Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Journalists And Geographic Clichés

Journalists are instrumental in the maintenance of geographic mesofacts. Over the past few years, Pittsburgh has benefited from a deluge of positive press. Some reporters weren't paying attention:

Mr. Biden has been zipping around the country to places like Columbia, S.C., and hard-hit Rust Belt cities like Akron, Ohio, and Pittsburgh, while Mr. Obama has been confining himself largely to friendlier settings like college campuses and big-dollar fund-raisers.

In the world of stereotypes and clichés, "hard-hit Rust Belt" is redundant. The political geography predates the story. We still wonder how the message will play in Peoria. The above New York Times article reads like stock footage.

How much do geographic mesofacts influence political campaign strategies? I would guess that they often trump polling numbers. Thus, Biden instead of Obama visits Pittsburgh.

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