WaPo Publishes Liberal Hillbilly Porn

For lonely liberals looking for some political gratification, the Washington Post has a one-two combo. It’s hillbilly porn with a side of lube.

Both of these pieces read like trashy paperbacks bought at the flea market, with the cover pages torn off because they’ve been returned to the publisher. Since “democracy dies in darkness,” (WaPo’s slogan, not mine!) let me take these hit pieces one by one and shine a little light on material liberals bring with them into dark corners to get their jollies.

HILLBILLIES IN OHIO

I’ll start with the astonishingly dishonest piece by Ohio State assistant professor of political science Tom Wood. Wood, whose title indicates he’s likely a grad student paid to teach a real professor’s classes (but he’s not as I’ve been reminded, which only makes his sin less forgivable–Ed), displays a fetish with J.D. Vance’s “Hillbilly Elegy,” because the day after the election he tweeted how “admirably” it did.

Searching for an explanation of why Trump took Ohio, Woods ignored the reasons he already knew: (a) it’s about healthcare, and (b) Clinton was an incredibly bad candidate.

Woods’ real dishonesty is in his analysis. First, he examined income inequality, but only for white voters.

To remove the effects of inflation and rising prosperity, I plot the percentage voting for the Republican presidential candidate relative to the overall sample, by where they rank in U.S. income, from the top to the bottom fifth. The dashed horizontal line shows the average likelihood of voting for the GOP presidential candidate that year; a point above that means an income cohort was more likely than the other groups to vote for the Republican. To most directly test the Donald Trump income hypothesis, I’ve restricted this analysis to white voters.

In other words: Woods massaged the data into incomprehensibility, and molded it until he obtained the desired results. His conclusion: “2016 was plainly an anomaly.”

That must have nothing to do with the fact that Democrats have increasingly pandered to the < 1 percent of America, the social justice crowd, young socialists and others fixated on race and gender identity politics. Nope, it’s hillbillies.

IT’S RACISM!

Wood asks “Could the unusual 2016 race have further affected Americans’ racial attitudes?” Hmm…I wonder where he’s going with this?

To test this, I use what is called the “symbolic racism scale” to compare whites who voted for the Democratic presidential candidate with those who voted for the Republican.

This is what happens when a polysci grad student assistant professor gets to play expert. The “symbolic racism scale” is laughably wrong. New York Magazine ran a piece on it in January, writing “the implicit association test [IAT] has failed to deliver on its lofty promises.” Essentially, the IAT’s premise is “check your privilege, white boy,” you’re a racist even if you don’t know it.

I’ll save you all the technical stuff…with all the excitement surrounding the IAT and the “symbolic racism scale,” it’s all useless, question-begging liberal junk science.

Unfortunately, none of that is true. A pile of scholarly work, some of it published in top psychology journals and most of it ignored by the media, suggests that the IAT falls far short of the quality-control standards normally expected of psychological instruments. The IAT, this research suggests, is a noisy, unreliable measure that correlates far too weakly with any real-world outcomes to be used to predict individuals’ behavior — even the test’s creators have now admitted as such.

Using this flawed, massaged-to-meaninglessness data, Woods concluded that “racial attitudes made a bigger difference in electing Trump than authoritarianism.” I think he concluded that hillbillies were racist, then he made the data fit.

HILLBILLIES IN IOWA

Stephanie McCrummen’s bio says she was the East Africa bureau chief for WaPo, having “also reported from Egypt, Iraq, and Mexico, among other places.” This time, she wrote about Russell Paulson and and Dwain Swensen, who happen to live in Kiron, Iowa, which happens to be Rep. Steve King’s hometown.

What a coincidence that a seasoned WaPo reporter spent time there talking to the locals!

Russell listened; he had known Walt. At the age of 80, he knew almost everyone in Kiron, a town of 229 people, one of whom is U.S. Rep. Steve King, who has a house on the edge of town. Russell knew King, too, knew that he was the sort of person always stirring controversy, often by raging against what he called “cultural suicide by demographic transformation.” More recently, King had said that “we can’t restore our civilization with somebody else’s babies,” a comment embraced by prominent white supremacists and widely condemned around the country as demonizing Latino and other non-European immigrants.

Except that King never said that. He tweeted a post by Dutch politician Geert Wilders. It was stupid because it was out of context. but not the kind of raw white supremacist stuff that’s been connected to it.

McCrummen used nearly 3,000 words portraying a bunch of older farmers and factory workers in Iowa as unsophisticated hillbillies with typical midwestern Nordic-sounding names.

“This is Steve King’s house here,” he said, looking at it.

He had known King a long time and saw no reason to be bothered by something or other he said. He supported King — “I have no reason in the world to dislike the man” — but wasn’t one to rant about politics. He had no computer, no smartphone. His television had no cable. He watched a half-hour of national news, a half-hour of local, followed by “Wheel of Fortune” and Lawrence Welk. He ate chicken tenders and food he described as “American.”

Reading this, I kept looking for the point, like Noah Rothman remarked in a tweet, but there was none.

Then I realized that the point of the story was the story itself. It’s a bunch of hillbillies from flyover country talking about what’s “American.” It’s just more lube for the bicoastal liberal jet set to reinforce their stereotypes and reasons why Trump won. I suppose to McCrummen it was like writing about the hustlers in Festac, Nigeria–or searching for Hillary Clinton in the Chappaqua woods.

Oh, yes, did I forget to mention that McCrummen is a Democratic political hack who specializes in framing Trump supporters as white trash, Jesus-loving, smoking, cussing, hillbillies?

The Iowa piece was a hit job.

Liberals and Democrats will never accept that it was failed Democratic policies, the lack of any coattails for Obama’s cult of personality, and Hillary Clinton’s total lack of charisma or ideas that lost them the election. They feel entitled to it, and therefore something has to be wrong with America, or more particular, the racist hillbillies who elected Trump.

These two pieces are typical of liberal bias–they don’t even realize their incredible prejudice. So Washington and New York journalists keep churning out the lube and cheap dimestore novels on hillbilly porn for their own pleasure.

(This post has been updated to reflect the now well-known fact that Tom Wood is a real assistant professor and not a grad student. The ink on his 2014 Ph.D. will soon be dry. I apologize for the trolling )

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