University of Iowa professor and pretentious troll-journalist Stephen Bloom recently wrote an article in The Atlantic mocking Iowa as a backward, hick-filled state full of people smoking meth out of corncobs (paraphrasing). Which it is, probably! (Never been there personally, thank god.) But now Stephen Bloom has literally fled the state in terror to "an undisclosed location" after Iowans got mad at him. You're doing this all wrong, Stephen Bloom.

Look, we're all in favor of mocking geographic areas for fun and profit. Shit, we methodically made fun of all 50 states! But you have to acknowledge this for what it is: trolling, designed to both amuse and outrage, all of which is part of the fun, even if the troglodytes living in the various places that you're mocking can't pick up on the sarcasm. You have to expect that people will get mad. You can't viciously mock people and then get mad at them when they don't like it. And sure, it's generally more convenient to make fun of people from long distance, to prevent ass kickings. But you can't write a story premised upon you living in a state that sucks and then flee that state in fear when they get pissed at you. I mean listen to what this guy here, Stephen Bloom, winner of the Hero Pulitzer award, for trolling, told Romenesko:

I knew as a journalist, stepping into writing this provocative post, that there would be problems. …That's the nature of the business...

There is a long, proud American tradition of the kind of journalism I practice. It involves humor, parody, satire, observation, and reporting. It goes back to Findley Peter Dunn (who coined the expression I live by as a journalist, "the duty of a newspaper to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable"), Jack London, James Agee, H.L. Menken, Grant Riceland, Marvel Cooke, Jim Murray, cartoonist Paul Conrad, Tom Wolfe, Mike Royko, Hunter S. Thompson, and scores of other courageous journalists.

Hahahaha. Can we also look into giving Stephen Bloom a Medal of Honor in addition to his MacArthur Genius Grant for his courageous and heroic story about how Iowans are dumb hicks? Dumb hicks too dumb and hick-like to appreciate the genius of Stephen Bloom calling them dumb hicks! What's wrong with those dumb hicks!

The hate mail Stephen Bloom talks about getting doesn't sound any worse than the Gawker tip line on an average weekday. Try writing something about race in sports. Now that's hate mail! Anyhow. We'll have all of the prizes delivered to your undisclosed location, tough guy.

[Romenesko. Image via]