NBC Washington Mocks WV, Shows Enormous Ignorance

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Update 9:09AM: As of very recently, NBC Washington has taken DOWN this post in response. Thank you NBC for this first step. We anxiously await your written response as well. Thanks to everyone for your action.

As a DC area resident and WV native, I am outraged at the recent insulting and downright offensive “news” article from NBC Washington titled “West Virginia Discovers the Internet“. In this not even remotely humorous piece, Chris Needham mocks WV in over-the-top obnoxious terms for putting all of their vital public records online. In fact, WV is actually one of very few states in the country that also provide public access to images of these documents, making WV advanced in this case.

In this short little piece of commentary that NBC Washington has the nerve to pass off under the “news” heading on their website, Needham writes such utterly offensive crap as:

…they have to poop in their backyard, running through the cold, fearing that the trap door on their red flannel pajamas should pop open early, exposing their nether regions to the bite of the winds…

It is so ridiculous that a supposedly reputable news network in one of the largest and most important media markets in the country would publish something like this. How is this post still live? How does a “writer” write a post about a successful online project and use the entire post to slam the state as a place full of “tar-paper shacks, which probably don’t even have enough electricity to power a Commodore anyway.

NBC Washington needs to issue a public apology for such a disgraceful article, reprimand this so-called “writer”, and take this piece down immediately. I know that I will never be linking to or writing about a story from NBC Washington ever again and I encourage all of my fellow writers and bloggers to do the same.

Karl is a Washingtonian who lives and breathes everything that is DC. Politics, ethnic restaurants, sad sports teams, the Metro and pretty much anything in between. Karl’s life is kind of like going to a Nats’ game while eating Ethiopian food and discussing the latest legislation to pass the House. Then cramming on the Metro for a ride home. That ’bout sums it up. See why Karl loves DC or check him out on Twitter.

24 thoughts on “NBC Washington Mocks WV, Shows Enormous Ignorance

  1. Karl, you have pretty much hit the nail on the head. I also printed a request for a retraction on the NBC4 website. I was shocked to say the least.

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  3. The liberal agenda is at play here. Is this lib vs. lib? NBC and the General Electric warlords have always been offensive to people who hold “traditional” values. Remember the 30 Rock episode several weeks ago?

  4. Chris Needham should be fired, then made to walk naked down High St. in Morgantown. Then drug by his ankles from the back of a truck down I-79 from Morgantown to Charleston.

  5. I don’t think Chris Needham is an employee of NBC Washington. I’m pretty sure that he is basically just a blogger on that site.

  6. NBC Washington is as guilty as Chris Needham for publishing such an article. Employee or not. This country might be in a better shape today if people showed as much compassion as the people of the great state of West Virginia have. It sounds like the ignorant soul has ever visited this beautiful state.

  7. I would ask that anyone reading the article by Mr. Needham and disagreeing with his commentary publicly support a boycott of Washington NBC Channel 4 until the article is retracted and a public apology is issued.

    To show Mr. Needham the power of the Internet (that he believes does not exist in West Virginia) I would ask that you please forward a message out to your DC/MD/VA/WV contacts via your social networks, Facebook, Twitter, etc.

    Please feel free to RT the following messages on Twitter:

  8. well, it’s not like it’s false or anything… I mean, you’re not denying it and we all know that’s the way they roll in the WV… I’d suggest taking another swig of moonshine if you want to clear up the outrage…

  9. I’m sorry – is this supposed to be humorous? Cause if it is, you should really take some lessons on being funny. I’m not from West Virginia, but I happen to know that it is nothing like what you have described in what I can easily say is the most pathetic excuse for journalism I have ever read.
    So thank YOU, Mr. Needham for making this both my first and LAST visit to NBC Washington. If they let smarmy douchebags commentate without editing their content, I won’t waste my time here when I could be reading real news. And yes, Mr. Needham, you ARE a smarmy douchbag. Fact: If you look up “smarmy douchebag” in the dictionary, a photograph of Mr. Needham appears right next to the definition.

  10. I’m with Karl all the way in a bassackward way. I’m a WV resident since 1963 and native Washingtonian (5th Gen). Over the years I’ve laughed at many good natured WV jokes, “where the sun shines on the roof and the moonshine’s in the basement” or “the WV home listing, 3 bedrooms, 1 path”. Needham’s comments were just plain mean spirited. What prompted his hateful blather is beyond my ken.

  11. @Jerry Sparks: He’s not identified as a blogger; there was no mention anywhere on the page disclaiming the piece as anything but “news”.

    @goldthimble: Wow, I thought it would be hard to top Needham’s article for stupidity. You proved me wrong.

  12. To be fair to NBC4, they’ve been really working hard at making their online operation a destination in itself, and have been trying to take lessons from the success of blogs, which have generally been more personality and opinion driven. As such, they’ve added a lot of user-interaction, hired bloggers with strong personalities and voices, and have given those writers a great deal of leeway with their pieces. And most of the time, it’s worked for them. I read their site quite a bit and generally find that the combination of newsroom resources with blogging-style commentary to work for me for local news.

    So it’s inevitable that occasionally, someone will say something they shouldn’t have said, so I applaud them for both taking the chance on the format AND for pulling the post down when it became clear that it was inappropriate.

    I just don’t want to throw stones, since here at We Love DC we’ve had one memorable incident where a writer said something so beyond the pale we’ve had to pull it down, and multiple incidents where a writer said something that enough people have found inflammatory that the writer has had to sit there and take the onslaught of angry comments and decide for themselves whether to retract, clarify, or defend. This is the kind of risk that gets taken with opinion-driven coverage, and sometimes it blows up in your face. That’s how it goes.

  13. Thanks for this post, Karl. The trash post about WV was over the top even for an opinion piece. I’m wondering if the same tolerance would be given for a site that allowed discrimination applied to race, sexual orientation, etc., because the garbage I read was nothing short of that. I don’t care if something like that “slips through” once, it’s still unacceptable and has no place in real journalism.

  14. Deleting then pretending the piece never existed is a pitifully inadequate response. A formal apology is in order. And NBC4 should recognize that this twit is not someone they can trust to exercise sound judgment and end any association between their organization and him.

    I doubt we will see an apology or termination since there is no National Association for the Advancement of Hill People. Hillbillies are the last free shot, the only unprotected minority.

    Maybe we should form an NGO.

  15. This article is so absurd! I don’t know what the author or editor was trying to accomplish, but this is NOT journalism, nor is it news. A retraction and apology is most certainly in order. Furthermore, I’m not sure where Chris Needham did his research, but I’ve lived in WV my entire life, and I remember we had broadband internet available at my house 2 years before some relatives did who live half an hour from Baltimore. By the way, for anyone that wishes to view the article, it’s still cached on Google.

  16. Dude….I am going to take this man to Carbide Camp and LET THE MUTANTS GET HIM


  17. What I wrote was stupid and hurtful. I’m not going to make excuses for what I wrote, and they appropriately pulled it down. But I never should have written it in the first place, and for that I do apologize.

    girlofwords.com wrote a solid post that rightfully takes me to task. I commented and apologized to that post the other day, and everything I wrote there applies here as well.


    As I said there, I don’t expect everyone to accept my apology, but they should understand that it is a sincere one. I really do feel terrible for those who were genuinely hurt by what I wrote.

  18. Pingback: NBC Washington Not the First to Bash West Virginia | a Better West Virginia Blog - Culture | Arts | Economy

  19. Pingback: The Enlightened Redneck » Chris Needham Is A Bigot

  20. NBC a reputable news outlet? Why does everyone keep saying that their reputable? Once again, NBC shows its true elite, better than you bias!

  21. Chris Needham has a great sarcastic voice and ran an awesome blog for years. He Fd up on this post and admitted it. I thought West Virginians had thicker skin.

  22. Mac, I believe West Virginians do have thick skin, and if Mr. Needham had taken the time to write a truly satirical blog, I doubt he would have angered so many people.