MSNBC Flunks Geography

Yesterday, MSNBC put up this map during a story about President Obama’s upcoming bus tour:

nbc

This map came as news to hundreds of thousands of New York and Pennsylvania residents, no doubt.

H/T: Dan Amira

FILED UNDER: Humor, Quick Takes
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    And last week on Jay Leno, Obama relocated three East Coast cities to the Gulf Coast.

    So much for reality having a liberal bias…

  2. John Peabody says:

    Low information, low-paid graphic techs..understandable. Not being caught by a higher-up…not so good.

  3. Boyd says:

    Ah, the irony. 🙂

    Updated post headline: MSNBC Flunks Georgraphy; Doug Mataconis Flunks Spelling

  4. Yes sadly I did :/

  5. legion says:

    Well, just last week, when that kidnapper was taken out by the FBI here in Idaho, several outlets said it happened in IOWA, and I’ve also seen screenshots of one of the networks placing Boise squarely in the middle of Oklahoma. Flyover country, indeed…

  6. Tillman says:

    That’s nothing. NBC News destroyed the entire state of New Hampshire once.

  7. William Wilgus says:

    My sister lives close to Scranton. She never told me she was going to move. I guess she doesn’t want to know me anymore—otherwise she would have told me.

  8. Franklin says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: Not sure what you’re talking about (don’t watch Leno, myself), but this isn’t one of those simple word slips/jokes like the 57 states thing, is it?

  9. Pinky says:

    This looks like a bit that Craig Ferguson does, locating some country in the news on a map, surrounded by the Sea of Borat, Narnia, Mordor, et cetera.

  10. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Franklin: Here’s the transcript of Obama relocating three major cities, and for a bonus the AP actually putting words in his mouth to make him seem less clueless.

    I don’t recall prior presidents getting that kind of generous treatment. Hell, people made livelihoods over NOT cleaning up the misstatements of Presidents Bush.

    But on topic… when I first saw the map, I thought it might have been a computer glitch, as it looked like a couple of the cities had been shifted roughly the same distance and direction. But a second glance showed that while Buffalo, Scranton, and Syracuse had shifted almost due east, Binghamton had moved northeast.

    As Professor Reynolds likes to say, “layers and layers of fact-checkers and editors indeed…”

  11. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: Good lord, could have I screwed up that comment any more?

    Anyway, here’s the link.

  12. An Interested Party says:

    Good lord, could have I screwed up that comment any more?

    Funny coming from someone who is trying to call out someone else for screwing up a comment…

  13. Tillman says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: Honestly, maybe I’m just an ignorant Southerner, but it’s the sort of error I (who am not versed in the specific geography of the northeastern Atlantic seaboard states, at least as far as city placement within their borders goes) wouldn’t really catch. Nor would I expect the President of the United States to be versed in them. Nor would I expect the average citizen stopped on the street to be versed in them, unless we were in Pennsylvania or New York, in which case it’s a fifty-fifty shot.

    Bush’s errors were more egregious in general. I’ll have to find that book someone gave me cataloguing those to cite a few. Also I doubt Bush, with his general failure to master the word use and grammar required to avoid ridicule on the national level, would know the general locations of cities better than Obama. It’s not the sort of knowledge you’d expect any chief executive to muster at a moment’s notice.

    Finally, most news services provide that sort of parenthetical redress the AP did in this particular story. They did it multiple times under Bush. It’s a stylistic modification, not something intended to give a partisan cover from political attack. To interpret it otherwise is to ignore the long history of newspaper writing standards, and we wouldn’t do that just to score a measly and insignificant point against the current President of the United States, would we?

  14. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @An Interested Party: Funny coming from someone who is trying to call out someone else for screwing up a comment…

    Thanks for comparing me to reputed professionals, but I’m an amateur. I sure as hell would like to think I’m comparable to the pros… and in this case, I’d come out halfway decently.

    @Tillman: I don’t know much about New York’s geography, but I know that Buffalo’s on one of the Great Lakes, so that would’ve jumped out at me. Further, since I would have gone in knowing I know squat about the geography of the region, I would have looked it up first. I tend to do that when I know what I don’t know.

    Which, apparently, would make me overqualified to work at MSNBC…

  15. SC_Birdflyte says:

    Well, confusion can strike any time, any place. I regularly get “The Five” inflicted on me at the health club. It’s amusing watching Dana Perino pontificate. I seem to remember when she was White Houte press secretary that she confused the Bay of Pigs invasion with the Cuban Missile Crisis. I guess history is another lost subject.

  16. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @SC_Birdflyte: I seem to remember when she was White Houte press secretary that she confused the Bay of Pigs invasion with the Cuban Missile Crisis.

    Which you only know about that because Perino ratted herself out. At the time, she bluffed her way through it, and pulled it off. It was only after she left the White House that she confessed it.

    So, if you remember her screwing up on camera and totally blowing the facts of the historic strife between the US and Cuba in the 1960s, you’ve fabricated a memory. Kinda like how so many people insist that Sarah Palin said she could see Russia from her house.

  17. rudderpedals says:

    Buffalo, Syracuse and Binghamton are all arrayed properly with respect to each other as if a transparent layer was placed on the map but shifted too far east. It’s pretty easy to screw this up with gimp…

  18. SC_Birdflyte says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: I don’t believe I made that accusation against her. I grew up in Florida and my hometown was in an area triangulated by three major military bases. When you live through that, you remember it. I think she was too young to have such memories. Nonetheless, my main point is: You can get hired at MSNBC, Fox, CNN, or various other media outlets without having to demonstrate subject matter knowledge in much of anything.

  19. al-Ameda says:

    Kinda like how so many people insist that Sarah Palin said she could see Russia from her house.

    You’re right. She oesn’t know where Russia is, so how could she say definitively that she could see Russia from her house? It is unlikely that she said that.

  20. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @al-Ameda: You’re right. She oesn’t know where Russia is, so how could she say definitively that she could see Russia from her house? It is unlikely that she said that.

    So you’re saying that Palin is stupid, by saying something incredibly stupid yourself? Odd tactic, but if it works for you…

    Palin said that, from certain points in Alaska, you can see Russia. That is absolutely true. It’s also true that during her tenure as governor, she had to keep in mind her state’s proximity to Russia — especially considering the military bases, the Coast Guard stations, and the National Guard units she commanded.

    Look at a map. (That may be a first for you.) Alaska is closer to Russia than it is to any other State in the US. And it used to belong to Russia, before we bought it from them.

    I’d educate you more on it, but I’m not certain you can fully grasp what I’ve laid out for you already.

  21. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @rudderpedals: Buffalo, Syracuse and Binghamton are all arrayed properly with respect to each other as if a transparent layer was placed on the map but shifted too far east.

    That’s what I was trying to say above, but you summed it up better than I did. However, I think you mean Buffalo, Scranton, and Syracuse; Binghamton was shifted in a different direction.

  22. rudderpedals says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: I would have put Scranton as the odd man out cuz I haven’t the foggiest idea of where it is 🙁 I thought my My aunt’s old stomping grounds in Binghamton was an hour or so south of Syracuse. I will defer to you as these memories are so old I have little confidence in them.