Not the way I would necessarily respond to an email…
Confession: I get nasty emails all the time. It kind of comes with the territory. I cover some of the most emotional and controversial issues in the state and I try to tell both sides. Sometimes, people don’t like that. I also get emails judging the way I look. Some are funny, like the time someone asked if I had a vision problem because I’m always squinting in direct sunlight. Some kind of made me upset, like the guy who emailed a month or so again upset because my shirt was unflattering and tight (side note: that happens when you are fairly pregnant).
Anyways, I always try to be nice and calmly explain why I cover an issue a certain way. Sometimes, I’m never going to convince them that I’m not the devil. It happens.
Telisha Arguelles Cobb emailed Sen. Stacey Campfield about his “Don’t Say Gay” legislation and the bill he’s filed to tie welfare amounts to student academic performance. In it, she asks him to search his heart, his values and his Christianity to find a better way to represent people as a whole.
Campfield emailed back this: “You seem to have some serious deep anger issues. Have you ever thought about therapy? I hear they are doing some wonderful things with medication these days.”
I spoke with Campfield about an hour ago and asked him why he would respond to a negative, but relatively tame, email like that. He told me he’s sick of the games the homosexual activists play.
“They try and intimidate and bully people and threaten people and shout them down and use the media to attack me,” he said. “I’m just not playing. If they want to do that stuff they can get somebody else but I’m not their pinata.”
Now, surely Campfield has gotten worse emails than this. I asked him that question and he agreed, saying he has gotten quite a few death threats in the past. He says he either doesn’t respond or has had a similar response. He is standing by his email.
Arguelles Cobb says she’s not an activist, but just a Nashville mom who believes in equality. She went public the email in hopes of reaching Knoxville voters.
“I think the reply shows a complete inability to do his job as a public servant,” she said. “State dollars are paying him to sit in that office and part of his job is to listen to us. He needs to respond like a rational, sane, caring human being.”