Colbert: Turns out ‘Robocop’ was optimistic view of Detroit’s future

By David Ferguson
Friday, July 26, 2013 8:20 EDT
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On Thursday night’s edition of “The Colbert Report,” host Stephen Colbert discussed Detroit, Michigan’s looming bankruptcy. With its dwindling population, collapsing infrastructure and areas of complete lawlessness, Colbert said, the real Detroit is making the blasted, post-apocalyptic vision of the city portrayed in the film “Robocop” look like a utopia.

The bankruptcy declaration makes Detroit the largest U.S. city to do so. The city has over $18 billion in debt.

“Eighteen billion dollars!” said Colbert. “And Detroit borrowed those billions from some pretty serious people. If they don’t get paid, they’ve threatened to cut off Michigan’s thumb.” Behind him, a map of the mitten-shaped state suddenly lost its thumb to the sound of ringing steel.

“It turns out, ‘Robocop’ was an optimistic view of Detroit’s future,” he quipped as a movie clip featuring a giant fireball and the film’s cyborg hero marching through a ruined cityscape.

The city’s population, he said, has dwindled from millions to 700,000. Detroit has the highest unemployment rate in the country and an estimated 78,000 abandoned buildings.

“Knowing how far the city has fallen,” said Colbert, “would have Henry Ford rolling over in his grave and then somehow blaming ‘the Jews’ for it.”

Watch the video, embedded via Comedy Central, below:

David Ferguson
David Ferguson
David Ferguson is an editor at Raw Story. He was previously writer and radio producer in Athens, Georgia, hosting two shows for Georgia Public Broadcasting and blogging at Firedoglake.com and elsewhere. He is currently working on a book.
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