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tooluther

Pittsburgh="One Butt-Ugly Town"

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I just read that. Talk about obnoxious. The man outright LIED by saying the city is "dotted with old steel mills." And to call our skyline foreboding is like calling sugar sour.

One has to wonder if he even came here. If he did, then he must have decided to simply outright lie. I don't even know what to say. I want to write a letter, but it would be hard not to get pissed and do a poor job of it.

I think our resident photgraphers should send a few of their gorgeous pictures to that paper and encourage them to think about printing a retraciton. Seriously. Because anyone who reads his column (who hasn't been here themself, anyway) will probably believe it, and that is very bad publicity for our city. We do not need bad publicity.

On the bright side, the All Star game this summer will give us a chance to show everyone what we are really like!

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Yes you can tell that this writer is full of crap - both with the steel mill line and the fact that he trashes the Golden Triangle, which was an incredible view when steel was king, let alone now. What crap and it should be dismissed. Let's not sink to that level.

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I am just worried that thousands of people in Denver will now believe that Pittsburgh is butt-ugly and full of idiots.

I've started composing what I think is a civil and reasonable letter to the editor of that paper.

Can anyone remind me what magazine it was that ranked our skyline as one of the best views in the US?

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Ah the places I could take this . . . lol

As G and the PG mention I seriously believe this was a Jayson Blair call-in story after googling a pic of Heinz Field . . . Pittsburgh don't forget was voted the #1 skyline vista (2nd overall vista) by USAToday's USA Weekend (you asked Gerbil :) ), the world's only city with a skyline entrance by the WSJ etc, while the steel mills are all (regretably) gone save for the ET one that you would have to be told is one most days :(. This guy is full of crap, and either a retard or is bold face lying that he flew in, I highly support filling the RMN with scathing emails and phonecalls! Butt ugly? Pitt, PennState and OhioState all are top 10 in "Universities with fit students" (big chunk of OSUers and PSUers are yinzers). . . I think 300 Grant Street deserves royalties from those GGW videos! I could sit here all day and rattle off stats.

. . . . .

For all the faults of the PG and the Trib . . . chalk one more "major paper" in the NOT world-class column . . . man they are dropping like flies these days . . . whose left the Economist and the Singapore paper? I've said it before and I'll say it again . . . Pittsburgh has two newspapers that aren't going to make mistakes (ala "world class" NYT, BosGlobe, WPost, ClevelandPD, RMN, HouCron, LAT, AJC) that make a middle school paper look like the next goldstandard news source.

It's bleak out there guys, and it doesn't make me happy to say it but leanings aside Pittsburgh media has yet to fail me on the fact issue.

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From details in his article, this is what I believe happened:

He flew in and drove a rental car to the Sheraton at Station Square. He wrote the article sitting in his room, which had a view of Downtown. Perhaps it was a gray day and the building's didn't have their usual sparkle. (Though even on the grayest days I would hardly call our skyline anything less than attractive).

In an effort to see a bit more of the city, he went down Carson Street (passing that industrial complex thing near Station Square) and visited a couple of bars.

He visited no other parts of the city, and just assumed that what he saw was what the whole place is like (lots of bars, some kind of factory that looks run down, older buildings that don't exactly shine). So basically, he took what he saw in one limited area of the city and pretended he had seen the whole city. Little did he know that not all of Pittsburgh is anything like Carson Street, and that factory he drove past is possibly the only one to be seen within city limits.

It was highly irresponsible of him to paint the whole city with a broad brush based on one day in one neighborhood, and a couple of conversations with bartenders. I am quite sure his plan all along was to trash us.

By the way thanks for refreshing my memory on that USA Today thing. I needed that info for my letter :)

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It was highly irresponsible of him to paint the whole city with a broad brush based on one day in one neighborhood, and a couple of conversations with bartenders. I am quite sure his plan all along was to trash us.

That was the intent. Its tradition for city papers to trash the cities of the opposing team. I'm sure he's expecting a bunch of angry letters to come in and probably welcomes it. He's probably also expecting a PG writer to do the same about Denver.

Its odd that this comes a day after the PG ran a story about how civilzied the whole Denver/Pittsburgh thing had been and noted that typically the opposing cities would be trashing each other. It looks like Denver fired the first shot.

I wouldn't get bent all out of shape by this. Some cities would wish that one of their worries would be to have an obscure columnist at a newspaper with medium-range circulation trash them.

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The only reason I'm concerned is that we already struggle with such an image problem. His lies are just the sort of thing people believe about our city, and they'll take his column as evidence that they are right. I hope that if I write a nice civil letter, it will get printed in lieu of the inevitable angry, threatening letters.

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I agree Urban, it's like being put down by a group of retarded monkeys, does it even matter what someone like that thinks? . . . actually it's more pathetic, the retarded monkey's have a legit excuse.

However, I can't fathom this guy writing this about NY, Boston, Miami, Seattle etc. Pittsburgh though all the old "my mommy says" 1950's stereotypes are all fair game. The RMN should be ashamed to print this stuff, razzing a city is one thing, I wonder how that papers editor would like it if all those 1950 stereotypes--devoid of facts, devoid of common sense, devoid of contemporary analysis, in his paper!

This guy had an open online chat today I read the first 45 min of it until it just got silly into "hey will you be our SB reporter if the Steelers win, which town has the most beautiful women, if Mr. Rogers was a QB would he be better then Jake Plummer" etc.

Here is the link to the first 45 min. chat transcript, seems very very interesting on how this whimp sidesteps his journalistic incompetence (and to think his bio says he was a 93 pulitzer finalist . . . wow this dude wilted big time).

http://www.flickr.com/photo_zoom.gne?id=88648756&size=o

continued:

http://www.flickr.com/photo_zoom.gne?id=88648757&size=o

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Wow, what a ridiculous thing to say. It's obvious he hasn't been to Pittsburgh. Heck, I haven't even been there, just seen pictures and read about it and I know that there is no way you can call it a butt ugly town.

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That's okay. I don't really like Denver since the turbulence at the airport made me think I was going to die moreso than evasive maneuvers for a combat landing in Iraq. And I got more dirty looks while wearing a Marine Corps uniform than I did anywhere else I've ever worn it. And I wouldn't want to live there because you can't go jogging without a displaced mountain lion chasing you up a tree. And our football team isn't named after a crappy car used in the lamest low speed car chase ever. (Ok I had to throw in at least one thing that was a misconception).

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I've been in love with Pittsburgh ever since I laid eyes on it at the tender age of 4. I always tend to take it personally when this great city is the subject of baseless attacks by the ignorant.

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TomBarnes, I remember that cartoon and controversy . . . it seems silly but it would be comparable to calling a gorgeous 40 year old knockout FAT after she had a life and death struggle with bulemia in her 20s. YOU JUST DON'T DO THAT! Words mean things, call us braggards, call us industrious, call us football fanatics but don't call this town Butt-Ugly we've gone through way too many trips to hell to ensure that would never be told of us again.

BlueBlackCat, That is TOO FUNNY! Plus all the creepy illuminati crap at Denver International (what is up with that). Also BlueBlack that part about having trouble wearing the uniform out there really upset me I have heard that SF and Berkeley were always like that and I know those limo liberals up in Aspen and Golden (U of Colorado) but Denver too, what a wasteland out there :(, to insult the people that ensure our freedom is the lowest of the low.

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UPDATE! And kudos to Urban for finding the nonretraction retraction, I think more then anything he just clarifies that Pittsburgh is butt-ugly because we cherish things Denver would throw away (and that makes us bad? because our city isn't overrun by poweraide drinking, SUV driving, materialistic yuppies?)

Readers reactions have now been printed in the RMN, I know Gerbil was writing to them, and I plan to as well, but most of the points have already been covered, though I am disappointed that some Pittsburghers have met insult with insult, many have shown the light of cold truth on the moronic comments by the writer.

http://www.rockymountainnews.com/drmn/comm...6_69783,00.html

Aside from throwing them a Nolan Ryan heatball of a letter-to-the-editor the RMN and any staff associated with them are dead to me, I don't even think I'll go back to their site to read the editorals, there is a PRICE TO BE PAID if you can't do your job as a journalist!

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After reading his "retraction" I have decided to totally rewrite my letter. I still think he is a moron, but at least he had a couple of good things to say. I am glad he mentioned how we reclaim old buildings for new uses.

So I think what I will touch on in my letter is that we have an amazing mix of architecture, new and old, and that if he visited some other neighborhoods he would have had a much different impression. Also, that all those vendors in the Strip who were selling Steelers gear usually sell fruits and veggies and wonderful food from all cultures.

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Gerbil, I agree I think this is a good guy that REALLY REALLY messed up--because he got lazy and decided to stir the pot THE WORST WAY POSSIBLE! One thing I am going to concentrate on in my letter is that Pittsburgh--having sacraficed its beauty and wealth for world freedom in 2 world wars and pratically inventing modern America in the 1900s--has worked probably harder and longer then any other city to shed it's dirty image, "Hell with the Lid Off", "Inkblot at 30,000 ft.", "Abandon it and start over". You just don't throw insults like that out in 2006, unless you are totally ignorant (and a reporter has no excuse to be totally ignorant) about Pittsburgh's long struggles in the 40's, 50's and continuing to today. It would be comparable to continually joking about "how gay" a strong man is that long suffered before defeating a severe lisp, or "how bloated" a knockout woman is that has suffered before defeating low-selfesteem and bulemia in her early years. Pittsburgh is EXTREMELY touchy about anything asthetic or enviromental about our city, and we have a right to be, we are as proud of our strength and heritage as the man that had the lisp or the woman that had selfdoubt and bulemia, but have worked TOO HARD FOR TOO LONG to defeat those inner ghosts to be belittled for those HS level insults.

You do your research as a reporter, you realize that if someone was bit they'll be twice shy, you don't do that to people in real life, you don't do that to cities either!

~~~~

Also I thought I would highlight some of the letters to the RMN:

Here are a few:

""Yes, Bill you can leave. The sooner you return to Denver the better. Thanks for the myoptic look at the Southside and the "Strip" district. Should you have the good fortune to return, spent some time outside of the bars . . .

. . . As the proud daughter of a steelworker, I love my town and my Steelers. Someone from Denver could never understand or appreciate the beauty of our city, as Bill continues to prove . . .

. . . Mr. Johnson, I see you seem to subscribe to the Jayson Blair school of "journalism" (my opinion only, of course). Potentially entertaining, but in the end, questions arise as to not only the tone of your words, but the validity of them"

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Sounds like your letter will be great, Pgh. Although you might want to tone down your analogies a smidge. Wouldn't wanna inadvertantly insult someone by even mentioning words like "gay," lol. It's a very good point though.

I just finished my new letter and am pleased with it. I kept it very friendly and I think it'll get my point across well. I am going to email it today. :)

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You're point is well taken G, as always :)

It's just my knee-jerk reaction here . . . again there is nothing wrong with being "Industrial", there are economic folks and industry folks that LOVE 10 miles of factories (I've spoken with a few that are lauding the new industrialization of China and how Japan works with Industry), but to LOSE hundreds of thousands of jobs, and your #3 post in the nation with corporate HQ but still be considered only good for "old smokestacks", WHAT DOES MADISON AVENUE WANT FROM US?! :P

As far as the gay comment, in no way did I want to imply there was something wrong with being that, quite the contrary, there is something wrong with the High Schoolish, bullying type of stereotypes that uncilivized people engage in to make people hurt for basically just seeing someone hurt. Nothing wrong with being industrial, nothing wrong really with being fat if that is something you want or don't mind, for that matter nothing wrong with being black, but again there are words in society that you can use to REALLY be super offensive to hurdles and sacrafices those groups often make, and in all aspects it is so immature and High School to even go there in a cilivized discussion which print media has a responsibility to be. My larger point is that if one was to call a black person, who struggled with racism, a bad name, a man that has long suffered with being stereotyped something he wasn't--or was--a bad name, a woman that chose not be fat a bad name, that would be reprehensible and very very cruel. Pittsburgh is not a living breathing thing, but in a many ways this is just as cruel, and a print journalist that took the time to research our history would understand the similarties and the pathos that is now being unleashed upon the RMN.

I honestly feel a bit sorry for this guy, as I said I get the impression he is a pretty good reporter (Iraq stories, etc.), that probably thought of this as a nice easy assignment and now finds himself in a hornet's nest. Just do the research is all I ask, realize that cities, like people, have certain things that really hit their heart in major major ways. We'll survive but we need to remember that certain things really have no right being said especially by people that have never been in the shoes of someone that has fought hard and long to overcome that particular hurdle in life.

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I totally understood your point. Just worried that some folks might not. :)

By the way I just sent off my new letter to his editor. Hope they print mine and yours both :)

Edit: Just read the transcript (aka screenshot :rofl: ) of the online chat. I gotta say the guy really is an ass. Denver is "God's country"? And he is so back-handed the way he talks about Pittsburgh. What an ass to say the guy who chose Pittsburgh over Denver was "wrong." Geez Louise. I am glad I sent my letter prior to reading that. Knowing what he said in that chat would have made it harder to keep my letter friendly :rolleyes:

Of course the peopl in the chat who pushed the "steelers as a religion" stereotype were not exactly helpful. What exactly were they trying to prove, I wonder?

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