MP's 20th: Love Notes From Knoxville Figures

Here are just some of the notable names we've interviewed over the years, and what they think of Metro Pulse.

Victor Ashe, former mayor of Knoxville and currently a columnist for Shopper News:

Once Knoxville went to a one daily newspaper city, it was imperative that something rise up to cover the news which the largest and only daily could or would not cover in depth or at all. Metro Pulse has filled a large part of that void for 20 years but it, too, faces competition.

I must admit I enjoy Metro Pulse much more now that I am out of office and not on the receiving end of its often biting comments thrown my way. I also enjoy writing columns on news with opinions which Metro Pulse does not cover.

I hope Metro Pulse continues another 20 years as long as it is truly an alternative and is not co-opted by the establishment while really seeking out the facts behind the news.

Tony Lawson, program director, WDVX:

Jack Neely's article from 2006 "A Legend Reborn?" was very timely. Connecting our history to the present, and where we might be going in the future. We are still working on that path.

John W. Gill Jr., special counsel, Knox County District Attorney General's Office:

Has it really been 20 years for the Pulse?? Bylines come and go and come, but a healthy amount of irreverence still combines with a thorough airing of Knoxville's laundry, past and present. Keeping us government types glancing over our shoulders is a good thing, even if we sometimes get a crick in the neck.

Brad Reeves, co-president with Louisa Trott, Tennessee Archive of Moving Image and Sound:

Having been a faithful reader of Metro Pulse throughout most of its 20-year existence, I just want to say thank you for years of great reading and congratulations on your anniversary.

Years ago, I read—no, scoured—the MP primarily to find out which bands were playing, and what films were being screened—they always knew then, and now, the best stuff happening around town. Fifteen years later, I don't go out that much, and tend to be in bed by the time this town starts revving up for action. But in the evenings, I can still hunker down on the couch with the latest issue of MP, and get my education in local politics, news, and local happenings.

Knoxville is indeed lucky to have a weekly like Metro Pulse. The paper truly reflects who we are as a city, and our arts and entertainment culture as a whole. I am personally proud of the fact that Metro Pulse believed in and supported our then-abandoned downtown years before it was fashionable. It has been a pleasure to watch both Metro Pulse and downtown Knoxville grow together over the past two decades.

Oh, and Louisa and I do eagerly anticipate the weekly history column by that Neely fellow!

David Butler, executive director, Knoxville Museum of Art:

As the director of a not-for-profit organization, my livelihood depends on understanding—really understanding—what makes this community tick. Metro Pulse does a great job making sense of Knoxville, each week adding more telling details about a quirky, complicated, and endlessly fascinating place. In the age of Twitter and dumbed-down everything, Metro Pulse is smart and thoughtful, and, occasionally, snarky. I sure hope it stays that way.

Ed Shouse, county commissioner and former city councilman:

I am an avid Metro Pulse reader;  I doubt I have ever missed an issue; of course, now, if I am out of town or not near a hard copy, I can read online. My first glance is at "Ear to the Ground" to catch up on political gossip; then the columnists (I wish Joe Sullivan was still weekly); and over the next three or four days, I work on the crossword puzzle, the best around because it is localized. Our community is fortunate that Metro Pulse has been a part of Knoxville for 20 years.

Carol Evans, executive director, Legacy Parks Foundation:

Few can pull off a parody better than Metro Pulse. Their April Fools editions were often so near believable that you'd often hear a story repeated back to you as fact. Generally, their parodies were stingingly accurate with the right humor to let you take the pain. While at the Chamber several years back, I proposed a marketing campaign called "Knoxville naturally," It prompted a wonderfully-written Metro Pulse parody about Knoxville branding itself as the world's largest nudist colony. Ouch. But appropriate. It was a good lesson in being certain about being authentic—one I could appreciate after the sting wore off!

Will Roberts, director, Race Relations Center:

When I arrived in Knoxville nearly two years ago, I read the Metro Pulse and was astounded by the uncompromising way it treated Knoxville's foibles, quirks, failures and successes. I've loved the paper ever since. After that first reading I came away with the impression that Metro Pulse was a pull no punches kind of paper. You didn't sugar coat and you sure as heck weren't too interested in protecting Knoxville's sacred cows. I was particularly impressed with MP's treatment of UTK's resistance to integration on the heels of Brown v. Board. Keep up the good work!

U.S. Representative John J. Duncan Jr.:

I try never to miss an issue of Metro Pulse—serious journalism, informative, yet entertaining, sometimes way off base when you go too far to the left (at least you have Frank Cagle—thanks). I am Jack Neely's biggest fan. And I forgive you for the bad review years ago of Wright's Cafeteria, when you said it was my favorite restaurant—"Need we say more," like I wasn't very high-class. I do love Wright's—you should try it again.


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