Thursday, November 04, 2004
Parochial Red States?
Who exactly is parochial here? Times columnist Thomas Friedman offers this observation:
This was not an election. This was station identification. I'd bet anything that if the election ballots hadn't had the names Bush and Kerry on them but simply asked instead, "Do you watch Fox TV or read The New York Times?" the Electoral College would have broken the exact same way.
We're guessing he's wrong about this; despite the Times' pretensions to being a national newspaper, it seems likely that Kerry states outside the Northeast have more Fox viewers than Times readers. But even so, Bush supporters are hardly lacking exposure to the liberal media: the broadcast networks, stories from news wires and syndicates (including the Times') in their local newspapers, Hollywood movies, etc. Red-state residents may disdain Kerry as much as blue-staters do Bush, but we'd venture to say the former have a better-informed view of the opposition.
Bush voters tend to see big-city liberals as arrogant elitists, and the above quotes make clear that they are substantially correct. If those liberals were as sophisticated and open-minded as they fancy themselves to be, they would make an effort to understand why most Americans disagree with them rather than simply dismissing them as idiots.