Sunday, April 13, 2008

Schadenfreude Watch: Detroit

You can tell when the public is reveling in unrestrained Schadenfreude by the t-shirts.

Here in Detroit, you'd have to live in a cave not to know that mayor Kwame Kilpatrick is embroiled in a scandal involving text messages. (Moral of the story: if you are engaged in an extra marital affair, and you don't want anyone to know it, try a form of conversation that is not written down.)

The public reacted to the mayor's alleged lapses of good taste and decorum by saying, "right back at you!"

Here are just a few of the products on sale in metro Detroit. The Milford Baking Co., is hawking cookies shaped like cell phones decorated with text messages saying “Busted” and “I’m sorry.”

A Royal Oak company set up a Web site featuring the mayor's mug shot, practically before the flash bulb had stopped glowing. The site,, got great free publicity from nightly news stories which questioned the company's taste while posting the URL.

"I need one to go with my Camp OJ T-shirt," one customer wrote on the web site's forum.

The Detroit News ran a feature on the T-shirts popping up on Cafe Press, Zazzle and Ebay. Slogans include "I Did Not Have Text With That Woman," and "I was at the Manoogian Mansion Party, and all I got was this lousy T-shirt."

By the way, from the "endorsements you don't need" file: The Detroit Free Press reported that Mayor Kilpatrick is "believed to support" the candidacy of Hillary Clinton. Oops, indeed.