks shootings spurred ABC-TV affiliate WXYZ-TV (Channel 7) to query the network Thursday -- even before the show's comedy writers convened to write the opening monologue -- if ABC's "Jimmy Kimmel Live'' show would include jokes about the incident.
Kimmel had an episode of his rough'n'ready, male-oriented late night show pulled locally and nationally during the recent NBA playoffs after he suggested Detroit might erupt in violence if the Pistons won the NBA title. He apologized after the show -- the contents of which have never been revealed -- went unseen and eventually made amends by wearing a Pistons jersey and Tigers cap on a subsequent telecast.
WXYZ programmer Marla Drutz said the decision to air Kimmel would be based on whether any Detroit-related commentary is deemed offensive by station officials. She conceded it was unlikely that WXYZ could exert enough pressure to yank Kimmel's show nationally a second time. Such a decision could come as late as just prior to the 12:05 a.m. telecast.
An ABC spokeswoman in Los Angeles had no comment about any attempt to keep Kimmel from commenting on Detroit. She conceded, though, that any affiliate can decide not to air a specific episode.
This sucks though:
quote:Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick spoke to Local 4 before the incident and said that representatives from the National Football League were in Detroit in preparations for the Super Bowl coming to the city in 2006.
Kilpatrick spoke from the Manoogian Mansion Thursday morning about the shooting, stressing that he does not believe the incident will tarnish Detroit's reputation.
"This is not who we are. This is who he is," Kilpatrick said about the gunman.
He said he does not believe the NFL representatives will change their minds about having the Super Bowl in Detroit.
"They are absolutely positive. Couldn't believe the display last night," Kilpatrick said about the NFL representatives. "Just thrilled with seeing that many people downtown."
The 15 NFL representatives did not witness the shooting, but Kilpatrick said they were compassionate to him about what happened in the city.
That thing during the fireworks sounds like it was pretty crazy though. I guess it was over a pair of sunglasses and/or a woman or something, and dude just busted out a gun, capped 9 people, and left. That's committment. The Columbine guys got what, 13, and that was two of them with bombs and automatic rifles and shit. Did they catch the guy?
NB: I was just talking to a guy from that area who lives around here, he had been considering that day hopping on his bike and going down there, and says he always stands under that statue during the fireworks, so he was glad he wasn't there for it.