As they do every presidential election cycle, progressives of pallor wore their indelible disdain for Middle America on their sleeves. Pale-faced University of Iowa journalism professor Stephen Bloom launched a 6,000-word jeremiad, littered with factual errors, against his home state's residents. The abridged version: Raaaaaaaacists! Hicks! Christians! Argggh!
In the safe harbors of The Atlantic just a few weeks before Tuesday's electoral event, Bloom sneered: "Those who stay in rural Iowa are often the elderly waiting to die." The rest are "(a)n assortment of waste-toids and meth addicts with pale skin and rotted teeth or those who quixotically believe, like Little Orphan Annie, that 'the sun will come out tomorrow.'" One of the poison-tongued prof's own former journalism students, Kirsten Scharnberg Hampton, took him to task for citing faulty demographic statistics, derisively stereotyping hunters and falsely accusing a local newspaper of "splashing" the headline "He Is Risen" across its front page (it was a small, boxed quotation marking Easter Sunday).
But the damage was done; the bait dangled. And at the overwhelmingly white "NBC Nightly News" on Sunday, Andrea Mitchell swallowed the Iowa-bashing chum whole -- and then dutifully regurgitated the attack on the state as, "Too white, too evangelical, too rural." She was quick to slip in a "critics say" disclaimer, of course. But let's not kid ourselves about the network's prejudices.
This is the same news organization that attempted to conduct Islamophobia stings at NASCAR races to expose how racist racing fans supposedly were; whose "Meet the Press" host David Gregory smeared GOP leaders as "Grand Wizards" in November; and whose execs were forced to apologize last month for MSNBC goons who falsely linked GOP candidate Mitt Romney to the Ku Klux Klan.
One local Hawkeye State veteran journalist, David Yepsen, tried to correct the coastal myth of the redneck-hick-outlier Iowa voter by politely pointing out Barack Obama's triumph in the 2008 Democratic caucuses at the hands of, yes, mostly white voters. Moreover, over the past four presidential election seasons, the Iowa popular vote has "closely tracked national preferences."