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Sunday, April 29, 2018

Not deplorable

Anthony Bourdain, a New Yorker who does a food travel show for CNN, visited the state and discovered West Virginia is not filled with deplorables.

We're pretty nice.

Imagine that.

He told Marlow Stern of the Daily Beast of his experience in an effort to promote his show. Stern said it was the best episode of Bourdain's 11th season.

"I think the timing is right. I think because it’s so different than the culture I grew up in and the place I grew up in, and the political landscape is very different than mine. I pride myself on trying to show up with an open mind and an open heart in places like Saudi Arabia, Liberia, Vietnam, Iran. Why not my own country? Why not show that same respect and empathy in the heart of God, guns, and Trump country? I was curious, and I was utterly disarmed and very moved by what I found there. People were incredibly kind and generous to me, not hostile to my political beliefs, and we talked a lot about coal, the Second Amendment, and why people who come from five generations of breaking their backs in the coal mine would vote for a sketchy New York real-estate guy who’s never changed a tire in his life. The answers were a lot more nuanced than I’d expected," Bourdain said.

Why would we be hostile to his political beliefs?

There is more to life than politics.

Besides, the Bible teaches us to be kind to strangers.

I like that he came here to tell our story.

"A little understanding and a little empathy — the ability to walk in someone else’s shoes for a few minutes — has got to be a good thing. I went to West Virginia with the intent of making a show that was respectful and sympathetic, and that was easy because people were genuinely deserving of that respect. And they’re not foolish — they don’t think Trump is going to bring back coal to where it was — their concerns were more immediate and practical, like the difference between dinner on the table tomorrow and no dinner," Bourdain said.

Guns fascinated him. He respected that people in West Virginia grow up with guns and understand their danger. He also understood that people need guns for protection.

Of course, one third of the state was With Her.

And West Virginia is more than coal and guns, but those are two things that distinguish the state from, say, Manhattan.

I am no fan of CNN, and definitely I am no fan of New York journalists doing a safari to deepest whitest West Virginia looking to reinforce stereotypes.

But Bourdain did well by keeping his eyes wide open. Wish more of us would.


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  1. You know Don,think what you might about this author ,but do not forget where the article was posted,it is always about degrading POTUS Trump,from the article,
    "Parts Unknown’s Season 11 premiere takes the tattooed ex-New York City chef deep into the heart of Trump country: West Virginia. There, he eats a bag lunch with miners inside a coal mine, shoots some automatic weapons, and tries to get to the bottom of why these blue-collar Americans voted for a billionaire real-estate heir who “shits on a gold toilet.”

  2. Sorta like being on the cover of National Geographic wearing a loin cloth.

  3. Ron in Ohio Sez:
    Don, PLEASE! don't be taken-in by this manipulatiive Bourdain P-O-S! - He truly blows whichever way the wind blows and never admits judgement mistakes or apologizes.

    All ya' need to realize that are in two of the opening sentences; "Anthony Bourdain, a New Yorker who does a food travel show for CNN" & "He told Marlow Stern of the Daily Beast of his experience in an effort to promote his show."

    We used to watch his cooking shows (He is a great chef!) until he began showing his true self. He's the same person who viciously dumped-on Paula Deen, Sandra Lee and Rachael Ray and then other respected chefs when they all began overshadowing him.

    He's the same one, just before his dumping binge who, on his TV show, famously went back to his roots as a line cook in a N.Y. restaurant and couldn't begin to keep-up with the pace. Afterwards, he attributed his failure to the fact that previously he and his fellow cooks were constantly "high" on Marijuana, Cocaine, LSD, "you name it" just to do their work.

    No, Don; This guy is an opportunist. He sees which way the majority public's taste's and political opinions are turning, and he will mine it for all he can get. Why else would he, a New Yorker, visit West Virginia for a culinary visit? He has an agenda and he truly is a P-O-S!

    1. Thank you Ron,maybe Don gets the picture now.

    2. I agree. I used to watch Bourdain's show. I looked forward to his shows, mostly for the locations, places I'll never see. But when he became political -- and not just political but politically vicious -- I stopped watching. I'm glad he was on his better behavior in WV, but it will take more than that to change my opinion about Bourdain.

  4. Bourdain's the one who said if he had to cook for President Trump he'd put poison in his food. Don't think he's changed his mind on that one.

  5. Bourdain is still a liberal dick.