MSNBC Geography Fail: Cities on Obama Bus Tour Shown in Wrong Locations

August 14th, 2013 1:11 PM

Maybe part — but certainly not all — of the reason President Obama basically got away with claiming that Jacksonville, Flordia, Charleston, South Carolina, and Savannah, Georgia are ports "along the Gulf" is that the press is so geographically ignorant that it did not recognize the obvious mistake until someone outside of their bubble pointed it out.

I say that because the geniuses at MSNBC somehow allowed what appeared to be a carefully crafted graphic of New York and Pennsylvania show four cities in those states in wrong locations, most of which were hundreds of miles away from where they really are (as carried at Media Bistro; HT to an emailer):


It's amazing how those lake-effect snowstorms manage to cross almost the entire Empire State to dump all that snow on Buffalo, isn't it?

Here's most of Media Bistro's commentary, which mentions another geography mistake of which I was unaware:

MSNBC Shuffles Around The Cities Of Upstate New York

On MSNBC’s “Martin Bashir,” it appears that someone decided to “remix” upstate New York.

Buffalo, Syracuse and Binghamton were moved away from their actual locations in western and central New York, and placed near the borders of Massachusetts and Vermont. Pennsylvanians can take solace knowing that Scranton was located somewhat closer to its actual location, although it was still off by around 40 miles or so. (Referencing a real map and comparing its placement of Scranton to MSNBC's, I think it's more like 80-90 miles. — Ed.)

... Bashir’s program took to Twitter to apologize, saying it was “an honest geographic mistake.”

... Regular readers may recall that just a few weeks ago “NBC Nightly News” erased New Hampshire from the United States. Clearly, there are some geographical kinks still being worked out.

I take that form of apology — "honest mistake" — to mean that MSNBC's really did believe that the cities involved were correctly positioned, even after conscientious review (An "oversight" would have meant that they just screwed up and didn't subject the graphic to appropriate review).

The Media Bistro link to the New Hampshire snafu also notes that at around the same time, "on CNN, a story about Egypt featured a graphic… with the flag of Syria."

Our news organizations are in the best of hands, aren't they?

This seemingly trivial incident is a window to a more fundamental point, which is that demonstrations of sloppiness and ignorance such as these should make us very confident that many other pertinent facts of greater interpretive import are either misreported or not reported by our establishment press on a daily basis.

Heaven knows what would happen if those ignorant bloggers in their pajamas were ever to gain dominant influence.(/sarc)

Cross-posted at