All Star Panelist Roger Simon: ‘The Secretary of State Should Be Responsible to the Voters’

All Star Panelist Roger Simon: ‘The Secretary of State Should Be Responsible to the Voters’

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 comment upon the role of Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett and his responsibility to the voters of the state.

Leahy: All-star panelist Roger Simon with us. Roger, I want to elaborate on appointment made towards the end of that last segment.

And it’s about the Secretary of State, Tre Hargett’s statement issued by his his office yesterday afternoon about an hour after we reported that the three-year residency bill to be on a primary ballot in the U.S. House of Representatives had become law.

I’m going to read exactly what their statement was. And, Tre Hargett, I hope you’re listening because I am stating here right now that you have incorrectly made a statement after this law, and I’m challenging you, Tre Hargett, to come in to this program and defend your statement, which I am saying is factually incorrect.

Here we go. The first is a two-sentence statement. “The bill was not signed into law before the April 7th filing deadline.” That’s a true statement. “April 7th is the filing deadline.” This is not a true statement.

And this came from Secretary of State Tre Hargett’s office. The requirement does not apply retroactively to candidates who met the qualification deadline at noon on April 7th. This is where the Secretary of State’s office, I think, knowingly made an incorrect statement because April 7th is not the qualification deadline.

The qualification deadline is April 21st, according to the statute. April 7th is the deadline for candidates who seek to be qualified to apply for their petitions. And the Secretary of State has two steps in the process.

First, the Secretary of State has to review all the signatures on the petition. They usually take 48 hours or so, and then they determine if those actually meet those petition filing standards.

Simon: I want to add to this that this has been known for some time, even to us newcomers in Tennessee, via your show and other things. We’ve known this. So therefore, why was it not known by the Secretary of State’s office?

Leahy: I think it was known.

Simon: Exactly. Obviously, it was known. Then the next question Sherlock would ask is, why this word salad?

Leahy: The word salad is basically so that, we talked about this before, so that Associated Press would take the statement and go with a headline claiming that the Secretary of State, with that statement, was saying that Morgan Ortagus is on the ballot.

Simon: Then the next thing that would happen is this would be accepted as the truth, and everybody would roll over.

Leahy: Yes. Now, we asked the Secretary of State some pointed questions. On February 18th, we asked the Secretary of State’s office, if the legislation currently pending before the General Assembly, passed and affected a candidate’s eligibility for the August primaries, what could the latest date for finalizing the ballot be?

Translation: What’s the qualifying deadline? Here was their answer on February 22nd. “If the legislation passes, whether it will affect the candidates for the August 4th, 2022 primary election depends on the enacting date chosen by the General Assembly. The April 21st, 2022 date to finalize the ballot will not be affected.”

The effective date was April 13th. The finalizing the ballot date is April 21st. So that is the statute. The qualifying deadline is April 21st, and the petition filing deadline – and Frank Niceley told us the same exact thing about this, and by the way, State Senator Frank Niceley told us the following: ‘Robby Starbuck and Morgan Ortagus were off the Republican primary ballot as soon as their bona fides were challenged before the Tennessee GOP by bona fide Republicans in the 5th district.

Those challenges were made well before the April 7th petition filing deadline. In addition, meeting that filing deadline does not mean you’re a qualified candidate. Let me repeat that. Meeting the filing deadline of April 7th does not mean you’re a qualified candidate.

The SEC members would need to vote to put them back on the ballot in order for them to be qualified. The Secretary of State and the governor have no control over what the SEC votes do. And by the bylaws, they have been removed from the ballot. They have an opportunity to be restored. (Simon laughs)

Simon: Bylaws are made to be broken, like most laws, unfortunately, and bylaws more easily than most. This is, I think, a teaching moment for all of us who are interested in politics, which means everybody, theoretically, because it’s going to affect you down the line.

Although in this instance, I will put a little asterisk on it. And here’s my asterisk. I don’t think the most significant thing in the world is who is going to be winning the Republican nomination for the 5th district.

I think my bet is that that person will win the election, and that person is not going to vote very differently one from the other, except for this guy Winstead, whose wife is a lobbyist for the Democrats.

Leahy: Yes. Kurt’s been on the program. We’ve talked to Kurt.

Simon: Did you ask about his wife’s lobbying activities?

Leahy: No. We’ll ask him that the next time he’s in.

Simon: That’s probably the most significant thing you can ask about.

Leahy: Got you. But you said who wins this primary is not the most significant thing to ask. What is the most significant thing to ask?

Simon: Whether the rule of law will be followed.

Leahy: There you go. Let’s talk about the rule of law. Whether or not the rule of law will be followed. To me, I look at this and the Secretary of State here, Tre Hargett, who, by the way, is hired by the Tennessee General Assembly.

Simon: Error. That is not a good thing.

Leahy: You’re not changing it. It’s in the Tennessee Constitution.

Simon: I know it is.

Leahy: You will not change it.

Simon: There are a couple of things in this constitution people should look at.

Leahy: I understand all these arguments. For instance, direct election of attorney general never going to happen here for any number of reasons. But I would agree with that. But the point is we have a Secretary of State, Tre Hargett, who, in essence, is saying …

Simon: He’s not responsible to the voters.

Leahy: No, even more. He’s saying that he apparently does not intend to enforce the law as passed by the Tennessee General Assembly. That’s what it looks like to me.

Tre Hargett, by the way, you are welcome to come in the program and defend yourself. But right now the statements from your office are confusing at best and conflicting at worst and disingenuous, perhaps, is maybe an even more accurate way to put it.

Simon: I’m not arguing with any of that. I think you’re right. But when you come back to the semi-defeatist statement that you made about not changing any of these Tennessee regulations, I think we should start thinking about that. The Secretary of State should be responsible to the voters. It’s a pretty big job.

Listen to the interview:

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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.
















Taxpayer Protection Alliance Head David Williams Debunks Dems’ Myth of ‘Temporary Inflation,’ Suggests Biden Administration Is in Fact ‘Anti-Environmentalist’

Taxpayer Protection Alliance Head David Williams Debunks Dems’ Myth of ‘Temporary Inflation,’ Suggests Biden Administration Is in Fact ‘Anti-Environmentalist’

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  David Williams, head of Taxpayer Protection Alliance to discuss out-of-control inflation and who is responsible for it.

Leahy: We are joined now by David Williams, who is the head of the Taxpayer Protection Alliance. And we’re going to talk about inflation – out of control, who’s responsible. David, welcome to The Tennessee Star Report. I’m in-studio along with our all-star panelist, Roger Simon. Good morning, David.

Williams: Good morning. Thanks for having me.

Simon: I’m glad to know you’re protecting us.

Williams: Well, I’m trying to. I mean, it’s tough with the government spending all this money. I mean, $10 trillion over the last two and a half years. So it’s a tough job, trust me. (Chuckles)

Simon: I’ll bet.

Leahy: Yesterday we see March’s Consumer Price Index rate of 8.5 percent, a 40-year high. It’s not been since the days of Jimmy Carter that we’ve seen that kind of disaster.

Then we saw the producers price index going up 11 percent, which is basically a foreteller of what’s going to happen to the consumer side. David, who is responsible for this mess?

Williams: Republicans and Democrats. There’s been so much government spending and taxpayer spending over the last two years, and that’s why we have inflation. We were told in November when it was 7.5 percent, that it was temporary, that don’t worry, inflation is temporary.

But we’re seeing now eight and a half percent and it’s not temporary. It’s going to be around. And I’m concerned that we’re going to see a recession because the Federal Reserve is now going to try to help, and I’m using air quotes, “help” by raising interest rates.

And we’ve seen in the past when that happens, we go into a recession. This is something that people know instinctively, right? You don’t need the Federal Reserve.

You don’t need me to tell you how bad things are. You go to the grocery store, you go to the gas pump. You know, things are bad and they’ve been bad for a while.

Leahy: I thought according to the Biden maladministration, the grifter in chief, the legal but not legitimate president of the United States, he says it’s all Putin’s fault. What’s your thought?

Williams: Ridiculous. And it makes no sense at all, because this was happening before Putin went into Ukraine. It’s a convenient excuse. And what happened at the beginning of the Biden administration was very telling when he shut down the Keystone XL pipeline.

Simon: I was just going to ask you about that.

Williams: (Chuckles) We would have been closer to energy independence if he wouldn’t have shut that down. He only has himself to blame. And it’s so funny that they say, well, every option is on the table to address gas prices.

No, they’re not. Because if every option was on the table we’d be drilling more. That’s what we’d be doing. But their option is expanding electric vehicles and putting electric vehicle charging stations in poor communities.

Think about that for a second. Half of the money for electric vehicle charging stations is going to poor communities. These vehicles cost $58,000. I don’t know how many people in these disadvantaged communities are going to be buying electric vehicles.

Simon: Did you ever see the pictures of all the dead electric vehicles in France? They’re amazing. They go for miles. There’s these graveyards of electric vehicles because the minute their batteries go, nobody can afford to buy them. There are photographs of this online. The whole climate-change thing is one of the big lies of all time.

Williams: It is. And it’s about virtue signaling. It’s not about climate change.

Simon: Exactly.

Williams: Virtue signaling. And I have not seen these pictures, and I would love to see that. Maybe I shouldn’t, because it’s horrifying to me. But the batteries are made from toxic materials.

The damage that is being done to the earth to get these chemicals and these products to build these cars is incredible. And of course, we’ve heard about wind turbines killing birds and solar farms killing birds. So I don’t know if they’re really environmentalists anymore after all of this.

Simon: No, they’re anti-environmentalists. And they’re also slave labor exploiters in the Congo for the materials for the batteries.

Leahy: You’ve done a very good job of analyzing what the problem is. Now comes the real tough part. We’ve got the maladministration of Joe Biden in power. We’ve got a Democrat Congress, House of Representatives, and a Democrat-controlled U.S. Senate. How do we get out of this inflation mess?

Williams: First of all, stop spending. That’s the first thing. And we need to cut spending, and not one of these fake cuts. Because in D.C., when they say, well, we’re only going to increase spending by four percent this year, not eight percent, that’s a spending cut.

No! That is not a spending cut. If I went to my doctor and I said, hey, doc, I’m only going to gain 50 pounds this year, not 100, did I just lose 50 pounds? Absolutely not! But that’s the logic in D.C.

Leahy: But the Democrats still control the House. They still control the Senate, and Joe Biden still can sign law legislation into law. They are not going to cut spending between now and January 2023.

What’s going to happen? And they’re going to try to spend more and more and more. When there’s a problem, they still want to spend more. They’re doubling down on it.

Simon: COVID will come back again and again and again to make us spend more, supposedly.

Leahy: Am I being overly pessimistic here, David?

Williams: No, you’re not. You’re being realistic because they’re already talking about another COVID relief bill. November is coming very quickly and we killed the Build Back Better bill.

That was something good that happened because that was going to spend up to $5 trillion over 10 years. That was going to be a massive expansion of government. So we are able to kind of beat that back, and listen, right now we have to play defense and we have to get to November and hopefully change the House and the Senate so in 2023 we can have some Republicans.

And I’m hoping some strong-willed Republicans will come in and make some fundamental differences in this budget and spending, and tax day is only a few days away. And if the inflation wasn’t enough, now it’s a double whammy of tax day on Monday.

Listen to the interview:

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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 “David Williams” by David Williams. 



















All-Star Panelist Roger Simon Comments on AP’s Misfire Regarding Tennessee’s Three-Year Residency Bill

All-Star Panelist Roger Simon Comments on AP’s Misfire Regarding Tennessee’s Three-Year Residency Bill

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 discuss the status of the Tennessee state three-year residency bill and the AP‘s false interpretation of where it stands.

Leahy: We are joined in-studio by a good friend, all-star panelist, my former boss at PJTV, Academy Award-nominated screenwriter, and senior editor-at-large for The Epoch Times – and I forgot, mystery novelist, author, Roger Simon. Good morning, Roger.

Simon: Good morning. I actually got up early this morning because I knew there was big news in Tennessee.

Leahy: So here’s the news I’d like to get your comment on. First, yesterday afternoon we broke the story that the three-year residency bill to be a candidate on the ballot for the U.S. House of Representatives for the primary ballot was enacted into law, because Governor Lee sent, unsigned, the law back to the Tennessee Secretary Senate clerk.

Simon: Why did he do it that way? We should get into that.

Leahy: We’ll get into that in just a minute, and then literally within one hour, the Tennessee Secretary of State, this is our lead story at The Tennessee Star.

Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett – Tre, I’m talking to you – offered conflicting comments on whether he will enforce the residency law and remove carpetbaggers Morgan Ortagus and, most likely, Robby Starbuck from the Tennessee 5th Congressional District GOP primary ballot.

Roger, the governor of Tennessee, Bill Lee, had a spokesperson tell the Associated Press this after we reported that the law was in effect because 10 days had passed and he hadn’t signed it and they hadn’t vetoed it. This sounds eerily like, oh, I don’t know, a statement that was made by Morgan Ortagus’s campaign recently.

Simon: I thought you were going to say Kamala Harris.

Leahy: Yeah, either one. I can’t tell the difference these days. ‘We feel the voters are best able to determine who should represent them in Congress.

Well, Governor Lee, if you had the courage of your conviction, you would have vetoed the bill. But why didn’t you veto the bill? Because it would have been overridden easily.

Simon: Easily. But there’s another thing, everything is going on below the surface here. This is a kind of dirty politics as practiced in Tennessee, but also in New York and California. And regrettably, virtually every other state, maybe save Florida, because they have a governor with a spine.

Leahy: I think you’re going to say something else. The spine is good, though. Get the point across. (Laughter)

Simon: Thank you. It’s a family show.

Leahy: It’s interesting that the AP quickly jumped into the fray to tell us this law was invalid when, of course, it’s premature in the extreme. But the AP, I will say to everyone out there, do not think of it as an even-handed institution. It is quite in the hands of the liberals.

Leahy: It’s far-left.

Simon: And it’s gotten worse and worse over the last few years.

Leahy: And the Secretary of State’s office issued a confusing statement that conflicted with their previous comments right after we broke the story.

The AP jumped off that statement. I’ll read the statement. The first statement, again, they issued a subsequent statement that conflicted with the first statement.

Simon: Like Kamala Harris?

Leahy: There you go. They said, “The bill was not signed into law before the April 7th filing deadline. The requirement does not apply retroactively to candidates who met the qualification deadline at noon on April 7th.”

That was all they said. The AP took that and ran with it and said, their headline said, “Trump–Backed Candidate on the Ballot.” No! Wrong interpretation, AP.

But they hung it on this inconsistent and false statement actually issued by the Secretary of State’s office. Trey Hargett, I just said that, and you can come in and try to defend that statement, but it is a false and misleading statement.

Simon: I’m going to be the nasty guy here. There’s been a little bit of nasty. I’m going to go further. Here’s the thing. When you look at politics, you should always look at the politics behind the politics.

What’s going on here is what I will call fear of the most powerful politician/non-politician in the state of Tennessee, a man named Ward Baker. I like Ward Baker, personally. He’s a political pro. He’s a very charming guy, very smart.

Leahy: You brought up Ward. Let me just say very smart guy. He’s a personal friend of mine as well. I like Ward, but he plays hardball.

Simon: He plays hardball, but that’s his job. He’s paid by candidates to get them elected. He’s done a good job with Marsha Blackburn, Mike Pompeo, and people outside.

Leahy: And Bill Hagerty.

Simon: Nashville figures and state figures, anyway.

Leahy: What do you see? Because these are your words, not mine. But we’ll comment on it.

Simon: He figures beneath the surface of this, and that is all of these people from the governor to Hargett to the Speaker of the House, all these people have their eyes on a higher office. That shouldn’t be news to anybody out there.

But that’s what the truth is, and they’re playing this whole game. First of all, they’re afraid that they don’t want to go on the wrong side of Ward because they need Ward down the line, or they don’t want Ward against them.

Leahy: That may apply to some, but not all. But we’ll talk about that.

Simon: I’m just giving you my way of looking at this.

Leahy: Since we’re talking about Ward we probably got to get him on the show and discuss these things and other things. Ward, I’ll call you.

You’re welcome to be on the show. He’s actually offered to be on the show. So we’ll have him discuss it. Some of the things that you are attributing to him, I don’t know if they actually …

Simon: I think it’s fear of him. That’s a different thing.

Listen to the interview:

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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 “Roger Simon” by Roger Simon. Background Photo “Associated Press Building” by Americasroof. CC BY-SA 3.0.




















MAGA Rapper Bryson Gray Releases US Versus the Industry

MAGA Rapper Bryson Gray Releases US Versus the Industry


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 MAGA Rapper Bryson Gray to talk about his new album release, US Versus the Industry.

Leahy: We are joined on a newsmaker line by our favorite MAGA rapper who lives in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, Bryson Gray! Good morning, Bryson.

Gray: Good morning. How are you, man? Thank you for having me on.

Leahy: You got another top rated video video song you’re releasing. What is it and how’s it doing?

Gray: My album called US Versus the Industry. It had a real hot start. We jumped up to the number one rap album on itunes within 24 hours. We were number three within all genres.

After like two days it slowed down a little bit now because it’s hard for us because we don’t have any resources, so it’s really just all organic. But it’s still doing great.

Leahy: US Versus the Industry. How many songs are on it and how do people get it?

Gray: There are 20 songs on it, which is the largest album I’ve ever released. You can get it on itunes, you can get it on Amazon. You can get a signed copy on You can get it pretty much everywhere.

Leahy: What are some of the tunes on it that I might recognize?

Gray: Let’s Go, Brandon, of course.

Leahy: Let’s go, Brandon!

Simon: I’ll sing that tune.  This is Roger Simon.

Leahy: Roger Simon a big fan of yours as well.

Simon: A big fan and a very famous rapper. (Laughter)

Gray: Thank you so much.

Simon: More like a candy bar rapper.

Leahy: You’re talking about yourself as a rapper, right, Roger? (Gray bellows) Are you like the number one rapper in the country today or just the number one MAGA rapper? You’re a pretty big deal.

Gray: Yes, I would say as far as Christian conservative rappers, I’m probably the most popular. I’m not on the level of the demonic rappers yet. (Laughter)

Leahy: I don’t think you’re going to change your tune are you?

Simon: Would you call Kid Rock really a rapper or not?

Gray: I call him a rocker. I call Kid Rocker a rocker.

Leahy: Kid Rock rocker. Have you met Kid Rock, by the way?

Gray: No, I have never met him.

Leahy: I’m told he lives in Nashville. There was a rumor that he was considering running for the Fifth Congressional District. (Laughter)

Simon: I’d vote for him.

Leahy: But politics aside, tell us what you’ve done now, when did you release this album? How long ago?

Gray: Friday.

Leahy: So last Friday.

Gray: Yes.

Leahy: It’s almost like six days or something. We are on the cutting edge of entertainment news here. Tell us what you do. Do you go and do performances? How do you promote your music, Bryson?

Gray: Like I said, as an independent artist with no real resources, because the type of music I make, I pretty much just post it and try to get as many people to share it as possible and post it on my pages. That’s pretty much all we got.

Leahy: Do you have concerts or anything like that or do you just produce the songs and put them out?

Gray: So you got the videos, you got the YouTube. I do things like contact you guys and thank you for so much for bringing me on. But outside that I’m trying to set up concerts. It’s even hard to do that in the current state.

Leahy: With the COVID stuff and all that.

Gray: Yes.

Leahy: So what’s your website again Bryson?

Gray: I think we have like 50 signed copies left.


Simon: Maybe you should get in contact with Kid Rock and do a set at his club. And that would probably bring down a lot of people.

Gray: That sounds like a plan. I’m down. I’ll have to find a way.

Leahy: We have another idea for collaboration. Have you ever met John Rich?

Gray: No, but I have talked to him on Twitter before.

Leahy: Oh, you have? So he was the featured entertainer along with Larry Gatlin at the event Carol Swain did here about education a couple of weeks ago. I was the master of ceremonies there.

John Rich is a great guy and he’s got a lot of musical cooperation that he does. He did that great song with Mike Rowe bout Santa Claus Christmas. It did very well. We’ll reach out to John Rich on your behalf.

Gray: Please do.

Leahy: Something could happen there.

Simon: He’s also got a club.

Leahy: He’s got a club and he’s a great guy. I literally was watching him the other night on his program on Fox Nation and he’s really good. I think maybe you’d be a great guest there.

Tell us a little bit, Bryson, you are a recent arrival in Tennessee, although I don’t think you would necessarily be a subject for Roger Simon’s new book, The Southbound Train because you came from North Carolina. You must have come on a westbound train. Is that right? (Simon chuckles)

Simon: It’s still south.

Gray: It was getting too blue for me and I said, listen, I am out of here. And Tennessee seemed like the safest bet, even though a lot of people are starting to move here also now. But I think Tennessee will be the last to get the big ship of liberals.

Leahy: I don’t disagree. But tell me why you think that?

Gray: Because I think a lot of people choose Florida and Texas first. And I chose Tennessee because coming down here there is more so the culture. The culture in Florida and like most places, is very liberal.

Even when you go to Nashville, the culture is still more conservative than all these other big cities. And I like Texas. I like Texas, but people don’t realize that was a liberal place like 30 years ago.

Leahy: That’s a very interesting point. And by the way, Roger, this would be an excellent opportunity to plug your new book, The Southbound Train. Roger, why don’t you tell Bryson how he and other listeners can tell their stories about why they came to Tennessee.

Simon: Yes. Bryson, by the way, I want to talk to you. I’m starting a book called The Southbound Train that comes from the lyrics of Wagon Wheel, if you remember. Anyway, it’s a book about people moving from blue states to red states. North Carolina is much bluer than Tennessee.

So you certainly came in that direction. And I’m telling the listeners and readers of the other times that if they want to tell their stories for the book, they could please write me at It’s an extremely good service because it’s very confidential. That’s

Leahy: Now, Bryson, would you like some breaking news?

Gray: Yes, sir.

Leahy: We have a gig for you. One of our listeners wants to invite you to perform at a gig. Are you ready?

Gray: Yes, sir.

Leahy: It’s a group called Williamson Families in Franklin. They have an event on March 8 and they want to invite you to perform there.

Gray: Of course, if I’m in town, I have to check my schedule.

Leahy: Guess who’s on the lineup there that night?

Gray: Who is it?

Leahy: John Rich is also on the lineup that night.

Gray: Ohhh, that would be so awesome.

Leahy: It’s the Williamson County election kick-off event. And so there you have it. Offline, I’ll put you in touch with the organizers of the Williamson Families group. But you have an invitation to appear as a performer and you can perform all your great MAGA rap hits at the Williamson Families event. I think it’s going to be in Franklin on March 8. How about that?

Simon: I’ll be there for sure.

Leahy: So now I’m your booking agent, Bryson.

Gray: Yes, sir.

Simon: He gets a percentage for that?

Leahy: (Chuckles) No, no, no, I do it out of love for Bryson’s music and love for Bryson. How about that?

Gray: Thank you so much, man. That’s amazing.

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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 “Bryson Gray” by Bryson Gray. 














All Star Panelist Roger Simon Reflects on Knowing Whoopi Goldberg Aka Karen Johnson

All Star Panelist Roger Simon Reflects on Knowing Whoopi Goldberg Aka Karen Johnson


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 where he told a story about a time he met Whoopi Goldberg while he worked in Hollywood.

Leahy: We are joined in studio now by my very good friend, my former boss at PJTV. That would have been 13 years ago when I went out to Los Angeles briefly.

Simon: Stop dating me. Everybody knows.

Leahy: You were 30 years old back then, Roger.

Simon: I was extremely precocious.

Leahhy: Roger Simon, Academy Award-nominated screenwriter, founder of PJ Media, and now a senior contributing editor. Is that the right phrase?

Simon: Editor-at-large.

Leahy: Editor-at-large. Oh, even better.

Simon: Yes.

Leahy: Editor-at-large for The Epoch Times. Roger Simon. Good morning, Roger.

Simon: Good morning to you.

Leahy: Now, you know somebody that’s been in the news, and I’d like to get your take on this particular person.

Simon: Are you talking about Whoopi Goldberg, Karen Johnson?

Leahy: Yes.

Simon: Are you talking about cultural appropriation.

Leahy: A little bit.

Simon: At various times she has claimed to be Jewish, but there’s never been any evidence shown. And of course, she’s back in the news. She’s, let us say, a newsmaker of certain Avoirdupois, meaning weight. (Leahy chuckles) To be very non woke, as I am.

Leahy: (Laughs) That’s funny.

Simon: Certain things she said about the Holocaust on that extremely boring show known as The View, which I described in a forthcoming Epoch Times article as an insult to women.

In the show, she said various things about race, which I don’t even know if she believes, because, frankly, my opinion of why she said these things has nothing to do with Black, White, Jewish, or any of that stuff. It has all to do with the fact that she wants attention.

Leahy: What she said, the ABC executives and others sound so offensive. She’s been put on administrative leave for like two weeks.

Simon: For two weeks. If she was smart, as I say in the article, she’d take that as a time to leave the show and go back to acting, which she does a lot better than pundit things.

Leahy: But you know Whoopi Goldberg.

Simon: Yes.

Leahy: Tell us her story.

Simon: Yes. Many years ago in the 80s. I was hired by the studio, I think it was Universal. I was to go to Washington. First to meet Whoopi, which I did. I went out. She was already quite, really rich because she had her own Cove Beach in Malibu called Whoopi Beach.

Leahy: Whoopi Beach in Malibu. That is big money in Malibu.

Simon: And it was a gorgeous spot, too. She had a house on her own beach, which the common people could not easily access. It was interesting, in Malibu, there’s always a battle by the owners of beachfront property to keep off all the peons who might want to go to the beach.

Anyway, that’s a small point. Here’s the big point of ultra-liberal Whoopi or Karen. I was hired to write a picture about Whoopi as a member of the White House Press Corps in the press room. We get our laughs now from Jen Psaki.

But in those days, there would be Whoopi. So I went to Washington, did some research, got to know people in the press room, hung out in the press room under Reagan.

And then came back and started to write the script but never, ever heard a word from Whoopi. I had known her a little bit but she sort of just completely disappeared on me.

Leahy: She ghosted you.

Simon: She ghosted me. The movie never got made.

Leahy: But you got paid for writing the script. Oh, yeah.

Simon: That’s a very typical thing in Hollywood I made more money for things that didn’t get made than did get made.

Leahy: (Laughs) What happened to Whoopi Goldberg? She was a talented comedian, a talented actress. Now she’s well, you know…

Simon: Here’s what it does. It kind of mirrors the decline of Hollywood. She’s sort of a symbol of that in a weird way. And so now we have a Hollywood which makes really mediocre mostly woke movies that no one wants to see.

Leahy: With the comic book superstars.

Simon: They’re two heads. The comic book superstars or the semi-serious woke movies that are very small and sometimes win Oscars, right?

Leahy: I can barely watch any of those.

Simon: Me neither.

Leahy: I can’t actually.

Simon: Here’s my personal problem with that. I’m a member of the Academy since the 80s.

Leahy: Do you get to vote for the Academy Awards?

Simon: Yeah, I just did.

Leahy: You did? Well, how do you go about doing that?

Simon: Well, now it’s improved. It’s made it easier because like everything else is online, so you get a password and you go online. It’s a two-tier thing. You vote, nominate now, in what area of the Academy you’re in.

I’m a member of the writer’s branch. There were not that many people. My vote cost counts for more in the Oscars than it does anywhere. I assume it’s counted, unlike national and state elections I think it’s counted fairly. (Leahy laughs) I don’t actually believe it is.

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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 “Whoopi Goldberg” by Whoopi Goldberg.