Journalism Professor Slams Iowa, Gets Facts Wrong; Plays Hero and Victim


His name is Stephen Bloom and he teaches journalism at the University of Iowa (that’s right, he’s on the taxpayer teat). Because he sees Iowans as little more than supporting players in “Deliverance 2: The Caucus,” he hates the idea that such backwards, rednecked, predominantly Caucasian, inbred, Jesus freaks (that *ahem* handed caucus and general election victories to Barack Obama) are so influential in our presidential election process.

In doing so, however, Bloom did prove a point that at least one Iowan is backwards, bigoted, hateful, prejudiced, and intolerant — himself.

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Only a few weeks before the first Republican presidential contest, some Iowans are on the attack like never before.

They’re writing angry blog posts, doing research to discredit their opponent and railing against elites, but this vitriol isn’t aimed at Republican candidates. It’s focused on University of Iowa journalism professor Stephen Bloom, whose article for The Atlantic magazine’s website painted Iowans as uneducated Jesus freaks who love hunting and don’t deserve the political clout they will exercise Jan. 3….

In the article, he paints Iowa’s cities and rural areas as economic wastelands with little culture. He calls the state politically schizophrenic with Republicans living west of Des Moines and Democrats to the east. He describes rural areas as hotbeds for suicide and filled with the uneducated, the elderly and meth addicts. He calls the Mississippi River “commercially irrelevant” and describes cities along it as “some of the skuzziest” he’d ever seen.

Bloom, who is Jewish, complains that Iowans constantly talk about Jesus and hunting. “That’s the place that may very well determine the next U.S. president,” Bloom, a New Jersey native who came to Iowa in the early 1990s from San Francisco, concludes….

Bloom has gotten little support at the university, where he earns an annual salary of $107,000. University President Sally Mason said Thursday that he didn’t represent the school and she “was offended by Professor Bloom’s portrayal of Iowa and Iowans.” One professor called him a “smug, self-important jerk” — on Bloom’s Facebook page.

One problem with Bloom’s piece (and The Atlantic’s fact-checking department) is that some of the things the professor wrote don’t appear to be at all true:

But readers aren’t sure this piece will hold up. Some are questioning Bloom’s claim that the state’s second largest newspaper had “He Has Risen” as a front-page headline to mark Easter in 1993. A microfiche of the page shows no such headline, but Bloom insists that’s his recollection.

And then there were Bloom’s claims about his family dog. Bloom wrote that “he can’t tell you how often over the years” he was walking the dog when pickup truck drivers stopped to ask whether she’s a good hunter. Iowans, he said, would never get a dog for amusement but only “to track and bag animals that you want to stuff, mount, or eat.”

That line prompted several dog owners to insist they’ve been asked that and to accuse Bloom, who lives in a liberal neighborhood in a college town, of exaggeration.

And those are just the falsehoods the leftist AP is willing to expose. In the Daily Iowan, a young man named Alex Johnson, who graduated from the University of Iowa, deconstructs Blooms falsehoods one by one and concludes:

Please, do not continue providing such a disservice to the apparently terrible journalistic community that Iowa is (and which you have all but out-done in your article). Report the facts. Your opinion and personal account would be much more believable if you used them.

Sincerely (and regrettably, considering I graduated from the UI journalism school)[.]

Damning stuff.

Naturally, Bloom has responded in the same way all arrogant, cowardly leftists respond in such a situations: he plays both the hero and the victim:

Some online critics have told Bloom to leave the state, called him a liar and worse. He says he’s gotten hundreds of calls and emails “calling me all sorts of hateful things. Some of the responses, frankly, are frightening .”…

In a statement issued Wednesday, he added: “Sorry if I offended, but that’s the real job of journalism.”

Before New Media, this jerk would’ve pretty much gotten away with this. But now with these here Intertubes, the People can strike back without writing a letter to the editor that has almost no chance of being published.

I’ll bet Stephen Bloom hates that more than anything.

You see, we’re all journalists now — we’re having our pudding without eating the rancid meat Bloom and his ilk serve up in useless j-schools.


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