April 23rd, 2010
08:20 AM ET

Dear President Obama #459: Goodbye yellow brick road ...

Reporter's Note: I’m finishing my trip to Kansas by tapping my heels together and saying…oh nevermind. I’m just getting onto a plane. But not before sending my latest letter to the White House.

Tom Foreman | BIO
AC360° Correspondent

Dear Mr. President,

Well, I’m wrapping up my visit to Kansas today and heading back home, and I have to admit I’m going to miss it. The people have all been really nice, and I’ve already told you how much I enjoy the Great Plains. We chased some cows, visited Boot Hill, watched guys weld, peeked into a casino, saw a prairie fire, played with a few dogs (one of which sat in the driver’s seat of our big fancy bus…ha!) and enjoyed more cuts of beef than I usually see in a month. Good times.

I’ll miss it for another reason too. We media types often do a terrible job of just showing Americans the country in which they live, and I think that is a really important part of what we ought to do. Going back to DC means going back to talking to experts, politicians, and people who…while certainly educated and experienced in one part of the America…sometimes seem pretty disconnected from the rest of it.

How are people in Maine going to know what people in New Mexico have to say if we don’t go there, open up our camera lenses, and let them see and hear for themselves? Sure, I know that you’re a big “new tech” kind of guy and you’ll say, “Hey, that’s what the Internet is for!” But I fear at times that the Internet is mainly just connecting people who already agree with each other and who see things the same way and share the same experiences. It’s not always the great tool of exploration that it is cracked up to be. (Unless you want pictures of Pam Anderson with chimps, in which case it is unrivaled.)

You see what I’m saying? I love meeting people, talking to them about their views, their jobs, their families, their pets, their passions, and then putting that into stories which allow others to share the experience. We are a very large country these days. And as much as we in the Main Stream Media are denigrated by the blogosphere (which sounds like a futuristic home for a discredited former governor) we are still day in and out among the last practitioners of helping Americans from different walks of life, different parts of the country, and different points of view…see each other.

So while I’m humming Goodbye Yellow Brick Road right now, I’ll be back. If not to this state; to the next. Because as I often like to say, just outside of Washington, there is a great country…called America.

Call if you get a moment. I snared a “Surrender Dorothy” refrigerator magnet for you, so let me know when I should drop it off.



Follow Tom on Twitter @tomforemancnn.

Find more of the Foreman Letters here.

soundoff (2 Responses)
  1. Tim Gibson

    I feel that the DC insiders fail to understand or see that there is a world at the bottom of the hill. It is not all pretty clouds and blue sky from "the top," one only has to look far and wide. And like the breeze that sweeps up and cools the greenbelt, a voice is carried in the land, the people, the nation. It is not just the hand picked few placed before the camera when a campaign of see it my way and you will understand shout out to America. It is not found on the internet by followers who tweet.

    It is a historic song, sometimes forgotten, other times misunderstood and often overlooked, that like a snuggie blankets us and keeps us warm at night. We are the people, the life line of the nation. We cannot be forgotten, overlooked and come quitting time, we will not be misunderstood.

    April 23, 2010 at 9:46 am |
  2. atomiclulu

    Click Click Click – As I always say ToTo – There's no place like home. My home is not centered on the hill. My home is that of a single mom trying to help her local leaders understand my life doesn't revolve around red tape or their trips to Belize. Its centered around my family and the ways to get that unit healthy prospering and happy. The Magnet should be promptly dropped off in Georgia as my ruby red slippers need a companion!

    April 23, 2010 at 8:46 am |