media

Politico profiles Tennessee Star: A ‘baby Breitbart’ looking to expand

Excerpt from a Politico report on Tennessee Star, described as a “baby Breitbart,” a right-wing publication with a mainstream name that is looking at expanding into other states:

Since being contacted by POLITICO last week, the Star has added the names of its top three editors to the “Contact Us” section of its website. The publication, it turns out, is owned and operated by Steve Gill, a conservative commentator and radio host, and Michael Patrick Leahy, a local political activist who also writes for Breitbart, though Breitbart is not itself involved in the Star. The pair write many of the stories on the site, Gill said.

“What we really did is provide something people are just starving for,” Gill said, explaining that he and Leahy started the site last year and that there are no other investors.

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Blackburn: Social media companies are censoring conservative speech

U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn has warned congressional colleagues that social media companies are censoring conservative speech and recounted for lawmakers her own experience last fall when Twitter blocked a video launching her campaign for Senate, reports Michael Collins.

“This ban hit at the fundamental freedom to engage in political speech,” said the Brentwood Republican, who is running for Senate seat currently held by Bob Corker.

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House balks at requiring disclosure of social media political ad sponsors

A Senate-passed bill that would require the disclosure of who paid for political ads on social media websites such as Twitter and Facebook is likely dead for the year after failing to get enough votes in the House on Monday, reports the Associated Press.

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Blackburn campaign hires new communications director

Press release from Marsha Blackburn campaign

BRENTWOOD, TN – The Marsha for Senate campaign announced Abbi Sigler is joining the campaign as communications director. Andrea Bozek will continue to serve as a campaign advisor.

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Corker won’t be a lobbyist; otherwise ‘no idea’ of post-Senate future

In a nationally televised interview Sunday, U.S. Sen. Bob Corker said he doesn’t know what he’ll do once after leaving Congress in January, but the Times Free Press notes he also declared there’s one thing his future won’t include: Following the well-worn Washington path from lawmaker to hired-gun lobbyist.

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Ralph Bristol begs off of state Senate bid

As we first reported in the current edition of the Tennessee Journal, former conservative talk radio host Ralph Bristol had agreed to run against state Sen. Jeff Yarbro (D-Nashville) this fall before ultimately changing his mind because of objections to the campaign tactics that he was told he would have had to pursue.

Following is Bristol’s own account about why he made the decision not to run:

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Columnist in chemotherapy backs medical marijuana bill

Frank Cagle, currently undergoing chemotherapy treatment for cancer, declares his support for legislation to legalize medical cannabis oil in his current News Sentinel column. It begins as follows:

If you lose 40 pounds and the sight and smell of food make you wretch, you are tempted to try most anything for relief. If you ask around, you can find cannabis oil here in Tennessee. But it has drawbacks.

— You don’t know where it came from.

— You don’t know what the dosage is.

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Haslam urges media be ‘active and engaged’ as ‘unheard of outside money’ enters TN politics

Gov. Bill Haslam told Tennessee Press Association members Thursday that he hopes they maintain their news coverage in a “really important political year” despite economic pressures facing newspapers and that he believes there should be “not just a free press but an active and engaged press matters,” reports the Times Free Press.

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AG Slatery: Exit of communications director ‘a bummer for our office’

Press release from Tennessee Office of the Attorney General

Attorney General Herbert H. Slatery III today announced Harlow Sumerford, Director of Communications, will leave the Attorney General’s Office to join the communications team at HCA Healthcare as Manager of Media Relations.

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Nashville talk show host Ralph Bristol terminated

Conservative Nashville radio talk show host Ralph Bristol says he has been fired by Cumulus Media “due to irreconcilable editorial differences.” He has been talking on WWTN – often with Republican elected officials and candidates as guests – for 11 years.

Excerpt from a Bristol Facebook post:

We cannot agree on what information and communications should be kept private and which should be hashed out publicly. Since I won’t abide by their rules, they will not abide by my continued employment.

Please know first, I am not sad or angry. And I have nothing to fear, financially or otherwise. I’m free, happy and as blessed as ever.

Bristol wrote that he may do daily podcasts instead and put up the first on Friday, during which he says the station officials accused him of “insubordination” and the dispute had to do with what he considers misleading information on President Trump’s medical diagnosis.