Tea party-based TV show borrowing Chattanooga name

Tea party-based TV show borrowing Chattanooga name

August 7th, 2012 by Cliff Hightower in News

Richard Beeland, media relations director for the mayor's office, in this file photo.

Photo by Jake Daniels/Times Free Press.

A television reality show promoting conservative ideals rather than liberal ones is borrowing the city's name to help depict small town conservatism.

"Chattanoogaville" will be shot starting around September.

Melanie Tipton, the show's producer, is originally from Chattanooga, but she said the majority of the show won't be shot in the city. She wanted to find a name that represents a slice of America and the voices of people who feel as though they are not heard.

"It just shows small-town America," Tipton said.

City officials reacted differently Monday when they heard that a political show would use the city's name.

Richard Beeland, spokesman for Mayor Ron Littlefield, said it was unfortunate and inappropriate for what is billed as mainly a tea party-type show to use the name Chattanooga.

"There are a lot of different people who think a lot of different ways, and they are all welcome to the city," he said. "We have no one specific viewpoint that represents Chattanooga as a whole."

Tipton said many of the cast members hail from Chattanooga, including Robby Wade and Kevin Hargis, both of whom live in Chattanooga. The cast plans to go to cities like Atlanta, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C., to confront conservative and liberal politicians.

According to Chattanoogaville.com's website, the program is "about small-town American patriots who use their humor and political incorrectness to raise hell, anger liberal Democrat and big government Republican politicians, travel all over the countryside, discuss sports, expose the truth about the screwed-up bureaucracy in Washington D.C. and investigate serious issues affecting America in a negative way."

Tipton does not have a network to air the show yet. She said she is in talks with some but does not have anything solid.

Hargis said he will present a more libertarian-type view on the show, but there is one element "Chattanoogaville" wants to promote.

"What we're out for is small-town conservatism," he said. "Not just Democrats, but Republicans."

Contact staff writer Cliff Hightower at chightower@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6480. Follow him at twitter.com/cliffhightower or facebook.com/cliff.hightower.