Take Me Home, Beltway Roads

In March we saw a CNN anchor swapping his pinstripe suit for a ten gallon hat and horse to better cover, apparently, the Texas primary (authentic Texas costume=authentic Texas coverage). This week, MSNBC — working hard to help viewers really understand West Virginia and its residents — can’t quit playing John Denver’s song, Take Me Home, Country Roads.

For example, here was David Shuster yesterday segueing from naked Austrian soccer fans to the West Virginia primary:

SHUSTER: Why aren’t they wearing clothes in Austria? Have the soccer fans over there gone nuts? And would they ever do this in West Virginia? Believe it or not, the home of the next presidential primary is chock-full of contradictions. This John Denver classic is not the state song. [Cue footage of Denver singing, seated on a stool, in a pea green suit]…

(Yes, I realize there have been movements to make the “Denver classic” the official state song. But this stuff still has a hint of Everything I Know About This Week’s Primary State I Learned On Wikipedia-and-Isn’t-It-Hilarious-type coverage. Speaking of which, did you know that the country roads that originally inspired the song were not West Virginian but — not far from D.C. —in Maryland?)

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Liz Cox Barrett is a writer at CJR.