Another unflattering portrayal of Mississippians

Published 1:00 am Sunday, March 18, 2012

Mississippians last week again were put on national display — and it was not very flattering. Again, the fine people of this state are thrown up on a national screen as ignorant, racist, backward and just plain stupid. Mississippi was put on display by a documentary filmmaker — the daughter of former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi — looking to see why Mississippi is so conservative.

The segment was for comedian Bill Maher’s HBO show “Real Time with Bill Maher.” Maher, far from a conservative, probably would consider spending time in Mississippi as some sort of work-camp experience. We can’t believe that Pelosi — and her politically motivated family — is much different from that.

But here she was finding the worst of the worst, the dregs, the kind of people who embarrass this state. Laughably, Maher said before airing the segment that no one was “cherry-picked” for the piece. We find that extremely hard to believe. The people featured on that video were embarrassing in some of their remarks. But in any state, if one looks hard enough, there can be found colorful, toothless, racist, ignorant idiots to spew their nonsense.

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We find it miraculous that searching all over Vicksburg — where much of the video was shot — Pelosi could not find one educated, well-spoken person, of which there are many. From engineers at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Research and Development Center to nuclear engineers who work at Grand Gulf and live in Warren County, there exist plenty of people who belie the perception that Ms. Pelosi puts forth.

But she didn’t. She couldn’t have. Because what appears on that video is the fringe, to which every city and state in this country can lay claim in some form or another.

But finding the toothless, brainless walking forms of ignorance makes for better television.

Unfortunately, it does not tell the story. And in this case, we don’t know which is harder to believe — driving the perception of Mississippi the way Pelosi’s piece did or trying to convince anyone that those people were not “cherry-picked.”

If you haven’t seen it and would like to, visit That is, if you can find a computer in this backward state.