Feb 6 2020
04:07 pm
By: R. Neal

Sad news to report. Michael Silence has passed away at the age of 62. During his 30 years at the News Sentinel he was an early pioneer of blogging and engagement with readers. He also supported and helped promote bloggers and "citizen journalism" around the state, including this site. Moreover, he was a truly decent man of the highest ethical standards. Obituary...

R. Neal's picture

One of my more memorable

One of my more memorable blogging experiences came courtesy of Michael Silence.

Back during the 2008 elections, James Carville was coming to town for the Knox Dem dinner. Michael contacted me to ask if I'd be interested in an exclusive sit-down interview with him.

Would I? Of course. But how could he arrange such a thing, I asked? It turns out his wife Mary Anne, a Republican political consultant, was a close personal friend of Carville's wife Mary Matalin, also a well known Republican political consultant. Michael somehow talked Mary Anne into arranging it with Mary Matalin.

So on the night of the dinner, Carville shows up, the local KnoxDP chair at the time Don Daugherty made the introductions, and we (Carville, me, and the Mrs.) were escorted to a private banquet room somewhere in the bowels of the Knoxville Convention center.

Carville seemed a little confused. In fact he got a little pissy. He was like, who are you? What is this? He then got out his cell phone and called his wife and asked her what's going on here? I couldn't hear both sides of the conversation, but I got the gist of it. "So it's a personal favor for Mary Anne? OK, fine." He hung up and the interview proceeded and he was very nice after that.

I was always grateful to Michael for that, and couldn't thank him enough. He was a friend, and although we haven't corresponded much in the past few years I will miss him.

Anyway, here's the interview.

tennesseevaluesauthority's picture

This is the worst news of a

This is the worst news of a terrible year so far.

Greg Mackay's picture


He was a good man and a hell of a reporter.

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