America Reacts To Tina Brown Calling Them Stupid

The Daily Beast, who know a good list idea when the news gives them one, recently ranked America's cities on how smart they are. Let's see how America reacted!

They ranked Fresno the stupidiestest:

"These people are here living their lives and doing the very best they can. They shouldn't be put down like this," said a lady in a bookstore.

They ranked my hometown, Vegas, right above Fresno. They haven't won any Pulitzers in the last few weeks, but they do have a UNLV professor who thinks The Daily Beast is right.

An English professor at UNLV, the 70-year-old Hickey considers those criteria and says, "Well, honestly, (the low ranking) is because the school graduates losers. It graduates people to middle management.

Go Rebels. San Antonio was next:

The Mensas at The Daily Beast are banking that you will get bent, click through to their site, read the rankings and let the Daily Beast reap the harvest of epic page views. They make you mad, you give them page views, and they scoop up the ad revenue. Trouble is, I didn't include the link, and I'm not going to include it. The Daily Beast can bite my ass. If they think I'm sending page views their way, they're not that smart.

Power to the people (and Google). Further up the list, Phoenix proved how astute they are with this cynical assessment of The Daily Beast:

The Daily Beast is one of those websites that summarizes what's on the internet on any given day.

while Houston trotted out some issues. The headline: "The Daily Beast: Houston — You Are 'Mildly Retarded.'"

Raleigh-Durham was cited as America's supreme genius city; profoundly retarded Fresno, with an IQ of 6, was listed as the dumbest. Austin was the highest-ranked Texas city, but you probably knew that already. It always comes out on top in these kinds of things.

What about the "winners?" In Raleigh, the mayor trotted out a press line. One comment on a website:

Obvious from this story that our diversity-driven schools are a complete failure.

Not much else. Seventh-place Seattle, pissed:

It's hard not to suspect some brainless methodology — considering the facts.

And New York, you're lucky number 13. A Google News search for reactions turned up virtually nothing, locally.

The lesson? America's slightly insecure, but we're not exactly a country divided. A general consensus proves that lists like these are inaccurate, pro-perception, anti-reality, useless, and that we—and I—are stupider for dignifying them. Sorry.

[Jasper Johns' Map, 1963, via MoMA]