The Knoxville News-CorkerThe Knoxville News-Sentinel showed very clearly where that paper is coming down in the Republican Senate Primary in a story on Bob Corker written by Tom Humphrey yesterday. I found the write-up to be the most openly pro-Corker piece written by any paper in the State. I'd say the KNS came as close as anyone to lionizing Corker in the Sunday Edition.
In the article, Corker does say that his 1994 Senate loss was "about the best thing that ever happened to me." If we are to judge on Corker's record since that time, it may have been the best thing to happen to Tennessee as well. Corker continues refering to Ed Bryant and Van Hilleary as "people from Washington," as if to say that Bob from Chattanooga never had a thing to do with lobbyists or lobbying in his life. People have asked me what my big problem is with Corker, and for me the biggest problem is his disingenuous attitude. No, I don't agree with Corker's supposedly-former positions on a number of issues, but I find the way he portrays his opponents to be even more deceptive. To the politically unschooled, Corker is a political outsider, and he portrays himself as such. However, he has a history as an insider and has gotten support from the lobbyists (and employed them as mayor) he pretends to decry. If Corker wants to play games about who is and is not an insider, we might refer to him as "Beltway Bob."
As for the KNS, I think it says a ton about Corker politically (and those who back him) that the News-Sentinel is giving him such favorable coverage. The News-Sentinel's liberal editor Jack McElroy has not shown himself or his paper dispossed to give solid conservative candidates good coverage, and where the KNS can get away with it in this conservative area, they'll take a liberal editorial line. Although to be fair to the KNS most Scripps-Howard papers tend to be Democrat or liberal papers, and our local Scripps paper is actually more conservative than some others. Nonetheless, the KNS takes a left-of-center editorial stance the majority of the time, and they are cooing over Bob Corker like a baby over a lollipop. That reality alone ought to cause bona fide conservatives in East Tennessee to sit up and take notice and begin to ask more questions about Mr. Corker.