Daily Show pokes fun at Detroit, Matty Moroun, Black Panther Party leader

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In an unrelenting 7-minute segment, the Daily Show hammered Detroit and its residents over the Canadian bridge controversy.

Daily Show correspondent Al Madrigal also poked fun at New Black Panther Party leader Malik Shabazz for supporting Ambassador Bridge owner Matty Moroun’s attempt to build a private bridge.

“So the leader of the Black Panthers is protecting an 85-year-old white billionaire?” Madrigal asked Shabazz, whose tall frame towered over the correspondant. “I think you’re working for the man. … I don’t want to tell you how to run your Black Panther business.”

Shabazz, who was serious during the segment, said he’s concerned that American tax dollars will be used for the bridge, which Madrigal often pointed out would be funded solely by Canadians.

“When politicians tell you this is not going to cost you nothing, grab your wallet, grab your money and run,” Shabazz said, pulling out a large wad of cash. “Break wide, dude.”

The joke was that a new public bridge would cost tax dollars no money and take an international crossing out of the hands of a single entrepreneur – a point that Madrigal made often.

But Madrigal later noted that voters rejected a ballot proposal that would have sidetracked the public bridge project in November.

“59% of the community decided not to be stupid,” Madrigal said, erroneously suggesting that only Detroiters – not the entire state – voted on the proposal.

Madrigal sarcastically called Moroun a “sweet old business man.”

At the end of the segment, Madrigal noted the darkening sky.

“It was getting dark,” Madigral said. “Time to get the fuck out of here.”

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Steve Neavling is an investigative journalist and former city hall reporter for the Detroit Free Press. Living on the city’s east side, Neavling explores corruption, civil liberties and the underbelly of an oft-misunderstood city.    

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Steve Neavling

Steve Neavling lives and works in Detroit as an investigative journalist. His stories have uncovered corruption, led to arrests and reforms and prompted FBI investigations.