No. 246: What's The Press For, Anyway?
⁂ Nashville's Alt-Daily ⁂ The Press · The Primaries · The Right · The Inventory · Much More!
Good morning, everyone.
If you missed the patch update yesterday, we're here to set you straight. The new thing is abortion. Is it good, is it bad, and what should the government do about it? We're meant to gin ourselves up into a frenzy over these questions, so if you haven't already, get to it. Democracy is at stake.
Way back in 1891, Oscar Wilde wrote:
In old days men had the rack. Now they have the Press. That is an improvement certainly. But still it is very bad, and wrong, and demoralizing. Somebody — was it Burke? — called journalism the fourth estate. That was true at the time no doubt. But at the present moment it is the only estate. It has eaten up the other three. The Lords Temporal say nothing, the Lords Spiritual have nothing to say, and the House of Commons has nothing to say and says it. We are dominated by Journalism.
The rack is a reference to the rectangular torture device used to discourage and intimidate people. In Wilde's view, the Press absconded with the role of enforcer following the revolutionary ferment of the 19th-century, and in the process, swallowed up the Church, the Government, and the Common Man.
Wilde wrote almost exactly 100 years after the French Revolution, but it was during that time in the late 18th-century that Journalism ascended to its role as the sole estate. After the fall of the Bastille in 1789 — the historical marker for the beginning of the Revolution and the beginning of the end for the old French regime — the number of newspapers in France exploded. In the course of the 1790s, almost two thousand newspapers were launched in Paris alone. Many would fold within a year, but the signal was clear: the Press was rising.
With the fall of the old order where knowledge and political action were confined to the Catholic Church and the Noble families of France, the people shut out from such institutions were suddenly given the chance to discourse freely. The Press emerged as a venue where the formerly powerless could compete equally with the establishment. The radical egalitarianism of the revolution gave even the least among them a political voice.
As a result, politics as we know it today took hold. For many, it became an all-consuming passion — a new phenomenon at the time. It would've been common to hear someone overwhelmed by the burdensome taxes of the time — someone who prior to the revolution would only concern himself with personal, agrarian, or religious matters — discourse on why all men should be equal under the law.
He'd get these ideas from one of the many pamphlets circulating throughout the country — some with the express purpose of educating the rural residents of France on the urban political developments such as the Feuille Villageoise (Village Sheet). This was a new development. Free of the censorious old order, new ideas and voices circulated widely and freely. People began to hold serious political opinions. The number of newspapers and political pamphlets increased exponentially.
The dynamics at play today are not all that different. The recent leak of the internal Supreme Court memo concerning the repeal of Roe v. Wade is a prescient and timely example. It's worth noting that it is through the Press that this information came to light and that it was through the Press that citizens are instructed on what position or opinion to take on the matter. Is the overturn of Roe v. Wade a threat to all human rights everywhere? Ask the Press and react accordingly. Is it a threat to Democracy? Ask the Press and react accordingly. Should I be upset about this? Ask the Press and react accordingly.
What is different, however, is the deep entanglement of the Press with corporate and political interests. This potent triumvirate — which is a defining feature of Fascism — has squelched the medley of speech permitted and taken highly controversial positions — such as the belief that a woman has a constitutional right to get an abortion (lol) — as foregone conclusions not even worthy of discussion. We can hardly call today's press "free." It is de facto unfree.
I don't need to elaborate on this.
Look at this graph.
Today, we look at the results of yesterday's primary election, note the results of another primary in Ohio, present a map of the nation's sinking housing inventory, and watch a video of a building getting rotated 90º in early 20th-century.
You can follow us on Twitter (@realpamphleteer), LinkedIn (@realpamphleteer), or Instagram (@realpamphleteer) for additional content.
Thanks for reading.
Resident cocktail critic Valerie Malfy joins us to review some of Nashville's best beer gardens as the summer heat turns up.
MORE FROM VALERIE
❁ MAY PRIMARY FLOWERS BLOOM
Yesterday’s primaries were the first taste of this election year. Though the ballot may not be as exciting as what’s coming up on the August primary ballot, the positions are just as impactful.
GLENN FUNK WINS SECOND TERM
In a tight race, Sara Beth Myers conceded to the current Nashville District Attorney Glenn Funk. This will be Funk’s second 8-year term. Though having the advantage of name recognition and spending almost $90K more on his campaign than Myers, Funk only won by about 1,400 votes. Funk has already released a statement regarding the draft leak alluding to the overturn of Roe V. Wade and has stated he will not uphold the Heartbeat Bill passed by the State. Glenn Funk will run uncontested on the November General Election ballot effectively securing him as Nashville’s DA.
SCHOOL BOARD DISTRICT 2, TOO CLOSE TO CALL
The winner of the race between the three Republican candidates in the Davidson County School Board race for District 2 is separated by a mere 15 votes. Currently, Woodward has not conceded but has publicly stated that he will support whatever Republican candidate ends up winning the primaries.
PERUSE ALL THE MAY PRIMARY ELECTION RESULTS
After two weeks of early voting and one wild 7 am to 7 pm primary day, it’s finally onto the next primary election. As the campaign signs are swapped before the August primary, you can check out the full results from May’s primary posted on WKRN.
- After Tennessee cut back vaccine outreach, it's reversing the trend by hiring special nurses (Tennessean) The state awarded the UT College of Nursing a $5.5 million grant to specifically promote immunization among children and older adults.
- Starbuck sues over ouster from GOP ballot (TNJ) Music video producer Robby Starbuck is suing over his removal from the Republican primary ballot in the 5th Congressional District. Starbuck was booted along with former U.S. State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus and businessman Baxter Lee.
- Lee Signs New Tennessee Public School Funding Formula Into Law (TCN) The new formula, known as the Tennessee Investment in Student Achievement, sets up a new formula for Tennessee’s schools to be funded beginning in the 2023-24 fiscal year.
- Tennessee House follows rules that hide votes, proposed amendments from public (Channel 5) In politics, those who have the power make the rules. In the Tennessee House of Representatives, an exclusive NewsChannel 5 investigation discovered they also ignore the rules they don't like.
- Gov. Lee Signs Act To Stop Illegal Aliens From Voting In TN Into Law (TCN) The bill expressly prohibits an individual who is not a citizen of the United States from voting in a federal, state, or local election and for a county, municipality, or other political subdivision of this state from granting voting rights to a person who is not a United States citizen.
- 📸 Must-See Photo Tour Of AllianceBernstein’s Global Headquarters In Nashville (Now Next)
- North Nashville district slated for café (Post)
- 12South site with Taqueria del Sol building sells for $6.15M (Post)
- Cash Museum owner eyes east side for restaurant (Post)
- UrbanSweat opens in Silo Studios in The Nations (Main Street)
- Elmington Capital Group pays $25M for Franklin office (NBJ)
- Midtown site sells for $11.25M (Post)
➫ JD VANCE WINS IN OHIO
Davidson County primaries aside, the big news yesterday was JD Vance's victory in the GOP primary for Ohio's vacant US Senate seat. He handily defeated Josh Mandel and Matt Dolan in a race that looked like it would be Mandel's until Trump endorsed Vance. It's the first race in which Trump's 2022 endorsement was put to the test and it passed with flying colors.
𝔛 GRAPH OF THE DAY: HOUSING INVENTORY
⚔ MISSIVES ⚔
- 🖲 The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) bought access to location data harvested from tens of millions of phones in the United States to perform analysis of compliance with curfews, track patterns of people visiting K-12 schools, and specifically monitor the effectiveness of policy in the Navajo Nation
- 🍼 President Joe Biden urged the election of more lawmakers who support abortion rights and will seek to enshrine the protections of Roe v. Wade into U.S. law with the Supreme Court poised to overturn the landmark ruling.
- ⛽️ Diesel hit an all-time high of $5.135 on March 12. As of April 27, the price was only slightly lower at $5.093. That increase is hitting consumer prices hard. Diesel has been a significant factor in rising inflation.
- ☹️ In the government’s November survey of the 1,100-person FTC, about half of whom responded, 53% of employees said senior leaders “maintain high standards of honesty and integrity,” down from 87% in 2020. And 49% of respondents had a “high level of respect” for senior leaders, down from 83% in 2020. Overall satisfaction with the agency dropped by a third, to 60% from 89%.
- 🇶🇦 Qatar reclaimed the crown as the world’s top liquefied natural gas exporter from the U.S. just as the end of winter lowered demand for the heating fuel in the northern hemisphere.
- 📰 Vice Media, the digital media company once valued at $5.7 billion, has hired bankers to seek a sale, according to people familiar with the matter. Several buyers have expressed preliminary interest in acquiring Vice outright, people familiar with the matter said.
- ⛔️ The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is hiring another 20 enforcement staff for the unit that protects investors from crypto scams and cyberthreats.
THINGS TO DO
View our full event calendar here.
🍺 The Pamphleteer hosts Bar Hours on the last Thursday of every month at Lucky's 3 Star Bar from 6-8 PM. The first ten guests get drinks on the company tab.
🎙 Hannah Juanita is playing two-steppin' music every Friday in April at Bobby's Idle Hour. Great show, she packs the place.
🎪 Check out our favorite driving distance festivals this summer.
👨🏻🌾 The Pamphleteer farmer's market guide
🎻 Bluegrass Night @ The American Legion Post 82, 7p, Free, Info
💃 Poster Child @ The 5 Spot, 9p $10, Info
🍸 Electric relaxation @ Bar Sovereign, 9p, Free, Info
GET ‘EM WHILE YOU CAN
🐷 Primus: a Farewell to Kings tour & Battles (5/9) @ The Ryman, 7:30p, $55+, Info
🥁 Gogol Bordello (5/21) @ Brooklyn Bowl, 8p, $33, Info
🎸 Boulevards (7/17) @ Basement East, 7p, $10, Info
FROM THE ARCHIVE
Around the Web
✈ YouTuber deliberately crashed his own plane for views Trevor Jacob parachuted from the single-engine aircraft and filmed it as it crashed into a remote forest in California
▶ Policies of the deep right "The only way for democracy to defeat oligarchy is to elect a monarchy."
⧠ How Do You Spell Relief? Try S-a-l-e-s T-a-x Let Walmart and Amazon be the tax collectors. Odds are they will be vastly more efficient than the IRS.
Political Theater Highlight Reel
- Brian Stelter questions whether media treats democracy like a reality show: ‘Aren’t we part of the problem?’
- Charlie Munger on Bitcoin: "In my life, I try and avoid things that are stupid, evil and make me look bad in comparison to somebody else...and Bitcoin does all three."
You May Also Like
Words of Wisdom
"It is better to lose health like a spendthrift than to waste it like a miser. It is better to live and be done with it, than to die daily in the sickroom."
Robert Louis Stevenson
Today's newsletter is brought to you by Megan Podsiedlik (Nashville), Edward Landstreet (Local Noise), and Davis Hunt (everything else).