Sunday, September 23, 2007

Ways in which journalists can irritate people, Nos. 359 and 492

As a journalist, I generally resent the notion that we in the media can't relate to anything outside the Northeast liberal ivory tower.

Which is why I find it a little irritating when I see that sort of misperception reinforced, like so:

Sept. 12: "A (Mark) Warner victory next year would be demoralizing to Virginia Republicans ..."

No, really? I thought they'd throw a "Yay! We hold no statewide office in Virginia above lieutenant governor!" party.

Seriously -- what's the point of writing that? It just gives the appearance of rubbing it in, and you wouldn't see it any other context. Imagine something like "A death sentence would be demoralizing to the defendant ..."

Today, from a restaurant review: "Some diners dismiss the interior. 'It reminds me of a really fancy restaurant in Charlotte, North Carolina,' one dining companion cracked, Zagat style."

Oh ha, ha, ha, ha!!

A few points:

1. While food reviewer Tom Sietsema's dinner companions were ensconced in their world of fine dining and needless luxury items, Charlotte was becoming one of the world's banking capitals. They probably have a few nice restaurants.

2. The South is not -- repeat, NOT -- a giant anthropology experiment.

3. This is Washington. No one is from here. We're all from somewhere else. Including a few from North Carolina.

4. You know ... this is available online. People in Charlotte are gonna find out.

5. Frankly, we could use more Southern influence in our region's restaurants. We have food from every ethnicity known to man, but we don't have a freaking Bojangles. Or a Schlotzsky's. How in the world did I end up living in the buffer zone between good quick food and good convenience stores? (Read: Where's the freaking Wawa??!!)

I'm sure I'd impress more people at my dear old college if I worked for a more venerable newspaper instead of the mass-market corporate broadsheet that pays my bills. But Family Guy does far better jokes about the South. Are they hiring?

3 comments:

Neel Mehta said...

If you saw The Simpsons, you know that Duke has been officially recognized as the Harvard of the South.

Consider the possibility that the media have actually run out of things to talk/write about.

(Except in soccer, of course. Breathe...)

Mrs. mmm said...

3. This is Washington. No one is from here.

Except, of course, your wife and her family.

But your point is still well taken. Mmmm, Bojangles.

bdure said...

Neel -- Oh, we have. At least in the mainstream media. The niches are where the action is.

Still no excuse for the Post.

And yes, I'm glad Duke is the official Harvard of the South. Take that, Vanderbilt. (And Emory, which I kept thinking would be the third school Homer guessed.)