Liberal media chain Gannett has dug up a 39-year-old university fraternity yearbook photo showing a young Bill Lee dressed in a Confederate uniform, multiple media outlets have reported.
WREG reported that Gov. Bill Lee’s office told the station he has regrets and never intended to hurt anyone.
The photo from 1980 is on the Kappa Alpha Order yearbook page and shows Lee in the uniform, posing with other people in period clothing at a party. A copy of the yearbook page is here. The fraternity hosted parties celebrating the Confederacy and Southern heritage during the time Lee attended Auburn, 1977-1981, WREG said.
Lee’s press secretary, Laine Arnold, did not reply to an emailed request for comment by The Tennessee Star.
A representative for Lee told the Associated Press on his behalf that he never wore blackface or attended parties where that happened, WRCB reported.
Tennessee Star Political Editor Steve Gill chastised Gannett, the owner of The Tennessean, for searching wide and far for a 39-year-old photo.
“The amount of time that The Tennessean and other Gannett publications have devoted to scouring college yearbooks playing 30 and 40-year-old games of gotcha over costume parties explains better than anything else why their journalistic ‘empire’ is collapsing around them,” Gill said. “Real stories, real issues, and real news are all ignored by the Main Stream Media as they focus all their attention on propaganda and smear campaigns.”
“Anybody who never did anything in college that, in hindsight, looks pretty goofy or stupid, including most of what we wore in the late ‘70s and ‘80s, is simply not being honest,” Gill said. “Are there any serious journalists at Gannett who actually believe their Pulitzer is lurking in the pages of some 30-year-old college yearbook?”
“My advice to Governor Lee, if he’s interested, is ignoring this and keeping his focus on improving our schools, creating new paths to high paying vocational jobs, making our schools and communities safer, and addressing the opioid crisis that is destroying the families. You know, the stuff that actually matters.”
Kappa Alpha Order was founded in 1865 at Washington College in Lexington, Virginia, the precursor to Washington and Lee University, according to the order’s website.
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