What Bloom mostly gets wrong is that Iowans are very much aware of the issues he raises. They are being discussed and have been for a long time.
Because there have been no adequate solutions doesn't mean that we're not aware of them, nor that we wouldn't want the problems solved. [...]
There's not a kind word about anyone nor a recognition of anything good in the state. The article is a hit piece, not a parody, not a satire as Bloom claims. No one is expecting "boosterism", as Bloom calls it. No one is expecting a writer to polish the truth.
What we do expect is a balance, which I'd think is essential for a journalist writing about anything or anyone. Instead, Iowans are described as "wasteoids" and "old people waiting to die" and "toothless meth addicts" and people afraid to look around the corner for greater opportunity and religious fanatics (I don't think we hold the record for that claim) and hunters as if that is something bad (by the way, I'm not a hunter) and Iowans who only have dogs for the purpose of hunting. I have no clue where he got that idea, but it is patently untrue. [...]
We Oxfordians, especially, are very disappointed and feel cheated and demeaned.
I have tried to remain out of the fray in the discussion of Bloom's article. But for three weeks, my experience has been quite unusual. Since we collaborated on "The Oxford Project" and were close friends, everybody wants to talk with me about it.
They can't understand why he continues to defend himself. Nor can I.
This is clearly not a balanced report, clearly not a parody or satire, as he insists. And there are so many factual errors, how is it possible that he continues to defend his piece? Many of the factual issues have been addressed by many people, reporters and colleagues.
This is very difficult to write. We worked very hard on "The Oxford Project" to make the best book that we could. But something for me has radically changed. A few days ago, I picked up the book for the first time since the brouhaha. I had a very sick feeling in the pit of my stomach.
I wish Stephen Bloom's name was not on it.