Jun 30 2010
08:18 am

District 48 Rep. Joe Carr, a Republican representing part of Rutherford County, has on his campaign website an "endorsement" by "Tom Humphrey, veteran legislature reporter, Knoxville News Sentinel." You can see it here. It's also on a sidebar that appears on every page of his website.

I'd be shocked to learn that Tom Humphrey actually endorsed this guy or any other candidate. I have always found Tom "The Dean" Humphrey to have the highest ethical and journalistic standards when reporting on the state legislature, even in his opinion and analysis columns. Not only that, an "endorsement" would probably get him fired.

Makes you wonder what kind of fellow this Joe Carr character is. Is he prone to making stuff up to advance his own self interests?

Carr is being challenged by Democratic newcomer David B. LaRoche, a Murfreesboro lawyer. Democrats should get behind LaRoche and help him however we can. This could be a key race.

UPDATE: Michael Silence: Tom Humphrey has not endorsed Carr or anyone else. Further, I've worked with "ol' Tom" for nearly 25 years and I've never known him to endorse anyone. To suggest otherwise is at best unethical.

UPDATE: Post Politics: Hardly an endorsement of Carr’s re-election. Praise, yes. But The Dean, being The Dean, wouldn’t endorse his mother for county dogcatcher. He’s above that.

UPDATE: Tom Humphrey responds: I don’t do endorsements and have a call in to Rep. Carr to request that he revise his claim. He has apparently extrapolated the 'endorsement' from a column written after the 2009 session on 'legislative superlatives.' Here’s the link to the article. It is commentary perhaps, but not an endorsement.

UPDATE: The page has been removed from Rep. Carr's website. Here's the before and the after.

UPDATE: Tom Humphrey: For the Record: I Do Not Endorse Joe Carr "That's not at all an endorsement," said Carr when contacted. "I understand that and it's my fault. I didn't even think about that when we put it under endorsements. I apologize." He said the website would be changed promptly.

UPDATE: The "endorsements" page has been resurrected as "The Buzz about Joe."

SnM's picture


The entirety of that quote comes from here:


Freshman of the year, Republican - Rep. Joe Carr of Lascassas displayed considerable determination and a dash of diplomacy in overcoming vocal, bipartisan opposition to legislation legalizing liquor distilleries around the state. Also, he overcame head-scratching and consternation, mostly from Democrats, in successfully sponsoring a bill outlawing "sanctuary cities" in Tennessee, a measure which does nothing except make a political statement by declaring cities must follow federal immigration laws. In other words, he could cover all the bases.

It ain't an endorsement

bill young's picture

And It ain't right,either!

It ain't right for Mr. Carr to claim something that's not true.

And claiming Mr.Humphrey endorsed him is not true.

But I don't believe it unethical if Mr.Humphrey,the owner of the paper & the paper's publisher & editor,wanted to endorse a candidate & slant stories toward that candidate.

In fact,the 1st Amendment,guarantees the paper &
Mr.Humphrey the right to do just that.

But the truth is,Mr.Humphrey chooses not to endorse.

And it ain't right for Mr.Carr to say Mr.Humphrey does.

R. Neal's picture

Bill, I agree with most of

Bill, I agree with most of that except the part about an individual reporter making endorsements. My guess is that this is highly frowned upon if not forbidden.

Especially in the case of a journalist assigned to cover state or local politics endorsing a state or local candidate, which Tom Humphrey did not and would not do. Like I said, he'd probably get fired if he did, but I don't know the KNS policy for sure.

Papers routinely endorse candidates, though. But they do it more or less anonymously based on consensus by a committee. As you recall, the KNS has had some doozies.

bill young's picture

They ain't from 'round cheer!

It's up to the paper's owners & they ain't from 'round cheer.

There was a time when the Knoxville Journal & the News Sentinal
would tear into a candidate & sing the praises of another from
the front page till the editorial page.

But in today's newspaper bizz it don't happen that way no

In today's newspaper bizz one does not want to rock any

Because if one is the only daily paper in town..ones not
looking for a wants everybody to read it.

And a paper tearing into one candidate & singing praises
to another just makes people mad & if folks are mad
they won't buy the paper.

Plus,if the paper's owned by folks that live 'round cheer.

They got an opinion of what's going on 'round cheer.

And they don't mind,one bit,makin' that opinion known.

It simply don't upset me one ioda if a paper chooses
to tear into one candidate & sing praises to another.

It's the way it used to be but "Not the Way it is."

bill young's picture

Mr.Carr's Mea Culpa

Mr.Carr has accepted blame.

IMO,Mr.Carr's statement is a mea culpa.

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