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Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Anti-gay Tennessee lawmaker targets home town paper

Bradley News Weekly editor threatened by Rep. Jeff Miller

Tennessee State lawmaker Jeff Miller has hurled fighting words in the face of the Bradley News Weekly's editor Barry Graham. The Washington Post has picked up the story, and folks in Cleveland are talking about a threatening letter intended to scare away the weekly paper's advertisers.

The article quotes the publisher, Susan Shelton, who denies any reduction their advertising accounts.

Barry Graham, the paper's editor, is making waves in Cleveland. The soft-spoken Scotsman, who moved here from points further south, has a clarity of purpose with regard to the whole situation. His obvious disdain for the legislator who touts "family values" while he brings his Nashville girlfriend home to Cleveland with him to sign divorce papers is absolutely refreshing.

We need more Barry Graham's in East Tennessee. After all, this valley was originally settled by Scot-Irish. My ancestors came from that stock. Of course, the rest of the family was here waiting for them when they crossed Cumberland Gap. Maybe we need some more new blood in this valley. Unfortunately every time we get folks like Barry Graham or the myriad others I have known in the last 25 years since I came home from my wanderings in the West, the good ones take in the social climate and hightail it for parts unknown.

Perhaps they just run to the blue states where they can breate a little easier and relax in the knowledge that no one will threaten them because they tell the truth.