That mewling sound emanating from the offices of the Tennessean is the reporters there who have lost control of a story they helped create.
Having conducted a jihad against the hapless Rep. Jeremy Durham, editors and reporters at the paper leaned back from their keyboards, lit cigars and broke open a bottle of their best Andre champagne while they waited for the public execution and expulsion of Durham from the House.
It didn’t happen.
Don’t get us wrong. By all early indications, Durham appears to be a skirt-chasing cad whose behavior was highly inappropriate for a state legislator (which is, by definition and history, a sometimes very low bar to crawl under). But before Harwell could effectively deliver a political decapitation, there was the annoying little fact that no one has filed a complaint against Durham — legal, ethical or otherwise. It matters not what your opinion of Durham might be, there is an inconvenient thing called due process and Harwell/Herbert have tried their damnedest to blow right by the niceties of the law and go straight to the beheading.
But now things have taken an ominous turn for Harwell and her allies, and the Tennessean is Johnny-not-on-the-spot. After being out-reported by Breitbart News, Rocky Top, Mrs. Johnson’s 5th grade newsletter and a number of other outlets, the Tennessean finally “discovered” the witch hunt story and tried to re-write it in time to dump it out on a Friday, hoping no one would notice their late arrival to the party.
In so doing, they used some of the same language they had undoubtedly read in the other outlets and cobbled together a half-assed article. But even under the theory that even a blind hog can find an acorn ever now and then, they quoted Ad Hoc committee chairman Steve McDaniel, who made a startling comment. Typically, the Tennessean didn’t or did not want to understand the significance of McDaniel’s brief comment, which was buried deep in their buried story. But that is why Rocky Top is here: to help the great unwashed of the MSM understand political reality – a frequently Herculean task, we admit.
McDaniel: “The scope was very narrow and was limited to Rep. Durham per the Speaker’s appointment letter, and the committee’s authorizing resolution.”
Did everyone catch that? Did McDaniel take a direct shot across the bow of the HMS Harwell as well as the Good Ship Slattery? Sure looks like he did.
Why do we say that? Because when he made that statement, McDaniel knew that Breitbart had interviewed at least three of the people who had been called into the AG for the inquisition, which is apparently three more than those interviewed by the Tennessean.
From those interviews, it was glaringly clear the Durham “investigation” has wandered far, far outside the bounds of the original mission McDaniel says they were authorized to conduct. If Harwell is not compiling a blackmail list of secrets to use on her political opponents, she is sure trying her dead level best to make it look as though she is. And if she is, no legislator – not one – is safe from such attacks.
This is getting really messy – and really important – with each passing day.
But not to worry: the Tennessean is on the job! (cue laugh track).