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Dennis Kraniak, MyFoxDetroit.com

“If my kid were in Detroit I’d try to burn the place down.” Fox News commentator Shepard Smith’s remark made during an interview on the topic of the Detroit’s failing schools.


He tried to explain that he meant the comment figuratively, but still, that’s what he said. This kind of comment may not be well received by the people of metro Detroit, who are weary of disparaging remarks made at the city’s expense.

His statments revolve around the statistic that 69% of Detroit school kids in 4th grade scored at the “below basic” level on a nation-wide test.

It’s impossible to deny that Detroit’s schools are failing, but “burn it down” may not be the best choice of words.

Watch the video to hear more of the exchange between Fox’s Smith, Detroit School Board member Tyrone Winfrey and Sharlonda Buckman of the Detroit Parent Network.

Buckman says civil lawsuits may be brought against the DPS, translating into possible jail time for administrative or teaching personnel. Winfrey says jail is not an answer to the problem, but he had a hard time admitting any failure to Smith when questioned about the very low test scores.

The video shows Smith growing frustrated with the apparent lack of candor from Winfrey and with both of his guests constant interruptions. The “burn it” comment comes out of a volley of feeble discourse.

Winfrey and Buckman were invited to speak on the Fox New Channel with Smith to discuss what is being done to remedy the extremely low scores Detroit’ students posted on a national exam.

The interview lasted about five minutes, but Smith’s comments made during a sparring match are the most memorable and controversial.

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