Rex was at home last week and caught Dateline: NBC’s “expose” on the deaths of Steve McNair and his mistress Sahel Kazemi. In case you missed it, you didn’t miss much
Over the past few weeks, Rex had heard that Dateline crew had been in town, staying in Brentwood as a matter of fact. And there is word that a CBS crew out of Miami has been making the McNair rounds as well. Supposedly the NBC crew had been telling locals that they had made some “shocking” discoveries.
Well they didn’t. Instead we heard the peacock network’s Lester Holt say that McNair did not have a reputation around town as being a womanizer, only to have WSMV’s Sara Dorsey contradict him on his own pre-taped show in the next two minutes. Rex was perplexed by that one.
Another shocker was when WSMV’s Josh DeVine said that his news team “seemed to be the only ones in town who knew that McNair had died.” Really, Josh. That explains why every media outlet in town and virtually every person gathered downtown to watch fireworks were gathered at McNair’s front door. And here Rex thought a penguin was the “Snow Bird.”
If there was anything that Rex learned from the Dateline show was that Eddie George is still a class act. Please, Eddie, don’t go busting that myth for us.
Tony G. thinks just May-be Town
After nearly a month of no word, Rex was surprised to see May Town Center pop up again. Two weeks ago, developer Tony Giarratana mailed yet another letter to the Planning Commission requesting a rehearing for the $4 billion Bells Bend project.
Ever since the project was ground to a halt with a late-night commission vote in May, Giarratana has been asking the commission to reconsider, arguing the sleepy members didn’t understand what they were voting for.
But if May Town is back, the May Town team ain’t what it used to be. Even if the project never sees the green light, it will go down in history for the full-court PR press supporters unleashed on Nashville alone. However, sources say Giarratana has lost his hype team. Rex hears the development squad at Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis is no longer on the project; the well-oiled message machine at Hall Strategies is also reportedly off the case.
On top of that, Tony's right hand man, David Koellein, the urban planning brains behind the bluster, has packed up and left Giarratana Development to take a position as the chair of interior design at O’More College of Design in Franklin.
It seems Giarratana’s the last man standing trying to pump air into the May Town Center deflating sails…
The last time we checked in on our ethical hero, former Tennessee ethics czar Bruce Androphy, he was up in the Buckeye State giving advice on compliance issues and operations for the Akron-based State and Federal Communications Inc.
Apparently ol’ Bruce misses us here because his Web site, ethicsxpert.com, has him angling to come back…as a lobbyist.
He states on his site: “In my 3 years as Executive Director for the Tennessee Ethics Commission, I became well known to the Members of the Legislature as well as state officials. Let me argue on your behalf before our elected officials.”
Rex has a sneaking suspicion that every lobbyist on Capitol Hill will do their best to welcome Bruce back to the state should he get a client. They should also know that in addition to lobbying, he is offering himself up as a motivational speaker for hire, so keep that in mind.
BMCC’s shiniest new member
Rex wants to take a moment to congratulate the newest member of the Belle Meade Country Club on his admittance, Vanderbilt University Chancellor Nicholas Zeppos.
Say hello to Sen. Frist for us. You might want to see if you can get him to present a lecture at the club on heart surgery to go along with the one they are having titled “The History of Plastic Surgery” by Dr. Nick Sieveking.
WPLN Uber Alles
Last week, Rex was driving around town heading from one secret meeting to another when he about wrecked his car.
Tuesday, Sept. 1, was the 70th anniversary of the Nazi invasion of Poland and Rex happens to be a history buff. As you will recall from you history textbooks, Poland fell and France was soon invaded after the Germans just told Belgium to look the other way and waltzed through their “country.” It’s World War II people.
Anyway, Rex was driving along on this day and listening to WPLN. Inexplicably, at about 9:30 or 10, they cue up Haydn’s string quartet in C major, the one that quotes the melody from the Deutschlandlied, the German (and Nazi) National Anthem. So there Rex was, sailing down Harding Road, listening to Deutschland, Deutschland Uber Alles, wondering who the hell is in charge of programming over there!
Not the political dinosaur you thought he was
When U.S. Sen. Ted Kennedy passed away recently, Rex asked everyone in The City Paper newsroom if they had ever met the liberal icon in their travels. Sure enough, political reporter Ken Whitehouse had, but the story was so strange it was decided that the best place to retell it was in this column.
In 1993 and ’94, Whitehouse was working in the U.S. Senate for then-Tennessee Sen. Harlan Mathews. He said that since most staffers were living in the nation’s capitol away from their families they celebrated the holidays together. Halloween was no exception. Whitehouse said that when he arrived in D.C., the word on the Hill was that the best staff Halloween party was hosted by none other than Ted Kennedy. Apparently, All Hallows Eve was one of Kennedy’s favorite celebrations, and the year Whitehouse was there the senator did not disappoint.
Whitehouse and his fellow staff members were having their office get-together with Mathews in the Dirksen Senate Office Building when someone noticed a purple blur walk by the door. Everyone did double takes and went out into the hall and couldn’t believe what they saw.
It was Kennedy on his way to his staff party, dressed as “Barney” the dinosaur. Godspeed, Ted “Barney” Kennedy. Godspeed.