Turns out the Cod was not alone in noticing the heroic story of a vegetarian posted to the midwest. Via Gastropoda, a roundup of some other reactions, which round up other reactions. The Awl take is worth reading through the comments, but the CJR gets it completely wrong:
"Not even a month after Bloom, a New Jersey native-cum-University of Iowa journalism professor went into hiding(!)* after riling Iowans with a brave?/satiric?/not-so-nice essay on The Atlantic’s website (Bloom emerged from hiding only to land in the scary-eyed grip of NBC’s Rock Center with Brian Williams’s Willie Geist), another east-coast media transplant has raised the hackles of the meat-eating, gun-toting Midwestern lot he’s reporting on."
As it happens, the Cod's corporeal host got quoted in an IHE response to that piece, but the Bloom article and the Sulzberger article don't have much more in common than getting rolled up in the same bit of sloppy and lazy journalism from CJR.** Bloom's piece in the Atlantic was ostensibly a portrait of the home of the first caucus, and turned out to be an unwitting chronicle of his own failure of imagination in his inability to make himself at home in the state where he's lived for two decades -- it takes an effort to live somewhere that long and still inhabit a world of stereotypes. Iowans were understandably peeved with the resulting portrait, which seemed inspired by the Eva Gabor lines in the Green Acres theme song.
On the other hand, Sulzberger's DI/DO article was pitched more at the level of the Alan Sherman classic "Hello Muddah, hello Fatha" -- the responses had a lot more to do with concern for Sulzberger's own limitations than with the picture he painted of the Midwest. It does not seem that KC suffers much in the portrayal, but it's a bit alarming to see a Times reporter write a story about the trouble he's having finding his way around his own beat.
Where the Bloom article had its mean spirited and bitter stretches, the Sulzberger article is simply dimwitted. The divergent responses to the articles indicate to me that other than the author of this CJR piece, most folks got the difference.
*I call bullshit on this.
** Evidently, in CJR reporter Erika Fry's world, what happens when you "raise the hackles of the meat-eating, gun-toting Midwestern lot [Sulberger's] reporting on" is that they suggest sugge suggest vegetarian options you might have overlooked.