CHICAGO - Long ago in a faraway land called Post-Election East Coast, the major media companies published mea culpas about having overlooked "real people" with economic anxieties not reflected in aggregate national unemployment and GDP numbers. After incorrectly projecting that Hillary Clinton had the presidency in the bag, they vowed to do better reporting on communities in the so-called fly-over states and to not discount the views and circumstances of the people living there.
Unfortunately, the media never vowed to stop condescending to them.
Last week, in reference to Manitowoc Foodservice, a manufacturer whose Indiana factory is laying off 84 workers and moving production to Mexico, a New York Times article noted, "The truth across the Rust Belt is that there are more Manitowoc Foodservices than Carriers. ... In Indiana, in particular, as in other so-called Rust Belt states, there are a lot of people who are less educated: Just 16.5 percent of the state's residents ages 25 to 64 have a bachelor's degree, half the rate for the country over all. And while about 30 percent have an associate degree or some college, the bulk of Indiana residents, 44 percent, have only a high school diploma - or less."
This sort of reporting, while factual and impartial to most East Coast media types, is the kind of looking-down-your-nose journalism that working-class and rural people feel is elitist. This implication of rube-ishness through low educational attainment makes people living in what used to be referred to more positively as America's Heartland believe that the media do not tell the whole truth about them - or about anything else.