How about a bit of music while you read. Check Joe Diffie’s Third Rock from the Sun
Cause and effect, chain of events,
All of the chaos makes perfect sense,
When we’re spinnin’ round,
Things come undone.
Welcome to earth, third rock from the sun.
In a Shopper News column published Monday, Oct. 30, 2023, Victor Ashe asked what has happened to U.S. Rep. Tim Burchett in Washington? Then Ashe listed missteps that, he says, have rendered Burchett ineffective.
When I phoned Victor to say well done, he said he’s had more comments on this column than anything else he has written in almost 20 years. (I recruited Ashe to write for Shopper News when I was publisher and he had returned home from service as U.S. Ambassador to Poland.)
I hadn’t planned to write about Ashe jumping on Burchett; the column speaks for itself. But on Sunday, George Korda went on a tear against Ashe and in defense of Burchett on the WATE talk show Tennessee This Week. Korda implied Ashe is no journalist.
Folks, Korda is no journalist and I don’t know why he’s given time to rant on this weekly talk show. Korda is a PR guy, a fixer. As head of Korda Communications, he makes a living through his connections to powerful/influential people in media, business and/or government. People like Tim Burchett and Burchett’s staff. Read what George is selling here.
Ashe, according to Korda, made too many declarative statements in his column. Korda seemed to say that unless Ashe had somebody to quote, he should have hedged his opinions with what we in the trade call “weasel words.”
Both panelists Cortney Piper and Craig Griffith said Victor wrote a clearly labeled opinion column. The declarative sentences were his opinion. But Korda countered with, “Where is the evidence?”
Korda said strong declarative sentences come across as facts and should be supported by evidence.
Want facts, George? Read this front page of the News-Sentinel on the same day Victor’s column appeared – Oct. 30, 2023. Knox, OR jilted for tech hubs
Ashe wrote: “In terms of accomplishing anything, our district is no longer adequately represented. (Burchett’s) ability to pass legislation is limited or nonexistent.”
The story above proves Ashe’s point.
ORNL, TVA and the University of Tennessee joined to propose a federal technology hub here. Think of the direct and spin-off jobs it would create. It went someplace; just not here.
We send people to Washington to suit up and compete – cooperate when possible, fight when necessary, match wits with the smartest people in American and win our share of the games.
So why has East Tennessee elected a man who holds hearings on Bigfoot and UFOs, wears barnyard clothes to stand out and hangs with the loony fringe?
Ashe wrote: “Burchett voted Oct. 3 with seven other Republicans to oust U.S. Rep. Kevin McCarthy as House speaker. The other 210 Republicans voted to keep McCarthy, but Burchett joined all the Democrats and leapt into the unknown. It brought the House to a total stop while wars are raging in the Middle East and Ukraine.”
Washington, D.C., is the Big League. Rep. Burchett is still playing sandlot ball.
Sandra Clark is editor/CEO of Knox TN Today Inc.