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Seeing red? Despite what article says, Longview no longer nation's angriest city

By Richard Yeakley
May 7, 2013 at 10 p.m.

An Esquire Magazine blog post set Facebook ablaze Tuesday when it reminded Longview residents of their city's unfortunate three-year-old distinction as being the "angriest place in America" - prompting Gallup to release new data that passed the dubious crown to another town.

The dishonor was based on interviews completed between 2008 and 2010 and published as a portion of the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index.

Late Tuesday, Lauren Kannry, director of public relations for the polling giant, said Longview was not listed by the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index as the angriest city in America in the latest data.

That title passed to Rockford, Ill., a suburb of 150,000 people west of Chicago, where 22 percent of the population reported being angry on any given day, Kannry said.

"It's a good thing to not be and that's something we can all be happy about," said Shawn Hara, Longview's public information officer.

The Esquire post published Friday, titled "How to Deal With Anger, From the Angriest Place in America" and written by Nate Hopper, assistant editor for Esquire Online, used the old Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index data as a news hook to address anger management.

Hopper said he interviewed Longview therapist Kerry Hagan and used Hagan's words to construct the blog post.

"We noticed Gallup-Healthways poll, and we hadn't seen anything ever about it before being named the angriest city in the nation," Hopper said. "We just thought it would be a fun excuse to put up some information on anger management."

But it was bogus information.

Esquire pointed to 2012's Well-Being Index data that did not break down the information on anger by city but referenced data collected from 2008 to 2010 when Longview did earn the title, incorrectly attributing the old information to a new release by the polling organization.

When Longview was listed as the angriest metropolitan statistical area in 2008-10 surveys, 18.7 percent of residents reported being angry on any given day, Kannry said.

Hopper said absolutely no ill will was meant, although some people were bothered by the report.

"We have nothing but love for Longview," Hopper said.

Hagan, who interviewed for the blog post and was given a by-line for his work, said he was never able to find where the city was listed as the angriest in America, but took the opportunity to answer the questions and point people toward properly handling their emotions.

"The stuff I said was that anger gets a bad name because of how it gets expressed," Hagan said.

He added that he would always take the opportunity to teach.

"They called, and I am in the business of teaching people about the different ways of dealing with emotions. What you do with them matters, whether they are expressed constructively or expressed destructively."



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