Tuesday, May 12, 2015

I've been watching the national press screw up Arkansas stories all my life

A few days ago, I linked to reports of an astroturf anti-marriage equality rally in Russellville that was countered by a couple of genuine grassroots pro-equality demonstrations. I mentioned that this was an important story that the national media was largely missing.

The press did, however, pick up on this superficially similar but  utterly meaningless story about Eureka Springs.

I have lots of fond memories of Eureka Springs but, as anyone familiar with the state can tell you, it is literally the least representative spot you could find.

In addition to being very small and isolated, the town has been home to countless fringe movements, religious, political, and medical, since at least the early 20th century. It is associated as much with hippies and UFO enthusiasts as with religious fundamentalist, and all of these groups have long since made their peace and united behind the common goal of getting money from tourists. There are numerous highly convincing indications that places like Arkansas are moving dramatically toward acceptance of marriage equality, but using Eureka Springs as an example of changing attitudes is like using Knott's Berry Farm as an example of modern agricultural practices.

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