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Debating the Detroit crawl

Posted by ESPN.com's Kevin Seifert
Cheap shot or freedom of speech? That's the issue being debated on the Internet -- and now the airwaves -- after Detroit television station WDIV ran a hard-hitting crawl Sunday afternoon as former Lions president Matt Millen spoke during NBC's pregame show for Super Bowl XLIII.

The video itself is not licensed for viewing on this blog, but here is a Detroit Free Press item on the topic. According to the Free Press, the crawl read:

"Matt Millen was president of the Lions for the worst eight-year run in the history of the NFL. Knowing his history with the team, is there a credibility issue as he now serves as an analyst for NBC Sports? ..."

This is clearly a unique situation, but so was Millen's tenure in Detroit. WDIV controls its airwaves, but reasonable people can debate whether Super Bowl is the appropriate time to air editorial comments on an issue that has nothing to do with the forthcoming game.

Steve Schrader of the Free Press called the move "hilarious." Meanwhile, the hosts of ESPN's Pardon the Interruption debated the issue Tuesday. Tony Kornheiser termed the crawl a "guerilla tactic" while Michael Wilbon said it was one of the "most vicious attacks I've ever heard of."

What do you think?