Recently, MSNBC totally failed in its map-drawing for President Obama’s visit to New York. Somehow, it misplaced four cities — Syracuse, Buffalo and Binghamton, N.Y., and Scranton, Pa. Later, the network apologized, describing it as “an honest geographic mistake” as opposed, I guess, to a Devious Attempt To Convince MSNBC-Watching Travelers That Syracuse Had Moved. “Our position’s correct,” MSNBC viewers would complain, driving their Priuses north, “except — no Syracuse.”
But is this just an honest geographic mistake, or the beginning of a devious, reverse-FOX-style attempt at Totally Baffling Your Viewers As To Where Real America Is Located? At least, as Glenn Beck or someone is probably observing right now, this MSNBC map had actual cities on it, as opposed to a hand-wave denoting non-NYC New York as a Place You Fly Over While Cringing. “Can you find Syracuse on a map?” someone asked the graphics department. “No,” they replied, gamely tossing a dot onto the picture at random. “But who really needs to?” But could this be the start of a trend of Not Caring About Places That Aren’t Elite Coastal Cities? If so, what’s next?
If this MSNBC trend of mislabeling continues (is one incident enough for a trend? Hey, it’s August, let’s go with it!), here’s what future maps might look like for each network. I have to say, they also present some problems.