Leahy and Carmichael: Phil Williams Needs to Be Put Out to Pasture
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 the original all-star panelist Crom Carmichael in studio to discuss false statements made by News Channel 5’s Phil Williams that were left hanging on the internet for seven hours before correction.
Leahy: In studio, the original all-star panelist, Crom Carmichael. Crom, lead story at The Tennessee Star, which I wrote. Headline: News Channel Five Quietly Removes Unsubstantiated Claim by Phil Williams that Andy Ogles ‘Kept the Money.’ That was the original headline. Subtitle of the headline: that Andy kept the money from this GoFundMe account established in 2014.
Carmichael: And did the story go on to essentially say that?
Leahy: It had a statement to that effect that has disappeared. The headline and the statement that Andy kept the money which, by the way, Phil Williams could not substantiate that Andy kept this $23,000 GoFundMe account set up to honor Andy’s dead child in 2014 and used for Andy’s said purpose of helping other families that had children who passed away. It was up on the internet for seven hours, that Andy kept the money. He couldn’t prove it and couldn’t substantiate it.
Carmichael: Or he didn’t.
Leahy: He didn’t prove it.
Carmichael: He didn’t prove it. He didn’t substantiate it and offered no evidence.
Leahy: Offered no evidence that, that he kept the money. And then, mysteriously, seven hours later they changed the headline to say that Andy, kept the money and he won’t say where the money went.
Carmichael: He has said where the money went.
Leahy: At the time he published it because Phil went up to him and said, okay, I wanna know immediately how that money was spent eight years ago. And Andy didn’t answer the question. He came and gave us an exclusive statement and he explained how the money was spent. He didn’t show the accounting records.
Carmichael: Now, wait. So he did say.
Leahy: Subsequent to that headline.
Carmichael: Now, wait a second. Phil Williams says I’m lost on what the second headline says.
Leahy: The second headline said, “He won’t say where the money went.”
Carmichael: That’s not true either. That’s not true either. If you give somebody 30 seconds to respond to something and then they later respond, to not give anybody time. Let me just say this.
Leahy: He did say where the money went. He hasn’t provided any accounting records to that effect.
Carmichael: But then he has said where the money went.
Leahy: That’s a very good point. So the statement itself is wrong. Phil Williams’s statement should have been he will not provide me any accounting records. That would be an accurate statement.
Carmichael: Let me just say this. Phil Williams has been around for a really long time.
Leahy: He’s old.
Carmichael: He’s old; he’s got white hair. It reminds me of Randy McNally. They have something in common.
Leahy: They do. They’re past their prime.
Carmichael: Past their prime. They say things and do things that they shouldn’t do. And I think there is a Republican lawmaker who has…
Leahy: Todd Warner.
Carmichael: Who publicly said that Randy McNally needs to step down. And you have editorialized…
Leahy: On Sunday.
Carmichael: That Randy McNally, after having served for 45 years should step down. Phil Williams should step down. He’s lost his step.
Leahy: Lost his fastball.
Carmichael: He’s lost his fastball. That’s a better metaphor. And uh, put me in coach a baseball. So here we’re talking baseball metaphors. (Leahy laughs) But Phil Williams is past his prime and like Randy McNally, he has the hair to show for it.
And there’s no doubt when you look at Phil Williams, you look at a man who might very well be past his prime just by looking at him. But then when you see the story that he put up where he made an accusation that he could not support, by journalistic standards, that is a terrible thing to do.
Leahy: He can’t substantiate his claim that Andy kept the money.
Carmichael: That’s the first claim and the most important claim because to claim, I’m changing the headline to, he won’t provide an accounting of something that was eight or nine years ago, I would ask anybody to keep an accounting of something that that’s eight or nine years ago.
Leahy: That’s a very good point. It would take a while to put that together. If you can.
Carmichael: If the accounting still even existed. I go through my files at the office and stuff that’s old and no longer relevant, I clean those files out because I’ve closed the books on them. I’ve paid my taxes on them and I’ve done everything. And I’ve held him for the appropriate amount of time for my tax purposes, and I eliminate that stuff.
Leahy: Phil Williams is trying to create the impression that he actually never said Andy kept the money.
Carmichael: Right. And that’s what I’m saying. That’s why he’s like Randy McNally and News Channel 5 needs to recognize that they have a reporter who will say and do anything perhaps for a personal vendetta.
We don’t know. We don’t know what his motivation was. It could be that his mind just isn’t as sharp as it ought to be, and Phil should be put out to pasture. (Makes horse sound)
Leahy: I love the sound effect. Phil, you’re going out to pasture.
Carmichael: You’re going out to pasture and we will hold the gate open.
Leahy: And Phil Williams. Phil, your own actions and statements are leading you to be put out to pasture because you, he tweeted Wednesday evening at 9:27 pm, about an hour after News Channel 5 secretly changed that headline from, Andy Ogles ‘Kept the Money’ to ‘Andy Ogles Won’t Say Where the Money was Spent.’
He retweeted this tweet from Dr. Joy Heningsen News Channel 5 never said he kept the money, which right is falsely blasting Williams for. Actually no, he did say that and he said it for seven hours, Crom.
Carmichael: Who is claiming that Channel five never said what Channel five said?
Leahy: His retweet was claimed by some blue check.
Carmichael: That’s more evidence that he needs to be put out to pasture. Listen, I think Phil Williams believes everything that he is saying. I think he believes everything he’s saying and therein lies the problem.
Leahy: News Channel 5, by the way, has a policy Crom that they correct errors promptly, prominently, and transparently. They need to be prominent, so there’s no confusion about what changes were made to the story. They did not follow their own corrections policy. They made this major change.
Carmichael: Maybe there are some other people there who need to be put out to pasture. The pasture’s getting bigger.
Leahy: Bigger, bigger, and bigger.
Carmichael: And the gate is getting larger. It’s so tough to backtrack on something that you did that was wrong.
Leahy: Phil Williams is finding that out.
Carmichael: Yes. (Makes horse sound)
Listen to today’s show highlights, including this interview:
– – –
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 “Phil Williams” by Phil Williams NC5.