Day after day, Brett Kelman took it upon himself to post case numbers ripped directly from the Tennessee State Department’s website as Covid fanatics fawned over his “bravery” against the morass of disinformation supposedly swirling in the state. Not once did Kelman stop and do any real investigations, unblinkingly parroting line after line of state-mandated, corporate-sponsored pablum to drum up fear and drive even the least vulnerable towards getting vaccinated. If A.I. comes for journalism, it’ll absorb Kelman first who seemed to believe that simply stating case count numbers had the same effect as some kind of hypnotic, magical incantation — an explanation that, second to him simply being a glorified typist, would help explain his actions.
Kelman is guilty of directing his anguish at White, Conservative, Christian circles in the state — people he’d know nothing about because Gannett airdropped him in to print Covid numbers like a wind-up doll at the start of the pandemic. At every opportunity, Kelman would make a point of mentioning who the “unvaccinated” were and direct whatever anger his Gannett handlers permitted towards them. Most egregiously though, it was Kelman’s obsession with vaccinating Tennessee’s children that sweetened the deal and convinced us that the only reason the man could keep doing what he did is that he had a serious hard-on for Covid. If you want to understand the case for why vaccinating children was, and still is, a horrible idea, you can read our piece where we take on Brett directly. After Covid died down, Brett left the Tennessean and now writes for Kaiser Health News where he probably has to get permission to use the bathroom. Hopefully, the job arouses him as much as writing about Covid graphs did.