Dec 5 2007
07:47 pm

The year's not quite over yet, but it's close enough and I'm not sure we can take much more excitement. (I'll update and bump if there are significant new developments).

So without further ado, here's the KnoxViews Year in Review with a few random arbitrary awards thrown in by our crack panel of judges (me). I'm sure there's lots of great stuff I've missed, so feel free to add your own awards and observations in comments.

Top Story of the Year: Without a doubt, the Knox County term limits controversy, Black Wednesday, and the subsequent KNS lawsuit. There are more than 150 articles on KnoxViews and thousands of comments in discussion among some of the smartest, best informed, and most engaged pundits in town. We have compiled it all into a special section to be preserved for future historians.

Top Story Runners Up: Knox County School rezoning, P-Cards and Lobstergate, Market Square bust, McClung warehouse fire

Shining Star Award: Knox County Commissioner Mark Harmon, for promoting open government and bringing integrity and signs of intelligence to County Commission, and for his outreach as exemplified by his willingness to speak out and participate here at KnoxViews.

Howard Beale Memorial We're Mad as Hell Award: Knoxville News Sentinel editor and Citizen Jack McElroy, for taking on Knox County Commission in a lawsuit over Sunshine Law violations, and winning.

Best Addition to the Local Lexicon of Politics: "Buffooned", as in "This buffoons me." Runner up: "McCartney Hearings." And remember, nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!

Big Yawn of the Year Fred Thompson, shuffling into the race for the GOP nomination. Wake us when they pull the plug on his campaign.

Stupidest Prediction: R. Neal, for "2008 Prediction: Fred Thompson v. Al Gore in 2008, with Gore winning by a slim margin if he can get 600 more votes in Florida..."

Local Blog Event of the Year The Sicko premier KnoxViews ticket giveaway. Thanks to all you KnoxViewers who came out!

Funniest Blog Post Derailment Trainwreck: The Regal Riviera opens this week!

Stupidest and Most Hilarious Blog Blowup of the Year: It's the END OF KNOXVIEWS! (a/k/a the "great Stalinist purge")

Most Prodigious New KnoxViews Blogger: Carole Borges, a great writer with lots of opinions she's not shy about sharing. (Memo to Carole: Decaf. Look into it.)

Best new Knoxville Blogger Russ McBee. He drives a bitchin' Mini Cooper, too.

Favorite KnoxViews Token Republican: That would be CBT, of course.

The Family that Blogs Together Stays Together Award: Cathy, Doug, Sarah, and Tommy. Edit: And Noah, too.

Most Welcome Progressive Newcomer: Recent East Tennessee transplant Elrod.

Best New Baby Blogging: JAH and KAG. Aren't they just the cutest? And so's their baby.

Notable Blog Launches: BlountViews, TennViews, and brother blog RoaneViews.

Blogs Showing Up on Local Government Radar: Not that it's necessarily a good thing, but we direct your attention to KnoxViews for being mentioned in a prominent lawsuit, and BlountViews for being singled out by the county mayor (assertions by Michael Silence notwithstanding).

City of Knoxville Head Cheerleader Award: Bill Lyons, for his participation at KnoxViews representing the City to keep us all informed with facts and behind the scenes details.

South Knox Bubba Memorial Community Activist Awards: Rachel, for her tireless work on behalf of Island Home and the South Waterfront Project, and Up Goose Creek for representing for Vestal and the rest of South Knoxville.

Deep Throat Award: This goes out to all our KnoxViews anonymous sources. You know who you are.

Best Local Hipster Chat Forum: KnoxBlab. When KnoxViews gets too serious, or you're feeling old, check out what these kids today are up to.

Weirdest Local Blog You Should Be Reading But Probably Aren't: For example: Japanese Bikini Rodeo Pie Fight, Wanted: Stoner boyfriend, Tractor Square Dancing, Pinkerton Brand Novelties... you get the idea. It's hit or miss, but there's usually something pretty funny.

Top County Commission Gunslinger Award: That would be Lumpy, of course.

Most Embarrassing Blogging Legislator Award: Stacey X, for the "death certificates" bill, which ranks right up there with the Scopes Monkey Trial for putting Tennessee on the map.

Tabloid Watchdog Truth Squat Award: Former Knox County GOP chairman Brian Hornback, who keeps getting attacked by local "tabloid bully girls".

Raw KnoxViews Stats for 2007 (projected): 2,400,446 visits, 8,291,562 page views. That includes humans, spiders, bots, and crawlers. The actual number of human visitors by way of web browsers and RSS readers is about 60% of that, best we can tell. There were 3,111 posts and 25,731 comments (so far).


Old Dog New Tricks Media 2.0 Guru Award: Knoxville News Sentinel Online Managing Editor Jack Lail and his team, for the KNS website makeover and enabling new features such as online video backpack journalism and lots of new blogs as part of reinventing a local newspaper to keep it relevant. Oh, and for banishing "registration required" to the dustbin of "that's so 20th Century" history.

Hellraising Troublemaker Award: Tie between Betty Bean and Sandra Clark, the tabloid bully girls at the Halls Shopper for keeping their ear to the ground and spreading all the gossip and lies fit to print while only occasionally getting called onto the Scripps carpet.

Mainstream Media Blogger Pioneer Award: Michael Silence, for recognizing early on the expanding role blogs would play in mainstream media, and for supporting local blogs and bloggers and bringing them in to the mainstream media fold.

Best Only Independent Local Alt-Weekly: The Knoxville Voice, which scored a major coup by landing Don Williams after his departure from the KNS, along with a cast of other great local writers.


Porter Wagoner, Tom Snyder, Tammy Faye, Ken Kirchman, Richard Jeni, Judge Ray Lee Jenkins, Coach Ray Mears, Molly Ivins, Art Buchwald, Dr. William O. Butler, Bill Pinkney, Kurt Vonnegut, Helen Hill, Evel Kneivel...

Carole Borges's picture


Who was it that said "a poet could go crazy from stating the obvious"? I can't help but notice my publication credits have diminished this year because I'm so busy blogging. I'm working on letting someone else take over this flattering title next year, but it isn't easy.

P.S. I am on decaf already. Watch out!

R. Neal's picture

Carole, keep on keepin' on.

Carole, keep on keepin' on. And keep up the good work.

Andy Axel's picture

Saddest blog exit: Brittney

Saddest blog exit: Brittney Gilbert from NiT (and I nominate Jesus General for biggest national blog asshat for his role in that debacle).

Best photoblogger: Chris Wage (

RIP also: Helen Hill

RIPON (Rest In Peace, Or Not): Jerry Falwell


With the possible exception of things like box scores, race results, and stock market tabulations, there is no such thing as Objective Journalism. The phrase itself is a pompous contradiction in terms.

R. Neal's picture

Excellent additions, Andy.

Excellent additions, Andy. And in fact I thought about Brittney, but I was trying to keep it local. On the other hand, that was a pretty huge blogging story across the state.

On photoblogging, I thought of you, Fletch, and Chris, and couldn't decide so I took the coward's way out. Good call. But all of y'all are great photogs.

I completely missed Helen Hill. Adding her now.

WhitesCreek's picture

Damn, I miss Molly Ivins!

Damn, I miss Molly Ivins!

And I wonder whatever happened to Awful Knofel.

R. Neal's picture

I was looking through

I was looking through KnoxViews posts, and wondering why Evel wasn't mentioned so I didn't include him. My bad. Good point. He's added, because he was a badass.

WhitesCreek's picture

I wasn't missing Evel on the

I wasn't missing Evel on the list, just wondering about his jailmate. He was an entertaining snot, while a lot of your other picks made wonderful and lasting contributions well beyond "Hey Y'all. Watch this!"

We have such treasures to reread from Vonnegut (Player Piano) but I miss waiting for Molly Ivins next bundle of slashing observations of truth and wit.

Russ's picture


Wow, I've never won anything before!

I'd like to thank the members of the Academy ...

Rachel's picture

Apparently, someone else is

Apparently, someone else is giving thanks for his award.

"The difficulty lies not so much in developing new ideas as in escaping from old ones." - John Maynard Keynes

R. Neal's picture

UPDATE: A couple of more

UPDATE: A couple of more award added, including the City of Knoxville Cheerleader Award and the South Knox Bubba Memorial Community Activist Awards.

Anonymous's picture


"• Deep Throat Award: This goes out to all our KnoxViews anonymous sources. You know who you are."


Bill Lyons's picture

Thank you! Last summer at cheerleader camp...

Thank you. Last summer at cheerleader camp...

rocketsquirrel's picture

on the death list, you left

on the death list, you left out the mortgage industry.

CBT's picture



Bizzy's picture

Dang it

Fer sure I thought I would get "wittiest".

Andy Axel's picture

Other 2007 deaths of some

Other 2007 deaths of some note:

Norman Mailer
David Halberstam
Joel Siegel
Richard Rorty
Sidney Sheldon
Charles Nelson Reilly
Don "Mr. Wizard" Herbert
Bill Walsh
Phil Rizzuto
Merv Griffin
Jack Valenti
Tom Poston
Richard Jewell
Marcel Marceau
Sneaky Pete Kleinow
Robert Anton Wilson
Anna Nicole Smith
Arthur Schlesinger
Luther Ingram
Larry Bud Melman
Johnny Hart
Don Ho
Kitty Carlisle
Wally Schirra
Steve Gilliard
Madeleine L'Engel
Alvin Batiste
Luciano Pavarotti
Beverly Sills
Boots Randolph
Chris Benoit
The Fabulous Moolah
Lee Hazlewood
Hank Thompson
Brooke Astor
Max Roach
Hilly Kristal
Bobby Byrd
Jane Wyman
Henry Hyde
Gerald Ford
Kurt Waldheim
Lady Bird Johnson
Boris Yeltsin
Leona Helmsley
Joey Bishop
Ingmar Bergman
Michelangelo Antonioni


With the possible exception of things like box scores, race results, and stock market tabulations, there is no such thing as Objective Journalism. The phrase itself is a pompous contradiction in terms.

WhitesCreek's picture

Oh Wow! Mr. Wizard...

Not only did Mr. Wizard pass away, but we may have lost Science in America as well.

"Remember... Every day should start with a healthy breakfast."

redmondkr's picture

Barbara Dainton died in

Barbara Dainton died in November. She was one of the last two survivors of the sinking of Titanic. She was well into her 80's before she spoke in public about the event.

Millvina Dean is now the only one left.

Visit us at

Wearybottom Associates

Anonymous's picture

"Brian's Blog Receives Lliberal Award"

"Brian's Blog Receives Lliberal Award"

Someone (you'll have to google the blog yourself) has taken note of R. Neal's awarding the 'Tabloid Watchdog Truth Squat Award' with the above titled blog entry.

Mello's picture

How does one pronounce that

How does one pronounce that double L sound?

R. Neal's picture

"Yibrul" ?

"Yibrul" ?

Mark Harmon's picture


Randy and many others, thank you.

Mark Harmon

PS I miss Molly Ivins, too.

R. Neal's picture

Hah! We're on his Christmas

Hah! We're on his Christmas list, too. And I didn't get him anything!

Carole Borges's picture

Don't forget Mr. Whipple

His "Don't squeeze the Charmin" was very cute. Mr. Wilson and his somewhat tintillating squeezing in the aisles brightened many a 1950s housewife's day. If you didn't try it at least once, you just weren't alive.

Mello's picture

I personally would like to

I personally would like to thank Randy and M for not awarding the Biggest Blogger Boil award to those who email them, PM them and generally attempt to lead them on a path of dubitable decisions....

bill young's picture

Carol Scott

Carol Scott retiring as the Executive Director of the Police Advisory Review Committee(PARC)may not be the story of the year but it is one of the most significant.

Mayor Ashe did the right thing & worked very hard to create PARC.But the Mayor knew that even with the best intentions if a wise choice for the Executive Director was not made...all would be lost.

Carol Scott was that person.

In the N-S's excellent series "Use of Force" it is clear how important Carol has been.

Tho we have not gotten to the promised land.

Carol has led us out of the valley of discord we found ourselves in a decade ago.

Up Goose Creek's picture

Memorial award

Thank yew, thank yew very much. I'd like to thank my mother, and father and Bill Murrah, Dave Massey, Joe Malloy, etc.... Although I don't hold a candle to them in terms of community activism at least I've had the oportunity to sit at the feet of the Masters.

I must admit I'm a bit concerned that it's a memorial award. Do you know something we don't know?

Less is the new More - Karrie Jacobs

R. Neal's picture

It's in memory of SKB.

It's in memory of SKB.

redmondkr's picture

Award for the best tag

Award for the best tag line?

How about CAFKIA?


It is impossible to defeat an ignorant man in argument.
- William G. McAdoo

Visit us at

Wearybottom Associates

CathyMcCaughan's picture

our first Internet award

Awww, thanks for the "bad parents who don't keep their children off the Internet" award. Doug appreciates his invitation for everyone to watch him juggle turning into a gripe fest.

djuggler's picture

Thank you! Such honors! And,

Thank you! Such honors!

And, we have one other child blogging for The Family that Blogs Together Stays Together Award Noah who many possibly be the youngest blogger around too.

Doug McCaughan

JaHu's picture

I know your award for the

I know your award for the McClung warehouse fire post was for the seriousness of the situation and how the fire impacted the community, more-so than the post itself, but thanks for the mention, Randy.

Adrift in the Sea of Humility

Carole Borges's picture

I vote for Sarah as the most interesting kid blogger...

Wow, Doug! She's fantastic! So natural and wordy and with just the right amount of kinky perspective. I love the bit she wrote about you changing pants in the car after the funereal.

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