HuffPost Guts Up to Visit Heartland

Watch out Flyover country. The Huffington Post is going to visit 23 cities around the nation in hopes of figuring out just what we rubes and knuckledraggers want. I’m not kidding!

Here’s the story:

We’re hitting the road on a 23-city tour to hear concerns from across the nation.

We want to know: What does it mean to be American today? To find out, we’re hitting the road this fall to interview people about their hopes, dreams, fears and definition of “being American.” By converting a tour bus into a mobile video studio, we’ll capture conversations with people of all ages and backgrounds. Our goal: moving, multimedia storytelling that showcases what we share as Americans, rather than what divides us.
Why we are doing this

Trust in media has bottomed out. We hope to rebuild some of that — and learn from it — by listening to the public and elevating their stories through our massive distribution network.
How we are making it happen

We will travel the old-fashioned way — via bus — to 20-plus states to hear from some of the under-heard, diverse Americans who make up the communities that form much of our nation. And by working on the ground with community leaders, nonprofits, educational institutions, local businesses and others, we’ll make sure people know we’re there to listen.

Not on the bus tour? Don’t worry. We’ll be announcing ways to participate online in the coming week.

And guess what? Our fair city has been among the chosen ones to show these uber liberals how we can be allowed in the human race with them, the paragons of knowledge, compassion and truthiness.

Yes, they figure that Memphis is a conservative city representative of heartland values. Look who else they consider Americans they need to understand: residents of St. Louis, Little Rock, Oxford Ms., Birmingham, Fort Benning, Asheville, Charleston West Va., Pittsburgh, Akron, Detroit, Ft. Wayne, Milwaukee, Des Moines, Kansas City, Lincoln, Casper, Livingston Montana, Provo, Tucson, Albuquerque, Odessa and New Orleans.

I think this should be called an echo tour because if they are visiting these cities, all they really want to hear is reinforcement of their own values. They can followed up with a few “nut cases” they can hold up to their readers to shake their heads in disgust at whatever racist, homophobic, misogynistic, too religious yokels they can scold.

HuffPo reporters are going to spend seven weeks examining us. It’s going to be hard on these Manhattanites. They’re not used to slumming it like they will be. It might be hard to find fennel pollen dusted pasta, lattes with flax milk and unisex bathrooms, but if they look, they’ll find them in these cities!

They will be shaking if they see a deer head in someone’s house, much less a gun rack. Are they ready for Walmart? Will they go there to find these Americans they don’t know? What if someone smiles at them or says “have a blessed day!” They might not recover from that. If someone calls them ma’am, they may need rehab.

Given the cities they are going to, though, they can easily avoid mixing it up with such Americans.

Godspeed HuffPos! Guess they wouldn’t appreciate that. Well, chin up. They can console themselves that they’ll eventually get back to the prison that is New York.

Luckily, we won’t.

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