February 19, 2008

"I feel like you're describing, you know, it could be Green Bay in Wisconsin."

That's what NBC News Political Director Chuck Todd said tonight responding to this word picture painted by Chris Matthews:
"Now imagine a town that's deindustrialized. You have the rotted, the rusty factory shell as you come into town. The Blockbuster and the diner being the only thing there with the gas station. Everything else is basically done. People living on checks. They don't really have jobs anymore...."
Green Bay is the third largest city in Wisconsin. A recent report in the Green Bay Press-Gazette was positive about the local economy. ("Northeastern Wisconsin manufacturers have adjusted well to competing in a global economy, providing continued opportunities for commercial and industrial lending... Wisconsin, Illinois and Minnesota... are not Michigan and Ohio, Midwestern states with more serious economic issues.") Yet these clowns picture nothing but a Blockbuster, a diner, and a gas station! Incredible! They're trying to provide fine-textured analysis of voting patterns in the state, but they seem to be reporting from an East Coast fantasy.

ADDED: Watch this "Band Meeting with Murray" clip from "Flight of the Conchords." Doesn't Murray look just like Chuck Todd?

24 comments:

AJ Lynch said...

East Coast Fantasy, aka Matthews's nightly HQ.

paul a'barge said...

You have to remember, it's always the narrative, all about the narrative.

Accurate reporting does not count, as long as the story fits the narrative.

Mutts. Who hires these mutts?

BJK said...

Having grown up in Green Bay myself, that's really offensive.

(Ironically, the jobs in Green Bay that are most at risk: there are a number of health insurance companies that stand to lose workforce if either Democrat would actually succeed in establishing universal healthcare.)

David said...

Hey, Ann, imagine the fun we down here in South Carolina had listening to them (all of them) describe us.

Chip Ahoy said...

Irritat'n innit.

TitusMad said...

I wish Oshkosh B'Gosh didn't move to China though.

David said...

BTW, it's not fantasy; it's willful and preposterous ignorance.

michaele said...

It's because of dishonest reporting like this that in one of the exit poll categories, something like 90% responded that the economy was bad or something to that effect. The media is really doing this country a disservice.

PatCA said...

I have friends in Green Bay and all are doing quite well, thank you, and hoping to keep the secret of what a great place it is to live from elites like Matthews.

They would just as soon not have him get a tingly feeling up his leg about their city.

blogging cockroach said...

professor you really shouldnt do that
to poor chuck todd
now ill never be able to keep a straight mandible
every time i see him on tv

andrew said...

And yet it is Green Bay, and not Los Angeles that can support an NFL franchise.

MTfromCC said...

Chris Matthews can do what few others can -- unite left and right on something (the fact that he is the biggest blowhard on TV).

Henry said...

This reminds me of the classic Dave Berry column: Can New York Save Itself.

The New York Times Sunday Magazine kicked off the festivities with a similary-titled story about Miami, "A City Beset by Drugs and Violence."

In exchange, The Miami Herald loosed Dave Berry on New York. Guess who wins.

It should be required reading for reporters who think "Northeast" is the same thing as "National."

TitusMad said...

The Northeast is still fabulous.

Boston, DC, New York, Philadelphia.


We think of the rest of the country as our cute, stepchildren.

We love you to death but really don't want to hear from you. Now go back to your fish frys.

ClaireDM said...

That is so insulting. My boyfriend is from Green Bay, so I spend some time there. Although it is not always my kind of city, you can't say that it doesn't have a certain vitality. And there is nothing more fun than Green Bay when the Packers play. It may be towny, but this is Wisconsin and that is how we like it. Frankly, I'm glad the rest of the country doesn't get it, or they would just come here and ruin it.

Middle Class Guy said...

TitusMad said...
We love you to death but really don't want to hear from you. Now go back to your fish frys.


There is nothing finer than a Door County fish boil. That is some fabulous eating.

Jackie said...

He has obviously never seen Oneida Street (which is technically Ashwaubenon, but if Lambeau Field is on it, then it counts, right?).

froggyprager said...

Maybe Green Bay doesn't fit this description exactly but Wisconsin actually does have a huge number of abandoned industrial properties in every city. There are still striving businesses but the visual image you see in many communities represents a huge number of lost jobs; the number blighted properties is significant and probably more than other states with much larger populations. This is part of history and we are part of the rust belt in a big way.

Steven said...

Gods save us from the narrow, provincial horizons of the self-proclaimed cosmopolitans who cluster along the ocean shore.

hdhouse said...

yes matthews is a blowhard in love with his own voice. yes green bay seems to be the northern garden of eden

but also yes is that the other and i stress "other" green bay type cities in the upper midwest are in deep trouble and have come out of the Bush years of "unmatched economic growth" (that was a joke)worse for it. michigan can't stand another year of this success. ohio surely gave up that ghost a few years back. the steel belt is gone. the auto industry is gone and we as a nation have lost much of our manufacturing base.

find a good metal shop where there were plenty. find a a parts manufacturer or a good tool and dye...they are drying up and that is the wick in the candle or reality.

factually he was wrong. metaphorically he was right on target.

Ann Althouse said...

How is that a metaphor? It's a description of a particular sort of town which is not by any stretch of the imagination Green Bay. How is that a metaphor for Green Bay? It's not even a metaphor for Akron (which Todd also mentioned). (He said "it could be Green Bay in Wisconsin. It could be Akron in Ohio.") Call it hyperbole if you want a literary term, but the fact is, it's a ridiculous image that doesn't help people understand anything. It distorts and alarms. And insults.

Middle Class Guy said...

house,
The de-industrialization of the midwest has been going on for about thirty plus years. Well over twenty five years ago, midwesterners renamed Detroit Destroyed.

It is not just Bush, and this is no defense of Bush. It started with the Johnson and went down hill from there. If you really want someone to blame, the worst of the worst was Carter. Some areas never recovered from his disastrous policies.

Yeti Dad said...

Chuck Todd also misidentified La Crosse as Racine on a map, and Chris Matthews made fun of same-day registration while talking to him.

andrew said...

Manufacturing jobs, like non-govt'union membership, has been on a sharp decline for decades. There is no Bush to blame for the loss of rust-jobs in this economy. It is/has happened regardless of party or politics.

Secondly, GB is hardly dependent on manufacturing. My guess is, at most, GBs labor force is 15-20% manufacturing (check DOL if you disagree), not a high percentage, particularly if you know that Chicago is 12% manufacturing. Either way at less than 1/5 jobs, this is not a town dependent on old industry.