Charleston columnist walks back from his Columbia column (update)

Columbia - The StateAugust 21, 2013 

— In Friday's Post and Courier, columnist Brian Hicks wrote about the vitriol he received after writing a column questioning Columbia's No. 5 ranking as a Great Place to Live by Kiplinger's.

Hicks said the initial column was an " exaggerated snobby Charleston reaction" to the ranking, given that Charleston makes these list all the time.

He added, "Some people didn’t see the humor in this ribbing, or the ridiculousness of all these lists in general. Yeah, like Charleston is really the most mannerly city? That was the point."

Hicks also blamed the war of words on The State's piece last Sunday about the ranking. "What some of these folks probably didn’t realize is that, for once, Charleston didn’t fire the first shot. That came Sunday in The State newspaper, when they speculated on Charleston’s jealousy over their Kiplinger’s ranking."

Neil White, who wrote the piece for The State, tweeted this morning, instructing Mayor Steve Benjamin to "still arrest Hicks if he ever sets foot in Cola. That's what a strong mayor would do."

Hicks on Wednesday wrote a column reacting to Columbia's No. 5 ranking as a Great Place to Live in a Kiplinger's poll.

Among other things, Hicks dismissed the Capitol City's honor as such: "Why, it's part of the motto Charleston folks long ago gave to Columbia: 'Two hours to the mountains, two hours to the beach, minutes to nowhere.'

And, this: "Next time you see friends from Columbia standing in line at Hyman's, be sure to congratulate them on this momentous occasion."

White's Sunday piece in Life&Style, was a humblebrag of sorts. "I'm sure if horse poop had been one of the criteria, Charleston would have rocketed up the list.)

Social media got ahold of this war of words: Some loyal Columbia readers sniffed back:

@erinshawstreet tweeted: "that @postandcourier piece on @columbiasc was unnecessary and snarky. Two great cities, no need to belittle one."

@kristinblakely chimed in: "if you don't like my capital, get out. if you don't like my state, move away."

@Melanie29147 said: "I lived in Chas for 4yrs. 3yrs, 364days too long. Never in my life had I experienced such racial hostility. Only perk was beach.

Read more comments from Twitter in our Storify compilation:

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