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NYC reporter mocked for ‘demeaning’ article about visiting Midwest

A New York-native journalist has become the target of mockery online after he wrote an article about things he learned from his first visit to the Midwest – including that there’s ‘more than just corn fields’ and people are ‘so nice’.   

Frank Olito recounted his recent trip to Chicago and Detroit this week in an Insider article titled: ‘I’m a New Yorker who visited the Midwest for the first time. Here are 15 things that surprised me.’

The list quickly drew the ire of Twitter users based in the region who skewered Olito for his obvious observations about prices being lower than New York City and the existence of warm weather – as well as his condescending conclusion that the Midwest has ‘more than enough entertainment and culture to keep any traveler busy’. 

One critic summarized the backlash by writing: ‘Hilarious bit of satire by @frank_olito that plays on the profoundly patronizing and asinine habit of NYC reporters showing up to Chicago (& Detroit) finding them quaint, “but not so different from us”, and then claiming they’ve experienced the Midwest.’ 

New York-native journalist Frank Olito (pictured) became the target of vicious mockery online after he wrote an article about things he learned from his first visit to the Midwest – including that there’s ‘more than just corn fields’ and people are ‘so nice’

The list quickly drew the ire of Twitter users based in the region who skewered Olito for his obvious and condescending observations

The list quickly drew the ire of Twitter users based in the region who skewered Olito for his obvious and condescending observations

After visiting Detroit and Chicago in June, Olito determined that ‘the Midwestern way of life slightly different from the one I’m used to in New York.’

The reporter cited things such as the slower pace of life and the emphasis on nature to come to his conclusion.

He was also surprised that winters weren’t as bad as expected and that ‘no parking’ signs could be dependent on the weather.

Olito expressed surprise about how hot it could get and how friendly people were, saying it made him ‘slightly uncomfortable’.

He was ‘excited to find prices were much lower’ at grocery stores and restaurants. He also said people said ‘cheers’ much more often than they do in the city. 

At times, Olito admitted to having some stereotypical views of the Midwest, claiming family members believe there are only cornfields in the region and finding that both cities he visited have ‘have chic restaurants, trendy stores, unique bars, and popular clubs’.  

Criticism on social media was swift, both from within the Midwest and around the country.

Olito visited Chicago (pictured) during his June excursion, where he concluded that 'the Midwestern way of life slightly different from the one I'm used to in New York'

Olito visited Chicago (pictured) during his June excursion, where he concluded that ‘the Midwestern way of life slightly different from the one I’m used to in New York’

He also went to Detroit (pictured) as part of his Midwest trip and said he was surprised that winters weren't as bad as expected and that 'no parking' signs could be dependent on weather

He also went to Detroit (pictured) as part of his Midwest trip and said he was surprised that winters weren’t as bad as expected and that ‘no parking’ signs could be dependent on weather 

‘I, a New Yorker, went to the Midwest and discovered they have real live peoples! Also, they have toilets!’ tweeted Lyz Lenz.

Julie Benson joked: ‘Was this written by the Midwest? (As an Illinois native, I did not a lot and go, yeah, no, that’s right, we’re nice).’

‘This made me laugh. I’m a native Chicagoan and think he should live there for a year to experience it all,’ another user said. 

‘And they call us midwesterners rubes!’ tweeted one person.

One user tweeted, ‘Who hires a journalist who hasn’t traveled at all? His perspective is skewed, the way he views the Midwest is, at times, demeaning.’ 

Someone took note of Olito’s Twitter bio, where he refers to himself as a ‘sometimes comedian, most times writer’, quipping: ‘was your piece about the Midwest a “sometimes” or “most times”?’

A user named Braden tweeted, ‘Honestly, I want to hang out with Frank Olito. I want to know what everyday things would become bullet points in his articles.’ 

Some of that criticism was based around how Chicago and Detroit may not really be representative of the Midwest as a whole. 

Sam Brunson tweeted, ‘Frank Olito, a New Yorker, went to two of the biggest cities in the Midwest and discovered they’re different from New York! But also the same!’ 

Dave C tweeted, ‘You did not go to the Midwest. You went to Chicago and Detroit. Neither is truly indicative of the Midwest.’

Another user tweeted, ‘if you come further down into the actual Midwest, you can find all of the food and culture you desire.’

‘Such a worthless article about visiting the Midwest. You pick the 3rd biggest city to compare to the 1st? Try going to a non-s**thole outside of the top 20,’ one tweet read.  

One user noted that the article was more Chicago-centric than Detroit-focused, writing: ‘so you drove thru Detroit to write about Chicago? No offense but Detroit is more than freeways and a few trendy restaurants. Please come back again and enjoy what we have to offer.’ 

Some simply thought that Olito was off base with the things he noted.

‘I have never seen a pedestrian wave and thank a car in Chicago. That’s not a thing. What the hell is he talking about?’ one user tweeted. 

One said their ‘favorite part is when he talks about how Chicagoans have “pride” in their city and then there is a picture of boystown as “Chicago’s proudest neighborhood.”‘

That same user later added, ‘”It gets hot in the Midwest during summer” might be the dumbest thing I have ever read.’

They also tweeted, ‘Another classic is that “there is fine dining in cities in the midwest” No s**t for brains we just go to the farm and suckle on some cow teet [sic].’ 

Another said, ‘As a Chicagoan, I call b******t on much of this article. The winters suck. People don’t “wave at cars”. They obviously didn’t leave downtown. Chicago is as concerned about nature as I am about this person’s opinion. 

Olito and Insider did not return DailyMail.com’s request for comment.


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