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Tennessee Home of Progressive Journalist Shot at While Family Slept

Tennessee Home of Progressive Journalist Shot at While Family Slept

Justin Kanew, founder of the Tennessee Holler news site.

Justin Kanew has reported on the state's Republican party and broke the news of the lieutenant governor's comments on a young gay man's Instagram page.

A day before TennesseeRepublicans expelled two Black members of the state legislature who had joined protesters calling for meaningful gun reform after a mass shooting at Covenant School in Nashville, where six people, including three children, were killed, the founder of a progressive news site, The Tennessee Holler, revealed that someone had shot up his home last weekend.

Justin Kanew wrote on Twitter that his home south of Nashville was hit by several bullets Saturday night while his family slept.

“We do not know for sure the reason for this attack,” said Kanew. “This violence has no place in a civilized society, and we are thankful no one was physically hurt.”

Among the state’s political class, Kanew is known for his intense scrutiny of Republican lawmakers, often filming them while following them to ask questions.

In Republican circles, Kanew is often described as a liberal activist, the Tennessee Outlookreports.

The state’s attorney general, Jonathan Skrmetti, commented on the incident as part of a general statement on recent events in the state.

“Over the weekend, an unknown assailant fired into the home of a local political activist while his children were sleeping inside,” he wrote. “I don’t know him personally, though I know I often disagree with him. Regardless of any differences of opinion, though, as a dad and as an attorney general, I cannot tolerate this attack against him and his family.”

Recently, state Senate Majority Leader Jack Johnson called Kanew a “jackass” and a “loser” after he questioned Johnson’s support for anti-LGBTQ+ legislation. Meanwhile, Gov. Bill Lee called Kanew’s question about a photo in high school of the GOP governor dressed in drag “ridiculous” as the governor was signing legislation that made Tennessee the first state to ban drag performance in public. However, a judge has temporarily blocked that law.

The Tennessee Holler published a blockbuster report in March that revealed the hypocrisy of Lt. Gov. Randy McNally, who often commented enthusiastically on racy Instagram pictures of a young gay man with whom he had maintained an extensive online friendship.

Kanew’s home was targeted less than one week after a shooter killed six people at Covenant School in Nashville, including three 9-year-olds.

He previously ran for Congress in Tennessee’s 7th District as a Democrat. He also appeared on the CBS competition showThe Amazing Race.

Having filed a report with the Williamson County Sheriff’s Office, Kanew urged them to investigate further.

“The authorities have not completed their investigation, and right now, we do not know for sure the reason for this attack. We urge the Williamson County Sheriff’s office to continue to investigate this crime and help shed light on Saturday’s unfortunate events and bring the perpetrators of this crime to justice,” he wrote.

“In the meantime, our family remains focused on keeping our children healthy and safe,” Kanew concluded before adding that he would have nothing more to say about the matter for now and asking for privacy.

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