Missing John Ford?

Yes, you read that correctly. That was the title of a segment last night on Fox 13’s 5 p.m. newscast. Reporter Les Smith went on to give a directionless, pointless rag on how difficult it is for Shelby County Democrats to be out of power now in Nashville.

Senator Beverly Marrero, Sen. Reginald Tate and Representative G.A. Hardaway railed against what they perceive is their invisibility now in the capital.

“It’s easy to sense the bitterness, frustration and the utter futility felt by the majority of the current 22 member Shelby County legislative delegation,” Smith said. “Outmaneuvered, outmanned and out of answers as to how to expand and protect the interests of the state’s largest constituency against the Republican juggernaut…Memphis and Shelby County finds itself the ugly stepsister of the Tennessee General Assembly.”

“I long for a more civilized time when we could sit down together and work things out and try to be a little pragmatic and talk to one another, but that doesn’t appear to be the way things happened,” pouted Marrero.

“It is at this point we get into the true direction of this story I have intently muddled over for weeks,” Smith said. “I don’t want this to be a total denunciation of our present group of legislators. They do enough of that between themselves. Neither is it a blind retrospective of past glories the delegation once achieved when led by the later disgraced Katherine Bowers, Roscoe Dixon and the bombastic John Ford.”

He then cuts to a clip of John Ford talking about how hard it will be to fill his shoes. He goes on to recall – glowingly – the achievements of the last group of Democrats in Nashville; in particular the “longevity, political deftness and sage counsel of Ulysees Jones and Larry Turner. A delegation buoyed by the tenacity of former state senator Steve Cohen on the lottery passage and the family sensitive day care reform legislation spearheaded by former state representative Carol Chumney.”

“Yes things have changed in numbers since those halcyon days. As previously noted the heavily Democratic current delegation is often forced into Alamo type posture against relentless Republican opposition,” Smith continued. “With the new state redistricting plan in place the delegation will shrink by two representatives and one state senator for the foreseeable future.”

Then Smith goes on to ask what they might do as a political strategy. He then goes on to give them advice.

“1. Think small. Gone are the days when John Ford could secure millions in appropriations for the Med, highways and start up money for the National Civil Rights Museum. This delegation should narrow their focus for job creation, modest health care initiatives and steering federal grants toward constituencies whenever possible.

“2. Pony up to the other urban delegations in the state. Cities like Nashville, Chattanooga and Knoxville figure to suffer as much as Memphis by a redistricting plan heavily weighted towards rural and suburban areas encompassing power. Forming bipartisan coalitions on urban issues could work.

“3. Make every attempt to keep contact with the power elite in Mark Norris and Curry Todd. While agreements on schools and annexation appear out of the question, what about common ground like supporting Norris’ crime bill. Realize that to villainize them only drives the wedge deeper in the delegation.

“5. Keep in mind delegation members, the seat you have is not an entitlement. If you feel you can’t do the job of solid representation then step aside, because even John Ford had to face up to politics’ greatest inevitability.”

OK. Yes, you don’t see an error on my part; there was no Part 4. He did say “muddle over” which I suspect he used for mulled over and he did say between themselves rather than among, too.

But most glaringly of all was the station’s willingness to propagandize. Not only did they paint a grim picture of Republican domination, but they also acted as if it had been imposed upon the state rather than voted on fairly by concerned citizens. I didn’t hear them whining when Republicans in Memphis were not represented. That seemed just fine.

If Democrats lived under the corrupt media the way we do, they would be shocked at how widespread and pernicious it is. For them, that’s the way it should be. We should be out of power and be grateful.

Well, no thanks.

... Leave a Reply