Even after a presidential election in which scores of media personalities were shown to be entirely disconnected from the country and people they report on, the liberal media bubble is alive and well. All it took to reveal the durability of that bubble was a simple question about pickup trucks.
For those who might not be aware, trucks are really popular in America and have been for decades. The Ford F-series, for example, has been the most popular line of vehicles in America for 34 years in a row. Ford F-150’s are basically the jeans of vehicles: it’s nearly impossible to find a person in America who either doesn’t own one or doesn’t know someone who owns one. The top three best-selling vehicles in America are not cars, but trucks: the Ford F-series, Chevy Silverado, and Dodge Ram. The top-selling sedan is but a distant fourth. According to a 2014 survey conducted by IHS automotive, trucks were the most popular vehicles in a whopping 34 states. A separate 2015 study found that the F-150 was the most popular used vehicle in 36 states.
Why is this important? Because research has shown that vehicle preferences and political preferences are linked. According to a 2016 survey of 170,000 vehicle buyers conducted by market research firm Strategic Vision, what you drive can reveal a great deal about which political candidates you prefer.
The five most popular vehicle models among Republicans, for example, are all trucks, with the ubiquitous Ford F-150 leading the way. Among Democrats, the Subaru Outback is the most popular choice. If you drive a truck, you’re probably a Republican. If you drive a Subaru, you’re probably a Democrat. Donald Trump won every single state in which the Ford F-150 is the most popular vehicle (even Pennsylvania). He won all but four of the states in which the Chevy Silverado is the most popular vehicle, including Iowa, Michigan, Ohio, and Wisconsin. Hillary Clinton handily won the states where people prefer Subarus.
Which brings us to the simple question about truck ownership from John Ekdahl that drove Acela corridor progressive political journalists into a frenzy on Tuesday night: “The top 3 best selling vehicles in America are pick-ups. Question to reporters: do you personally know someone that owns one?”
Rather than answer with a simple “no,” the esteemed members of the most cloistered and provincial class in America–political journalists who live in New York City or Washington, D.C.–reacted by doing their best impersonation of a vampire who had just been dragged into the sunshine and presented with a garlic-adorned crucifix.
There were basically three types of hysterical response to a simple question about truck owners: 1) shut up, 2) you’re stupid and/or sexist and/or racist, and 3) whatever, liar, trucks aren’t popular (far and away my favorite delusional response to a simple question from a group of people who want you to believe they’re extremely concerned about “fake news”). It turns out that people who are paid large sums of money to opine on what Americans outside the Acela province think get very upset if you demonstrate that they don’t actually know any of the people about whom they pretend to be experts.
Here’s but a small sampling of the fury Ekdahl incited by asking about the most popular vehicle models in America.
This person is a professional news correspondent for HBO:
The reply chain on this is just hundreds of bros saying actually to each other and it's beautiful https://t.co/5wT5A5W5V2
— Nellie Bowles (@NellieBowles) January 4, 2017
This person runs a think tank and writes for Vox:
How many journalists know someone who owns a ferret?
— Will Wilkinson (@willwilkinson) January 4, 2017
This person confidently predicted on election night that Hillary Clinton would be president and apparently thinks rental cars are all personally owned:
Does this lump in commercial purchases, or is it strictly personal vehicles?
— Frank Luntz (@FrankLuntz) January 4, 2017
This person is paid to write about cars:
.@JohnEkdahl plenty of heartlanders are opioid addicts. Does that mean to report on real Amerikkka you need an oxy habit?
— Jonathan Gitlin (@drgitlin) January 4, 2017
This person works for David Brock:
@JohnEkdahl i think journalists are in a bubble but your question was a lot like "when did you stop beating your wife"
— Oliver Willis (@owillis) January 4, 2017
So does this one:
Why does this fucking matter? https://t.co/otUfHZDqTu
— Emma Beckerman (@emmabeckerman1) January 4, 2017
This person writes for Washington Post and just missed the entire point:
Yes, b/c I'm from Alaska. Do any friends own one in DC or NYC? No, because they're unnecessary here. https://t.co/4H9QbO0NmL
— Jose A. DelReal (@jdelreal) January 4, 2017
This person is paid to tell Canadians what Americans think about stuff:
@mattdpearce why are you bringing this argument to more people's attention
— Daniel Dale (@ddale8) January 4, 2017
If you thought what happened in 2016 might teach the Panem progressives of American journalism to be a little more circumspect, you’d be wrong. If you thought they might take a step back and try to figure out how they got everything about the election so horribly wrong, you were sorely mistaken. And if you thought they’d consider actually getting to know a handful of the tens of millions of people who elected Donald Trump, then you haven’t been paying attention.