Clint Brewer’s Winners and Losers of the Week: Winners, Nashville Press and Freddie O’Connell, for Two Weeks in a Row, Loser Ron DeSantis

May 18, 2023

Live from Music Row Thursday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Leahy welcomed recovering journalist Clint Brewer in studio for another edition of Clint Brewer’s Winners and Losers of the Week.

Brewer: I got a little bit of a list today.

Leahy: I like lists!

Brewer: Not a huge one.

Leahy: Are there more winners or losers?

Brewer: They’re more winners. They’re more winners.

Leahy: You’re such a positive guy. I’m trying to be positive. I’m going to get some mean phone calls about the losers or texts.

Leahy: Do you wanna start with the losers or the winners?

Brewer: No. Let’s start with the winners. Not at right field. Not left field on the winners. (Leahy laughs) We had a special election in Kentucky. Kentucky AG Daniel Cameron is a winner this week. Big winner. He is a literal winner. If he can beat Andy Bashir’s in the general for the governor’s race in Kentucky.

Leahy: In November.

Brewer: Potential future face of the party, magnetic guy, good on TV.

Leahy: A great attorney general.

Brewer: Really good attorney general. A rising star in the GOP and won against a really hefty self-funder who only came in third place.

Leahy: He spent like 9 million bucks and came in third place.

Brewer: She spent 10.

Leahy: 10! This is what you call an embarrassing humiliation.

Brewer: Yes. Other winners, I would say Nashville Media. I would say for these open records cases. In this day and age with media budgets being, the way they are going to the court of records is expensive. And they don’t do it as much as they used to, but between The Tennessee Star and The Tennesseean and it’s a good day for the First Amendment.

I would say my third winner this week is Councilman Freddie O’Connell. I’m feeling a lot of energy around his race and seeing a lot of traction. I think there’s a forum tonight where it’s a potential moment for him. He’s been buoyed by some polling that’s been done here.

I think it’s a crowded field. Whoever gets the general is probably going to do so with maybe a little less than 20 percent, a little bit more than 20 percent. And I think he’s running a really good race.

Leahy: And I bumped into Freddie near our offices in Germantown yesterday. We had a nice conversation. He seemed very confident, and he did indicate that they had polling that indicated that he was very happy with. I haven’t seen it yet.

Brewer: Nor have I. There was another poll that was out Tennesseans for Student Success showed him performing well.

Leahy: In the top three.

Brewer: Yes. Losers, I keep beating on this guy, but Governor DeSantis from Florida had another bad week. He had a good week, but he came back down. He jumped into the Kentucky special election and endorsed a candidate the night before. She’s the third-place candidate now. I think there’s a family friendship there.

Leahy: More than a family friendship. Jeff Rowe is his consultant is also her consultant. But a bad choice. But the night before, that’s such an avoidable mistake.

Brewer: It’s an unforced error because you got to know she’s likely to lose. He ended up on the wrong end of a special in Jacksonville.

Leahy: He was up in Iowa flipping hamburgers while his endorsed Republican candidate in Jacksonville was losing to the Democrat mayoral candidate. So again, yeah, you’re exactly right about that.

Brewer: And then I don’t want to hit on this one too much. It’s more of a public relations problem. Vanderbilt came out with a poll, and one of the interesting data points was that 52 percent of Nashvillians don’t support the Titans’ stadium. I think the Titans have a little PR work to do, maybe. Maybe they need to speak more directly to the Nashville people about the worth of this project.

Leahy: Here’s the thing. Yes, they do. But they’re still getting the money. (Chuckles)

Brewer: They won. No question.

Leahy: They won on that. But I think you’re right. It’s still not popular. Now, having said all that, People do like the football team. And they’re very devoted to them. I like watching the Titans despite their late-season collapse.

Brewer: Which one? (Laughter) The most recent one or the one before that or the one before that?

Leahy: Oh, come on. Teams are up and down. But I think you’re right. And it’s interesting. Whoever the new mayor is, they’re stuck with this Titan stadium deal. It’s a done deal now. And so now you’re just going to chomp around the edges of it, which means you’re going to try to get the Titans to be more engaged with the community to do more stuff. But it’s, like, PR stuff, it’s like it’s chump change, really. But they’re stuck with it.

Brewer: Yes, and the new mayor’s gonna be stuck with a lot. There’s a deal that’s just like a big Matzah ball out there about the race track. Then there’s the Eastbank thing that won’t be fully baked. I don’t imagine by the time there’s a new mayor.

Leahy: The news mayor is going to have to deal with the unbaked, not fully baked Eastbank development deal. That’s a good phrase. You ought to go into journalism yeah.

Brewer: I’m going to retire and get back into it.

Leahy: It’s a noble cause. It’s a lot of work. Yeah, it is. It’s a lot of actual work. HL Mencken called it the life of kings.

Listen to today’s show highlights, including this interview:

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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to The Tennessee Star Reporwith Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.
Photo “Freddie O’Connell” by Freddie O’Connell. Background Photo “Nashville City Hall” by Michael Rivera. CC BY-SA 4.0.