Immediately after the 2004 election, Rush Limbaugh was fond of quoting this exchange between David Westin, then the president of ABC News (the initial reporting on 9/11 certainly proved a challenge to Westin, you may recall), and Tina Brown, now the editor of the Daily Beastweek, then the host of a long-since-canceled CNBC show. (Subscription required, but this gives you the gist of things):
RUSH: So, anyway, she’s got David Westin on the program, and she says, “David, would you have a reporter/producer live in any of these communities?” She’s talking about the red states of America here, folks. “Would you have a reporter/producer live in any of these communities and saturate themselves in these cultures so that they get more stories from those communities?”
WESTIN: I think we don’t do that enough, and I’m not just talking religious communities. I’m talking all sorts of communities across the country. I think that… You understand this, Tina, living in New York or in Los Angeles, we have busy jobs. We go into the office every day. We tend to socialize with the same people, or the same types of people, and I think it’s terribly important for journalists to get out whether it’s overseas or domestically and try to understand.
RUSH: We need more foreign correspondents in Alabama! We need more foreign correspondents north of Palm Beach County in Florida! We need embeds to go to church, find out what’s going on with these holy rollers! Ah, folks, you can’t know how much I love this.
But as we’ve since seen from the endless smears on MSNBC and CNN of the Tea Party and other Red State-oriented events, those foreign correspondents from the Hamptons either never arrived in Alabama, or much like Margaret Mead in Samoa, if they did, they simply phoned in the wildest lies they could think of, and hoped nobody would ever notice.
Fortunately, in a rather thoughtful gesture, one group of conservatives finally decided to bridge the gap, and dispatched a team of ambassadors into the Bluest Alcove of Deep Blue America: “Some ‘Big’ Sons of Bitches Visit Media Matters’ DC Office.”
Saul would certainly approve.