If I may venture an opinion, inhabitants of small states where stories originate there less often have a peculiar burden: being middle of the road in which they make the news. The fact is, there are odd, weird-acting people everywhere, and weirdness is an easy news story. Therefore, there is going to be x percentage of news items of news weirdness. Now, if you live in a small, less-often-mentioned state and someone there does something weird, then your state gets peculiarly associated with weirdness.
Examples, the Tennessee legislature has given its all in making news of the weird, and maybe the column by that name. And remember the Unibomber? Or how about Wide Stance Larry?
Actually, Alabama and Vermont manage to appear certifiably weird. Remember My Cousin Vinny where the yokels get straighten out by the guido lawyer?
Therefore, I am suggesting that, if you live in flyover country, then join the Rotary Club and the Episcopal Church. And vote for Romney or Obama, but not be very fervent about it. For God's sake, don't form an off-brand political party, or follow some Holy Roller church, or even have unusual names that you're known by.
Sorry, no double-barreled names, like Billy Joe (too Southern), or William Thundercloud (too Western) or Jesus (too Mid-Eastern). People living on the Coast expect blandness from flyover territory. Well, maybe you can get away with local foods like pasties or four-bean salad; but nothing too outrageous, like armadillo.