Watch now (5 mins) | Brooklynite Ben Kawaller dives headfirst into livestock, fried food, and the great political divide at America’s annual country circus.
Good for you, Ben -- a gay, liberal man going into an uber conservative setting to gauge the mood and being treated with respect and good humor. I bet a conservative reporter at a liberal gathering would have had a very different reception.
On the whole, nice that he went. But the condescension is a bit much to stomach. I agree with one of the comments: would a conservative reporter have been treated as well at a progressive event? I would like to think so, but I believe we’ve seen clips of conservative reporters being assaulted, having various substances thrown at them and surrounded by red-faced near apoplectic mobs, screaming at them about “putting peoples lives in danger” for having a different opinion.
I would have preferred a serious attempt at actually understanding. Going somewhere to make fun of people is not outreach.
Ben was such a caricature of a politically cloistered New Yorker. His passive aggressive condescension was clownish. He was treated with far more civility by the Iowans than he deserved.
Ah, visited the people who feed the city dwellers who probably think food comes from a truck animal. Also the people who would survive a natural or man made (you listening sniffer in chief) national calamity. People who would fight for the country and their fellow Americans and even those less fortunate in other places.
Advice, and no did not watch the video. I don’t enjoy doing videos. Don’t ever think about picking a fight with those who know how to take care of themselves and feed you and would use you as compost. I consider those folks as the backbone of America.
Look! Look guys! Silly middle Americans showing pigs and eating fried food! Ask them stupid questions and chuckle at them-especially the kids. It’s better than going to your local zoo! So say the clowns who can’t feed themselves and who think the government is God. Bari just can’t quite shake her Ivy League condescension.
If there were ever a better demonstration of the difference between Real America and the Coastal Elite, I'd like to see it. Open, friendly conversation from those whose lives, livelihoods, way of life - and even children - are under constant attack by totalitarians and perverts, versus dripping disdain and condescension from a man who literally couldn't survive a week without the products those people provide.
My friends and acquaintances - almost to the man - believe we are headed for a national divorce, if not a civil war, and I have resisted it - but every day I see what the Elite/Elitists think of the people who keep them alive and think to myself, "God, we are headed for a reckoning, and we are doing it headlong."
I dread it, but if it must be, it must be. As for the author and people like him? Channeling Mr. Cromwell, “Depart, I say, and let us have done with you. In the name of God, go.”
This comment section is slowly deteriorating into just another forum to attack people and things you don't agree with. If you watched his video at a pride parade he treated those people the same as he treated the Iowa fair goers. The Free Press is supposed to be about balance and presenting different points of view for debate. I think they do that.
Bari, please spare us this kind of thing. This clown reporter was so unserious about learning about thee “other side”. He mocked with tone, looks and words. But at least my impression of city liberals remains unscathed.
I wonder if TFP can do something to help me get the 4 minutes and 55 seconds of my life back that I just wasted......
Dear Bari, Your choice of stories lately has been seriously disappointing. Better start doing better. This guy was a schmuck. The only take away was that an obnoxious gay New Yorker went to Iowa and tried to bate the locals. This is worth a subscription how?
I wonder where urban dwellers like Ben think their arugula comes from?
It’s really hard to take these people seriously: they live in a crime- and filth-infested concrete ghetto; they pay some of the highest taxes and rents in the country for that privilege; they elect and re-elect the stupidest politicians outside of California. Can they point to a single thing THEIR society is making better? Don’t think so.
Those farmers seem like nice people.
The snark at children was unnecessary.
The first kid was right. Biden did raise gas prices. In fact, because the economy is such a complicated organism, it wasn't by just saying "raise prices." His cumulative "green" energy policies have had the effect of raising prices.
This was supposed to be a satirical hit piece on Republican voters, but it totally backfired. Ben is a condescending know it all. The wisest thing in the entire video was the pro Trump kid who said “I don’t know much”. The kids sincere humility was a refreshing counterbore to Ben’s I know it all attitude. The kid showed he is willing to learn, and open to new ideas. Ben thought he had made fun of this kid, but he failed badly. Ben, you are no Michael Moore.
I'd like to see an east coast liberal:
1. Fix a car, tractor, etc.
2. Farm a plot of land
3. Capture/kill their own meat without a guide
4. Raise children that aren't trans, neurotic, entitled, or lazy
5. Work 364 days a year (only Christmas off)
Please try any/all and tell me again how stupid these deplorables are.
As an east coast Republican, I would feel a bit awkward there too.
However, these are the fly-over people that are often mocked as ignorant rubes.
We rely on them for way more than we'll ever know.
Infinitely more than any coastal "influencer"