February 26th, 2024

CNN’s Van Jones Reports in “What Happened to Tennessee? The Battle of Blue and Red” for The Whole Story with Anderson Cooper


PROMO:  https://youtu.be/TcsIiocHIGk

 NEW YORK, NY – (February 26, 2024) – The Whole Story with Anderson Cooper, a CNN Original, returns with an incisive examination of the state of politics in Tennessee from CNN Political Commentator and former Obama administration official Van Jones, who returns to his home state in the lead up to the Republican primary election on Super Tuesday. “What Happened to Tennessee? The Battle of Blue and Red” premieres on Sunday, March 3 at 8pm ET/PT on CNN.

In April 2023, Tennessee’s Republican-controlled House of Representatives voted to expel two Black lawmakers a week after they joined a gun reform protest in the chamber prompted by a deadly shooting at a Nashville school. This remarkably rare and emotionally charged decision set the scene for Jones’ return not only to his home state, but to his former place of employment in the state capitol where he interned for the House Majority Leader in 1989. Jones unpacks how Tennessee’s politics have swung sharply to the right since then by examining how gerrymandered redistricting, racial tensions and “culture war” rhetoric have transformed the state government into a conservative supermajority. The trend set by Tennessee has played out across the southern US.

“In the Tennessee in which I was born and raised, we always had our struggles. But people usually tried to treat each other in a decent and neighborly way.” said Jones. “But I returned to find the state legislature that launched my political career transformed beyond recognition — by a ham-fisted, hard-hearted politics of open hostility to minority viewpoints.”

Tennessee represents a national tug-of-war over the direction of the country’s politics at large, and Jones speaks with politicians on both sides of the aisle to get their take on the tribalism between parties and its implications for the future of governing. This episode features interviews with reinstated Democratic State Representatives Justin Jones and Justin J. Pearson, Republican State Representative Gino Bulso, Republican Sumner County Commissioner Matthew Shoaf, Chair of the Tennessee Democratic Party Hendrell Remus, local organizers, and even members of Jones’ family.

The Whole Story with Anderson Cooper is executive produced by Susan Chun.

The Whole Story with Anderson Cooper will stream live for pay TV subscribers via CNN.com, CNN connected TV and mobile apps on Sunday, March 3. “What Happened to Tennessee? The Battle of Blue and Red” will also be available on demand beginning Monday, March 4 to pay TV subscribers via CNN.com, CNN connected TV and mobile apps, and Cable Operator Platforms. Past episodes of The Whole Story are available to stream on demand now on Max.

The Whole Story is also available as a CNN Audio showcast. Visit CNN.com/audio or listen wherever you get your podcasts.


About CNN Originals

The CNN Originals group develops, produces and acquires original, long-form unscripted programming for CNN Worldwide. Amy Entelis, executive vice president of Talent, CNN Originals and creative development, oversees the award-winning CNN Originals portfolio that includes the following premium content brands: CNN Original Series, CNN Films, CNN Presents, and the newly formed CNN Studios, an internal production studio which creates long-form programming for CNN’s global platforms. Since 2012, the team has overseen and executive produced more than 45 multi-part documentary series and 60 feature-length documentary films, earning more than 110 awards and 445 nominations for the cable network, including CNN Films’ first Academy Award® for Navalny, making CNN the only news organization with this distinction. Acclaimed titles include the Peabody Award winning and 13-time Emmy® Award-winning Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown; five time Emmy® nominee, Apollo 11, directed by Todd Douglas Miller; Emmy® nominated Eva Longoria: Searching for Mexico; the Emmy® Award-nominated “Decades Series”: The Sixties, The Seventies, The Eighties, The Nineties, The 2000s, and The 2010s, executive produced by Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman; The Last Movie Stars, directed by Ethan Hawke about the lives and careers of actors and humanitarians Joanne Woodward and Paul Newman; Grammy® Award nominee Little Richard: I Am Everything, directed by Lisa Cortés; The Many Lives of Martha Stewart; This is Life with Lisa Ling; Primetime Emmy® and duPont-Columbia Award-winning, RBG, directed by Betsy West and Julie Cohen; See It Loud: The History of Black Television, executive produced by LeBron James and Maverick Carter; the Producers Guild Award and three-time Emmy® Award-winning Stanley Tucci: Searching for Italy; BAFTA nominee and Directors Guild Award winner, Three Identical Strangers, directed by Tim Wardle; and the five-time Emmy® Award-winning United Shades of America with W. Kamau Bell; The Whole Story with Anderson Cooper; and Who’s Talking to Chris Wallace?. CNN Originals can be seen on CNN, the CNN Original Hub on Max and discovery+, and for pay TV subscription via CNN.com, CNN apps and cable operator platforms.

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