The Gannett-owned USA Today-Tennessee network named Senator Bob Corker (R-TN), the compromised retiring junior senator from Tennessee, its “2017 Person of the Year” for his constant bashing of President Trump on Sunday.
The big announcement from the Tysons Corner, Virginia based mainstream media newspaper giant came just weeks after a Tennessee Star Poll that showed Corker has an astonishingly low 22 percent approval rating among Tennessee Republicans, and a record-high 60 percent disapproval rating.
It also comes barely a week after a devastating blast of Corker’s business ethics by Rolling Stone’s Matt Taibbi, who posed this question: How did Corker go from “dead broke” to a net worth of $68 million during his eleven years in the U.S. Senate?
But the anti-Trump liberally biased Tennessean –part of the USA Today-Tennessee network that also includes the Memphis Commercial Appeal and the Knoxville News Sentinel–sees all of Corker’s attacks on Trump–who won the state of Tennessee by an overwhelming 60 percent to 36 percent margin over Hillary Clinton–as praiseworthy.
“In October, he responded very publicly and forcefully to President Donald J. Trump’s bullying and insults on Twitter, calling the White House an ‘adult day care center,'” the Tennessean wrote of Corker, adding:
In December, he faced criticism, first for being the only Republican senator to vote against the tax reform bill because of concerns over the deficit and national debt, then for joining the GOP on the final partisan version.
The accusations that he changed his mind in exchange for a provision benefiting real estate developers like him–viciously called the “Corker Kickback,” a trending hashtag on Twitter–left him rattled and frustrated, because he said that is not true. Neverthelesss, he faced a backlash, amplified by social media. . .
In 2018, he will be unencumbered by re-election concerns and can focus full time on carrying out his Senate duties and serving his state and constituents.
For these reasons, we, the editorial board, name Corker The Tennessean’s 2017 Person of the Year. (emphasis added)
Conservatives in Tennessee responded to the Tennessean’s selection of Corker as the “2017 Person of the Year” with bemused incredulity.
“If Senator Corker had half the approval rating he enjoys in the Tennessean’s editorial board he would be running for re-election,” conservative media analyst Steve Gill told The Tennessee Star.
“But Tennesseans are not nearly as liberal as the Tennessean’s editorial staff and don’t revere him in the same way. Interestingly, The Tennessean didn’t really like him much until he started his barrage of criticism against President Trump, which shows their award for Corker is less about honoring him and more about ‘hating on’ Trump,” Gill added.
Gill was not the only Tennessee political observer critical of the Tennessean’s odd selection.
“Clearly, the team at the Tennessean has let their subscriptions to Rolling Stone lapse, which is understandable as they face layoffs and pay cuts and have to watch every penny,” a Capitol Hill insider told The Star.
“But it is hard to imagine anybody there reading the recent Rolling Stone article about how Corker got rich by gaming the system for his benefit, a system that Bernie Sanders and his minions at the Tennessean hate, and then ignoring his behavior in order to pay tribute to him. A mere rumor that he once said hello to Jeremy Durham might have derailed him, but not making tens of millions of dollars while earning a Senate salary,” the insider added.