published Tuesday, July 31st, 2012

Cook: Ted Nugent, I challenge you to a duel

Which is worse?

A song named “F___ the Po Po”?

Or a rock star — who once recorded a song “I am the NRA” — promising that, “If Barack Obama becomes the next president in November, again, I will either be dead or in jail by this time next year”?

Last September, as his last song before a sold-out Track 29 audience, singer/songwriter Corey Smith started playing his well-known anthem — “F___ the Po-Po” — about a run-in he had with police in his Georgia hometown.

He never finished. Track 29 officials pulled the plug, turning off the sound in what many saw as direct censorship.

Smith, who days later wrote “Chattanooga” about the night, is coming back to Track 29 this September in a laudable gesture that suggests both sides are approaching the event quite differently this year.

But a few weeks before Smith returns, Track 29 is hosting one of the most outspoken rockers in the U.S.: Motor City Madman Ted Nugent.

Nugent, a six-time board member of the NRA, has been rocking since the 1970s, selling more than 40 million albums worldwide and once performing here in the early 1990s with the Bad Company/Damn Yankees tour.

In recent years, Nugent’s music has been surpassed by his politics. Few are as loud to defend the Second Amendment and conservatism as Nugent. Usually, he does so in tasteless ways.

After “The Dark Knight Rises’’ massacre in Aurora, Colo., Nugent suggested fewer lives would have been lost if the audience had been armed, Tweeting and misspelling: “IF only they would hav had a good gun.”

Three days later, he tweeted the United Nations peacekeepers should “eat (expletive) & die.”

Poet laureate, he ain’t.

In a recent Washington Times guest editorial, Nugent had some strong words in response to the Affordable Care Act.

“I’m beginning to wonder if it would have been best had the South won the Civil War,” he wrote. “Our Founding Fathers’ concept of limited government is dead.”

And in April, speaking at the NRA convention, Nugent made the “dead or in jail” comment that some viewed as a threat by a heavily armed citizen against a war-time president. (The Secret Service actually investigated.)

If on the night of Nugent’s show — Tuesday, August 21 — he makes such inflammatory statements, should Track 29 pull the plug?

Of course not.

The First Amendment is the First Amendment, and Nugent — and Corey Smith — are free to say what they please, like it or not. Plus, if you scratch past all the outrageous headline-making comments, Nugent actually does some good.

He supports and funds programs that aid and assist veterans and law enforcement officers. He hosts summer camps in his work getting kids involved in the outdoor world and “away from drugs, alcohol, tobacco, gang, crime and the zombie world of videogame disconnect that has been such a negative force on their lives.”

I like that. A lot. So, as a gesture of bipartisanship, and with a nod to a touch of humor in the midst of a rough political season, I’d like to invite Nugent to meet me in the Track 29 parking lot on the day of his show.

For a friendly duel of sorts.

A five arrow contest.

From a distance of 50 yards, the best of five arrows shot into a standard bull’s-eye target.

If I lose, I’ll make a donation to his Kids Kamp.

If he loses, he has to make a similar donation to Joe Smith’s Westside Boxing Club. And that night, on stage, he has to speak — into the microphone, so everyone can hear — eight little words: “President Obama may not be all that bad.”

“He’s such a world-class sportsman, it probably wouldn’t be a fair fight,” said Adam Kinsey, co-owner of Track 29.

Good point. Since I’m as good at bowhunting as Nugent is at spelling, we’ll have to agree on a handicap of sorts.

Maybe Nugent shoots from 100 yards. Blindfolded in one eye. Or his target is a bagel-sized bull’s-eye while mine is more like a small moon.

Once he accepts the challenge, we can work out the rest.

Either way, one thing is certain: The loser can say whatever he wants.

Contact David Cook at or 423-757-6329. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter at DCookTFP.

about David Cook...

David Cook is the award-winning city columnist for the Times Free Press, working in the same building where he began his post-college career as a sportswriter for the Chattanooga Free Press. Cook, who graduated from Red Bank High, holds a master's degree in Peace and Justice Studies from Prescott College and an English degree from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville. For 12 years, he was a teacher at the middle, high school and university ...

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aae1049 said...

Well that is an easy one, "A song named “F___ the Po Po” is much worse.

July 31, 2012 at 12:21 a.m.

If David loses he should write a piece on why Obama may not be that good. It seems like an equal trade off. David just seems butt hurt that someone with views opposing his own has found such a large audience despite his shortcomings and public faux pas. David misses seeing both sides of the argument just as much as Nugget.

July 31, 2012 at 12:45 a.m.
anoldretmsgt said...

Maybe this is a fundraiser for the James Holmes defence ???

July 31, 2012 at 4:50 a.m.
Easy123 said...


You can not possibly be serious. You mean to tell me that a funny song is worse than a grown man implying he would assassinate the President? Or that Southern slavery should have prevailed in the Civil War?

July 31, 2012 at 6:56 a.m.
ChattanoogaVol said...

But the president IS that bad David. You just seem indoctrinaaated (whoops! I mispelled that David! Uh oh.) to think the government should be the panacea for EVERYTHING. Of course, if you REALLY think Ted Nugent was going to do something to seriously harm the President, then you obviously have zero ability to take somthing (left out the "e" just for you David) IN CONTEXT. It was pretty obvious Nugent wasn't going to do anything if you actually listened to what he said IN CONTEXT.

July 31, 2012 at 8:22 a.m.
Bumpkin said...

Do your editors read this crap?

July 31, 2012 at 8:23 a.m.
wyldmon said...

And the winner is: Track 29 for TFP's shameless promotion of a up and coming nobody vs a washed up has been. Forget Strangle-hold, try getting a grip first!

July 31, 2012 at 8:44 a.m.
tifosi said...

Ted Nugent is the loser that cannot accept that democracy works and his ideals did not.

July 31, 2012 at 9:13 a.m.
tcscpa said...

The Civil war comment was not about slavery. Unfortunately we have forgotten the civil war was about so much more than slavery; it was about government intrusions in our life. While I dislike Ted's antics about as much as Mr. Cook's left leaning writing, I think David should have to write a non-liberal article; that would be a tremendous test of his skills.

July 31, 2012 at 9:45 a.m.
Easy123 said...


The Civil War comment has to be about slavery. If the South won, slavery would not have been abolished.

July 31, 2012 at 9:49 a.m.
Jack_Dennis said...

Easy: Riveting statement.

July 31, 2012 at 10:21 a.m.
tifosi said...

It was just coincidence that all of the Confederate states were also slave states.

July 31, 2012 at 10:52 a.m.

The continued attempts by defenders of the South to come up with their convoluted justifications for the Civil War are...tiresome.

Pretending to be for Limited Government is not being for Limited Government, and no institution which specifically enshrined Slavery for protection under the banner of "Limited Government" deserves respect.

That's the kind of tortured reasoning that is an attempt to absolve responsibility by professing a false virtue.

July 31, 2012 at 11:15 a.m.
tifosi said...

I was being sarcastic. History clearly shows that it was the slavery issue that caused the Southern states to secede.

July 31, 2012 at 12:36 p.m.

Yes, I got that, was more referring to the problem in general.

July 31, 2012 at 1:03 p.m.
Rickaroo said...

David Cook, I'm sure that Ted Nugent does some good and charitable things in his life for the people and causes he cares about, but he is still filled with so much hate, venom, and BS for anything or anyone that doesn't fit in with his ultra right-wing ideology, I think you are doing a disservice to be promoting any kind of added PR for the psycho - even if it's all in fun. I'm sure he will have a huge turnout here in Chattanooga, with or without any added PR, and most of his devoted folowers will probably show up sporting holstered pistols or rifles slung over their shoulders, cans of Skoll in their back pockets, and probably waving miniature Confederate and American flags. Let 'em have their geriatric redneck rock n' roll fun. But the cat-scratch-fevered ego-maniac doesn't need any added attention brought to him, even in light-hearted jest.

July 31, 2012 at 1:49 p.m.
Rickaroo said...

"Unfortunately we have forgotten the civil war was about so much more than slavery; it was about government intrusions in our life." - tcscpa

The reason the southern states seceded from the Union in the first place was because they feared Lincoln was going to eventually abolish slavery completely. Even though he had not taken a decided stand against slavery early on, the seceding states reacted in fear of what they presumed he would do. Indeed, the Civil War was basically about states' rights, but the institution of slavery and the South's reliance on it as the driving force of their economy was what prompted the hasty acts of secession and thus precipitated the Civil War. Lincoln did not make the decision to go to war on the basis of abolishing slavery; his primary intent was simply to preserve the Union, which he wisely saw as a necessity if we were going to go forward as a united people. But to say that the Civil War was about "so much more than slavery" is just the usual Southern bigot hogwash. At its core it WAS about slavery, especially in the minds of most Southerners, only it was wrapped in an outer layer of so-called states' rights.

If anyone still holds to the notion that the South should have prevailed and made their own decisions as to whether to enslave an entire race of people, and the federal government had no business "intruding" into that right, well...sorry, but that's some seriously warped thinking.

July 31, 2012 at 2:37 p.m.
Rickaroo said...

"I think David should have to write a non-liberal article; that would be a tremendous test of his skills." - tcscpa

I think you need to re-read some of Cook's articles and test your reading skills. He does not write from the "liberal" slant you say he does. In fact, he usually makes some very fair and honest observations on what he sees and experiences, free from any ideological bent. The problem with you libertarian/radical right wing-nuts (I'm sure Cook would never incorporate that term in his writing, but I on the other hand don't mind doing so, especially when it fits) is that unless someone writes or speaks entirely from your perspective, then you say they are biased, or they're lying, or they're "liberal." You are so cock-sure convinced of the rightness of your own way of thinking that even the cold hard simple truth looks biased to you.

July 31, 2012 at 2:57 p.m.
jesse said...

Laying aside all the politics,david! If you challenge Ted to a duel?? He's gonna shoot your ass off! Just because he's crazy as a tree full of hootowls don't mean you want to shoot it out w/him!PERIOT!! Like he has been killin stuff for YEARS!! WHAT have you shot lately??(not to mention what was SHOOTIN BACK!) as an ex cop and been in a few gunfights i can tell tou it ain't somthin you wanta do!

July 31, 2012 at 5:41 p.m.

"Since I’m as good at bowhunting as Nugent is at spelling, we’ll have to agree on a handicap of sorts."

I think he covered it.

They can't really duel for life, that's a criminal offense in this here state.

July 31, 2012 at 5:53 p.m.
328Kwebsite said...

If y'all try dueling jump-a-peg IQ tests, then you may both lose.

July 31, 2012 at 7:52 p.m.

They'd have to go to Cracker Barrel, wouldn't they?

July 31, 2012 at 8:17 p.m.
shen said...

Confederate states + states rights = right to own slaves

July 31, 2012 at 9:16 p.m.
Mackdaddy said...

I know the duel ...

Corn hole. One point on the board three points in the hole. First to 21 wins.

...and I'm glad to see Bumpkin is still an avid reader of the columns.

July 31, 2012 at 11:03 p.m.
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