Love/Hate Mail 

Hang 'em high

Hang 'em high

[Re: “Heavy-Handed,” July 6] Mayor Purcell should be impeached and jailed! To spend our money to fund a union presidential post (that may be held by someone of a questionable background, no less) is a misuse of the public’s trust and money and should be viewed as a bribe. If George Bush is elected president, should he have Congress fund Charlton Heston’s presidency at the NRA? Would $46,335 pay for a teacher, classroom improvements, or another police officer on the street?

The FOP should be appalled, as well. How effective can Mr. Wheeler be when negotiating for FOP? Could they trust he has their best interest at heart? Can we trust the mayor when dealing with the FOP? It is amazing to me that the Metro Council approved this, and they should be held accountable, as well. If we cannot stop public officials from so blatantly using money to influence elections, how are we going to stop the secret, dirty money?

Ray Elkins

Let the sun shine in

Thank goodness you have joined the lawsuit about the Legislature’s secret meetings [“Editorial,” Jul. 13]. I wrote to John Gibson, The Tennessean’s so called readers’ advocate, some time ago to ask why The Tennessean was not raising cain about the secret sessions. I believe the pre-Gannett Tennessean would have led the charge. Anyway, the inane answer I got from him was that he turned my query over to the news editors—as if news editors had any authority to file suits or do anything else to bring an end to unconstitutional and illegal behavior.

Beverly Bruninga

Open doors

I think all sides in the tax debate can agree; many legislators’ behavior last session was deplorable. While I am opposed to the Nashville Scene’s pro-income tax stand, I applaud the lawsuit to force open meetings. Closed-door sessions, and a state income tax, are unconstitutional.

Joey B. King

Prurient interest

In last week’s Love/Hate Mail, the Scene’s editors waved off reader Randy Singer’s complaints about the prurience of your “Opposite Sex” column with a dismissive headline, “Lighten up, big guy.” I won’t comment on the alleged offensiveness of the feature one way or the other. I will, however, say this: Week in and week out, “The Opposite Sex” commits a sin considered unforgivable by most alternative media—it’s unbelievably lame.

A. Roger Abramson

Nashville Enquirer

While the act of criticizing the critic might seem like a snake eating its own tale, I can’t help but bite. Where’s the beef, man? Your writers have good days and bad days, but if there’s nothin’ to talk about just give someone the week off and print more ads. We’ll understand! There’s always “News of the Weird” and the personals, which is what most of us grab for first when we ride slalom through the news rack jungle in Hillsboro Village.

Honestly now, on July 5 we opened the Scene to find a half-page City Limits article wherein the giddily verbal Matt Pulle unleashes a bit o’ thinly veiled sarcasm at the recommendation of a citizen advisory committee that Bill Purcell fund a new city position to “handle matters related to sidewalks, bike paths, and alternative means of transportation.”

Sigh. I suppose I could wax eloquent about what a delight it is that much of the United States still sees Tennessee as a Third World country, what with our statistical eminence in obesity, toxic emissions, and traffic fatalities. I might gleefully mention our refreshing lack of laws requiring auto insurance, and the farsighted city planners with their 20th-century, Northern, industrial model of development (i.e., forget habitability—just revitalize in another 20 years when everyone starts moving away). I could overreact to it all in that fashion.

But let’s just say that the article in question (“Calling Lance Armstrong”) read like a book report by someone who didn’t read the book. The title was in reeeeally big type; the accompanying photo was also reeeeally big. Neither had anything to do with alternative transportation. The biker in the photo was a kid competing in the Iron Kids Triathlon series. She was not commuting to work, nor to Opry Mills, nor to Dancin’ in the District. Now you wouldn’t use a great big picture of Darrell Waltrip at Bristol to fill up white space for an article about TDOT or I-840, would you now? No, I don’t think so. More importantly, the article is late. It says virtually nothing about a position that has already been denied funding, except that it might have paid about $70K. Well, that’s useful. Who needs informed analysis when I can just have a retroactive, knee-jerk reaction to a nebulous number? Got any big sources out there, or is this a “Deep Throat” deal?

Next we all turned to “Desperately Seeking the News” to find another reeeally large title (“Perfect Scoop”) for a lead article quibbling about The Tennessean coverage of a George Clooney movie, of all things. Cap that all off with a riveting In Review-esque piece about CNN vs. Fox News Channel, and a tweak of In Review’s Henry Walker who misidentified the sexual preference of Tennessean music writer Tom Roland. Why, I felt like I’d died and gone to Beverly Hills 90210! Keep this up and Kroger will put the Scene right up there next to the cash registers.

Eric Bernhardt


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