The editorial board of Atlanta's most prominent newspaper fired back at The New York Times after a writer took a swipe at the so-called "Peach State Plummet."
Last week, Times opinion columnist Maureen Dowd lamented what she suggested was the destruction of Georgia politicians, showering praise on former President Jimmy Carter, who at 98 is now receiving hospice care, and trashing Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, who Dowd declared "the nasty new face of Georgia politics."
Drawing a contrast between the two, Dowd insisted "Georgians could be proud" of Carter while listing Greene's controversial comments, calling the Democratic president a "brainiac" while labeling the GOP lawmaker a "maniac."
"Greene is the apotheosis of those who love hating so much, they no longer have any interest in collaborating for the good of the country and the world. Carter is the apotheosis of the mantra 'We’re better than this,'" Dowd wrote. "So who do we want to be? Marjorie Taylor Greene or Jimmy Carter? Destroyers or builders?"
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The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (AJC) did not take kindly to Dowd's piece, which was titled "From Carter to M.T.G.: What a Peach State Plummet," publishing its own piece titled "Sorry, New York Times. But you really don’t know Georgia very well."
"We couldn’t believe it when we read it… A plummet? Really?" the editorial board began its piece Thursday.
The AJC acknowledged Georgia's "bright spotlight" as of late and how its political landscape "continues to draw attention far beyond our borders."
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"Much of the resulting commentary hasn’t been favorable. And it certainly doesn’t represent the 21st century kind of state that Georgia has worked so hard to become," the editorial board wrote. "The narrative, as evidenced by that ‘plummet’ headline, paints a very different picture of the Georgia that we know and love."
"For starters, let’s not forget that our Republican governor and Secretary of State successfully resisted the demands of former President Donald Trump to override results of the 2020 election. People on both sides of the aisle rightly praised them for that. Their actions, we’d argue, represent Georgia at its best," the AJC told readers. "We’d also like to point out just how prosperous and influential a state we really are, despite the distracting sideshows at times. And we’d like to remind the world that much of what they watch on their myriad screens these days has deep roots in Georgia."
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The paper boasted Georgia's thriving film industry, highlighting how many of the scenes in the latest "Spider-Man" film based in New York City were filmed in the Peach State. It also praised its "humming" economy with positive job growth and being a "hub of green energy and technology."
"We have good-paying jobs. And low unemployment. In 2022, Georgia’s average unemployment rate was 3.0%. By comparison, New York State's rate was 4.3%. You don’t need a calculator to see that’s a big difference," the AJC swiped the Times' homeland.
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The AJC editorial board clarified it didn't think of Georgia as being a "utopia… yet" but that "we’ll put our universities, our mountains, our beaches, our music scene and our chefs and thriving restaurants (minus the New York City prices) against anyone’s."
"You see, we are a successful, bustling state whose residents have, at times, taught the world a thing or two about kindness and character. No one should forget that. We owe at least that much to Jimmy Carter," the paper told the Empire State.
"And one last thing, New York. This week, while you were bundled up in 43-degree weather, we were enjoying our sunny 74-degree days. Just sayin," the paper added.