Live from Virginia Monday morning on The John Fredericks Show – weekdays on WNTW AM 820/ FM 92.7 – Richmond, WJFN FM 100.5 – Central Virginia, WMPH AM 1010 / FM 100.1 / FM 96.9 (7-9 PM) Hampton Roads, WBRG AM 1050 / FM 105.1 – Lynchburg/Roanoke and Weekdays 6-10 am and 24/7 Stream – host Fredericks welcomed Democratic State Senator from Richmond and Petersburg, Virginia Joe Morrissey to the program.
During the show, Morrissey discussed his recent op-ed at The Virginia Star which was initially turned down by the Richmond Times Dispatch appearing to be in retaliation for a pending lawsuit with the Senator. The men later discussed the disastrous ‘education’ mayor Levar Stoney who’s top priority is allowing people to access marijuana legally amidst the civil unrest in downtown Richmond.
Fredericks: And joining us now to talk about that and the protests going on in Richmond state Senator Democrat from Richmond and Petersburg Joe Morrissey. Hey, Joe great to have you, man.
Morrissey: Hey good morning John it’s a pleasure and honor to be on your show. And listen, kudos to your rapidly expanding media empire for adding The Virginia Star to your news segment. That is terrific.
Fredericks: Well Joe we’ve got your commentary up today. You don’t want to miss that. Joe had written an op-ed. This is one of the reasons why we started this paper. So just to give everybody the flavor of what happened with the Richmond Times Dispatch. Joe Morrissey is a Democratic elected state Senator in Richmond.
Joe did an op-ed on the protests and riots going on downtown. The Richmond Times Dispatch, it was like 600-700 words. The Richmond Times Dispatch refused to print it as an op-ed. They said they can print it as a 250-word letter to the editor which would have defeated the purpose of it. Joe said no. Why didn’t they print it?
They didn’t print it because it didn’t fit the Richmond Times Dispatch’s narrative which is protestors are good and cops are bad. So they didn’t print it.WE printed it. And it’s in our commentary section. Joe, I want to start with that. We’ve got Richmond burning down and Stoney is doing nothing except telling the governor his number one priority is to legalize weed. What is going on with this guy?
Morrissey: Let me address your first regarding the Richmond Times Dispatch refusal to print an op-ed piece of mine. The important point is not that I wrote an op-ed and they didn’t print mine and that’s their right. It goes far deeper than that. There are people that are embedding themselves in this protest movement. They are destroying private property.
Smashing hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of windows at DCU. The John Marshall Courts Building. They’ve caused the closing of the building. They have burned $75,000. public municipal automobiles. Trashed trucks. They’ve destroyed and defaced not just monuments but people’s cars and homes on Monument Avenue.
And RTD in its own editorial screamed out why aren’t certain public officials taking a stand? Well, I did, you know? I said the peaceful protesters should be able to protest as long and as loud as they want. But if you are involving yourself in violence and destroying other people’s property by burning and looting etc then you need to be arrested. You need to be prosecuted.
You need to be incarcerated. And they didn’t print that. They said, well you can do it as a 250-word letter to the editor. And here is the point. I am a sitting State Senator in Richmond. The RTD and I do not get along. But they decided not to decimate that information after calling on politicians to take a stand. Does that make sense? They need to be called out on it and they are right now. And I’m going to continue to do it.
Fredericks: Look, you are a State Senator and they said why isn’t anybody doing anything? You did something. And then they don’t print your op-ed because they don’t like you. Because I’ll tell you why. This is just a ploy. They are now totally respondent to the far left-wing narrative that protesters are good cops are bad.
So your particular essay, your op-ed which was fact-based and that’s why we published it, didn’t fit their narrative. So they just don’t bother to put it in. And by the way, does everyone know what op-ed means. It means opposite editorial. That’s the purpose of it! You are the one that steps up and then they don’t run your op-ed. Fake news.
Morrissey: Very disappointing because you cannot hold yourself as an instrument of the media (i.e. the op-ed page of the RTD) without giving both sides. And they did that. It was disingenuous. It was wrong. And they should feel some shame in not doing that.
Fredericks: Now Joe, in full disclosure, you are pursuing a lawsuit with them right?
Morrissey: I am. Yes. I am.
Fredericks: OK. Just in full disclosure. You are suing them for what Joe?
Morrissey: I’m suing them for defamation associated with the 2016 mayoral race. In the final two weeks of that campaign, they printed false stories, accusations, and a narrative that caused me to lose the mayoral race because they didn’t want me to become mayor. And we are going to expose everything that occurred. And you know, let the chips fall as they may.
Fredericks: Right. So you are suing them so then they retaliate by not printing your op-ed. I mean it’s like OK. That’s a legal issue that they have to deal with. Put your big boy pants on. You still have to carry the op-ed of the State Senator that representing the city that’s burning down that you supposedly represent. Unbelievable Joe. You are spot on with that as always.
Morrissey: I wonder if Jennifer McClellan or Ghazala Hashmi two of the State Senator’s that represent portions of Richmond, had written that op-ed, of course, it would have been printed. But just because I don’t genuflect at the altar of RTD doesn’t mean that you don’t print a sitting State Senators strong position on these violent protesters. Go figure John. And I want to thank The Virginia Star for printing it.
Fredericks: That’s why I started this Joe.
Fredericks: That’s why I started this company The Virginia Star. And one of the reasons is because of what the Richmond Times Dispatch did to you. This was once a proud newspaper. I used to work there a while back. It was a proud publication. And the company that owned it and they also owned The Tampa Tribune at the time.
They did really great coverage. And now its changed hands several times. It’s gone into different owners. Now I think Lee Enterprises owns it. Now the whole newsroom has gone whack left. They have a narrative. They stick to that. And its a shame. It really is. Now they’ve got competition.
Morrissey: Is that newspaper John, is that the old Evening Star that I used to deliver in Fairfax County?
Morrissey: Wow. In the morning it was The Washington Post. And then the evening news was The Evening Star.
Fredericks: That’s right.
Morrissey: I delivered that paper.
Fredericks: See, there you go. Everything in life comes around. Joe let’s talk about Levar Stoney. He’s the worst mayor ever. By the way, I figured it out. I figured out what Levar Stoney’s educational agenda is, sidebar. Levar Stoney ran for mayor in 2016 and he said he was going to be the education mayor. I thought that was pretty neat.
I’m for education. At the time, Richmond had a 20 percent drop out rate. People not graduating from high school. One out of every five persons dropping out. One of the worst in the country. Stoney said this is unacceptable. I’m going to be the education mayor. I’m going to change that. Four years later, what has he done?
The drop out rate is up to 30 percent! So it had a 200 percent increase since he’s been there. Nice job Levar. Good thing about you being the education mayor. Not! Now, I figured out what his plan is. To just shut down schools in perpetuity and have no education in Richmond. Therefore if nobody is going to school, nobody can drop out. What a brilliant plan. Don’t you think?
Morrissey: (Chuckles) Well let me tell you this. Stoney did claim that he was going to be the education mayor and the data and facts support he’s anything but. On a very very serious note, John, consider the following: all of those children in Richmond that are now going to have to learn virtual, no. Two things.
Many of their parents have to work to put food on the table. They are not supervising the children at the kitchen table because they are out working. And you know kids. Young children. If they don’t have to be in school they are not going to be. The best day of their life is when it’s a snow day and they don’t have to go to school.
The children have been out of school since February one. Now at the earliest, they are not going back until January of 2021. At the earliest. That is one year of education that has been lost and is not going to be able to be recaptured. It is extremely significant. And our education in Richmond has only gotten worse.
There are a number of candidates that are running for mayor and to some degree that helps Stoney. Why folks? Because the people that would vote against Stoney now have to distribute their anti-Stoney vote among four other candidates. Thereby allowing him to squeak in and get re-elected with 35, 40 percent of the vote.
Listen to the full interview here: