Washington reporter gets better look at Red Lake County

Christopher Ingraham, the Washington Post reporter who was at the receiving end of Minnesota’s outrage after he presented data showing Red Lake County is the ugliest county in America, didn’t help relations when he doubled-down by criticizing our thin skins.

But Ingraham showed he’s a stand-up journalist by showing up yesterday in the county.

He also showed he knows how to schmooze with the best of them, judging by the report today in the Grand Forks Herald.

“I’ve done a lot of maps of county-level data, but not a single one of them has gotten the response that this particular one has,” Ingraham told a throng of local news reporters. “I write about a lot of contentious topics, like gay marriage and guns and marijuana, so it’s a lot of things that people often disagree with. But I’ve never been disagreed with so much and so politely.”

The reporter was met by a high school band, then met with area officials, visited a dairy farm, kayaked on the Red Lake River, and met the locals at TNJ’s Bar and Grill.

He found that data tells a story, but not necessarily the story.

“You can tell really interesting stories with data,” he said. “But you can’t, in most cases, tell the complete story.

“It’s a good reminder for me, as someone who spends most of my day at my desk doodling around on spreadsheets, that these numbers all really correlate to real people,” Ingraham added.

Here’s some video of his visit from the Herald.

How does he like us now?

Why does it matter?