In a discussion, 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 am to 8:00 am – Leahy welcomed in studio guest Crom Carmichael back to the Nashville airwaves to talk about David Briley’s recent executive order and why Briley chose to Tweet in support of the ‘Squad’ on 9-11’s 18th year anniversary.
Nearing the end of the segment, Carmichael expressed his hopes for John Cooper to become a successful Mayor stating that should he not, the current fiscal mess we are in would be much harder to get out of.
Leahy: I am joined by my good friend Crom Carmichael. Crom welcome.
Carmichael: Well thank you, Michael. Do you go by Michael Patrick or Michael?
Leahy: Micheal’s fine. (Laughter) But Crom, I have to say, I mentioned this earlier in the 6:30 segment. Honestly, it’s a great honor to have you back on the radio with me because there’s sort of a full circle here. When I moved to Nashville in 1991 I did not know anything about Nashville politics. I mean I was interested in politics. So I was tuning the dial because I like talk radio. And there I found on another station across town a little show called Teddy Bart’s Roundtable.
Leahy: And Teddy Bart was there. The great broadcaster here. Had been in TV for along time.
Carmichael: For decades.
Leahy: For decades and a well-known entertainer. And Teddy Bart and Carlin Evans hosted the Teddy Bart Roundtable. I think it was on for decades maybe from 1990 to 2000 or so?
Carmichael: It was on in the ’80s.
Leahy: It was on in the ’80s.
Carmichael: Teddy had his own show that was just the Teddy Bart show and then became the Teddy Bart Roundtable as he added more people.
Leahy: So he had a panel of local folks that knew about local politics. And he brought in a couple of…
Carmichael: Then there’d be guest every day.
Leahy: A Tennesseean and a big guest every day. That was his format. And you were the conservative there.
Carmicheal: I was the logical one.
Leahy: You were the logical one.
Carmichael: A brick in the Oedipus of liberal.
Leahy: You were the logical one.
Leahy: And I would listen to that program and think Teddy’s a nice guy. But he was sort of liberal. Carlin nice person.
Carmicheal: He leaned a little left. Tommy was very left.
Carmichael: He was very left.
Leahy: Tommy was a panelist. What was Tommy’s last name?
Carmicheal: Tommy Burnell.
Leahy: Tommy Burnell. He was very left. And Jimmy Davie from The Tennesseean.
Carmichael: He was on with John Bibb. They would come on from time to time and do sports. John would do more commentary also. John was an absolute riot. He was a hoot. He was a fixture. John Bibb was one of the fixtures in Nashville. And Teddy Bart was a fixture.
Leahy: Teddy absolutely was a fixture.
Carmichael: He had been here and was in the media for decades. And John Bibb I guess was a sportswriter for at least 40 years and maybe 50.
Leahy: And that was in the era when The Tennessean actually mattered.
Carmichael: Before the internet.
Leahy: Before the Tennessee Star. And I would listen to this program. Again, I didn’t know anything. And I would learn so much and I would hear Teddy and Tommy talk about liberal stuff. And I would think, “What are they talking about?”
And then I would hear the logical one, Crom Carmichael. (Carmichael giggles) And it was always interesting. And of course, you’re families been around in Nashville a long time. The Carmichael name is well known in Nashville. And it was so interesting that I called you up one day and said, “Let’s have lunch.” I think this may have been back in 1993.
Carmicheal: Something like that.
Leahy: You had an entrepreneurial guy, our good friend Mike Hassles your general manager. Great guy. We went to lunch at a BBQ place near your office.
Carmicheal: Lots of BBQ places in Nashville. There’s a lot more.
Leahy: I know. But it was a great place and we had a great talk. And you had a fascinating company there called Knowledge Products. And you did audiotapes of great thinkers. And of course, you and I we like great thoughts and political philosophy.
Carmicheal: Our definition of great was not necessarily good. Our definition of great was influential.
Carmichael: So we covered the thoughts of Karl Marx for example who I do not consider to be a great thinker but influential.
Leahy: But influential. Clearly missing the current Mayor David Briley apparently. (Leahy laughs)
Carmicheal: Methinks that our Mayor as of today a little desperate. I’m just guessing this.
Leahy: Do you know what I call him?
Leahy: Desperate David Briley.
Carmicheal: When he only got 25% of the vote in the jungle primary that was not a good sign when an incumbent only gets 25%. So I will be surprised if our next Mayors, not John Cooper.
Leahy: Carol Swain almost got into the run-off.
Carmichael: Carol Swain did a great job.
Leahy: She’s our friend. She’ll be a special guest at our broadcast tonight. Live broadcast from Jason Aldean’s with election night coverage. You know Crom we have a decision desk too. The Tennessee Star decision desk, Lonnie Spivak is running it and he’ll be making the call and analyzing the votes. I suspect you’re right Crom.
Carmichael: We’ll see. Today’s an election day the other was an election day. All of the last two people had 30 days to try to get their supporters to show up.
Leahy: So the question for you Crom when we come back is this. Why did he do it? David Briley yesterday sent out a Tweet which he said, ‘I’m proud that the Tennessee Republican party considers me to be in the same vein as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib, and Ilhan Omar.’ He did this on 9-11’s anniversary.
Leahy: Why did he do it? Why Crom, did Mayor David Briley at one o’clock yesterday afternoon, the 18th anniversary of 9-11, why did he praise Ilhan Omar? You know the one who described 9-11 attacks as (Imitates Omar voice) ‘somebody did something.’ David Briley apparently really really likes her.
This is a quote from David Briley the Mayor of Nashville. This is what he actually said, ‘I’m proud that the Tennessee Republican party considers me to be in the same vein as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib, and Ilhan Omar. Must be doing something right.’ Why Crom did he do that?
Carmichael: Well this goes back to also why he signed the executive orders.
Leahy: The recent executive orders.
Carmichael: The recent executive orders. There are two or three issues that we need to unpack on this thing. One is government officials they have immunity. They can’t be put in prison or indicted and convicted for acts they do even when they break the law.
Leahy: For official acts.
Carmichael: An official act.
Leahy: An official act where you break the law you can’t be put in prison.
Carmichael: You can’t be put in prison. So what you have is you have a sitting Mayor who did very very poorly in the jungle primary. Came in second. Almost lost to Carol Swain. And I wish he had lost to Carol Swain. I think it would be a more interesting election if you had John Cooper against Carol Swain. But instead, you essentially have two Democrats.
One of whom has a proven track record of not being a particularly good Mayor in my opinion. And the voters showed that by him getting 25% support in the jungle primary. And so he has to do whatever he thinks he can possibly do to win and to get voters to come to the polls. And so he signed this sanctuary city legislation…
Leahy: Executive order.
Carmichael: Executive order right. Knowing that that’s against state law.
Leahy: And he knew that?
Carmichael: And he knows he does that for the purpose of trying to rile up I suppose particular voters to come out and vote for him. And I put this other thing in exactly that same category. And it’s sad but it’s not surprising.
Leahy: So the way I’ve characterized the election here Crom is that at the Mayoral level we have David Briley. Who I characterize as very very very bad versus John Cooper who I just call very very bad. And there are lots of reasons for that. What I found interesting is I think a lot of people see the choice as something like that.
I don’t think anybody who listens to this radio program would disagree with my characterization that Briley is very very very bad. There might be some listeners who would say I’m being a little harsh on John Cooper. Saying very very bad. But…
Carmichael: I would be in that camp.
Carmichael: And assuming John Cooper is our next Mayor I think you have to give him a chance to be the Mayor before you, you’re prediction may come true.
Carmichael: I hope it doesn’t and I’m sure you hope it doesn’t. I think we need a Mayor. I look at the last group of Mayors and I think Mayor Bredesen was a particularly good Mayor. And I think that he was the visionary that more or less changed the city. I think that Karl Dean came along and did a good job but not on the fiscal side.
And so I think he left the next Mayor with a bit of a fiscal mess. And Megan Barry in her short time in office didn’t address those problems. It’s unlikely to be a person who thinks in those ways and I don’t think Mayor Briley didn’t do it either. Cooper might. And he has to. If he doesn’t then we have problems at the city level that will be much much more difficult to fix.
Listen to the full hour:
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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 am to the Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.
Photo “David Briley” by David Briley. Photo “Ilhan Omar” by Ilhan Omar.