Chris Needham needs a pair.

Buzzardbilly (my separated-at-birth-and several-years-younger twin whom I’ve never met) has been blogging here, here and here about Chris Needham’s bashing of West Virginia and NBC’s publishing of said article.

The story broke about a week before Christmas, but I’ve been lost in my own little world and didn’t hear tell of any of it until just a couple of days ago. The governor is furious and lots of people, rightly, are asking for a retraction, an apology, and a follow-up news story.

Upon hearing the news, I was disgusted and my ire rose, but not enough to drag me into the fray. I was just too tired. (And I call myself an Appalachian Activist. Shame on me.) Well, after a few days of round-the-clock sleep, I’m about as mad as a body can get. My panties are twisted and knotted big time.

What an ass! (I’m referring to Chris and not that part of my body where the twisted panties are.)

Now Buzzardbilly has a way with words and, really, she’s the best person to read to fully understand why the original news article was so offensive as well as why Needham’s and NBC’s response to the criticism was so woefully inadequate. NBC pulled the article from its website and the people of West Virginia (and only the people of West Virginia) got a sorry if you were offended type of statement issued only to a West Virginia news outlet.

Now, personally, I’ve never thought an apology you had to ask for was worth a shit in an outhouse, but if you do ask for one and you get a “Gee willikers, I’m sorry you were offended,” well that’s just an additional insult. Neither Needham nor NBC is owning the problem, much less making restitution.

No worries - the misspelling of Nebraska was corrected before mailing.

As much as it bothers me, I’m a Drama Queen. As such, I can’t bear the thought of being just another irate email, just another West Virginia blogger shooting volleys of words, or, worse, just another Appalachian sitting around saying, “Well, what can you do? People have been saying this stuff for years.” It is not because I don’t think the written word is powerful, but because chiming in at this late date means there’s nothing I can say that hasn’t been said. (Drama Queens just hate that.) Our point has been made (and re-made) and I’m pretty sure Chris and NBC stopped reading a couple hundred emails ago.

Now don’t misconstrue that last paragraph. I think it’s vitally important to send email and letters. Vital. Important. They may not read them, but they’ll note they’re coming in. It is also important to blog about it and talk about it. Inundating both Needham and NBC with our complaints will have an effect even if they don’t read our words.

But. I’m a Drama Queen in Good Standing. I have to work to retain my tiara. (It’s not all rhinestones, sequins and boas.)

So. I put my tiara on and sat to thinking. I came up with what I think is a pretty good idea, but I needed NBC Washington’s mailing address. Shouldn’t have been that hard to come up with, but it was. I don’t think NBC really wants snail mail, because the address is nowhere on their website. I was all over the web before I could find anything at all. I called 202-885-4200 and verified the *mailing* address. So, unless that woman lied, I mailed two bouncy balls to this address:

Chris Needham
NBC Washington
4001 Nebraska Ave NW
Washington, DC 20016


Bouncy balls? Yes, bouncy balls – ones the size of volleyballs. Pink ones, as a matter of fact. Two of them. And if it is true that NBC doesn’t want snail mail, I figure two, bright pink, bouncy balls will get their attention.

I know for a fact that if you take two bouncy balls down to the post office with the address written on the balls with a Sharpie and hand them to the clerk, the clerk will slap postage on those suckers and mail them off. No packaging (talk about environmentally friendly!) – nothing but bouncy balls in the mail sack to get dumped on some poor person in the mail room. (Take a moment to savor that image.)

On the side of the ball opposite the address, I wrote:

Dear Chris and NBC-Washington,

Since y’all don’t have the balls to issue a proper apology to the people of West Virginia or a proper retraction to your readership, I thought I’d help you out. Sincerely, Connie

And the second reads:

Dear Chris and NBC-Washington,

Here’s the second ball. I wanted to make sure you had a pair. Sincerely, Connie

I have hopes of provoking a smile on the face of that mailroom person. With any luck, said person will not like Chris Needham or be from West Virginia, or both. Now if it was me in that mailroom and a postal person handed me two bouncy balls, I’d be flying down the hallways to hand deliver those suckers. But it could be that’s just me.

Now I get the giggles thinking about what might happen if a few people sent Chris bouncy balls. Or more than a few. In that part of my imagination where grandiose dreams live, I think about hundreds of bouncy balls landing in the offices of NBC Washington. (Now savor that image.)

There are two reasons I like this idea: 1) it’s visual, spatial, colorful, and, well, bouncy (kinesthetic, if you will); and 2) it is permeated with a sense of humor. These reasons sum up West Virginia rather nicely, I think. Besides it’s just the kind of a thing a Hillbilly Diva Drama Queen with twisted panties would do. It’s not like I had a choice.

So, if you’re of a mind to, feel free to send a bouncy ball or two to Chris Needham.

Note: I had to do a fair amount of talking at the post office to convince the clerk that yes, indeedy, I could send bouncy balls sans box through the mail. She finally agreed.  They cost me $1.73 apiece in postage. If you do decide to send Chris a pair and your postal person balks, you might mention this company.  All told, I’ve got less than$8 invested.

18 thoughts on “Chris Needham needs a pair.

  1. LOL — Here’s my horoscope for the day:

    Sometimes it seems impossible to express any feelings that do not come across as contrived, especially when you’re seeking some artistic truth. You feel buried under such an unending cascade of myths and images that sometimes it feels as though you’ll drown. Does the Age of Communication herald the End of Creativity? You would find it easier to express authenticity if you reminded yourself just how individual you really are. Your friends can help…

  2. Well, I have no idea what this is all about – being a coastal flatlander, but I sure would LOVE to be at NBC when Chris gets his balls.
    Maybe I will find some time to read up on who this Chris person is and what was said…
    I will put it on my list of things to do!

  3. Pretty egregious, eh? I thought I’d heard it all and seen it all, but Chris done did out do himself. My mom picked the balls up for me at Walmart. I try not to do Walmart, but when you’re asking a favor and said favor gets you out of having to go to the mall, well. . .

    Please do send the balls. Or send email. Please do something. This balderdash has been happening for more than a 100 years. ‘Taint nary a one of us deserves it and it damages us. Appalachians may be resilient, but we aren’t indestructible.

  4. I think it was funny. Change will only come when WVians begin acting in a way that won’t induce little dip shit commentators to make remarks like those made by this Chris Needham guy.
    Of course now that a bunch of indignant, self righteous WVians have raised so much hell over his trivial remarks, he has gained a lot of notariety. And guess what, outside of WV the publicity he’s getting is not a negative thing.
    So good job at promoting the career of a low level newsprint hack without a creative thought in his brain.
    Like I said, the only thing that is going to change people’s minds about WV is for WVians to begin acting with some dignity and class. Going bananas over this dick wad’s comments does just the opposite.
    Like individuals, change can only come from within.
    LMAO at “Teresa O’Cassidy” being used as a source for a news story. . . but hey, only in WV where some moron like Kenny Bass gets to write TV news stories.

    • Sagacious, I suspect you and I have spent some time formulating our opinions on the subject of the perpetuation of the hillbilly stereotype. We’ve probably read some of the same stuff and looked at the same examples, but have come down on different sides of the issue. I’m pretty sure neither of us is going to change the other’s mind. With that in mind, I hope we can agree to disagree.

      I was tempted to delete your last sentence as those folk have little to do with our disagreement. I don’t know one of them at all and I’ve never met the other. Silence on my part connotes agreement and I don’t agree – I don’t have enough information to make such judgments. I have a casual relationship with the one that focuses on humor and a fine turn of phrase, similar to what you and I have. I prefer to learn for myself if either or both of you are people I wish to have as friends or if I’d rather run one or both of you over in a dark alley.

      I rarely dip my blog into the waters of politics and social issues. My primary job requires that I spend a lot of time in those murky waters. I find it brings out the worst in people, especially me. Only when I get really fired up about something do I wade into those waters. While you may not agree with me, I hope you respect my right to have a differing opinion.

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  6. Pingback: NBC Washington Not the First to Bash West Virginia | a Better West Virginia Blog - Culture | Arts | Economy

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