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In the New York Times, the Northwest Doesn’t Exist


Well, that’s not totally true right now, it exists as a mythological place in Nic Kristof’s mind. But the point remains.

I want you to imagine something here. Imagine a rising star mayor of a major city in the Northeast. He is a total Atari Democrat of the 70s, those technocratic New Democrats the Beltway loved that sought to move away from the icky lefty social movements of the 60s and embrace tech and the new economy and he’s really good at it and gets lots of accolades. A still quite young man, he gets tapped for a Cabinet position in the Carter administration. He goes back home and becomes governor. Again, he’s very successful. He’s really good on gay rights, among other things, really far out ahead of his state’s population.

But then, with a second term seemingly well in hand, he announces not only that he is not running, but that he is getting divorced. Some years later, it turns out the reason for both is that he got caught having sex with the 14 year old daughter of one his aides. That girl never got it together after the abuse and died in her 40s after a life of addiction.

If this individual was in New York or Massachusetts or anywhere on the east coast, when that person died, they would get a huge obituary in the Times.

But since this is Neil Goldschmidt of Oregon we are talking about, nada. Now look at who gets an obit in the Times. There’s a lot of pretty obscure people in here! I have no problem with any of them receiving such a thing. But this is the former Secretary of Transportation and governor of Oregon who people whispered about as future Senate or even presidential material who literally fucked away his career and life because he was a total abusive scumbag. Oregon? Where’s that?

At least the Post did a good job with the asshole.

But I would like to know that my home state and its figures exist with our Media Elites. Who knows, maybe Bob Packwood’s death will actually be mentioned when it happens.

This is not just me grousing about a figure that matters to me but no one else. Think about the pandemic. The best response in the country, arguably at least, was Washington’s excellent governor Jay Inslee. Did the Times or the Post or CNN pay any attention to him at all? No way. Not with Andrew “Asshole” Cuomo right there to be America’s Governor because Chris was on CNN too. Inslee’s presidential campaign should have had a lot more legs than it did. But it’s almost literally impossible today for a “small” state governor, by which we actually mean a state that the Beltway media doesn’t care about, to get a shot at a national profile these days. Gina Raimondo? Well, she might be from Rhode Island but that’s geographically close enough for the Wall Street Journal to run fawning articles on her. But, say, Michelle Lujan Grisham? Who the hell is that?, says the Times and Post and CNN. Think about who is being talked about in 2028–California’s Gavin Newsom, Michigan’s Gretchen Whitmer, Illinois’ J.B. Pritzker, California’s Kamala Harris of course (though as VP that’s a different beast), some senators sure. But really, if you aren’t from about 10 states, the media just isn’t going to pay attention to you.

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