Friday, October 15, 2010

John Boehner as "small-town" boy

"Boehner's Path to Power Began in Southern Ohio" is the headline of a story in today's New York Times, and it tells of John Boehner's roots in Reading Ohio, population 11,292. The headline on the front page of the print edition is "A Small Town Boy from Ohio, at the Cusp of Power in Washington." Journalists Jennifer Steinhauer and Carl Hulse describe Reading as a small town and assert that "it seems that almost everything about him stems from this spot at the southern tip of Ohio." In fact, what they describe is a working class upbringing, but hardly one in what I consider a "small town." Reading is part of the Cincinnati Metropolitan Statistical area.

I wonder if this characterization of a suburb as a small town is another way in which the mainstream media collapse "working class" with "small-town" and "rural," particularly as the culture wars are increasingly aligned with the rural-urban axis.

1 comment:

Arthur (AmeriNZ) said...

It fits the Republican narrative where "small town" really means (probably all white) suburb and "small business" means major corporation. In this case, it's all about making John Boehner seem like a real human being, which is a very tall order, indeed.