National Geographic is under fire for an article perceived as (gasp!) anti-North Dakota. Headlined "The Emptied Prairie," the piece refers to the state's "irreversible decline" and "sense of things ebbing." No less a personage than North Dakota's governor, John Hoeven, has lambasted it as shoddy journalism, reports the Minneapolis Star Tribune.
In the magazine's January issue, wistful photos of decaying barns accompany commentary on the slow fading away of the state's communities. But North Dakotans say their home is prospering, and run-down farmhouses are old news. "Pick any state, find an abandoned building or house or a car sitting in a field, take a picture and say that represents the state—come on," gripes Hoeven.