The liberal HuffPost website has announced a 23-city bus tour to find out what it means to be American today.
The tour, named “Listen to America,” seems to admit that the site has little idea what is going on beyond the liberal coastal elites. It also suggests that HuffPost operates to some degree as a political organization: the trip mirrors the listening tours that some Democratic leaders and potential candidates have undertaken since the 2016 election.
The site, which attached a disclaimer attacking then-candidate Donald Trump to every story about him during the 2016 race, suffered a rude awakening on Election Day. The trip aims to address the site’s knowledge gap about the country between the coasts, as well as to repair its image as the sounding board for the wealthy liberal gentry.
Hadas Gold of Politico notes:
Starting in September, a traveling party of rotating HuffPost staff members led by editor-in-chief Lydia Polgreen will visit more than 20 cities, eschewing the coasts for the likes of Fort Wayne, Indiana, Oxford, Mississippi and Odessa, Texas. At each city, the site will host events, roll out planned stories with local media outlets, send out reporters to write about the communities and collect stories from residents “in their own words.”
Through the trip, Gold adds, “HuffPost is seeking to reinforce its new, less partisan image.” However, the structure of the trip suggests that it is aimed more at connecting to liberal enclaves in the interior, rather than listening to the conservative views that prevail in “flyover country.” Editor-in-chief Lydia Poltgreen tells Politico that the trip aims to “report out the story of who we should be in the world,” as opposed (perhaps) to who Americans actually are.
Still, the trip appears to be the first attempt by a liberal outlet to venture beyond the bubble. Conservatives tend to be surrounded by liberal viewpoints, even if they do not live in big cities: national media are dominated by the left.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He was named one of the “most influential” people in news media in 2016. He is the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.