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No. 271: How the Press Glamorizes Some Killers and Not Others

⁂ Nashville's Alt-Daily ⁂ Starbuck · Vouchers · Killers · Tinder · New Moon Map · Much More!

Good morning, everyone.

If you haven't already, I urge you to read Jerod Hollyfield's story on the Exit/In and its owner, Chris Cobb. As Nashville reckons with rapid growth and what it means for the "soul of the city" (whatever that means), it was inevitable that we'd see the emergence of grifters and opportunists to cash in on the insecurity. By all accounts, it appears that Cobb is one of these.


Today, we update you on the latest with Robby Starbuck, learn about Gov. Lee's school voucher program, look at why mainstream media outlets are far more interested in school shootings than they are in political assassinations and observe the Tinder phenomenon.

You can follow us on Twitter (@realpamphleteer), LinkedIn (@realpamphleteer), or Instagram (@realpamphleteer) for additional content.

Also, be sure to check out our podcast. New episodes every Monday. Available wherever you get your podcasts.

Thanks for reading.


  • Monday Morning Podcast Transmission No. 5: Starbuck Returns, Enough Pride, and Schools (ft. Joshua Nelson) (Listen)
  • In Conversation The first in our series of conversations with Republican candidates for Tennessee's 5th congressional district. Today, we talk to Jeff Beierlein (Listen)



By tomorrow, it will be known whether or not Robby Starbuck will officially be back on the August 4th primary ballot as a Republican running for the 5th US Congressional district of TN after the Tennessee Supreme Court assumed jurisdiction over the case yesterday — a rare intervention that only adds to what is already an unprecedented case and an unprecedented election.


The court isn’t just reviewing whether or not Robby Starbuck will be reinstated to the ballot. They are reviewing the Constitutionality of the court order and the application of the Tennessee Open Meetings Act (TOMA). Judge Perkins ordered actions to be taken by the state who was not a defendant in the case. In response, the state petitioned the court order. Juge Perkins’ ruling also implied that the Tennessee Republican Party State Executive Committee is a state agency that must adhere to TOMA.

All future ramifications aside, Starbuck has emerged as the candidate with the strongest grassroots following in the race, and the effort to keep him off the ballot indicates the insecurity the Tennessee GOP feels as the political landscape shifts rapidly underneath them. Any ruling that keeps Starbuck off the ballot would be a loss for the voter and a win for the state Republican party.


No. Ortagus did file a motion to intervene in an attempt to be added to the ballot that was denied by Judge Perkins. If the Supreme Court does not overturn the court order or find anything unconstitutional about the ruling, only Starbuck will be reinstated to the ballot.


Governor Bill Lee’s school voucher plan allowing money to follow students throughout their elementary and high school education is a step closer to reality. The Tennessee Supreme Court recently ruled that the education savings accounts created by the Governor’s education plan are, in fact, constitutional.


Metro Nashville and Shelby County have both challenged the program in court. The public school systems fear that the new education program will take away from their funding. They would be correct. The education program is designed to focus the funding dollars on students, not schools. It also is designed to incentivize schools to improve themselves.


Is this unfair? It really depends on who you’re asking. It is clear that teachers and support staff have been getting the short end of the stick in Tennessee schools for years. Democrats often argue that the issues arise due to a lack of funding. The Beacon Center did a great breakdown of where the old BEP funding formula money was all going. They found that over the last 10 years it’s been going to administrative salaries.


Tennessee ranks 33rd as far as states with the best education systems. Only 35% of Tennessee students are meeting grade-level literacy expectations post-pandemic. It’s clear that the Governor’s office has decided that doing the same thing we’ve been doing just isn’t cutting it anymore.




  • West Coast bank eyes Gulch for first branch outside California (P0st)
  • Metro OKs east side boutique hotel plan (Post)
  • Sylvan Heights property sells for $3.4M (Post)
  • Mixed-use project slated for East Nashville site (Post)
  • Investment industry titans finalize Antioch apartment deal (Post)


On the news that a radicalized loon showed up outside of Brett Kavanaugh's house Tuesday night with the intent of killing him, it's worth asking why such targeted attacks have not happened more often? You know, the "political unrest" and all. The only ones that have happened in recent memory have been the congressional baseball shooting wherein a crazed, left-wing political activist shot Steve Scalise and Rand Paul's crazed neighbor breaking a few of his ribs.

Though the latter was not explicitly politically motivated, the former surely was as was this latest attempt on Kavanaugh's life. Aside from the general carnage aimed at the common man during the Summer of Floyd, we have January 6th which falls into the category of "aiming at politicians" just the wrong politicians according to the authorities.

Observing the Kavanaugh incident, Jonah Goldberg of The Dispatch (and formerly of National Review) put it well:

Look. I’m on record rolling my eyes at a lot of “if this was so and so” stuff. But if they caught someone wanting to assassinate RBG if she were still alive or Sotomayor today because of their abortion/gun rights views, it would be the only story the media covered today.

But prior to the Kavanaugh attempt, what slid quietly under the radar in the midst of gun control debates and school shootings was the targeted killing of a judge in Wisconsin. It shouldn't be surprising that targeted assassinations of this sort tend to presage actual violent revolutions. You remember your history, don't you?

Another interesting note is the way that these things are covered in comparison to school shootings. School shooters get their portrait plastered all over the news and discourse carries on for weeks on end about their motives and the particulars of how they did it. Where did they get the gun? Did they have a girlfriend? Did someone bully them? Who did they shoot first? Etc.

The news, intentionally or not, glamorizes these characters. Just yesterday, federal authorities warned of copycat killers because of chatter on "extremist forums" online. Hm. Wonder why...

On the flip side, there is no curiosity from media outlets about the supposedly far more dangerous attacks on political figures' lives. It's clear that, on some level, they realize that reporting on it would embolden others, so why do they do the opposite for school shooters?

If the media wanted to aid in preventing school shootings, don't you think they'd take the same approach to them as they do political assassination attempts — which is to say, not glamorizing the assailant and burying the story entirely?



For all the talk of America's sexual depravity, the data says we've never been having less sex. An interesting aside from @miltonwrites:

The medievals held lifelong celibacy as the highest ideal and were also famously blunt about sex and the body. I tend to think these complimented each other. The overall worldview seems healthier than almost anything on offer today.
If you take celibacy seriously as a valuable state of life, I think it changes your attitudes toward sex and the body in a way that strips them of pretension and romanticized nonsense. You confront them as they are, human and messy realities.

We've been constantly told about the "incel" phenomenon — the key word there being involuntary. Repression today may look a lot different from what it looked like hundreds of years ago, but it's still repression. And instead of healthily channeling that repression into a spiritual impulse, modern mores mutate and weaponize it to deprive its subjects of anything but the shallow satisfaction that they can have sex with whomever and whatever they choose. Many people are simply opting out, voluntarily or not.




View our full event calendar here.

🎪 Check out our favorite driving distance festivals this summer - Redneck Rumble in Lebanon this weekend, see us there.

👨🏻‍🌾 The Pamphleteer farmer's market guide.

👂 Listen to The Pamphleteer's Picks, a playlist of the bands featured in this week's calendar.

⚾️ The Sounds are playing the Norfolk Tides this week, June 7-12 at 7p.


🎙 Musicians Corner @ Centennial Park, 5p, Free, Info
+ Nashville Symphony‌‌‌‌ Plays at 7:30p

🍀 Live Irish Music @ McNamara’s Irish Pub, 6p, Free, Info

🎸 Dennis Caravello @ The 5 Spot, 6p, $10, Info

🎸 Kelly’s Heroes @ Robert’s Western World, 6:30p, Free, Info

🎺 Jazz Under the Stars @ Cheekwood, 7p, $65, Info

🌌 Oracle Blue @ Rudy's Jazz Room, 9p, $14, Info


🚨 Eprom @ Eastside Bowl, (6/25), $25.50, Info

🎹 Steely Dan @ First Bank Amphitheater, (7/13), $34+, Info

🏎 Nascar Ally 400 @ Nashville Superspeedway, (6/24-26) $11+, Info

🏜 Hiatus Kaiyote @ Marathon Music Works, (8/14), $35+, Info

🐂 Professional Bull Riding @ Bridgestone, (8/19-21), $20+ Info

🐖 Roger Waters @ Bridgestone, (8/27), $39, Info

🎹 Stereolab @ Marathon Music Works, (9/6), $35, Info

🎸 My Morning Jacket @ Ascend Amphitheater, (9/23), $22.88, Info

🎸 Smashing Pumpkins @ Bridgestone Arena, (10/10), $133+, Info



The Exit/In Cashes in on Nashville’s Identity Crisis
One of the city’s oldest indie music venues comes to terms with its role in New Nashville and the self-styled martyrdom that has defined it over the past year.


[Album Review] Dream Machine: Living the Dream
Dream Machine release their long awaited comeback album Living the Dream and share a new video for “Come Along”.
Starbuck Has His Second Day in Court
Starbuck and his team continue their fight to get back on the August primary ballot
The 5 Best Spots for Outdoor Exercise in Nashville
Head for the Hills! On the Trail of Local Parks’ Best Ups and Downs
Dr. Carol Swain’s Ivory Tower Exit
The former Vanderbilt Professor discusses entering the arena of the public intellectual with her bestselling rejoinder to CRT and her mentorship of young academics who want to follow her lead.
Nashville’s Best Hidden Cocktail Gems
Just keep quiet about it...
Around the Web

⚑ Russia, Ukraine, and the Return of Nationalism The Russia-Ukraine War has become a proxy fight between American-led globalism and the alternative: a multipolar world of nation-states free from American hegemony.

◉ Can Governments Stop Bitcoin? Bitcoin's worldwide success doesn’t mean that people haven’t tried to stop it.

➫ The dawn of the New Puritans Today’s repression will fuel tomorrow’s liberation

Political Theater Highlight Reel
  1. Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI): “On the issue of gas prices, I drove my electric vehicle from Michigan to here last weekend and went by every gas station and it didn’t matter how high it was.”
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Today's newsletter is brought to you by Megan Podsiedlik (Nashville), Edward Landstreet (Local Noise), and Davis Hunt (everything else).