No. 137: On Media In the Media
⁂ Nashville's Alt-Daily ⁂ Fentanyl in TN · Redistricting Drama · What's the Media For? · Much More!
Good morning, everyone.
William Harwood continues his series exploring Nashville's parks with an exploration of Nashville's Best Historic Parks. If you need to get out of the house over the next few days as Thanksgiving approaches, give it a look, pick a park, and bring a warm coat.
Below, we explore fentanyl's dangerous presence in Middle Tennessee, tease out some cheap takes from local media on redistricting, and breakdown some recent news regarding the media's coverage of two Fox News contributors quitting in protest and the coverage of the Waukesha Tragedy.
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Thanks for reading.
⚠ AMERICA'S DRUG PROBLEM
In the past 5 years, fentanyl related deaths in Tennessee have grown at an alarming rate. The number of fentanyl overdoses in 2020 (2,014) was nearly ten times the amount recorded in 2016 (295). Back in October, The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation warned Tennesseans of counterfeit pills posing as prescription drugs, such as Xanax, laced with lethal doses of fentanyl.
How is it getting here? Back in January, a woman flying into Nashville from Phoenix, Arizona was caught with a checked bag containing 1 million lethal doses worth of fentanyl. Most fentanyl is seized during drug investigations conducted by the Drug Enforcement Agency Task Force in Nashville. Terrifyingly, the seizures usually involve enough fentanyl to kill hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of people.
2.2lb fentanyl = 500,000 lethal doses
List of recent seizures
- Hendersonville, June 2021: 16lbs fentanyl seized (3.6 million lethal doses)
- Memphis, September 2021: 6.28 lb fentanyl seized (1.37 million lethal doses)
- Cordova, August 2021: 2lb fentanyl seized (450,545 lethal doses)
- Memphis, October 2021: 11.5lb fentanyl-heroin mix
The fentanyl problem is complex with many dimensions. The most notable is the fact that, for years, China was the main source of illegal fentanyl smuggled into the United States. The Chinese government outlawed the production of most of these synthetic substances, but vendors have found intricate ways to get around the law. Vendors have even gone as far as exporting their materials to Mexican labs where the product, inevitably, ends up in the United States.
Narratives surrounding fentanyl to look out for
Fighting Big Pharma: A push by Big Pharma encouraging doctors to prescribe the opioid, OxyContin, led to addiction problems in America. Prescriptions have since been significantly reduced due to the drug’s addictive nature. Consequently, addicts seeking opioids have turned to illegal fentanyl.
Legalization of Marijuana: As drug overdoses continue to rise, those who want legalized marajuana will pitch the fact that regulation will come out of legalization.
Locking down the Southern Border: Seizures of fentanyl crossing the Southern border from Mexico increased exponentially in 2021. Paired with the increase of drug overdoses over the last 2 years, you are sure to hear more about this.
Illegal Immigrants: America is experiencing a massive surge of illegal immigrants trying to cross over into the United States through the southern border. Tennessee, itself, has taken in thousands of these refugees. With the rise of cartel activity creating smuggling networks for illegal drugs, including fentanyl, this will certainly be brought up.
✺ LOPSIDED TAKES ON REDISTRICTING
Partisan gerrymandering must end (Lookout) Writer Shawn Trivette does some fake statistics to make the case that Tennessee should have more Democratic representatives while also descrying gerrymandering in general. Taking the moral high ground and coming out as a partisan hack in one article. Nice.
Republican gerrymandering plan could jeopardize Nashville's future (Tennessean) Guitar aficianado George Gruh plays the hysterical political pundit in the Tennessean sowing fear and distrust over Republicans who "don't use science to stop COVID" cutting up Nashville into four Congressional districts, and thus, inviting Lucifer into Middle Tennessee.
- Nashville SC to play first game at new stadium on May 1 (WSMV) The stadium will have a seating capacity of 30,000 seats. The stadium will feature a 360-degree canopy, 65-foot-wide shared concourse, safe standing supporter’s section and just 150 feet of distance between the last row to the touchline.
- State Highway Performance (Governing) Tennessee ranks 10th overall across 13 categories, four that measure state spending and nine that measure performance.
- Amazon fulfillment center sells for $23M (Post)
- AT&T's Joelle Phillips offers overview of how company’s bomb-damaged building will be reimagined (Post)
📰 ON MEDIA IN THE MEDIA
INTERNET SLEUTHS WIN AGAIN
Hours and hours before mainstream outlets broke the news that the driver of the car in the Waukesha tragedy was Darrell Brooks, internet sleuths had dug up the suspect's rap sheet, his social media profiles, linked his car to him, and identified the Waukesha District Attorney whose leniency set the table for the tragedy. Robert Silverman, a self-avowed activist journalist for the Daily Beast, took such issue with this that he printed a story about the "dishonest" attempts of random people on the internet to talk about Brooks' background instead of condemning the event as any decent human being would.
Were Brooks a White man — like James Fields, the driver who allegedly ran through a crowd in Charlottesville on purpose and was summarily sentenced to life in prison— the incident would be coronated as indisputable proof that white supremacy was alive and well. For Brooks, though, there is zero chance that this was racially motivated despite his social media presence which is littered with anti-White and anti-semetic content. To mainstrem outlets, Brooks is simply a victim of structural racism who is justified in his rage. The event doesn't even qualify as terrorism because, well, Brooks is a victim or something. The problem is with us not with Brooks. Even if the event were racially motivated, we deserve it because look what we did to this innocent man. Such is the rhtetoric surrounding the event from all the predictable sources.
FOX CONTRIBUTORS CRY FOUL
Some big news for consumers of media came yesterday when Jonah Goldberg and Stephen Hayes both announced they will no longer contribute to Fox News due to the network airing Tucker Carlson's documentary on January 6th. Unsurprisingly, the move was celebrated across the media landscape with Goldberg and Hayes celebrated as courageous Conservatives standing up to the Big Lie or whatever they call things Conservatives think that non-Conservatives disagree with nowadays.
The news couldn't mask the fact that most people have no idea who these two people are. That it was notable enough for the New York Times to lead the story tells you that Hayes and Goldberg — much like David Brooks, Ross Douthat, and David French — exist as palatable conservatives whose sole purpose is to serve up mediocre, watered down political takes from a vaguely right-wing, Judeo-Christian perspective for progressive readers to consume in order to give them the illusion of "understanding".
- After Biden's pleas for OPEC to increase oil production to ease the supply crunch and help tame inflation fell on deaf ears, the US announced its intent to tap its strategic oil reserves to ease price pressures.
- Biden chose to keep Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell around for a second term after flirting with bringing in Lael Brainard who has promised to be more sympathetic to Biden's spending goals.
THINGS TO DO
View our full event calendar here.
Three Predators games, The Turkey Trot, and quality live music this week in Nashville. This week’s Pamphleteer’s Picks are HOT.
🌌 Space Prom is on December 3, but it sells out every year so I’m giving it to you early.
🖼 At the Frist, Medieval Bologna: Art for a University City is running until January 30 and American Art Deco: Designing for the People, 1918–1939 until January 2.
💡Wednesday @ DRKMTTER, 8p, $13, Info
Around the Web
↯ What They Did to the Kids As a teacher for special needs and underprivileged students, I saw the effects of school closures up close. It was a moral crime.
✞ Hunting and the Body of Christ There’s nothing better than a double point, one dog skidding to a stop, her bell silent, tail quivering, left forepaw lifted, body rigid, the second dog “honoring” her point and doing likewise.
✲ The Weakness of Conservative Anti-Wokeness While the messaging of Democratic politicians tends to focus more on health care and jobs, in institutions that the Left controls, it punishes opposition to wokeness more stringently than any other heresy.
Political Theater Highlight Reel
- Winsome Sears response to CNN host Dana Bash when she asks Sears her vaccination status
- Thomas Jefferson statue removed from City Hall after 187 years
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Words of Wisdom
"I was bold in the pursuit of knowledge, never fearing to follow truth and reason to whatever results they led, and bearding every authority which stood in their way."