Small town media czar flexes muscle


“Gone With the Wind” was temporarily removed from new streaming service HBO Max last week, allowing that particular streaming service to add some historical context via an introduction before the film begins.

That bit of news was quickly re-interpreted into the movie had been banned in the United States because “liberals” considered it racist. By the time I read about it, the Daily Mountain Eagle and myself personally had already been accused of being involved in the plot to destroy everything holy and possibly burning all available VHS, DVD and LaserDisc copies of the classic film, as well as possibly trying to erase any versions of it on the Interwebs, amongst the clouds and beyond. 

While I have a few friends who live in California, I do not know anyone who works for WarnerMedia, and I have no influence over what movies are or are not on their streaming service. I can tell you that if you’d like to view GWTW, it is still available on dozens of other streaming services. I just checked Amazon Prime, and it can be rented there for $3.99.

That is only one of the ridiculous ways that I have been linked to some grand liberal conspiracy in the last week. And our newspaper has been linked to even more than that. 

I will admit that I am probably a tad bit more liberal than many residents of our fine area, but that’s typically only on social issues. I’m pretty conservative fiscally. I consider myself an Independent, voting for Rs, Ds and pretty much any other letter of the alphabet that is available on a given ballot.

I really got a kick out of the fact that several people in the last week have suggested the DME is somehow on the George Soros payroll. Once I saw that, I realized that I was a small town media czar who could be blamed for most of the troubles facing our great nation. I asked friends of mine to share some of those troubles with me on Facebook.

I have some great friends who can be found on every point of the political spectrum, and one thing about them is that they love to make fun of me when they get the chance. Some of them say it’s a good way to curb my ego, given the amount of power that I obviously wield.

Chris Upton said, “James Phillips thinks that 90 percent of people disliking black jelly beans is systematically racist.”

Brian Hale, one of my own employees, said, “James Phillips is the real reason why it’s now named Jasper High School.”

Brandon Morris said, “James Phillips is the reason that Sheriff Nick Smith will resign to pursue his lifelong dream as a social media superhero, which will in turn leave the county vulnerable for James’ Ultra Liberal Marxist Socialist (and other scary words) master plan to be put in place.”

Morris also added, “James Phillips is responsible for the foul odor in Jasper due to all of the left wing liberal bull (turd emoji) he spews through his poor excuse of “real journalism.”

Chris Burroughs said, “James Phillips is bringing Carole Baskins in as a guest speaker at Kiwanis Club of Jasper.”

Melanie Evans said, “James Phillips came up with the idea that cauliflower could substitute as pizza crust.”

Jared Aaron said, “James convinced Popeye’s CEO they should ‘invent’ the chicken sandwich and promote it by trash talking the Lord’s chicken joint. This set off an outpouring of wrath that started with COVID and will possibly end with Trump being defeated. The end is nigh. Next stop: Armageddon. Buckle up, buttercup.”

Erik Harrison said, “James Phillips contracted some disease while on vacation that messed up his toe. He selfishly and maliciously brought it back to all of us in Walker County. I heard he rubbed said toe on every copy of the DME as it comes off the press.”

Stella Glover said, “James Phillips broke the ice cream machine at McDonald’s – every McDonald’s.”

Merry Sumner said, “James Phillips personally coined the phrase ‘Happy Holidays’ and used inception on all left wing extremists to plant the idea of the war on Christmas. Mr. Phillips designed the plain red Starbucks cups one fine December morn.”

Jeremy McCollough said, “James Phillips and his liberal agenda are responsible for the Townley Rest Area becoming a gender neutral facility.

Scott Turner blamed me for Nickelback.

Those were just a few of my favorite things that friends blamed me for causing. There were 164 comments overall, and I’m glad they all had a little fun and were entertained at my expense.

While some may not be surprised to hear this, I do have an agenda. My only agenda is to do my part to help Walker County reach its fullest potential with any means I have to help do that. One of those means is trying to help lead your DME as being a newspaper that does its job in serving, supporting and focusing on all of Walker County. In the coming weeks, I’ll be sharing some new ideas in how I think our readers can help us continue to improve and continue to make your paper a source of pride.

James Phillips is editor and publisher of the Daily Mountain Eagle. He may be reached at 205-221-2840 or