Friday, July 11, 2008

Kingsport Newspaper Still Refuses Coverage of Candidate Rob Russell

1st District Congressional candidate Rob Russell continues to get zero respect and zero coverage from Hank Hayes and The Kingsport Times-News. It's even more apparent they don't want voters to know much about the upcoming Democrat primary, and that they are willing to prevent news coverage of the candidates involved, unless it is coverage of the incumbent and his GOP challengers.

Hayes' refusals to provide coverage (previously mentioned) continues as Russell posted the following email exchange today on his MySpace page:

"After I had a nice interview with Tom Humphreys, the Nashville-based political reporter for the Knoxville News-Sentinel, I had to deal with the illustrious Hank Hayes and his "questions" -- the transcript of this morning's email exchange is below.

Hello:

Please forward these questions to Mr. Russell.

What qualifies you to be a United States congressman?

How much money have you raised for your campaign?

How many volunteers does your campaign have?

Do you have county chairs in all 12 district counties?
Hank

-----------------------------

Dear Mr. Hayes,

I would be happy to complete a legitimate questionnaire concerning my positions on relevant issues, such as the ones that I have completed for VoteSmart, Bristol Herald-Courier, and Knoxville News-Sentinel, and another recently submitted by the Greeneville Sun. The questions below seem to imply that I have to prove the financial worth of my candidacy to the Times-News before you will cover it -- no other media outlet in the district, or beyond, has required such proof.

Sincerely,

Rob Russell

---------------------------

Mr. Russell:

Can you tell me how many yard signs you have distributed throughout the district?

Hank

---------------------------

Mr. Hayes,

Today I was interviewed by Tom Humphreys of the Knoxville News-Sentinel. This past Tuesday, I had an interview with the Editorial Board of the Bristol Herald-Courier. The amount of signage that I have distributed was not discussed, but campaign financing was, and I was more than happy to speak with them about that topic and answer their questions, since they were clearly interested in finding out my positions on the real issues that are important to voters in this region: the economy, energy, healthcare, and education.

If any other reporter at the Times-News is interested in actually informing area readers about the substance of my campaign, I will be very happy to speak to him or her.

Sincerely,

Rob Russell

------------------------------------------

Mr. Russell:

How many doors have you knocked on in the district?

Hank

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Lulu is engaged in a scream-fest, and I really can find better uses of my time than continuing to respond to Hayes' non-questions, so we'll just let it go at that.

= Rob


Why the animosity? Is it that Hayes has been called out for his shortcomings? Or do his editors send out the marching orders for this behavior?

What I find most surprising is that determining the merits of candidates is the responsibility of informed voters - not the media. If members of the media work to prevent information from simply being provided, they are working to prevent informed decisions in general. Why? Are they fearful of the decisions the voters might make if they have as much information as possible?

Kudos to the media groups who have been providing info, especially since it is only a few weeks away from the primaries.

4 comments:

  1. Anonymous11:44 AM

    This is typical for the Times-News. They do not understand their role in the community is to report the news, they think it is to manipulate the news. I know that they have helped to create an atmosphere in Kingsport of frustration and distrust of govt. because of their constant news wrangling.

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  2. I don't know anything about Mr. Russell, but I have watched Rep. Davis several times in one-minute speeches and I feel he is, among those members of the House brave enough to open their mouths, among the least intelligent of all members of Congress.

    TN-1 should be a bit ashamed.

    Maybe the Democrat have been putting up real losers, or, the GOP power-brokers don't think any intelligence is required, just loyalty, for such a post.

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  3. T.K. Owens11:41 AM

    I am an Independent for U.S.Congress in the 1st District TN and share the same frustrations as does Russell.

    The news media in general has not reported the truth about the candidates running in the General Election(since the Primary), with the exception of the Rogersville Review.

    It is a constitutional right to be informed through public reports, now; I am ashamed of my district's coverage on the whole.

    Thomas (T.K.) Owens

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  4. T.K. Owens5:06 PM

    Since the League of Women Voters in Northeast Tennessee hosted a forum in Greeneville, other publications and News media have filed reports.

    I'm not as disappointed anymore with the news coverage.

    Thank you LWV!

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