Alex Marlow: Breitbart Editor-in-Chief and Author of ‘Breaking the News’ Joins Host Leahy to Discuss His New Bestseller

Alex Marlow: Breitbart Editor-in-Chief and Author of ‘Breaking the News’ Joins Host Leahy to Discuss His New Bestseller

 

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 Breitbart editor-in-chief and author of Breaking the News, Alex Marlow on the newsmakers line to discuss his new bestseller and the motivation behind it.

Leahy: Joined now on our newsmaker line by a good friend, colleague, and boss Breitbart News editor-in-chief and author of the best selling new book, Breaking the News: Exposing the Establishments Media’s, Hidden Deals and Secret Corruption. Alex Marlow! Good morning, Alex!

Marlow: Alex, great to be on with you! It’s my pleasure to be on in Tennessee.

Leahy: Well, that’s great. This is a little bit of reversal of roles because I’ve been a guest on your morning show on Sirius XM Breitbart News Daily several times. Now you have written this fabulous book. I bought it over the weekend, by the way. And so next time we meet in D.C. or L.A. at a company meeting, please sign it if you would.

Marlow: I will do that. And that will be in lieu of a Christmas bonus this year.

Leahy: (Laughs) Now, Alex, so I have gone through your book with a fine-tooth comb. It’s a bestseller, by the way. Page two. I want to talk to you about this. We’ve known each other for over a decade, and I’ve been writing at Breitbart since I guess 2009 full-time on staff since 2012.

I didn’t know this about you. Let me read this from page two. ‘When no division one baseball offers came in and I got accepted to the University of California Berkeley, I knew I needed to take this social experiment to a logical next step.

I was going to live in the heart of the left, the epicenter of the free speech movement.’ I didn’t know you were a big baseball guy. Did you play baseball in high school?

Marlow: I did. I was an obsessive, to be honest. I worked in a batting cage, which was really a rundown warehouse but it was one of the most special places of my childhood. And I was a total gym rat in that way.

And I was constantly thinking about baseball and coaching kids and playing with every single team I could possibly imagine. And I was quite good. I was never going to go all the way, but I didn’t think I was going to play division one and it didn’t work out.

And the other thing is, I didn’t think I was going to get into a school academically as rigorous as Berkeley. I was a good student, but, you know, I was playing baseball and doing debate clubs and I was playing music.

I didn’t have perfect grades. And so I didn’t think I would necessarily get into a school at that level. And that was a scenario that happened. I got into this top-tier school for academics, and I did not get into a top-tier baseball school.

It was one of the hardest decisions of my life. I decided you know what? I’m going to go to Berkeley, and I’m going to go learn. But I’m also going to do the social experiment where I, a guy who is already leaning conservative libertarian, I’m going to go and I’m going to go see what it’s like to live in the belly of the beast, the home of the free speech movement.

It was an unbelievable thing because it’s fun to write about, and I know it’ll pop off the page to people like you, Michael, who may have had a similar experience or some things in common.

But it really was the biggest decision of my life, in all honesty, because that was what set me on the path that I was on to be an integral part of Breitbart.

Leahy: What position did you play in baseball?

Marlow: I was a home run hitter, so I played outfield.

Leahy: (Laughs) Home run hitter. I am envious.

Marlow: Not an official position. So I had to stand in the outfield as I was waiting to hit home runs.

Leahy: Did you ever read Charlie Lau’s book on hitting, by the way – or Ted Williams?

Marlow: I didn’t. I had a lot of instruction, and I was really focused on hitting mechanically. But I read a few books. I read the Ted Williams book. I don’t know. Is there a trick I missed that maybe kept me from going all the way?

Leahy: I don’t know, of course, that Ted Williams booked the famous chart right where he had the color chart from Sports Illustrated, where you could see where the best pitches to hit were.

I was a lifetime high school 240 hitter. So I am envious of you. Infielder. Good field no-hit. Well, I didn’t know that about you, Alex. And I’ve already learned something very significant.

Now, here’s another thing I wanted to talk to you about very important to me about the new George Soros. Laurene Powell Jobs, the widow of Steve Jobs. This is what I found interesting.

She went to Wharton School of Finance at the University of Pennsylvania. Got an MBA from Stanford. She worked for Merrill Lynch and Goldman Sachs. And now she’s founded this thing called the Emerson Collective, which is, I guess, the least transparent philanthropy organization in the country. Tell us a little bit about what Laurene Powell Jobs has been up to in the past decade.

Marlow: Yeah, this is one of the most significant revelations of the book. And I was looking into the funding and the business structure and how some of these newsrooms operate because most of them don’t make money at this point.

Most of them are mostly a place for influence or information gathering or both. And often at the whims of billionaires, et cetera. And I was interested in looking at Laurene Powell Jobs, who is framed as a woman in tech and a philanthropist.

A group called Inside Philanthropy, which is no friend of the right, had called her the world’s least transparent. Mega giver. Always interesting when someone is giving a lot, Michael, but they’re not telling you exactly why or who’s getting it.

We just know they’re giving. Very interesting, particularly when you’re worth about $20,000,000,000. which is what she’s worth. It’s all inherited wealth. She frames herself as an activist and as someone who is a contributor in the tech world.

I have no evidence she does anything in tech other than that she married Steve Jobs, who passed away when he was young. And the Emerson Collective funds all sorts of left-wing media outlets from prestigious ones you’ve heard of, like The Atlantic, also Axios, which is big in D.C.

But then things like Mother Jones and ProPublica and now this, which are more activist. But then she funds this thing through something called an acronym called the Courier Newsroom, which is literally fake news.

It’s really repulsive. What it does is it launders Democrat talking points into local news stories. So you might be on Facebook thinking of reading something that’s a local news story and it’s really something from the Courier Newsroom, which is fake news designed to deceive you on behalf of Democrats.

She funds all this stuff and no one knows her name. And all of them point you towards the same villains and the same heroes, meaning Stacey Abrams good. The Bad Orange man Donald Trump is bad. All that stuff happens it seems at the same time. It’s pretty remarkable.

(Commercial break)

Leahy: Alex, one of the things thing that’s so great about your editing and you’re writing is you get right to the point. On page 56, you talk about media tricks to fix the news. I’ll just read this.

‘Reading The New York Times, as well as any other establishment media publication, requires something like a secret decoder ring. What is written on the page is not always literal. And here are a couple of examples. ‘Anything that can be politicized will be politicized.

Good news on a preferred narrative typically appears on the front page. Bad news about a preferred narrative appears deep within the paper or not at all. I see this every day, everywhere, but particularly in The New York Times.’

Marlow: I’m thrilled to talk about this section. This is something where I’ve made my entire life in the news business. I’m 35. Andrew hired me as the first employee of Breitbart when I was 21.

And so all of this stuff is sort of old hat to me because I’ve had to do this full time. But I realized and I talked to people who are just observers of the news and are really struggling to figure out who to trust and who not to trust.

This is very helpful to them. And I think that they should actually if you pick up the book, you can take a photo of this with your phone and you could refer back to it. And you’ll see these patterns in your local paper, but in particular in these major national papers that are actually owned by these left-wing globalist billionaires.

And all of them are written in the same way. And there are lots of things like bad news on a narrative that the paper is trying to push. You’re not going to get that on the front page. And if you’re going to get on the front page, it’s only because you’re going to put this stuff that they don’t want deep within the article.

So hopefully you miss it. These types of things are very important because you realize you’re not crazy. Your favorite people, if you’re on the right, are always going to get a villainous photo.

If they get a photo at all. Your people who you might not like as much, they’re going to get a heroic photo where they look very grand and a champion. All this stuff is good to point out. And people have fun with this section, I think.

Leahy: I think so. It’s interesting because this I idea of, ‘objective news’, if there ever was any objective news, there certainly isn’t any today. One of the things I really like is you point out there are heroes and articles by the mainstream media and villains.

A hero, anyone who advances the causes of globalism, wokeness, and skepticism of America. A villain, basically, anybody who advances the cause of nationalism, conservatism, or traditional American values. Breitbart News is portrayed by the left in the mainstream media as a villain. And yet, Breitbart, we just report the facts.

Marlow: Exactly. And this is why someone like you or me, even if we achieve something positive in our lives, we’re not going to get a profile. Our equivalent on the leftwing outlet, of course, we get a profile that would be very flattering.

And if they did write us up, they would always write us up in a way as if, you know, LeahyI know you’re extremely educated. I’m a highly educated person. They would write about it as if it was like a big disappointment.

As if we had some sort of a fall from grace at some point. That’s how they would frame it. And all these things I lay out all these tricks so you see the pattern about what’s happening. And I also get into the hero points, which can be added based on your race or sex or sexual orientation, or socioeconomic status.

So if you’re a white person, you’re definitely not going to get that. But maybe if you’re a gay person, you can get some points for that. And then if you’re a woman, of course, that scores you points.

And all these things add up. And this is how they cobble together and how high to place a person within the hierarchy of their paper hero.

Leahy: In your book, Alex, you talk about a mainstream media figure who now lives in Nashville, Tennessee. We make fun of him a lot on The Tennessee Star Report. We’ve invited him to come in, by the way, he’s never shown up. His name is Jon Meacham. He’s a historian.

Here’s what you write about him. In November of 2020, just after the election, Jon Meacham went on MSNBC as a paid contributor and authority on the presidency to praise a speech by Joe Biden. A speech Meacham himself helped write. Meacham didn’t disclose that on-air, and he was touting the magnificence of his own ideas.

Marlow: Yeah, you have a great eye. I have to tell you, Michael, my favorite part of the book, I must say, and I spent a year researching this, is that I was able to uncover lots of original news stories.

For example, the Laurene Powell Jobs story that no one’s caught. And that’s what I’m most proud of. And I’ve even gotten a huge reaction not just from stars to talk radio, but from lawmakers, from Senators Ernst, Blackburn, Cotton, and Devin Nunes.

And all of these people who are real big-time players have reacted strongly to the book. But my favorite sections to write, some of them were things like this. This is something that people knew.

But I had a blast just going through and giving a hard time to some of these people, like Jon Meacham, who presents himself, as this incredibly irradiate important figure on cable news. And he’s really just the same orange man bad type of left-wing pundit that we’ve all gotten so bored of over the years during the Trump era.

That’s who this guy is. And he got busted stone-cold opining on his own speech. A speech he wrote that Joe Biden delivered. But the funniest part of all in this story is that he did end up getting removed from MSNBC over it.

I go through dozens and dozens of improprieties and fake news pushed by MSNBC in the book. But this is the only example I could find if someone actually getting fired.

Leahy: Well, somebody who can’t get fired because he owns a company is Michael Bloomberg, the former Mayor of New York City and the erstwhile presidential candidate. He gave an interview on the campaign trail to PBS Firing Line, Margaret Hoover, and in the interview, Bloomberg praised China’s handling of environmental issues and defended their authoritarian system of government. What’s going on here with that?

Marlow: This one is the most unbelievable thing in the book, I would say, by a nearer margin. But Bloomberg connections to China are just insane. We all saw him awkwardly praise China and say that China is doing a good job on pollution, and they’re not.

That Xi Jin Ping is not a dictator. Of course, he is. And over the years, he has gone over to places like Singapore and praised the Chinese at an insane level. And we also know that Bloomberg L.P. has incredible amounts of access to the Chinese market.

Bloomberg’s business is gigantic. It’s bigger than the AP. It’s bigger than CNN. It’s bigger than The New York Times. He’s got a near-monopoly in financial news. And, of course, the money he makes largely from the Chinese he donates the Democratic candidates.

So it’s very nefarious. But when you go to see the level he’s willing to go, it is very disturbing. Year after year, either Bloomberg himself or top people in his company fly to Beijing and quite literally, Michael, meet with the ministers are propaganda.

The people who are responsible for the Communist regimes, talking points, who are also responsible for the licenses that Bloomberg depends on to get access to China for his business. And they talk about collaboration between the two nations.

This guy almost became President. It wasn’t that close, but he wanted to be. And he got a fair number of votes in the process when he ran last time around. Disturbing stuff and stuff, I think should be deeply investigated.

Leahy: Another question, Alex. This is the book that gosh, I wish I’d written it. It’s so good. It’s such a great book. It’s a bestseller. You do three hours a day on the radio. You’re the editor in chief at Breitbart News.

I mean, there are dozens and dozens of stories every day you review and sign off on and edit. How did you have time to write this deeply sourced book?

Marlow: Thank you so much for that question. I mean, it’s the highest compliment you could offer. And I love talking about this because I didn’t know I could do it, but I wanted to do it.

And I’ll tell you, it was this simple. I set a goal for myself every day of trying to write about 500 or 600 words, something reasonable. And before you know it, if you start doing that and you’re diligent, you can keep two at five or six days a week, maybe seven if you’re really in the zone.

Then before you know it, you have a draft. The first draft might not be that great, but then you’ll probably have enough to be motivated to edit the draft. And then when you edit it, it might be pretty good when you’re done with that. That was the process.

And I did have a couple of guys help you with research which was really helpful on loan to me from Peter Schweizer’s amazing shop that he has. So it was an incredible process. Incredibly difficult, but worthwhile. And I think your audience will love it.

Leahy: Alex, I’ve read it. It’s a great book. I recommend it highly. Breaking the News: Exposing the Establishment Media’s Hidden Deals and Secret Corruption by my friend colleague boss editor in chief at Breitbart News Alex Marlow. Alex, thanks so much for joining us today.

Marlow: Michael, my pleasure. Let’s do it again.

Listen to the full first hour here:

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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 “Alex Marlow” by Gage Skidmore CC2.0.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

State Rep. Michael Sparks Talks About His New Bi-Partisan Bill Making Amazing Grace Tennessee’s Official State Hymn

State Rep. Michael Sparks Talks About His New Bi-Partisan Bill Making Amazing Grace Tennessee’s Official State Hymn

 

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 Tennessee State Representative (R) Mike Sparks of Smyrna to the newsmakers line to discuss the motivation to introduce his bi-partisan bill which would make Amazing Grace into the official Tennessee state hymn.

Leahy: We are joined on our newsmaker line by a good friend State Representative Mike Sparks. Last time we talked Mike you were in the studio. You had braved the sleet and the snow and the ice and made it into the studio at 5 a.m in the morning. It’s a little safer this morning than it was back then. but you are a brave man to make it through all that snow and ice.

Sparks: Yes sir I had a great time and I got stuck out front on music row for just a few minutes. The only fear I got here is if my coffee gets a little lower I’ll stub my toe here on my chair. (Leahy laughs) But I appreciate you having me in. I had a great time.

Leahy: Yeah, it was a lot of fun. So now you’ve got a very interesting bill that we want to talk about. Tell us about what you want to do here.

Sparks: Well House Bill 938 it’s asking for the hymn Amazing Grace to be an official state song or hymn if you will. A lot of folks at first glance may not think this is important. You see a lot of things that get in the news and sometimes I just shake my head at some of the things that the media covers. But I see the media a lot of time stirring up the pot trying to create a race war. Trying to create so many problems.

And that’s not an attack on 1510 or other stations. I don’t see that with you all. But I see the false narratives. I see what I call the agenda-setting theory. But where this originated at MTSU about four years ago I spoke about some of the histories to all the protesters out there at MTSU. And I just start talking about history. And I talked about John Newton who was a former slave ship captain.

He had a redemptive story, a powerful story of redemption. And he influenced the lawmaker named William Wilberforce in Great Britain and they fought tirelessly to end slavery. And it just shocked me that all these students that have a college degree or about to have a college degree didn’t know anything about history. And it’s just really surprising.

But was kind of cool and this is what I call this a God thing. the main protestor I’m talking to main Hellraiser. You just go to YouTube channel five and you could probably pull them up. He comes up with two frat brothers. He’s with Alpha Phi Alpha and he says representative is that why there’s William Wilberforce University in Ohio? And I said well, I would think so.

He said it was created by abolitionists. He said can I be your intern can I work for you as an intern? It was an odd question from the protester and I was like, yeah, let me check on this. And I checked around and somebody that interned a year earlier said  I think that young man is searching. I think he’s searching and didn’t really have a father in his life.

And so we just kind of connected. but I told him I said if you’re going to protest don’t do that crazy don’t be part of no buildings or tearing up police cars. And we just hit it off. And we got along great. and I just see the state of affairs in America that worry me and concern me as a Christian. I think that we got to get back to some basics and it’s not just me saying so it’s others saying it. That’s kind of the essence of the bill.

Leahy: And so how many states have state hymns. Do you know?

Sparks: I’m not aware of state hymns. There are 10 different state songs in Tennessee and very few of your listeners have probably ever sung any of them. I think Tennessee Waltz and Rocky Top. But this song right here almost everyone has sung.

Leahy: Let’s hear Amazing Grace here. We’ve got it ready to go. Here it is.

(Amazing Grace plays)

Leahy: And State Representative Mike Sparks. That’s the beginning of Amazing Grace sung by Tennessee’s own Dolly Parton. Love that song.

Sparks: Amen. Yes.

Leahy: So are you introducing this bill? Is it to become the 11th state song of Tennessee or is it to become the official hymn of Tennessee?

Sparks: Well, we have it written as an official hymn. and the idea for Dolly Parton and it really wasn’t even my idea my assistant who’s a young African-American guy he’s not but about 26, Marvin Williamson it was really his idea because we kept thinking who out there? Because I wanted to make sure I covered everybody like Elvis, Willie Nelson, Aretha Franklin, Richard III, Oak Ridge Boys, Alan Jackson, Garth Brooks, and the Memphis Spirit of the Memphis Quartet.

And I had a lot of famous people in here that’s mentioned in here as well as Dolly Parton. And my assistant brought up Dolly Parton. Another news source called me from Atlanta and I won’t say their name. But I didn’t really care to do the interview, but I just left them a recording and hopefully, they’ll be fair. But as I said the idea for Dolly Parton, it really wasn’t my idea. That was his idea.

Leahy: When you say Dolly Parton is Dolly Parton mentioned in this bill particularly.

Sparks: Yeah, it is. It just says Amazing Grace by John Newton and as sung by Dolly Parton as an official hymn of the state of Tennessee.

Leahy: Oh, okay. So it’s as sung by Dolly Parton.

Sparks: With the words and because I guess I’ve heard that there are different words that could be different in different ways people have sung the hymn. So we want to kind of nail that down.

Leahy: Did you see the movie that came out on Amazing Grace about 10 or 15 years ago?

Sparks: About William Wilberforce?

Leahy: William Wilberforce.

Sparks: Yes. It’s a powerful story these stories are powerful and stories that need to be told especially one that’s enriched with a strong conviction of John Newton. Because I had a choir come up and sing this about four-five years ago. And the story if you’ve watched the movie talks about John Newton being so bad that he could out cuss any sailor. And he was even sold into slavery himself and had to be bought back from his father. They sent a crew down to Sri Lanka if I’m not mistaken. But it’s a powerful story if folks want to know more just go to YouTube and type in Amazing Grace and Wiliam Wilberforce it should pop up.

Leahy: And by the way, I bring that up because there was a songwriter I think they were from Nashville who was commissioned in that movie to write a couple of new verses of Amazing Grace, which was quite a thing to do. Those new verses I thought were quite good. But what’s interesting to me and to ask you State Representative Mike Sparks is this. What sort of opposition is your bill to make Amazing Grace as sung by Dolly Parton the official state hymn of Tennessee? What sort of opposition is that bill receiving?

Sparks: Great question. None so far. But what concerns me is is the media because I’ve seen them create fake news. I’ve seen them lie. I shared with you Michael that I’m going back to school to MTSU to learn journalism to combat some of the fake news some of the false narratives out there. But I’ve always said, the good Lord will direct you if you really call on him. And at MTSU I’ve got to give Dr. Greg Reish some kudos. He’s with the MTSU Center for Popular Music. I reached out to him for some advice.

Leahy: The Center for Popular Music is a great center there at Middle Tennessee State University.

Sparks: They are. And I brought this up last year that I wanted to look at doing this. So this wasn’t some knee-jerk reaction. This was going back last year. But the book that he recommended me to get if anybody wants to get this, it’s called Amazing Grace: The Story of America’s Beloved Song by Steve Turner. Well, I didn’t know who Steve Turner was so I got the book and I started reading the back of it.

Well, Steve Turner had written it for Rolling Stone Magazine. But I want to give you a quote real quick Michael and you’ll trip out when you hear who this quote is from. It says, “Steve Turner is a tough-minded poet with an ear for the psalms and an eye for the miracles in the mundane and an understanding of how despair can break the ground for joy to take root.” Guess who said that?

Leahy: Willie Nelson?

Sparks: No. Bono.

Leahy: Bono!

Sparks: Yes, of U2. I went to YouTube pull it up and I just typed in Bono Amazing Grace and here’s where I got confirmation. Bono is singing Amazing Grace in Nashville, Tennessee. Now, I’ve reached out to Bono and sent a little email.

Leahy: Do you think Bono might be a little upset that it’s Amazing Grace as sung by Dolly Parton and not sung by Bono?

Sparks: He might. (Leahy chuckles) It’s sad we have to be aware that somebody will try to take something and turn it into a negative. That young man, that protester really, it was the hymn that connected us. I’ll argue that that hymn has probably turned more hearts and more lives around than any other song ever sang.

Senator Akbari out of Memphis is carrying it. She’s an African-American Democrat, so and I didn’t even ask her. She stepped up to do it. And Malik her assistant has been involved with it. And so I just want to thank Malik and my assistant Marvel Williamson for their efforts to be so supportive. They are a group of young believers.

Leahy: It sounds like it’s bipartisan.

Listen to the full first hour here:


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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.