Tuesday, July 15, 2008


Something Stinks, and, as usual, It's the Tennessee Democratic Party

I've let the story about Tennessee Republican Party Chairman Robin Smith's letter to Governor Phil Bredesen play out to see if some of my own questions would be answered. I see two areas that still have not been cleared up, even after today's story by KNS political pundit Tom Humphrey.

1) The TDP say they received the letter through a simple Tennessee Public Records request. Fair enough. In my line of work, I often have to gather discovery that way, particularly when the Tennessee Department of Children's Services is hiding something. Here's the catch - I don't know to ask for something if I don't know it exists. Now Sasser and Munday are saying that they heard "rumors" around Legislative Plaza that the e-mail had been sent. That makes no sense, so I'm calling BS on that one. Smith sent it from her own personal computer, and it makes no sense for her to politicize the issue by telling GOP legislators about the e-mail. Bredesen's spokeswoman says that they didn't tell anyone about it. It seems pretty clear that either a) Bredesen or b) the Tennessee Democratic Party are lying through their teeth. Most likely, they both are.

2) A.C. at Post Politics won't reveal his source. As a former MSM journalist, I can respect that normally. Here though, it seems silly. A.C. is protecting a source who gave him information about a public document that anyone can access. Sorry, but is that really a source of great information? Perhaps someone will reveal to me that it's only 48 days until it's Football Time in Tennessee - should I anonymously let y'all in on that piece of public knowledge? If there is a reason that A.C. is protecting his source for their actions this time around, then it's journalistic integrity. If A.C. is keeping their name out of the press for some future information that might not be a public record, that's opportunism. There is a genuine distinction.

I'm sure there's more to come on this, but I doubt it will be palatable.

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Look, the letter was written on June 2nd, giving plenty of time for rumors to arise. Who knows how these things begin, but frankly this just sounds like republican whining.
I would be very disappointed if ACK revealed his source.

If the source asked ACK to keep his/her name "Off the record," and Kleinheider agreed, then he needs to keep it zipped in the name of journalistic integrity no matter how big or small the "off the record" conversation was.

He, or any other journalist has to be consistent about this.
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