Gov. Haslam and Lt. Gov. Ramsey are having a Facebook fight. Yes, the form of internet interaction most often reserved for high-schoolers has now reached the height of Tennessee politics. Surely, we are on the verge of Haslam and Ramsey defriending each other and changing their statuses to "It's complicated."
But there's an interesting side-note I didn't want you to miss.
According to The Tennessean's own timestamp, it posted what would later become Gov. Haslam's Facebook note at 12:27 Sunday morning. The Commercial Appeal had Haslam's editorial up by midnight. And the editorial ran in the print editions of both papers. After which there was radio silence from the rest of the media in the state.
By 1:01 p.m. the Clarksville paper, The Leaf-Chronicle. has a story, "Haslam, Ramsey post dueling Facebook messages." The story makes no mention of the note having been an editorial in the Sunday edition of two of the largest papers in the state.
As is his way, by 5:30, Tom Humphrey had an insightful, fleshed-out take on what we might call the exchange of ideas between Ramsey and Haslam. His story is headlined, "Ramsey, Haslem in Facebook Faceoff" (which, really, kudos to that headline writer) and the only mention that the Facebook note was also an editorial comes not from Humphrey but from Haslam's spokesperson:
Haslam's comments also appeared as opinion pieces in The Tennessean of Nashville and The Commercial Appeal of Memphis, said spokesman David Smith.
Unless what this shows us is that reporters aren't reading papers.
And if even reporters aren't reading papers, is it any wonder that Haslam and Ramsey are having this fight on Facebook, where even the reporters' eyes are?