Out & About Today Nashville Channel 5
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In the days after the November 11 murder of east Nashville resident Eric Mansfield, the mainstream news media in Nashville visibly struggled to acknowledge the relationship Mansfield enjoyed with his partner, O&AN Writer David Miller, choosing instead to contextualize the murder by way of Mansfield’s occupation.
Whether the ignorance toward the relationship was intentional is an interesting question, but an irrelevant one. That it hampered the sum reportage of this story is undeniable.
By all accounts this was a random act of violence. In that sense, we are all affected (a recent newscast reported there is not even one lead toward solving this crime). Who better to render an account of the suddenness of the loss, the intensity of the moment, than the intimate partner of the deceased? Though it’s understandable that Miller would refuse a request for an interview, a reference to Mansfield’s role in the east Nashville household – as a partner with Miller, who is the father of two – would have just as easily provided the context required for most residents to comprehend and empathize with the tragedy.
Yes, it’s possible that a news story of this sort could be viewed as politically motivated. To explain the situation, the relationship, in the same way, though – using the same terms the couple used – would remain a simple description of facts.
Mike Machak, a local veteran TV journalist, explained the situation in which many television news reporters find themselves at this time of year. “This is traditionally a very slow news period,” he said. “The holidays are notorious for it. Reporters are always looking for angles around any story that comes up and this one certainly had potential.”
Given his experience working in local TV news, Machak – who was a loud voice of concern on this topic in the days after the murder – provided insight into decisions that are made behind the camera.
“I think because you’re dealing with an individual in an openly gay relationship,” he said, “there’s a fear of touching it, of appearing to be supportive of the gay lifestyle.” As a gay man, Machak – and the rest of us – was likely more interested in the randomness of the murder before any question of the sexuality of the deceased.
“In a situation like this where a person is brutally murdered,” he said, “there are typically reporters in all the media who make an extra effort to peel the layers back on the story. This time, I didn’t see that effort.”
If Eric weren’t gay, Machak suggested, there would have been a greater push toward the human-interest profile, a story pointing out how this could have happened to any one of us. “With all respect to any individual, the immediate family, I mean, not wanting any additional exposure” he said, “the media failed based on this person’s sexual orientation to recognize him beyond the position he held in the community.”
That the murder occurred on a Friday night is of note. Weekend newscasts are generally the lowest rated, Saturday editions of the newspaper experience a similar weekly slump. Many in the GLBT community who knew Eric learned of his passing on Sunday or Monday, when the gossip came around. It was entirely possible this story wouldn’t have survived beyond Saturday.
Add to this the death of 15-year-old Denise Brown, another random murder that took place one day after Mansfield’s. She too died in east Nashville. Her murderer was identified almost immediately and, while Mansfield’s unsolved crime piggybacked Brown’s story in television newscasts, a nighttime vigil and plans for a community meeting hoped to keep the stories – and the hope to find the killers – in the city’s consciousness.
Enter Warner Bros. Records.
The headline in the Sunday, November 13 edition of the Tennessean – two days after the tragedy – read simply, “Record employee found shot to death.” A short article of little more than 200 words, it suggested Mansfield’s occupation was relevant to the story with this lede: “A Warner Bros. Records employee was found shot to death Friday night in his car on Chapel Avenue in east Nashville.” His employer, by that point, had announced a reward of $25,000 to help find the killer.
It also identified Mansfield’s partner, David Miller, though not by name, only as a roommate.
With that, and throughout all television news broadcasts the following day, the death of Eric Mansfield became a “music row executive murder.” One day after his funeral, on Wednesday November 16, an article in the Tennessean was headlined: “Slain Warner Bros. executive known for ‘gift of humor.’” At the very end of the story, the closing paragraph read: “ Mansfield is survived by his parents, Charles and Phyllis Krigbaum Mansfield; partner, David Mark Miller II; and his two children.”
Whatever confusion may have existed before the acknowledgement of the relationship had obviously dissipated. The initial police report, which sources believe named Miller as simply a roommate – along with the second-string weekend news staff – may have contributed to this confusion.
This ordeal raises questions about the handling of GLBT relationships in any mainstream circumstance. What is the preferred term? For many in this community, “partner” is the norm. But is it a term we universally accept without regard to its comprehension by the straight masses?
“Partner would have been the word (to use),” said Machak. “For the most part, it’s stating the nature of the relationship. It’s an easy way to project the relationship.” Friends of David Miller report that, in his initial call to police, he did not use the term “partner” because of its professional, business-oriented connotation.
Straight people are still struggling to comprehend why we demand the “gay men” and “lesbians” differentiation (much less, whether the word lesbian should be capitalized), and are wary to accept GLBT-accepted euphemism – be it outdated or not, politically correct or not. If the debate lingers within this community regarding our use of the word “partner” versus boyfriend/girlfriend or just flat-out husband/wife, it’s understandable that news reports would initially settle for “roommate.”
At this time, Out & About Newspaper is considering the possibility of bringing representatives from the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association to Nashville for a meeting or diversity training session with local mainstream media representatives.
As recently as Monday November 28, the Tennessean published a profile of Denise Brown’s family. Though her murderer has been apprehended, many family members in similar situations allow themselves to speak to the media in order to keep the news value of the murder alive, in order to find an at-large killer. They hope, many times too, to purge themselves of excess emotion, to assist the grieving process.Friends of David Miller report that local mainstream media is, in fact, interested in this story and the unsolved crime. Though he receives calls from local media on a daily basis, they say he remains unable to speak of his experience without breaking down.
For those with a thirst to celebrate, Red Bull Unlocked is the key. In city after city, the most exciting bars, clubs, mixologists, performing artists, and more take over a local landmark building to showcase their signature ambiance while also collaborating for a must-see mashup. And now it's Music City’s turn to seize the spotlight, as the event brings 10 bars together in East Nashville’s Five Points neighborhood.
Fueled by the best of Nashville’s thriving music scene, Red Bull Unlocked has curated an eclectic night of show-stopping entertainment performances including a pop-up Whiskey Jam show, DJ sets, musicians, and more. The full lineup is here:
- Whiskey Jam (feat. Dozzi, Willie Shaw, and Johnny Hayes)
- A.B. Eastwood
- Daisha / Rap Girl
- Boom Bap (DJ Collective feat. DJ-Rate, Case Bloom)
- Whiskey Disco (DJ Collective feat. Coach, Jim O'Shea)
- Old Crow Medicine Show’s Jerry Pentercost (DJ Set)
- DJ Stretch
- DJ Griffin Green
- The Play Mates (Drag Show feat. Sasha, Vanity, Deception, Aura Mayari, Corlis Todd, and Carmin Triple C)
Counting down to the epic celebration, Daisha shares, “I never thought I’d have the opportunity to perform in so many of Nashville’s top spots all in the same night. Fans can expect a lot of bops and high energy. I want people to dance and have a good time.”
Ward Guenther, Whiskey Jam Founder, adds, “Red Bull has been enjoyed at Whiskey Jam since the very first night, so it's only fitting Whiskey Jam is enjoyed at Nashville's first Red Bull Unlocked. Looking forward to this!”
Red Bull Unlocked Istanbul
Photo courtesy of Red Bull
Local favorites including Pearl Diver, Tin Roof, Lipstick Lounge, White Limozeen, and more will join forces for one epic night. Full list of bars and partners below:
- The Dive Motel
- Lipstick Lounge
- Pearl Diver
- Play Dance Bar
- Rosemary & Beauty Queen
- The Stage
- Tin Roof
- Whiskey Jam
- White Limozeen
- Woolworth Theatre – Opening Fall 2022!
- Eleven Eleven - Opening 2023!
Date: August 21, 2022
Time: 6 PM – 11PM CT
Location: 1102 Forrest Ave, Nashville, TN 37206
Entrance: Ticked event
Rumble Boxing, the boxing-inspired group fitness studio, opened its doors for the first time in Nashville on June 20 at 609 Overton St, Nashville, TN. The hottest workout on the block is hosting its official grand opening from August 4th-7th with daily classes, membership specials, and prizes from local vendors. The new Rumble Boxing studio is currently offering a buy one class, get one free promotion for the Nashville community.
Rumble Boxing delivers 45-minute, 10-round, strength and conditioning group workouts, crafted around teardrop-style aqua boxing bags and high-intensity strength training circuits. This brings all fitness levels together to experience what Rumble is known for: combining the sweet science of boxing with high energy and positive vibes.
Rumble Boxing Fitness Studio
Photo courtesy of Rumble Boxing Gulch Nashville
This boutique fitness brand offers serious benefits like increased stamina and strength, with cardio that’s actually fun. The seasoned trainers at the new studio are thrilled to serve their local community while offering this fun, new modern approach to boxing and welcome members of all fitness levels to the Rumble family.
The new Rumble Boxing studio is owned and operated by Blake Baskin and Antonio Compton. With their background in the fitness industry, this dynamic duo is excited to bring their passion for boxing and group fitness to Nashville. As business and life partners, Blake and Antonio aim to create a strong community within their new Rumble Boxing studio and share their message of non-apologetic inclusivity.
Black and Gay-Owned Business
Rumble Boxing Store with Dolly Parton Mural
Photo courtesy of Rumble Boxing Gulch Nashville
“We own who we are, and this brand aligns with that perfectly,” said Antonio. “This is what we want to create and bring to this community: a fitness class that is designed for anyone and a place for people to be who they are. As a Black and gay-owned business, we want to help lower the division we see in the world right now. Our goal is to bring people together through Rumble, set everything aside, and have fun.”
To echo their message of acceptance and inclusion, Blake and Antonio commissioned a local Nashville artist to paint an 11 X 6-ft. mural of Nashville icon and philanthropist, Dolly Parton. The massive portrait features the country star in Rumble Boxing gear in the lobby of the studio.
The excitement and buzz around Rumble allowed Blake and Antonio to recruit top-tier trainers to head up the new studio, including Head Trainer Oronde Jones, a well-known celebrity trainer in the Nashville market.
Rumble Boxing Fitness Studio
Photo courtesy of Rumble Boxing Gulch Nashville
“Compared to other fitness classes, Rumble is a class you can truly get lost in for 45 minutes. With the dark room, you don’t have to worry if anyone is paying attention to you. The music is awesome and inspiring, and the beat drops right when you need it the most. Also, with boxing being a sport you can never truly master, you’re always improving and crafting your skill. On the floor, you’re consistently doing something new, which prevents you from ever hitting a plateau.” Said Oronde Jones about his favorite part of Rumble.
Rumble has massive brand loyalty and widespread appeal, partly thanks to attracting top names like Justin Bieber, Selena Gomez, Kendall Jenner, Hailey Baldwin, Jason Derulo, David Beckham, and Kevin Hart to its studios.
About Rumble Boxing
Founded in New York City in 2017, Rumble is a group fitness concept delivering a mix (or combination) of boxing-inspired circuits and the transformative power of resistance training. Pro and amateur fighters glove up together, no matter their fitness level or skill, to reveal their inner fighter. The experience is a 45-minute, 10-round, full-body cardio and strength workout crafted around specially designed water-filled, teardrop-style boxing bags. Rumble was founded by Noah Neiman (former Barry’s Bootcamp Master Trainer, and cast member of Bravo’s Work Out New York), Eugene Remm (Co-Founder of Catch Hospitality Group (Catch Restaurants, CATCH STEAK, Lexington Brass), Andy Stenzler (Co-Founder Cosí, Kidville), and Anthony DiMarco (13-time IRONMAN, former Managing Director, Google).
Who would have thought that we would have to get through a pandemic in order to appreciate the small things we have, such as the ability to simply pack our bags and hit the road?
For two years, there’s been nothing left for us travel junkies to do but sit at home and try to find new destinations that we will conquer once we defeat what appears to be the biggest villain of the 21st century. But once that happens, hold your bags tight because we will be up for some of the most interesting travel experiences. Take a look at some ideas for your post-COVID traveling plans:
A Gay Cruise
One of the best options to have in mind when all of this passes is a good, nice and long (pun intended) gay cruise. Or cruise in general, for that matter. Bear in mind, social distancing will still be a thing in the post-COVID world. But COVID-19 likely doesn’t mean that cruises will cease to exist. On the contrary, though cruise ships will probably keep the number of passengers smaller than before, it is believed that they will become an even bigger hit in the following period, especially because they are all going to go a lot more environmentally-friendly. On the bright side, is there any better way of celebrating the end of the pandemic than by cruising around some magnificent seas, stopping by at great cities and having romantic dinner nights at nice restaurants?
A getaway in nature
On the other hand, there is always the option of stepping away from the hustle and bustle of large cities, and spending some time in a place that’s not only healthy, but also beautiful. Some of the destinations that plenty of people will look for are the ones that can cater for both peace of mind and amazing things to see or do. One such destination is New Zealand, one of the greenest countries on Earth right now. Not only will you be visiting the magnificent country that gave us the beautiful Shire from Lord of the Rings; this is also a destination that’s excellent for everyone who prefers relaxing to partying. If you’re up for some partying, you will be able to hit Auckland, while if you’re for something calmer, there’s plenty of amazing places that you can see and visit.
Dancing Around at Pride
Pride parades are also events that you want to have in mind for the post-COVID world. Such events have always been quite important, but it seems that they are now more important than ever. The virus has canceled more than 75 Pride parades all around the world, which is one of the reasons why we must support the ones that will see the light of day once the pandemic stops. Truth be told, the upcoming Prides will perhaps be the best Prides ever organized. Give the gays a couple of weeks of quarantine, then let them outside and see what kind of party they are able to throw!
A road trip
If you’re, as well, waiting for the day to wake up and say “long gone are the days when we were not allowed to go wherever we wanted?”, and if staying at one place gave you a lot to think about, then your first post-COVID travel experience should definitely be a nice road trip. You can practically choose which country you want to tour, and you can either take your own car (you have probably missed it so much), or rent one at your destination. Australia is an amazing country for this, though, as it offers the possibility of seeing the Great Ocean Road, which is an amazing thing to see and experience. On the other hand, if you do not want or cannot leave your country, you can also choose to go on a domestic road trip – there are amazing things to see in your vicinity as well.
Holiday for a single guy
If you’re single, or you’re traveling someplace with another single friend, then you should definitely organize a nice vacation for yourself or for you and your single friend, and hit one of the best European cities. Europe has been greatly affected by the virus, which means that now it’s time to pay it back and get it back on its feet by traveling there and seeing all the amazing things it offers. Any city you choose in Europe – you will not make a mistake. Apart from being able to see great landmarks, you will also have the chance to have a drink at great gay clubs and pubs, and join unforgettable gay parties. And if the gay scenery is not your forte, worry not, as Europe indeed has to offer so many different and magnificent things.