On the ‘testy’ exchange between Corker and Wolf Blitzer on tax bill

Excerpt from The Hill’s report on a “testy” exchange between Tennessee U.S. Sen. Bob Corker and CNN reporter Wolf Blitzer:

“I know I am being maligned,” Corker told Blitzer on Tuesday. “It’s just malicious.”

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Hall tax repeal prompts letter-writing war between GOP legislators and Democrats

A letter-writing war has been underway in recent editions of The Cleveland Daily Banner between Republican state legislators representing Bradley County and Democrats. A letter from state Democratic  Chair Mary Mancini was the latest episode and prompted the newspaper to do a roundup story that chronicles the back-and-forth written sniping.

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Nashville Scene lays off editor, cuts staff otherwise

SouthComm, the company that owns the Nashville Scene and Nashville Post, is cutting staff. Among those being laid off is Scene Editor Steve Cavendish.

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Court of Appeals rules for TV station in DA’s libel lawsuit

The state Court of Appeals has unanimously overturned a lower court ruling that would have required  Nashville TV station WTVF and reporter Phil Williams to turn over documents related to reporting on Davidson County District Attorney Glenn Funk, who has filed a libel lawsuit.

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Ed Cromer retiring as editor of The Tennessee Journal

Ed Cromer is retiring on Dec. 31 after 20 years as editor of The Tennessee Journal, the capstone of a career largely devoted to astute observation and reporting on state government and politics since the 1970s.

Ed is 65. His retirement was announced via a brief notice in the current edition of the Journal, which adds that a successor will be named soon.

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Russians behind Twitter account targeting TN?

A Twitter account that the Tennessee Republican Party tried to get suspended was created by a Russian “troll” farm that was trying to influence American political views, according to the Russian magazine RBC.

The Tennessee-targeted account was labeled @TEN_GOP; the real Tennessee Republican Party account is @TN_GOP. Twitter suspended it in August, 2017, about a year after the first request by TNGOP.

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Blackburn turns Twitter rebuff into fundraising effort

U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn has been barred from advertising her campaign for the Republican U.S. Senate nomination on Twitter because a line about her efforts to investigate Planned Parenthood was deemed “inflammatory,” reports Politico. Blackburn is using the Twitter rebuff as a theme in her fundraising efforts.

Blackburn, who is running to replace retiring Sen. Bob Corker, launched her campaign last week with a video proclaiming herself “a hard core, card-carrying Tennessee conservative.” In her announcement video, she boasts: “I fought Planned Parenthood and we stopped the sale of baby body parts. Thank God.”

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Four honored by TN Journalism Hall of Fame

News release from Tennessee Journalism Hall of Fame

MURFREESBORO-The Tennessee Journalism Hall of Fame will honor four outstanding journalists during induction ceremonies Tuesday, August 15, at 4:30 pm during the 69th Conference of the Tennessee Association of Broadcasters at Murfreesboro’s Embassy Suites Hotel and Conference Center. This will mark the fifth class to be inducted into the Tennessee Journalism Hall of Fame located at Middle Tennessee State University.

This year’s inductees include a Vietnam veteran combat reporter who served in Afghanistan, and later reported for the Nashville Banner and Tennessean; a capitol hill retired Bureau Chief who covered Tennessee politics for over 40 years; a retired three time Tennessee Sports Writer of the year; and the first African American news broadcaster who originally planned to earn his master’s degree from Tennessee State University in theater, study drama in New York, but instead became the recognized radio voice for people across multiple southern States via WLAC-AM radio in Nashville, Tennessee.

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Haslam names Reen Baskin as communications director

News release from the governor’s office

NASHVILLE – Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam today announced Reen Baskin will become the new communications director for his administration, a Cabinet-level position on his senior staff.

“As a trusted and valuable member of this administration since my first year in office, Reen is incredibly talented and hard-working, and I’m excited to have her take on this new role in the administration,” Haslam said. “Her knowledge and experience with the many facets of state government will serve our communications efforts – both internal and external – well.”

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Corker advises Trump to fire everybody involved with leaks to media

Sen. Bob Corker says the Trump administration should fire anyone connected with the leak of information to media such as transcripts of the president’s conversations with foreign leaders that were published Thursday, reports the News Sentinel.

During a press conference in Washington D.C., Corker said he had advised President Donald Trump and John F. Kelley, the new chief of staff, “to fire every single person that’s had anything whatsoever to do with backbiting, undermining other people for their own benefit and leaking – and not to be cautious about it.”

“If there’s even a thought that somebody was involved, get rid of them,” the Tennessee Republican added.

Corker, who has been a staunch ally of the Trump White House, rose his voice and shook his arms while talking about the leaks that have repeatedly brought turmoil to the administration.

“It is unseemly what is happening at the White House right now – or what has been happening,” Corker said. “These people should be fired, they should be out of government — they are disloyal to our government — and I hope that’s what’s gonna happen.”