A conservative radio host with a wide audience across Nashville and beyond has died at the age of 61.
According to WTTN, the station that carries The Phil Valentine Show, the host died after a battle with COVID-19.
A lengthy battle
The station broke the knew with a statement affirming that it was “saddened to report that our host and friend Phil Valentine has passed away.”
We are saddened to report that our host and friend Phil Valentine has passed away. Please keep the Valentine family in your thoughts and prayers. pic.twitter.com/vhXpE7x0oX
— SuperTalk 99.7 WTN (@997wtn) August 21, 2021
A nationally syndicated host whose show ran for 12 years, Valentine has gained a reputation for, among other things, inspiring protests against a proposed Tennessee state income tax in 2000. He was the son of former Democratic congressman Tim Valentine.
Last month, Valentine contracted COVID-19 and was subsequently hospitalized and placed on a ventilator.
His illness came after he expressed skepticism regarding available COVID-19 vaccines, and many news outlets picked up the story of his death to report as a cautionary tale.
Tributes and condolences
“Phil Valentine, a radio host who scoffed at COVID, then urged his followers to et the vaccine, dies,” read one headline from The New York Times.
Partisan outlets were more direct with their criticism of the deceased radio host. Occupy Democrats, for example, wrote that the “unvaccinated pro-Trump” host “changed his mind about the vaccine on his deathbed, but it was too late.”
Of course, news of Valentine’s death was also met with warm tributes and condolences from fans and colleagues alike.
“Phil Valentine was a visionary for the conservative movement, and he made an enormous impact on the lives of many Tennesseans,” wrote U.S. Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN). “My deepest condolences and prayers are with Phil’s wife, Sudan, and his family. May they be comforted and surrounded by love during this difficult time.”
Fox News Channel personality and fellow radio host Sean Hannity echoed the sentiments of many shocked listeners, describing Valentine as a friend and “phenomenal broadcaster” while urging his own audience to “take this virus seriously” and noting that he had “seen the worst of this.”