Imagine if The Tennessean's Larry Daughtrey and Dwight Lewis fronted for liberal groups as much as Tim Chavez hyped conservative ones? As Tennessee Guerrilla Women, a new pro-gay rights group, points out, the paper's liberal columnists would have to work overtime just to keep pace with Chavez, a one-man PR agency for the Right. In a somewhat tongue-in-cheek e-mail to the paper's two liberal columnists, Sandy Smith Madsen demands equal time from Lewis and Daughtrey and, along the way, documents Chavez's almost creepy obsession with plugging conservative groups. We offer it here:
From: Sandy Smith Madsen
Sent: Tuesday, July 13, 2004 3:17 AM
To: Ldaughtrey@aol.com; email@example.com
firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; Sroberts@tennessean.com
Subject: A request from a long-time reader
[Unable to display image]
Dear Mr. Daughtrey and Mr. Lewis:
I am writing to request that you promote the mission and success of my favorite progressive organization in twelve of your columns over a three month period. As you may have noticed, Tim Chavez has been kind enough to do this very thing for the Tennessee Right-to-life (RTL) organization. Of late, he has begun a similar campaign for the benefit of the regressive tax policy organization, Tennessee Tax Revolt, Inc (TTR).
In these twelve columns, Chavez alerted his conservative readers to impending legislation, advised them to drop whatever they were doing and run down to attend legislative hearings and lobby their legislators, provided lists of phone numbers and email addresses of legislators, advised folks to contribute to at least one 'pro-life' political campaign, revealed his participation in a RTL event, urged readers to participate in pro-life demonstrations including forming a "circle of life" around the Capitol during the anti-abortion amendment (SJR 127) vote, promoted the RTL website and advised folks to sign up to the RTL newsletter, etc.
Twelve articles in three monthsone a weekdevoted to promoting the righteousness of the mission of the Tennessee Guerilla Women will go a long way toward ensuring our success. With that kind of assistance, we may not need to ask for contributions or apply for grants.
Of course, you will need to write at length about the righteousness of our progressive standpoint. Our primary concerns at this moment are: abortion rights, gay marriage rights, and progressive tax reform.
If you are to do as good a job at promoting the Tennessee Guerrilla Women as Chavez has done for the RTL and TTR, you will help us recruit new members and raise funds by providing your readers with the details of our fundraisers, rallies and demonstrations. You will participate in at least one of our events and then write a glowing account of our wonderfulness. Please don't forget to use your political column to persuade your readers to attend our events (especially our fundraisers and demonstrations), and sign up for our newsletter and visit our website. You will need to provide readers with our contact information. With you as our guardian angel, we are sure to receive contributions and letters of support from your readers; this will go a long way toward motivating us to keep up the good fight.
If you are to follow the Chavez model, you must sing the praises of our favorite legislators to such an extent that they will proudly feature your testimonials on their websites. Be sure to provide contact information for them and suggest that readers contribute to their campaigns. We will be happy to provide you with a list of all legislators who oppose our stand so that you may criticize, or even demonize, all our opponents. You may also insert long lists of legislator contact information into your lengthy columns.
Again, please follow the Chavez model and publish an average of one article per week every week for twelve weeks which promotes our view (progressive) on abortion rights or gay marriage or tax reform.
I have included a few excerpts from several of the Chavez articles in hopes that you will study them closely in order to adhere to the Chavez model.
If you have any questions about my organization, the Tennessee Guerilla Women, or anything at all, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Sandy Smith Madsen
Tennessee Guerilla Women
Challenging the Conservative Politics of Sexism, Homophobia, Racism and Classism
P.S. The twelve articles should be featured on the Op-ed page, or the Issues section of the Sunday paper, and should be approximately 1000-1400 words each.
Enclosures: Excerpts from Chavez Columns
The Abortion Chronicles (list of 12 columns in a 3 month period)
cc: Editor: Frank Sutherland
Publisher: Leslie Giallimbardo
Editor, opinion: Sandra Roberts
Illustrating the Chavez Model
Excerpts from Chavez Articles Published in The Tennessean:
Budding radio host shares more airtime with callers
March 19, 2004 BY TIM CHAVEZ
Cisco has scored quite a coup for this Sunday's show. He'll have on Brian Harris, president of Tennessee Right to Life. Harris shuns the mainstream news media, preferring to get his message out unfiltered.
Conservatives Show Your Clout on Abortion
March 31, 2004
Tennessee Right to Life has worked tirelessly to elect friendly lawmakers and resurrect SJR 127. But this afternoon's session is for the rest of us if the pro-life position really represents the majority in Tennessee. I know your schedules are full. You're raising families. You're picking kids up from school and taking them to soccer practice. But today's vote and your presence will determine what kind of state you give to your children whether your common sense values prevail or those of an effective minority do. Take your kids with you to the Capitol. Take them out of school early to see their government at work. Show up an hour before the session starts to get a seat. Talk with other Tennesseans who feel the same about the value of life.
Democrats' bluff is called on abortion, gay marriage
April 2, 2004 BY TIM CHAVEZ
Send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up for the newsletter of Tennessee Right to Life and get the other side of the story. Or go to its Web site at tnrtl.org. Sign up for teams in every House district to lobby lawmakers. Contact your own lawmaker. Don't accept the line that he is or she is pro-life. Ask if they'll support SJR 127 exactly as it passed the Senate. That's the only way for the measure to pass this session.
And here's the Web address of Naifeh's opponent in November, Dr. Jesse Cannon. Click on www.electdrcannon.com. Let Naifeh know that if he or his leadership team works against SJR 127, you'll contribute to Dr. Cannon's campaign and call your relatives in Haywood and Tipton counties to vote for his opponent. E-mail Naifeh that promise at email@example.com, or mail it to 19 Legislative Plaza, Nashville.
The fight is not over. Don't let up. Get involved.
Let's all salute the few, the proud, the Marine moms
May 9, 2004 BY TIM CHAVEZ
Please call your House member and ask them to vote "yes" on recalling SJR 127 from committee. Then ask them to vote "yes" again in support of SJR 127 on the floor.
Finally join other pro-life Tennesseans in a show of numbers and prayer at 3 p.m. tomorrow at the Legislative Plaza. A big turnout will send an important message to lawmakers. Be a part of a massive circle of life and prayer around the Capitol building. You'll remember it for generations to come.
Celebrate the patriotism of horn-honkers
June 25, 2004 BY TIM CHAVEZ
From 6-10 p.m. tomorrow, Tennessee's horn-honkers will gather at the Coliseum in Nashville to renew relationships and raise funds to create a statewide taxpayer warning system. . . .
The location for tomorrow's horn-honker event will be parking lot R of the Coliseum. Blackburn and talk radio hosts Steve Gill and Phil Valentine will be the featured stars.
It will cost $35 to get in. You get a barbecue dinner, while all proceeds go to the taxpayer alert system to be run by Tennnessee Tax Revolt Inc. It is advertised as an all-volunteer, non-profit, taxpayer advocacy group.
Hate 'em or love 'em, the horn-honkers are a political force. And until the left can summon similar numbers and passion, the horn-honkers remain the best example of the democratic spirit in Tennessee.
From March 7 to June 4, Tim Chavez authored twelve (that we know of) columns that promoted the mission and success of the TN Right-to-life organization, an average of one article per week. (Note: in some instances the columnist has pasted on 200-300 anti-choice words at the end of a completely unrelated article, thus, there may well be more articles in this 3-month period than we have found.)
The Abortion Chronicles by Tim Chavez
Battle for Higher moral ground in TN (3-7-04)
Democrats on hill playing word games on matter of life and death (3-10-04)
Chavez: Budding radio host shares more airtime with callers (3-19-04)
Too Bad Pro-Life and Anti-death forces don't join (3-21-04)
Conservatives Show Your Clout on Abortion (3-31-04)
Democrats' bluff is called on abortion, gay marriage (4-2-04)
Naifeh can't have it both ways on abortion bill (4-18-04)
Don't fall for Naifeh's 'fast one' on abortion legislation (4-25-04)
Readers give columnist a piece of their mind hearts (4-28-04)
Clash of Catholicism, politics is more about Kerry (5-2-04)
Let's all salute the few, the proud, the marine moms (5-9-04)
Meet one of the young survivors whose mother chose life (6-4 -04)