Friday, March 7, 2014

The Daily Show Stigma

Posted By on Fri, Mar 7, 2014 at 5:30 AM

Not every state has a website devoted solely to telling them if they were on The Daily Show recently, but we do.

And all this publicity is starting to wear on local entrepreneur, Michael Burcham. In an interview over at The Nashville Ledger, he talks about what it means when we're on The Daily Show.

“The second is, I hope this changes, but for the last year we seem to make Comedy Central more than anything else with our state legislature. I would love to see us not make Jon Stewart’s (The Daily Show) monologue at least once a month, just for a six-month window, because we look so backward.

“I don’t think our state is backward at all, but some of the things we do, from English-only to other things, it sure makes it seem like we are trying to create a society that’s more bigoted and closed and we don’t want anybody here. It’s not good for business.

I found Burcham's whole response to be a really thoughtful take on some of the things we talk about here pretty regularly. And I'm especially interested in the way Burcham thinks about how our cities function as refuges for a lot of talented people who just can't thrive in their small towns, in part due to the same kinds of attitudes we find are the reason we keep making The Daily Show.

It's a bit of irony that we're such a conservative state, with these liberal cities of refuge scattered throughout, which then fill up with interesting people which then attracts business. I'd like us to become more liberal as a whole state, but it's hard to deny that really conservative rural areas are feeding the cities with a lot of talented, creative people who just can't thrive in their own hometowns. Is it possible that this set-up is a kind of best worst-case scenario for Tennessee cities since it pretty much guarantees a wide talent pool full of people who otherwise might not want to move to town?

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