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 columnist for The Epoch Times Roger Simon in studio to talk about his recent article with Congressman Andy Ogles and Speaker McCarthy allowing CSPAN cameras to roam about Congress.
Leahy: We welcome to our microphones my former boss at PJ TV.
Simon: Do I get to fire you?
Leahy: You could.
Simon: I want to be Donald Trump.
Leahy: You’re fired. My former boss at PJ TV, Academy Award-nominated screenwriter, columnist, founder of PJ TV and Pajamas Media, and novelist. Got a book coming out about American refugees leaving blue states and coming to red states, and the most popular columnist, as far as I can tell, at The Epoch Times, Mr. Roger Simon. Good morning, Roger.
Simon: Good morning, Michael. But I was already here.
Leahy: We were discussing this during the break. You interviewed Congressman Andy Ogles from the 5th Congressional District, who was one of the 20 “rebels” for 11 ballots, and opposed the nomination of Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy.
You were telling me that your article about what Andy told you about what the 20 rebels accomplished was very, very well read at The Epoch Times.
Simon: Yes, it was, but probably cause timing is everything. And I caught him while he was still on the floor in the middle of this thing. I beat a lot of people at a punch, which I don’t usually do.
Leahy: But you had a lot of people read that article.
Simon: Yes, people are reading The Epoch Times like crazy now. It’s passed The Washington Post, which may not be a high bar. (Leahy chuckles) Anyway, I read your interview with him.
I didn’t hear it. I read it on The Tennessee Star yesterday, and I have a slight bone to pick because you called what went on a debacle.
Leahy: I did call it a debacle.
Simon: I think it actually might have been the reverse. It was the first time the Congress woke up a little bit.
Leahy: (Chuckles) And by the way, let me just say, one of the little twists on this is because the Speaker of the House controls the CSPAN cameras, right? And since there was no speaker, the CSPAN cameras caught basically congressmen gone wild, which was all of the drama in the back and forth.
And there were several instances where even Andy was involved in a very intense discussion with Kevin McCarthy. People found all that fascinating.
Simon: Oh, I think it was great. But I’ll tell you why it was great. Because I like to think we’ve got a democracy or a constitutional republic or whatever you want to call it. It is a constitutional republic. But it’s going on. And I think for years we didn’t and I know a lot of people are afraid that it didn’t look good for Republicans.
But I think it’s incumbent on us, meaning you, me, and other media folks, to say, hey, wait a minute. Something great is happening here.
We’re having real discussions in front of the public that they should see. And the issues were huge because they returned Congress to the rules that it had most of the time in its history and that Nancy Pelosi took away.
Leahy: Yes, it’s interesting. I would say Roger probably at least half of our listening audience agrees with you rather than with me on that issue. And I don’t want to sort of beat this to death because it’s come and gone, and everything’s done.
But I’ll just add that one of the elements of this, I think, had to do with the perception of people who don’t follow politics that closely, sort of Independents, I think generally their sense was, well, can’t these Republicans get anything done? That was my only point.
Simon: Yes, I think your point is well taken, but I think that it’s incumbent on us to explain to them they’re wrong now reaching them because, as you say, they aren’t wildly interested in politics.
Leahy: They don’t listen to The Tennessee Star Report.
Simon: Well, they should.
Leahy: I know they should.
Simon: But our reach extends beyond that, meaning that you know what I mean.
Leahy: I do, yeah.
Simon: You put things in the air, they get communicated.
Leahy: And I take your comment, and I understand that, but life goes on.
Simon: Of course. But add one little thing to it. If you look at the parliaments and others in Democratic countries around the world, they are much more like ours was that short period.
Leahy: Wild and crazy! Congressmen gone wild.
Simon: My favorite thing is question time. (Inaudible talk)
Leahy: I just will add that that was so popular with viewers that apparently Speaker McCarthy has decided to let CSPAN have their cameras rove all around the chamber, which is, I think, a great thing.
Leahy: CSPAN has wanted that for a long time, and I’m totally in favor of that.
Simon: More democracy.
Listen to today’s show highlights, including this 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 “Kevin McCarthy” by Kevin McCarthy.