Sep 24 2020
06:18 am

A few days ago, a Facebook video narrated by Knox Co. Mayor Glenn Jacobs displayed images of Knox County Board of Health members and said we are "under attack" by "sinister forces from within." The video accuses health experts of lying to us about the coronavirus and includes violent imagery of riots and burning buildings with a warning that violent mobs seek to "erect a socialist utopia on the ashes of the republic."

At last night's Board of Health meeting, board members said they are receiving threats stemming from the video and expressed concern for their personal safety and the safety of their families. Jacobs said he was sorry that members felt threatened, but said he was just a politician trying to make a "political statement."

On the agenda at last night's meeting was a recent proposal by Jacobs and certain County Commissioners to severely limit the Board of Health's authority, or to disband it altogether. Members pushed back and admonished Jacobs, who has fought the local pandemic response at every step of the way, for his inflammatory video.

Mayor Jacobs is clearly not fit to serve. He has exhibited no regard whatsoever for the health and well-being of the community, and opposes those who do. His video is, frankly, unhinged, which raises serious concerns about his ability to lead in a time of crisis. He should resign, but don't hold your breath.

It was all fun and games when Knox County elected a professional wrestler with no prior experience in government or politics. The consequences should come as no surprise.


KNS: Board of health members slam Glenn Jacobs for ominous video

WBIR: Knox County Board of Health addresses concerns about policy powers

WATE: Health Board members speak out about video narrated by Mayor Jacobs (includes the video)

KnoxTNToday: Health Board puts a ‘hurt’ on Jacobs

Compass: Health Board Hits Back

bizgrrl's picture

I admit I didn't watch the

I admit I didn't watch the video until this morning, from the WATE website.

I am more than shocked. The Knox County Mayor is clearly not fit to serve. His "apology" was not an apology. He said the video was not supposed to go up on social media. Hah!?!? It was just for a select group. Was he trying to stir up hatred in secret?

Very, very disturbing.

Lisa Starbuck's picture

County Commission

County Commission needs to hear from you about the effort to limit the powers of the Board of Health.

Send an email to and let them know what you think (politely, of course).

There is also a petition you can sign, but personal emails and phone calls to your commissioner are usually more effective.

Here it is - iPetitions - please share this information widely before Commission meets on Monday.


Rachel's picture

What Lisa said. Commission

What Lisa said. Commission needs to know that there a lot of people in this county who support the Board.

lml's picture

list of places not to do business with grows

Adding The Bed Store to my list of places not to do business with. The story per COMPASS is that Roger Cunningham the owner of The Bed Store was called out by Mayor Jacobs as the primary organizer of Freedom Forward. Jacobs also gave credit to Cunningham & state Rep Zachary for writing the text for that despicable video.

j.f.m.'s picture

FYI, the back story on the

FYI, the back story on the video: (link...)

There are still unanswered questions, including who was invited to (and who attended) the private meeting called by Cunningham that included a panel with Jacobs, Zachary and Sheriff Tom Spangler.

Factchecker's picture

Is this a violation of

Is this a violation of sunshine laws?

R. Neal's picture

No. Spangler is not part of a

No. Spangler is not part of a decision making body and Zachary is exempt.

Bill Lyons's picture

Open Meetings / Sunshine

There is not a sunshine violation unless 2 or more members of the same decision making body meet/deliberate without public notice. Council and Commission are each covered. However one Councilperson and one Commissioner can meet without a violation.

R. Neal's picture

Yes. And Zachary is a state

Yes. Zachary is a state legislator, and they exempted themselves from the law. Spangler is not a member of a decision making body, except 911 board? Jacobs is a member (ex-officio?) of the Health Board, but did not (that we know of) meet privately with any other members regarding this video. The Bed Store guy isn't covered.

Factchecker's picture

Sunshine violations

I knew if it had been a violation, someone would have flagged it. Mostly suggesting how egregious that it's not. Spangler, Zachary, and Jacobs conspired to subvert (part of) the government, no?

But we're saved this time because, like so many Republicans, they're too stupid to pull off their plan without fucking it up. Then they lie about it to try to cover up their wrongdoing.

billshearn's picture


That video is disgusting! The Board of Health and the federal CDC were not appointed/selected by the media, they were appointed by our local and federal representatives. I knew the mayor had a libertarian bent but he's gone around the bend to being a lunatic!

Factchecker's picture

Agreed, but it needs to be

Agreed, but it needs to be said that getting to have libertarian freedoms comes with responsibilities. Some of those fall in the category of not endangering others.

Individualism has been twisted by today's Trumpanista know-nothings, who have taken over our society and political bodies of government, to be an excuse for trampling over everyone else's freedoms.

fischbobber's picture

It’s terrorism.

Plain and simple, by issuing orders via secret code, only it’s pretty obvious, he’s given the green light to every nut case out there. Everyone knows it. He has sent a fundamental death threat to those that would oppose him. It’s terrorism regardless of whether he kills anyone. We find out it’s a fact that breathable aerosols can spread coronavirus. So what does he do? Sends one hundred of them to the balcony to spit down on County Commission and those who would speak. Did you notice Jacobs wasn’t there? Why do you think that was?

When I moved to this town as a child, Cas Walker was still in office and our Dad’s loved it. Our whole neighborhood was composed of folks not from here. Knoxville politics was a grand spectacle of theatre and generally results. I’ve seen a lot of stuff along the way. I’ve never seen anything like this. And after we get this fixed, I never care to see anything like it again.

R. Neal's picture

It’s terrorism That's a

It’s terrorism

That's a serious charge. You should report it to the FBI.

fischbobber's picture

I’m reporting things to as many people as I can.

This weekend I will file complaints with FBI, County Commission, and City Council as well as reaching out to Rachael Maddow. There are only twenty four hours in a day though, and between work, research and writing I,m being overwhelmed. If the FBI stops the mass infections and any violent backlash toward the board, I will have made deadline. Saving lives has always been the goal.

I have been struggling with terminology since the Mayor’s actions made it apparent that he was directly tied to an increase in the local death toll over a month ago. Terrorism is the only word I could come up with that accurately describe the assault Jacobs and his cult were inflicting on this town. What would you call it.

Knoxgal's picture

The fact that

The fact that members of the Board of Health acknowledged that they felt physically threatened as a result of the video could possibly result in a legal accusation. I know there are people looking into this.

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