All the old news fit to print

All the old news fit to print: Apparently, when Mr. Roboto and I (see the comments) talk, the Tennessean listens.

On December 22, I laid down this challenge (with credit to Mr. Roboto) to the Tennessean after they unleashed their “crack” investigative team on that den of “inequity” otherwise known as the Chely Wright fan club:

Here’s a better story for the Tennessean reporter to pursue. I think she should do an expose on the reasons behind why no Tennessean reporters covered the Nashville payola scandal earlier this year involving WQZQ that even a best-selling author writing for the New Yorker covered (thanks to Mr. Roboto for that link). Why are over-enthusiastic fans worth investigating and a blatantly corrupt radio industry not? Does the lack of coverage of that payola scandal have anything to do with the Tennessean having an entertainment columnist on the payroll of that station? Not to suggest that any of this is scandalous, but it’s at least worth asking the presidents of some fan clubs about.

Today, the Tennessean has a front page story about a real scandal, not the Chely Wright pretend-scandal.

Yet even in today’s story, the writer can’t help herself and takes yet another jab at the eager Chely Wright fans who discovered a way to hack the radio cartel with this editorial comment embedded in her story: Sometimes, those fans cross the line. No quotation marks. Fans should check in with the reporter, I guess, who seems to have established what is the “line” fans may cross in competing with the payola thugs and radio barrons.

  • JS

    I hate to defend the daily, Rex, but I thought that Chely Wright story was a good one. After all, the song was getting national attention for its pseudo-heartfelt message and effective emotional appeal, while in reality Wright’s manager was orchestrating a lying campaign to promote the song. It wasn’t the same thing as Rob Walker’s NYT Magazine story on buzz agents because these were average people publicly misrepresenting themselves (in a particularly crude, opportunistic way) to get a song broadcast on the radio. That’s not to defend the ridiculously consolidated radio industry, but Chely Wright and her record label weren’t exactly underdog heroes here, either. I think it points out the problems of the sick, cash-addicted mainstream music industry more than anything.

    There you have it: a kind word on behalf of my friends at 1100 Broadway. Don’t get used to it.

  • rex

    Not to split hairs — okay, wait, let me split hairs — The BzzAgents’ volunteers aren’t even “fans” of the product they’re hyping; they merely enjoy the, what, “thrill”? “entertainment”? of sreading the gospel of whatever this week’s product is. In this case (and I’m just referring to the events noted in the Tennessean’s article, not any actual facts about what happened — irony intended), those who were hacking the system were actual Chely Wright fans, I thought. I missed the part about her manager orchestrating the lying campaign. Also, the article made it sound like she didn’t have a record label at the time the song was released. I thought the song was released independently without the backing of a major record label. Am I missing something?

  • SJH

    I can tell you it wasn’t a “pretend” scandal. That stuff really happend. The importance you credit to it, is, of course, your opinion. The Tennessean did recently run a story on paying for #1’s. Ironically, it was by the same reporter, Jeanne Naujeck.