Roger Simon Talks Voting for the Academy Awards, Screenwriting, and Hollywood Moguls

Roger Simon Talks Voting for the Academy Awards, Screenwriting, and Hollywood Moguls


Live from Music Row Thursday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Leahy welcomed all-star panelist and The Epoch Times Editor-at-Large Roger Simon in-studio to talk about voting for the Academy Awards, the art of screenwriting, and how Hollywood moguls made America.

Leahy: We are joined and studio by all-star panelist, man about town, great novelist, great tennis player, founder of PJ Media, Academy Award-nominated screenwriter, editors-at-large…how are we doing so far, Roger? At The Epoch Times, Roger Simon, welcome. Roger.

Simon: You’re making me sound very old.

Leahy: Roger, there may be others in our listening audience who are eligible to vote for the Academy Awards, but you’re the only guy that I’ve ever met who can vote for the Academy Awards. So describe that process again for us.

Simon: Okay. It’s two-tiered. According to the branch that you’re on, I’m in the writer’s branch. There’s obviously the actors’ branch, directors, etc. You nominate in your own branch, plus Best Picture.

So in the case of writers, we get to nominate Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Original Screenplay. So I voted in those three categories.

Leahy: Those are the only three you get to vote in?

Simon: Now. Whence the nominations are made, I will vote in all categories.

Leahy: So you get to make a nomination. Tier one. Who you get to nominate. Now is this, like top secret stuff?

Simon: They swear you to secrecy. Not on the Bible. There are too many atheists.

Leahy: Boom shaka laka. That’s a good line.

Simon: However, I have increasingly been bored voting and seeing fewer of the pictures and I know that the few people who are conservatives that I know are members of the Academy feel the same way. There’s nothing to vote for, really.

And we don’t even want to watch. But nowadays it’s very easy to watch for Academy members because, for the first time, they have a place online where you can go put your password in and click on any movie of the year that you want to see.

Leahy: That would be fun for me if there were actually decent movies.

Simon: The best things to watch nowadays are the docs.

Leahy: The documentaries?

Simon: Yes. The one on Brian Wilson was really interesting.

Leahy: Yes. And that’s not our friend or radio host in town.

Simon: No.

Leahy: That’s The Beach Boys Brian Wilson.

Simon: The Beach Boys. He was kind of a genius. A genius.  We can take the kind out of it.

Leahy: And yet with a very troubled personal life. Very troubled.

Simon: Yeah, it is in the documentary, of course. So it makes it a fascinating viewing. And also there was a one on Cousteau that’s very interesting. Jacques Cousteau, the inventor of scubas. And one on Ben Funtores who is best known…

Leahy: Who is Ben Fong-Torres?

Simon: He was someone that I have known personally because back in the old days, my original detective novels were published by Rolling Stone.

Leahy: The Rolling Stone? That was when Rolling Stone actually did journalism.

Simon: That’s right.

Leahy: A long time ago, Roger. Sorry for saying that. (Chuckles)

Simon: Let’s not get into that. They had a publishing wing name called Straight Arrow Books at that time and their two biggest authors were me and Hunter S. Thompson.

Leahy: The Hunter S. Thompson. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.

Simon: Ben Fong-Torres was their lead reporter, and he was great. He was the guy who interviewed all the Bob Dylan’s of the world and with extensive and really interesting reports in a time when that music was really important.

Nowadays, who cares about pop music, unfortunately. But then it was extremely important. So the documentary on Ben Fong-Torres, which I think very few people will see, is really good.

As for the fictional films, the ones that I voted on for their screenplays, I’ll give a hint because who cares about their privacy? (Chuckles) Anyway, my hint is that I voted for two films about sports.

Leahy: Okay, very good. That’s enough. Now here’s what I don’t understand. Maybe you can tell us. You can help us with this. How do you know if a written screenplay is good?

Do you listen to the dialogue? What is it? Does the screenplay also include the screenshots or is it just the dialogue?

Simon: Okay, of course it doesn’t. It includes everything. Because if you write a screenplay, you’re writing what the camera is looking at.

Leahy: So let’s just say I’ve seen some of these things. I think probably out there in our listening audience, there are a lot of people who have gone to the bookstore and picked up the book, How to Write a Screenplay.

Simon: Which one?

Leahy: But in it, it would say opening scene, the camera pans across the field. Is that right?

Simon: You began with something, Samaturish?

Leahy: Of course! I’ll tell you what. I take no offense.

Simon: I don’t do it that much anymore. But here’s what a screenplay has to do. It has to grab the reader like a novel.

Leahy: Like right away.

Simon: Right away.

Leahy: How do you do that?

Simon: You tell it more or less like a novel, but you think in your head there’s a structure to it, but you can learn the structure.

Leahy: What’s the first page of the screen look like when you write it.

Simon: Like the 10th page? What’s the first page of a novel look like? The 10th page. If you’re writing a good novel, you attempt to really grab your reader. It was the best of times and the worst of times.

Leahy: That’s a great line.

Simon: One of the famous lines in history.

Leahy: And the other line on the other extreme, it was a dark and stormy night.

Simon: Not bad. But you have to learn the formatting, which takes an hour if you pay attention, and you have to be a good storyteller. And here’s the real truth of movies.

The most important thing about the movies is the screenplay. The old line in Hollywood was in the days that made great movies, if it ain’t on the page, it ain’t on the stage.

Leahy: Ah ha!

Simon: And that was what the old moguls used to say. And when the moguls were around, movies like Casablanca were the ones that were made. Have you seen anything like that lately?

Leahy: The moguls made great epic films. Great films.

Simon: Yes. They made America. Hollywood in the old days was the sign of America to the world. Now they are speaking of your previous hour, which they do, Hollywood is essentially owned by China.

Leahy: It really is. That’s why you have all these superheroes.

Simon: They are essentially approving the scripts.

Leahy: That’s just staggering.

Simon: How boring is that? Besides being all the bad things you can say politically about that etc., it’s really boring.

Leahy: Let me just kind of flip a little bit here to this. Our pals at The Daily Wire here in town. Ben Shapiro’s group and they’ve moved here.

They got Candace Owens as part of the group. Michael Knowles is part of the group. Matt Walsh. So they’re getting into some level of filmmaking. How can they do that?

Simon: So is The Epoch Times. The Epoch Times is doing a better job. I don’t want to be in local but they have studios. They’re really going in New York.

Leahy: So what are they doing? Are you writing any films for them?

Simon: No, because I’m too busy. I write four columns a week and a book, as we know last week.

Leahy: The Southbound Train about all of the Californians and others coming to Tennessee.

Simon: And including, I would imagine candidates.

Leahy: Oh, and by the way this Fifth Congressional District primary race with arriving from California in 2019. Robby Starbuck didn’t vote in any Tennessee primaries.

Simon: He came on his own southbound train. He will definitely be in the book.

Leahy: And Morgan Ortagus came southbound…

Simon: On a rocketship.

Leahy: Via Washington, D.C., New York.

Simon: On Air Force One.

Leahy: That’s funny.

Simon: She’s on Fox all the time and I was watching yesterday. She was really good in terms of she knows her foreign affairs as well as any congressional candidate.

Leahy: We’ll see if the 749,999 people who’ve lived in this district longer than she has will have any comment.

Simon: This is something people have to weigh.

– – –

Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.
Photo “Roger Simon” by Roger Simon. Background Photo “Academy Awards” by BDS2006. CC BY-SA 3.0. 














Crom Carmichael Weighs in on Consequences of Democrat’s Bill, Warns of American Caste System

Crom Carmichael Weighs in on Consequences of Democrat’s Bill, Warns of American Caste System


Live from Music Row Friday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – guest hosts Grant Henry and Ben Cunningham welcomed the original all-star panelist Crom Carmichael in studio to discuss the potential consequences if the Senate parliamentarian passes Democrat’s large spending bill, the PRO Act, and the unionization of America.

Henry: Crom Carmichael is in the studio with us. How are you doing this morning, sir?

Carmichael: Good morning. I’m doing fine. Thank you.

Henry: (Henry chuckles) That’s good. Now, as you walked in the studio, you did say that you had a little bit of a different take possibly on what’s the Democrats’ hopes sort of plan was with the agenda. What the end goal might be? Where are you coming from in that?

Carmichael: It’s all the other stuff that’s in the bill that has nothing to do with the money that they’re trying to pass as part of reconciliation. And if the Senate parliamentarian goes along with it, then the filibuster will be done away with without doing away with the filibuster.

It’s making millions of illegal immigrants legal. It’s changing the voting laws or is attempting to change the voting laws. It is all about giving Washington and the bureaucrats and the regulators more power.

And the way I look at the division in the country, it’s very similar to France before the French Revolution. If you are connected to the government in France, either part of the government or you benefited from the government or you are in the elite, then there are a set of rules that applied to you that were very different.

And there are actually a set of courts that adjudicated claims against you that were completely different from the courts and the rules that affected 80 percent of the population.

And so when the French Revolution actually got going and the elites who were semi-opposed to what was going on with the government, but then once it got going, they ended up being killed also.

Henry: So what you’re saying, possibly, maybe, is that some of the other things outside of the actual spinning of this bill could create a sense of class or caste system in America?

Carmichael: Well it’s happening now.

Henry: I agree. I hear you.

Carmichael: But the caste system is are you connected or are you part of the government? Are you connected to the government? And, for example, if you’re a government employee and you’re a Republican, where is your money going in terms of political support.

Your labor union dues are going to the labor union. And how that money is spent is not determined by you. It’s determined by the people who are run the unions. And virtually 100 percent of all government employee union does go to the Democrat Party.

Virtually 100 percent. $10 billion dollars every two-year election cycle. When they claim that the NRA is giving $50 million, think about $50 million as a percentage of $10 billion in perspective.

Henry: That’s right. It puts it into perspective.

Carmichael: Truly, it’s truly nothing. And in our media, the people who report the news are highly, highly paid. And they get to keep their jobs if they tell people what they’re told to tell people. And so Democrats can do literally whatever they want to.

Let me just give you an example. There is a son of a very, very powerful Democrat who had absolutely no experience with art, and yet his paintings, which he creates by blowing paint through a straw, sell for half a million dollars.

Henry: Wow. I’m in the wrong industry.

Carmichael: His name is Hunter Biden and they sell to people all over the world. They sell to people in Communist China. They sell to people in the Middle East. Perhaps they sell to billionaires who have investments in green energy and who want billions of dollars of tax credits.

This is well known to the people in the media. Do they report it? No. Because if they did, they would lose their jobs. And if you’re overpaid compared to what you could do otherwise in life, then you’re going to do what you’re told.

So our media do what they’re told. Now a real good example of somebody who did something that was a bit of a surprise. And I’m not also claiming that I follow this lady very much. And in fact, I’m blanking even on her name. And that is the pop star.

Henry: Nicki Minaj.

Carmichael: Nicki Minaj. Yes. She has now come out incredibly strong in favor of free speech. And by the way, she’s done it in a very, very persuasive way. And they don’t know what to do about that.

The left does not know what to do about that, because she has 22 million followers who don’t get that message from all of the places that they get it. And by the way, Twitter is controlled by the left because the billionaires who control Twitter get tremendous tax benefits from the Democrat policies.

Facebook is the same way. Warren Buffett was the first to do it many years ago. He said he should pay more taxes. And what was Obama’s reaction to Warren Buffett saying he should pay more taxes?

He started calling Warren Buffet his friend. (Henry chuckles) So what did that do? It insulated Warren Buffett from a tax by the left. Now, how does Warren Buffett make his money? How does Warren Buffett’s wealth increase?

It increases through the increase in the assets that he owns. Not the money he earns. If Warren Buffett wanted to, and this is true with any of the multi-billionaires, wants to live literally like a king and pay no tax here’s all that Warren Buffett has to do.

He has to sell a billion dollars worth of his stock and give a billion dollars to the charity, the foundation that he controls. Then he gets a billion-dollar tax deduction in the same year that he generates a billion dollars in cash.

And now he has a foundation to support whatever causes that he needs to support so that the government doesn’t start taxing unrealized gains.

And that’s the game that they all play. And the media lets them get away with it because the media is part of the billionaire elite class. They may not be billionaires, but they’re part of the class.

Henry: Let me ask this then. Has the train left the station? Are we too far gone? Is there any getting some of this stuff back? Do we need to look for something entirely different, revolutionary, in a sense, or where are we?

Carmichael: Well, that’s a great question. I don’t know the answer. But I look at Texas, for example, having passed the law that does two things regarding abortion. One is it makes abortions illegal after a fetal heartbeat is detected.

And the second thing is it gives enforcement of that law not to the government but to the citizens, by suing and giving the citizens the right to sue.

And by the way, the left very badly says, wants, and maintains and it may even be a law in some states, that if a police officer does something wrong as a police officer, that they can be personally sued. I think if a police officer does something that’s really bad, frankly, I think they ought to be sued.

But then the question is if schools do a terrible job of teaching students, especially lower-income Black and Hispanic students, should school boards be suable personally or should principals be suable? Should teachers be suable?

One of the big problems we have in this country is in addition to having a divide in terms of whether you’re part of the government or not part of the government, is whether or not you are educated enough to be prosperous or financially independent in a world that requires better education.

And our government-run school educational systems are going backward. But that’s on purpose. That’s on purpose because the most powerful union in the country is the teachers’ union.

The second most powerful union in the country or the postal employees. What two unions do Biden mandates on vaccines don’t apply to? Oh! The teachers’ unions and the postal unions. Who would have thought?

Henry: Meanwhile we have the Biden administration trying to continually push this thing called the ProAct. And to lend credence to what Crom is saying here.

Carmichael: Explain the PRO Act.

Henry: The PRO Act is essentially forced unionization across the United States. It will nullify the right to work states overnight. I just finished reading this book by guiding Michael Lind.

It’s called the New Class War: Saving Democracy from the Managerial Elite. And in this book, he discusses how, like in Europe and North America, there’s the sort of populist revolts that have shattered party structures.

And there’s a pushback against technocratic neoliberalism and a squeezing in a consolidation of power. And his solution to all of this is something he calls Democratic pluralism. It sounds nice and flowery and fancy and wonderful.

It’s an idea to push the power back to the people. But what he says Democratic pluralism is, is forced unionization all across the United States for every single industry.

This is not just a mere theory anymore. Just like Crom is saying, they are starting to attach legislation to the high-level think tank stuff that people have been theorizing for a while. There is real-life action on this. We’ll have more of this and more of Crom and Ben right after this break.

Listen to the full second hour here:

– – –

Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to the Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.
Photo “Crom Carmichael” by Crom Carmichael.

















Great Thinker and Author Os Guinness Shares His Past and Sustaining Freedom in America

Great Thinker and Author Os Guinness Shares His Past and Sustaining Freedom in America


Live from Music Row Wednesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Leahy welcomed author and thinker Os Guinness to the newsmaker line to talk about what shaped his world view, being part of the L’Abri Community in the 60s, and his admiration for America.

Leahy: And now I’ve been waiting for this interview for years. For about four years. I’ve been waiting to interview this man, a great man, Os Guinness.

Author of The Concept of the Golden Triangle of Freedom and many books. Welcome to the newsmaker line, Os.

Guinness: Well, thanks for having me. It’s a great privilege.

Leahy: I have followed your work, and I have to say you’re one of the greatest thinkers on the American scene today. Reminiscent in my view of the great Alexis de Tocqueville. So my hats off to you for a lifetime of great work.

Guinness: Thank you. That’s a great compliment. I’m unworthy of that one. But a pleasure to be with you.

Leahy: I wrote a book guide to the Constitution and Bill of Rights for Secondary School Students, which we use for our annual National Constitution Bee kind of a Spelling Bee where we give educational scholarships to the winners of secondary school students.

I just want to read from this part of our book:

As Ronald Reagan famously said, freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. The founders knew this. And recently, a Chinese-born English scholar who resides in America expressed in very simple terms how freedom is gained.

Why it relies on the virtue of the population and how that virtue is a natural extension of faith.

Faith requires freedom or constitutional liberty to thrive and prosper. How did you come up with the concept of the Golden Triangle of freedom, Os?

Guinness: Well, let me go back a bit. The American experiment is unique in history as free-ordered freedom. And growing up in a Communist country and seeing what the Soviet regimes did in Eastern Europe, I’ve always had an incredible appreciation of the uniqueness of the American experiment.

And yet today many Americans are ignorant of it. So the Golden Triangle came out of talks in Washington. I was trying to show how the challenge not just winning freedom, the revolution or ordering freedom, the Constitution, that’s done.

The challenge today is sustaining freedom. And as you look at the framers’ understanding of that, the Golden Triangle was their answer.

That was the only way you could sustain freedom. Now, my current book actually looks much deeper than that, because you can see the deep divisions in this country now.

And I would argue many people don’t see the depth of them. There is really a difference in those who understand America and freedom from the perspective of the American Revolution, which was rooted through the Reformation in the Old Testament, the Hebrew Scriptures.

And those who understand American freedom from the perspective of the errors of the French Revolution. Now, the French Revolution says they have always produced oppression.

They have never worked. And yet you can see the inroads in this country. So we are at an extraordinary civilization national moment in America.

Leahy: Are you optimistic, or are you pessimistic about our future, Os?

Guinness: I would say that I’m hopeful but realistic. Optimism is often circumstantial. Are you bullish or bearish. It’s a glass half full or half empty.

And I don’t think that’s the point. We got to look at the facts in the white of the eye, and they are sobering today. And yet always with hope. And one of the things we need is leadership.

I don’t just mean at the very top level, but certainly at that level, people with vision and enterprise and initiative who can address the big issues in call America back to its best. So I’m hopeful.

Leahy: What would be an example of somebody out there using the kind of leadership that you see we need? Perhaps reminiscent of the leadership of the Founding Fathers.

Is there anybody out there at a local or national or even state level that you can think of who is a good example of leadership?

Guinness: Well, all too few are at the very highest level. You take the former president who talked about Make America Great Again, or the current president talks to restore the soul of America.

Neither of them says what made America great in the first place. In other words, we need leaders on the order of Madison and Hamilton and so on.

You think of the Federalist Papers, that incredible understanding of the system they were devising. And if people want to return, we can’t just ad hoc and politicize everything in today’s issues.

We’ve got to have people who think deeply and widely and richly. And the book ends of history. If you look over, all of history is anarchy on one extreme.

All freedom, no order. And authoritarianism of the other extreme, all order, no freedom. And the American experiment was once magnificent:

Ordered freedom in the middle. That’s what’s being lost. So we got to see what’s last and how to repair it. You can go into specifics.

Leahy: Let me ask you this Os, how significant has your Christian faith been in the development of your political philosophy? And in particular, I want to talk about your experience with Francis Schaeffer and the L’Abri Community.

Many of our listeners have never heard of the L’Abri Community. I’ve been fascinated by it. Tell us about your experience with Francis Schaeffer, I guess, back in the 70s?

Guinness: It was the 60s for me. It was a small community study center. But their purpose was to always give honest answers to honest questions.

So while there was a Christian community, there was always 40 to 50 percent of people who seekers on the road to the East or radicals protesting Vietnam or acid heads or whatever.

We had Timothy Leary come there, gang members, and so on. It was a fascinating place.

Leahy: Where exactly was it now, Os?

Guinness: A little village in Switzerland, in Huémoz just below the ski resort of Vrindaban. So that was what gave me my sense:

You can think about anything and everything as a Christian and think it through Christianity. And, of course, that is what’s behind coming over. I’m not American. I’m a great admirer of this country.

Deeply challenged and sometimes angry. Sometimes sorrowful of the way Americans are suppressing and squandering this great heritage of ordered freedom.

Leahy: What kind of guy was Francis Schaeffer – because he was the leader of this L’Abri Community. And I guess, how did you come to participate in it?

Guinness: Well, I was a student at London then. I was at Oxford later. And we had tremendous teaching. But even a Christian teaching – rich, deep blocks of theology – but no understanding of the culture.

And when I met Francis Schaeffer, here was this unusual little man with a goatee and Swiss knickerbockers and so on. But he connected all the dots and showed how the films and the novels and the philosophy and all of it fit together.

And so he was the one who taught me to think freely about everything as a Christian. Thinking Christianity.

Leahy: Here’s something about your personal story that’s quite fascinating to me. So you are here. You’re an academic. And at this L’Abri Community in Switzerland, you meet a person who would not necessarily be somebody connected to an academic who was born in China and the son of Christian missionaries. You meet a beautiful international model. Tell us about that story. It’s a fabulous love story.

Guinness: Well, I was very privileged. Jenny had been a fashion model in New York on the front cover of Vogue and Ladies Home Journal and many, many magazines.

And through the emptiness and hollowness, she was engaged to a French Baron. Her own age. 21. Very wealthy and handsome. And they were friends with the Duke and Duchess of Windsor.

And people like Pablo Picasso and Salvador Dali. And one night, they were at an extraordinary fancy dress party in Paris – Salvador Dali had his pet Cheetah.

And it had a gold color and so on. It had been declawed, defanged, and everything, she said. And as she was looking at this, suddenly it seemed a caricature of everything it was created to be.

And then she said, my goodness. So are we. It was as if the floor opened up, and she was looking into an abyss. And she said to her fiance, I’ve got to search for the meaning of life.

She had grown up in an atheist family. And after a year or so of searching, she came to faith. Fortunately for me, she broke her engagement.

And we met later when she came to study at the L’Abri Community in Switzerland. So, enormous privilege. And she’s actually writing a story now.

Leahy: When we come back, we’ll have more with the great Os Guinness.

Listen to the full second hour here:

– – –

Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to the Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.
Photo “Os Guinness” by Praxis Circle. 













Common Sense Conservative Carol Swain Talks NFL and Her New August Book Release, ‘Black Eye for America’

Common Sense Conservative Carol Swain Talks NFL and Her New August Book Release, ‘Black Eye for America’


Live from Music Row Monday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. –  host Leahy welcomed all-star panelist, Dr. Carol Swain, to the newsmakers line to weigh in on the NFL’s decision to play the Black national anthem, her new book, Facebook and advice for Metro Nashville Public Schools.

Leahy: We welcome to our newsmaker Line all-star panelist for The Tennessee Star Report and the busiest conservative in America today, Dr. Carol Swain. Good morning, Carol.

Swain: Good morning, Michael. It’s great to be back.

Leahy: It’s great to be with you. Look, you are busy, busy, busy. And every time I turn around, I think you are almost single-handedly trying to keep FOX on a conservative track.

I see you all the time on Fox and Friends, and you do a great job. At the latest, you were on Friday. You’re trying to give the NFL a dose of common sense. Tell us what you talked about.

Swain: They asked me about the NFL’s decision to play the Black national anthem, as well as to embrace some of the social justice measures being pushed by the left.

And I pointed out that, you know, football is America’s pastime. and the people who watch sports, they do that for relaxation and enjoyment with their family.

They don’t want to be bombarded with a lot of political leftist ideals. And we have one America. We already have a National anthem.

And it doesn’t matter whether the lyrics of the Black national anthem, whether they’re positive or not. What matters is that this is the business and it will put people in awkward situations.

Are they supposed to stand for the Black national anthem? If they don’t stand, are they showing disrespect? Will the players continue to disrespect our flag and things that are patriotic?

All of these things keep coming up. They shouldn’t be. And so I did criticize the NFL officials for capitulating on this very important national issue.

Leahy: You said something that is just basic, common sense and then I see it reverberating around the news ecosystem. I said Dr. Ben Carson had the same argument.

I think you made it first. You’re making a lot of arguments first. How are people responding to your common sense conservatism?

Swain: Michael, I’ve always made arguments first. When I was in graduate school, one of my professors challenge another one, took them before the administrators for stealing my ideas.

So I’ve always been ahead of my time. I’m just pleased that God has given me this opportunity to speak about these national issues.

Leahy: On the NFL, I was kind of hoping that they would kind of get away from left-wing social justice political messaging because I like football.

I like watching football. It’s a fun sport. We have Dr. K. on here every Friday at 7:30 to talk about football. But I’m afraid, Carol, that it’s just too bothersome to deal with all the political correctness in the NFL.

And as a sports fan, I guess I’ll be watching more college football. What are your sports watching preferences these days?

Swain: Well, first of all, I called for a boycott. People do understand dollars. And when you look at the various sports fields as well as the U.S. military, these are the areas where Blacks have excelled.

We’ve had a meritocracy. And the very idea that all we hear about is racism, racism, racism everywhere, for people like me, we have been blessed by being in this country.

And I think that it’s falling on deaf ears because people are so tired of it. And I’m not just talking about White people. I’m saying everyone is tired of it.

We want to go about daily life without being bombarded by all of this leftist ideology. And it’s about taking down America. It’s not about improving our country.

It’s about dividing us as a nation and taking us down and making us weak before foreign enemies.

Leahy: Carol, our listeners are very interested in what you’re doing. Tell us what’s on your agenda of late because you’ve been very, very busy.

Every time I turn around, you’re on Fox and Friends or doing some national venue. What are your priorities now for the balance of this year?

Swain: You only catch me on Fox and Friends. I’m on Laura Ingram quite frequently. And I have two FOX shows I expect to be on today if not this week.

It’s my Fox and Friends. And I recorded three with Fox Nation. This week I’m headed to D.C. for some films on critical race theory. I’m going to be in a film.

I’m going to be interviewed for a podcast. And then later I’ll go to South Carolina for another filmmaker who is also challenging critical race theory.

And I have a new book coming out, Michael, on critical race theory. And it should be released in early August.

Leahy: What’s the name of the book? And who’s your publisher?

Swain: The name of the book is Black Eye for America: How Critical Race Theory is Burning Down the House. And the publisher is Be the People Books.

And it’s co-authored with a young man named Chris Shore, who is a graduate of Georgetown. And it is written for the public. It’s about 150 pages.

It’s something that people can get through and explains what critical race theory is, where it came from, why it is unamerican. It runs counter to our Constitution as well as civil rights laws. And it has two chapters on strategies of how to fight back against it.

Leahy: Now, where can people go to buy that book? Is there a particular website because we’ll link to it on The Tennessee Star. Where is the website for that book?

Swain: It’s going to be on Amazon and everywhere else. But it’s not going to be released and available purchase until around August one.

Leahy: Well, let’s see. We got about 13 days until August first. We will be featuring it at The Tennessee Star because we want people to see common sense from Carol Swain.

Swain: Well, thank you so much. Critical race theory is the civil rights issue of our day. And that is my message and we have to fight back against it, in the same way, we joined forces during the civil rights movement of the 1960s.

It’s a civil rights issue this time. White people are the victims. All of us need to come together in the same way we came together in the 1960s. It’s unacceptable. And we need to say that loud and clear.

Leahy: But, Carol, if you went to a Metro Nashville Public School meeting, as the Moms for Liberty Group did last week, they would probably argue that, well, White people can’t be the subject of that kind of discrimination by definition.

What would be your response to those woke folks at Metro Nashville Public Schools?

Swain: You know, I heard that back when I was in graduate school that only Whites could be racist because only White people have power. I thought it was ridiculous then, and even more so today.

And so White people are protected by the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and its amendment as well as the equal protection clause of the Constitution.

And I think Metro Nashville is setting itself up for a lawsuit. So I would encourage the listeners out there if you’re on a job or you’re in an environment where they are discriminating against you and it’s hostile because of the color of your skin or because you are male in an environment where they’re doing critical feminist theory or critical queer theory and you’re being discriminated against because you’re heterosexual, collect information.

You have rights. File lawsuits. They understand lawsuits. Democrats love lawsuits.

Leahy: (Laughs) They sure do. Hey, the last question for you, Carol Swain. We had a story that Facebook is shadow banning your public page. Are they still shadow banning your public page?

Swain: No. In fact, things begin to change that very day that the article was published. I can easily access my supporters now because they have a platform where people can sign up to become a supporter and not just the friend.

They had that page so that I could not access or communicate with my supporters privately. And everything seems to be open and flooring right now. I think it’s because of the Trump lawsuit.

Leahy: The next time they shadowban you, let us know and we’ll do another story and magically it will disappear. Right?

Swain: Right.

Leahy: Carol Swain, thanks for joining us. Come back in studio sometime, please.

Swain: All right.

Listen to the second hour here:

– – –

Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to the Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.
Photo “Carol Swain” by Conversations with Dr. Carol Swain.
















Tennessee’s Fifth Congressional Republican Candidate Robby Starbuck Talks Cuban Protests and Saving America

Tennessee’s Fifth Congressional Republican Candidate Robby Starbuck Talks Cuban Protests and Saving America


Live from Music Row Friday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. –  host Leahy welcomed GOP candidate for Tennessee’s Fifth Congressional District, Robby Starbuck, who weighed in on the Cuban protests for freedom and the strategy conservatives must take to get America back on track.

Leahy: We are joined by Robby Starbuck, who is a candidate for the Republican nomination in the Fifth Congressional District here in Middle Tennessee. Good morning, Robby.

Starbuck: Good morning, Michael. How are you doing?

Leahy: We’re doing great. The protest in Cuba against the dictatorial tyrannical Communist regime that’s been there for 62 years, you have some personal connection to Cuba, tell us about that and tell us your reaction to these protests.

Starbuck: Yes. My own family fled Cuba during the revolution or shortly after and I still have some family there.

And I found myself this week simultaneously so proud of the people there who are rising up and demanding freedom and liberty, while also being entirely disappointed by our own leaders here in America and a certain portion of people in this country who don’t realize how lucky we are to be a free people that have a Constitution that guarantees us or recognizes, rather, our rights that are God-given.

There’s kind of two sides to this coin because while I’m so proud of those people, it really highlights that this is a window in time where we can look in the future and see that this is what is going to happen in our country if we don’t make the right choices right now.

And if we don’t do the right things and we don’t win in 2022, this is what we have waiting for us in the future. The future where people have so much poverty, so much hunger, so much need, and have to face so much tyranny from their government that they have no choice but to rise up. And so I hope that we never get there. And I hope we make the right choices.

Leahy: Now, tell us a little bit about your family. I know your grandfather came over here. Was your mother born in Cuba, or was she born here in the states?

Starbuck: She was born in Cuba, yes. Actually, she was a teenager when she came here.

Leahy: Really? When did she come over? What year did she come over?

Starbuck: I don’t know the exact year. I’m not great at the years, but she came over when she was a teenager and she lived in a place called –

Leahy: And you currently have family members back in Cuba. Have you talked to them at all?

Starbuck: No. Because there’s a lot of fear given what I’m doing here in America and everything and we have been doing for the past few years, that it would put them in danger in Cuba if I had communication with them.

So I don’t, but other people in my family keep in communication with them. It’s that dangerous in Cuba. Even just talking to somebody in the U.S. who is doing what I’m doing and stands for freedom and has stood against the Communist Party, there is a danger for people who live there on the island.

Leahy: What has the incumbent congressman from the Fifth Congressional District, Democrat Jim Cooper, who’s been there forever and a day, said about these Cuban protests? Has he made a public statement in support of the protesters?

Starbuck: No. Absolutely nothing. In fact, saying nothing is probably the worst thing because it says everything. And by proxy, it sort of says that he doesn’t disagree with these people on the radical left in his party who are supporting the Communist government there and who not only supported Communist government but made statements essentially saying that this whole thing is about COVID and about COVID vaccines.

It says nothing. I watched all of these protests videos and listened intently. Not one video that has been on the Internet of these protests has mentioned COVID or COVID vaccines. What they mentioned were liberty and freedom.

And the visual from it is people waving American flags and that’s despite decades and decades of indoctrination where they’re supposed to hate America.

And these people are out there still in love with America and the idea of freedom. And that says a lot, after decades of government indoctrination, they still want freedom.

Leahy: Yeah, they certainly do. Let’s talk about the current occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. The legal but not legitimate administration of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris and their Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

And as I say, the beta male running American foreign policy. The guy formerly with the law firm of Winken, Blinken, and Nod. Not really, but just to point out what a great expert this guy is. What has he said about these protests?

Starbuck: He’s an empty suit. He’s an empty suit. He has no interest in actually stopping this. In fact, the Biden administration’s interest is in helping the Cuban government, by proxy.

The only thing that they don’t want to do is they don’t want to publicly give them too much support where people can figure out what’s going on.

So it’s more of a wink and a nod. What they did is they dropped sanctions in Venezuela so that the Venezuelan government could help the Communist government in Cuba.

They don’t want to directly come out and help them, because if they do, they already know they have a big problem with Cubans.

We are pretty much the most conservative voter block in the country. And so they fear losing that voting block entirely for the future because they know right now in Florida, they’re not winning a state-wide election for a while.

And so they don’t want to make that a permanent problem. And just through their weakness and cowardice, they’re going to make a permanent problem because the people that have come here that are Cuban Americans know the difference.

They pay attention. And what they prefer is the type of leadership we saw from Mike Pompeo and Ron DeSantis this week, where both have stood for the Cuban people constantly and very vocally, and are now demanding the Biden administration offer up an Internet access point, which is something that we did for people in Iran not too long ago.

The Cuban government has shut down the Internet and they’ve blocked people from social media in hopes of trying to quit these protests.

Leahy: On the campaign trail, when you talk about Cuba, how do people respond to you?

Starbuck: Very well. I think people really understand that this is something that could happen here. And I think that that’s something that has given me a little bit of hope that these people see very clearly that this is something that could happen.

On the flip side that I’ll get some questions about, do I believe in U.S. intervention, and I don’t. I believe in America first. And I don’t believe in intervention anywhere else.

I can’t, despite my own personal feelings, go and say we should go save the day in Cuba. I think that what’s happening now is what needs to happen and that is the people who are rising up and they’re saying we’ve had enough.

We want freedom and liberty, and they’re doing all the things necessary to try to change things there. So there’s been a lot of conversations along those lines.

If it gets to a certain point where we see the government really seriously mass murdering in the streets, we can have a different conversation.

But aside from that, I’m glad rather that people are seeing the direct line from how you get there and what’s happening here in America.

Leahy: A couple of campaign questions for you, if that’s okay. First, is it true that Candace Owens has endorsed you?

Starbuck: It is. It’s true that Candace Owens has 100 percent. It happened this week. She’s a really good friend of mine. And I think people know, if they’ve watched what she has done over the past few years, she’s a real fighter for this country.

She knows who’s the real deal and who’s not. And so that’s why she’s jumped into this race to endorse them.

Leahy: Second campaign question, a bit of a curveball. Are you ready? Here it’s coming.

Starbuck: Yep.

Leahy: Do you anticipate any challenges to your eligibility to run for the Republican nomination in the Fifth Congressional District?

Starbuck: I heard that somebody wanted to make some sort of challenge and that’s ludicrous. I don’t even understand what the basis that they would have for that is anything like that.

Leahy: I think it has something to do with, have you voted in X number of Republican primaries in the past. Something like that?

Starbuck: Well, I mean, if that’s the case, that’s going to get thrown out really quickly. I voted in Republican primaries in California and that fills every need that is necessary.

Leahy: Is it a standard Republican primary in California or in Tennessee?

Starbuck: The standard is Republican primaries. So if you have lived in a state previously – say two and a half three years ago -and if you voted in enough of those primaries as a Republican, that seems to be the standard legally.

Leahy: And I think the eligibility standard to run in a congressional district in any state is you simply have to be a resident for, is it like, six months or one year? And you could run for any district in the state in which you’re a resident. Is that right?

Starbuck: Exactly.

Leahy: Good! What’s on your agenda for the next week or so on the campaign trail, Robby?

Starbuck: Actually, we’ve been doing so many events and just got back from CPAC. I spoke at CPAC.

Leahy: That’s right. What did you say and what was your reaction at CPAC? I forgot all about that.

Starbuck: CPAC was incredible. We had an amazing reaction. My phone is still full at this point of people I’ve got to get back to because it’s just been an insane reaction.

But for myself and former Governor Scott Walker and Congressman Mark Walker from North Carolina, we did a panel essentially on how you can roll back what the left is done here in America over the past few years.

And there’s a lot of talk about offensive strategy going forward because essentially it is a big part of our problem. We’ve been on defense for too long for decades and decades and decades.

And it’s done nothing but seed ground. And some of these people who are really RHINOS and have called themselves Conservatives, I had a very frank question: What have they conserved over the last 25, 30 years? And the only thing I can think of is their job.

Leahy: (Laughs) That’s a good line, Robby. That’s a very good line.

Starbuck: That’s true. But at this point, we need somebody who’s ready to conserve some other things, and that’s going to take an offensive strategy.

It’s going to take bold leadership and it’s going to take some outside-the-box thinking in terms of how we message our policies and that we need to be very aggressive in having an offensive plan and stop apologizing.

We had a fantastic reaction. And one of the great things I saw at CPAC with so many of the people who were there, they really just wanted leadership and they wanted something to do.

And they came because they’re ready to take action someway or another. And they want to be able to know, what do I do? What is the best thing I can do to save this country?

Leahy: Robby Starbuck, candidate for the Fifth Congressional District, the Republican nomination. Thanks for joining us. Come back again, please.

Starbuck: Thank you. Will do. And if anybody wants to find out more go to

Listen to the second hour here:

– – –

Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to the Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.