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Ten Scene stories that stirred up controversy


1. "Hit the Road! 25 People, Places and Things That Should Leave Town" (Nov. 9, 1989)
Howdy, neighbors! Among the targets of our "Committee of Insiders": then Mayor Bill Boner, deejay Carl P. Mayfield, Music Row hit-man Jimmy Bowen, slumlord Carrie Sissom, Sheriff Fate Thomas, The Tennessean and Brentwood.

2. "Another Country: Hard Times, Hard Living in Grundy County" (Dec. 9, 1993)
Writer Galyn Glick dares to suggest the Southern Middle Tennessee county has a reputation for crime and violence—bringing an avalanche of threats from irate Grundy Countians. The worst come from grade-schoolers.

3. "A Good Thing Gone Bad" (Jan. 16 & 23, 1997)
Willy Stern's gripping two-part inquest into the disappearance of Janet Levine March becomes perhaps the best-read cover story in Scene history.

4. "A Yuppie Among the Bubbas" (Sept. 18, 1997)
In her profile of Sen. Steve Cohen, Liz Murray Garrigan writes that the gubernatorial hopeful has "been known to...smoke a joint with a group of [journalists] at a private party." The Scene forgets to mention it was our party.

5. "Sweet Deals Gone Sour" (Nov. 12, 1998)
A Stern investigation into kickbacks, rigged bids and sweetheart deals behind the scenes at Baptist Hospital triggers a citywide scandal. A week later, Baptist ousts its high-flying chairman of the board, C. David Stringfield.

6. "Above the Law" (Oct. 21 & 28, 1999)
Willy Stern probes charges that off-duty security officers are abusing Hispanic residents at a Nashville apartment complex send shock waves through Nashville law enforcement and set off a firestorm of public outrage.

7. "Thirsty for Company" (June 28, 2007)
P.J. Tobia's article about El Dos de Oros, a Murfreesboro Road dive where Anglo barflies sell beers and company to lonesome Hispanic men, shows many readers a side of Nashville immigrant life they haven't seen—and they don't want to see it again.

8. "Black Out" (Aug. 6, 2008)
Matt Pulle reports that well-connected attorney David Ewing, a black Nashvillian, has gotten the shaft in his bid to join the Belle Meade Country Club for five years and counting. In the same issue: Jeff Woods' characterization of possible Veep material Phil Bredesen as the "Philbot 3000."

9. "Jesus RX" (Oct. 1, 2008)
A Caleb Hannan piece about troubling practices at the faith-based recovery program Mercy Ministries draws an outpouring of emails from former staffers and patients—some accusing Hannan of distortion, others alleging even more problems at Mercy.

10. "Washed in the Blood" (June 18, 2009)
Debate continues over Brantley Hargrove's article about Madison minister Rev. Maury Davis and the homicidal past he invokes in sermons. Most of the fury rages online, the growing trend of the moment—but that's a topic for another anniversary.

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