CBS News, F150, F250, Ford, George W. Bush, John Ekdhal, Media elites, Pickup Trucks
They really do hate you, gentle readers. Consider this from The New York Post:
Two days earlier Melinda Byerley, founder of a Silicon Valley-based tech startup that does ‘free-range, artisanal, organic, customized marketing’ with ‘Birkenstocks-on-the-ground expertise,’ tweeted her expert opinion on Middle America’s jobs-`attraction problem.
“Free range…organic…marketing?” Would that be marketing without chemicals, or with only natural fertilizers, fresh from the south ends of various animals?
It wasn’t very nice.
First she said Middle America needs to realize ‘no educated person wants to live in a s- -t-hole with stupid people,’ which is why she said more big corporations don’t move to the Heartland: ‘Those towns have nothing going for them,’ with ‘no infrastructure, just a few bars and a terrible school system.’
Educated people such as herself wouldn’t live in rural areas because they won’t sacrifice their superior tolerance and diversity to do so. Nor do her highly educated friends want to live in states where the majority of residents ‘don’t want brown people to thrive.
That’s one of the elite, organic voices of tolerance and diversity.
I’ve often written about the enormous cultural gap between Legacy Media reporters and most of America, particularly the unfathomably strange residents of Flyover Country. One primary, and for most Americans, odd chasm has to do with pickup ownership. Full disclosure: Mrs. Manor and I own a recent model 4WD (that’s four wheel drive) Ford F150 pickup. It’s fast, powerful, technologically advanced, comfortable, seats six, gets good mileage, and will last a very long time. It also handles well—for a 4WD pickup. It has virtually every convenience feature one can buy in a luxury sedan, and Mrs. Manor particularly likes the heated seats. She drives the F150– because she wants to.
Reporters, and many of the other self-imagined elite of both small bastions of civilized sophistication on the left and right coasts, can’t imagine why anyone would want to own a pickup truck. It just doesn’t compute, and it’s a computational problem of long standing, as this May 21, 2007 report, one of two on the same day, from CBS News. Then President George W. Bush was visited at his Texas ranch by the NATO Secretary General and his wife, and drove them from a helicopter landing site to his home in—gasp—a pickup truck!
Like a teenager showing off his first car, President Bush proudly drove up to the helicopter landing zone on his ranch in his honking big white Ford F250 pickup truck.
Who would describe a Ford F250, a common truck virtually everywhere in America as “honking big”? The F250 is a common, larger, heavier duty version of the F150, and looks virtually identical. Even at my mid-sized Texas high school, one could easily find five of six in the parking lot any day, and quite a few more F150s. Oh, and how does one drive “proudly?” Is that universally, easily identifiable? “Say, that fellow is certainly driving proudly!”
Perhaps, gentle readers, you’re thinking I’m reading too much into this particular story. Perhaps I’m being too hard on their disdain, not only for Mr. Bush, but for non-elite, country bumpkin God and gun clingers that would own a pickup truck, or neglect to dress in the appropriate manner? Let CBS help you with that:
He gets to drive the bouncy, unpaved roads all around his 1600 acres. And he gets to do it wearing the clothes he’s most comfortable in. Yesterday, he was in cowboy mode wearing blue jeans, a short sleeve shirt and western boots. The NATO chief seemed positively overdressed as he arrived at the ranch wearing a european-cut blue blazer over an open collar dress shirt.
“Cowboy mode.” Mr. Bush was in cowboy mode, wearing jeans, a short sleeve shirt and western boots. Certainly no one other than a cowboy—and the connotation is not flattering—would dress in “cowboy mode.” By comparison, the NATO visitor was in a “European-cut” blazer with an “open collar dress shirt,” obviously not in cowboy mode, and just as obviously far more sophisticated than that bumpkin Bush, or anyone that might dress in cowboy mode. One can only imagine the horror of the NATO secretary and his wife having to endure a ride in a “honking big” F250. But it’s even worse:
Mr. Bush escorted his guest and his wife over to the pickup. The spouse joined First Lady Laura Bush in the back seat of the expanded cab, and the NATO chief took the passenger seat next to the President.
Neither of them were seen to buckle their seat belts.
CBS did two separate stories on this world-shattering bit of news in a single day. Keep in mind that traffic laws apply only on public streets. If you, gentle readers, want to erect a stop sign on your own property and run it fifty times a day, cackling maniacally all the while, that’s certainly not illegal. The same applies to seatbelt use. CBS thought Mr. Bush driving a pickup truck, without a seatbelt, while dressed in “cowboy mode,” big news. Why? Because they were virtue signaling for other members of the elite, who certainly don’t drive pickup trucks or dress in cowboy mode. Seatbelts? Just something handy with which to whack George W Bush, who until the election of Donald Trump was the epitome of stupidity and mental illness.
One might wonder if the elite might not be right about some things, however. Are pickups rare, particularly honking big Fords? Not quite.
According to Car And Driver, the best selling vehicle in America in 2016 was the Ford F150 series of pickup trucks, with some 733,287 sold. The closest car, in fourth place was the Toyota Camry with 355, 204 sold. Figures for 2017 also place the F150 on top by a similarly large margin, a place it has occupied for more than three decades.
OK, so the F150 is the most popular vehicle in America, and other vehicles aren’t even close. But surely reporters and other elites don’t still harbor such pajama boy ideas today? National Review explains:
It’s been five days, and 2017 already has its first big debate about journalism, courtesy of a tweet by Decision Desk HQ’s John Ekdhal: The top 3 best selling vehicles in America are pick-ups. Question to reporters: do you personally know someone that owns one? — John Ekdahl (@JohnEkdahl) January 4, 2017
It’s telling that such a seemingly innocuous question has sparked heated responses from so many of the reporters of which it was asked. Ekdahl’s point was that for a journalist to not know a single person who drives the country’s most purchased automobiles suggests that they live and operate in a cultural bubble. As Kevin Williamson and Jon Gabriel have pointed out, almost every community in America is unique, making it a cultural bubble in one way or another. But given that we’ve just emerged from a presidential campaign that the national media got wrong at nearly every turn, this particular cultural bubble would seem to be due for some self-examination.
The true journalistic sin is not a lack of friends with pickup trucks, but a lack of curiosity about the millions of Americans outside of major cities who own them, if you’re going to be writing about those Americans.
In response to Ekdahl’s reasonable question, reporters were not only outraged, but actually obscene, something that has been, until now, the exclusive failing of Donald Trump—maybe. As I explained in Texas: American Values, the media, upon occasion, organize a safari into deepest, darkest Flyover Country to identify and categorize the strange, barely sentient natives. A similar article, The Third Way On Safari In Wisconsin also explored another journalistic venture, well intentioned, but unable to actually see reality.
Likewise, some things that seem popular from media coverage are in fact quite unrepresentative of the country. When you see headlines such as ‘Five signs America is falling in love with public transit,’ it’s very easy to forget that just 5.2 percent of Americans commute to work by public transportation. (It seems likely that the percentage of big-city journalists who use public transportation is much higher.) Time called Game of Thrones ‘the last consensus show on television.’ But that ‘consensus’ consists of about 23 million people in a country of more than 300 million. In March 2016, Buzzfeed referred to “the hit Broadway musical Hamilton that everyone you know has been quoting for months.’ At that point, the total number of Americans who had seen Hamilton was roughly 384,000 people.
Hmm. So maybe everyone we know isn’t quoting Hamilton while smugly riding public transportation…
It wasn’t that long ago that the New York Times was gushing about the likes of Ezra Klein and Matt Yglesias under the headline, ‘Washington’s New Brat Pack Masters Media.’ Klein and Yglesias went on to form the online publication Vox, adopting the humble slogan, ‘The Smartest Thinkers, the Toughest Questions.’ That slogan was most often sarcastically cited when the site made a surprisingly boneheaded error, such as claiming that there is a physical bridge connecting the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, reporting that the city of Boulder, Colo., has 102 toilets for every resident, or mixing up gun-ownership rates and gun-violence rates.
How could the smartest thinkers imagine that any city has 102 toilets for every resident? I won’t attempt to suggest what such people likely thought about pickup owners and guns.
It’s interesting to realize the deplorables know elites quite well, primarily because they tend to spend a great deal of time telling the world all about themselves and their superior intellects and morality. That their superior intellects and morality are often demonstrated by denigrating the residents of flyover country, apparently as a means of demonstrating the tolerance and diversity for which they are justly known, seems to escape elite irony detectors.
By precisely the same methods, elites demonstrate conclusively they don’t know deplorables at all. People who drive pickups because they’re useful—or just because they want to–while wearing comfortable, purposeful clothing tend to have better things to do than whine about the supposed inferiority of others. They don’t worry about elites, and rarely give them a thought, because they’re too busy living their lives, actually accomplishing things. They take to heart Mark Twain’s aphorism that nothing so needs reforming as the habits of others.
They are certain about one thing, however: journalists aren’t nearly as smart as they think. Their time might be better spent looking to their own habits.
It’s hard to fit a good gun rack in a camry…
My F150 – XLT Lariat served me well for 19 years. I still regret selling it.
Bill Cook (@jacquejet) said:
As I am reading this, my new (ok slightly used) 2016 F-150 SuperCab is in the driveway, parked next to my 1992 F-150 SuperCab. I am certain the 2016 will last as long or longer than the 1992. My son is waiting for me to get too old to drive so he can get the 2016. I ought to add that my 1978 Dodge Red Express gets the preferred place in the garage. America loves trucks.
“Hillary wins” told us all we needed to know about the ‘journalistic’ bubble they live in. Can’t get too many hay bales or 2×4’s in a camry, I suspect though that those in their bubbles have never gotten their hands dirty.
Mike McDaniel said:
Dear pie slapper:
Ethics, certainly. Hands, not so much.
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