On Tuesday’s 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 Joel Pollak who is a South African-American conservative political commentator, writer, and attorney. Pollak also currently serves as the senior-editor-at-large for Breitbart News.
During the second hour, Pollak discussed the motivation behind and the arguments he makes in his new book, Neither Free Nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. He also argued that he felt the most concerning thing to him was the race for the Georgia Senate seats and the political violence by the left ignored by politicians and the media.
Leahy: We are joined now by my good friend and colleague for many years at Breitbart and I think the hardest working man in conservative media Joel Pollak. Welcome to The Tennessee Star Report Joel.
Pollak: Hey! How are you?
Leahy: Well, we’re great. You have a new book out that is I think fantastic. Neither Free Nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. And in that book, you argue that this was not a free and fair election. Tell us a little bit about what you’ve discovered in your reporting.
Pollak: Well, this really wasn’t a free and fair election. Having said that we have to accept the outcome. It might sound a little contradictory. But what I argue is that there were many cases of abuse in this election. Whether it was the changing of rules halfway through to mass vote by mail and many states have never had it before. Or the use of political violence. Or censorship by the social media companies when it came to the Hunter Biden story.
These are things that are not consistent with a free and fair election. These are all violations of the principles of fairness and really of freedom. Because when your censored and you can’t say what’s on your mind in an election, that’s really an abuse of our democratic ideals. The difference here is, of course, it was carried out by private companies, not by the government. So a lot of what happened while objectionable was legal.
And we have to figure out ways to prevent it from happening again. We don’t want to change our first amendment or have a government intrude in our elections that sort of thing. But we have to develop an ethic as a society that says certain kinds of behavior during an election are really out of bounds. And there was almost no pushback when the media centered the Hunter Biden story to take one example.
In fact, journalists celebrated it and thought it was great. And the idea of journalists celebrating anybody restricting anybody else’s right to report or to express themselves is kind of nutty. But that’s what happened. And we’ve got to make sure it never happens. Again, if the Democrats win in Georgia, which is really my preoccupation at the moment, you’re going to see some of the abuses that we experienced in November become nationwide because they’re going to pass the Democrats’ legislation like HR1 which is a bill to permanently change our elections in ways that Democrats basically can exploit and make it almost impossible for Republicans to win again.
So as much as people might be frustrated by what happened in November we have a lot to learn from that. And we’ve got to make sure it does not happen again. and the first step to making sure it doesn’t happen again is hoping that there isn’t Democratic control of the Senate. In other words, winning Georgia.
Leahy: So many unfair things happen in this 2020 election. Is it just this whole long list of things that were unfair or was there one that really turned the table in your view?
Pollak: Well, the most important one to me was the political violence. I mean from where I sit the idea that you could have hundreds of riots around the country and the media would call them peaceful protests, it’s very damaging to a society. It’s the most damaging thing in my experience. You know, I’ve lived overseas I lived in South Africa and I’ve studied in Israel and so forth. And the worst thing that a society can allow is political violence.
Once you have violence involved in politics, you can’t really have Democratic dialogue anymore. People cannot think past the violence. And society starts to break down. Decision-making in a democratic way can’t happen anymore. So I was really alarmed by the degree to which the media condoned, defended, and covered up the political violence that took place in 2020. And almost all of it was on the left.
You know, we heard a lot about Proud Boys and that sort of thing. That was mostly an illusion. You know, Joe Biden last night in his speech when he won the Electoral College he talked about the intimidation of poll workers and so on. I’ve never heard him say one thing about the intimidation of ordinary Americans. I’ve never heard him say one thing to defend Trump’s lawyers who’ve been threatened throughout this recounted challenge process.
I’ve ever heard him say one thing to defend the Trump supporters who were brutally attacked in Washington D.C. a few weeks ago when they had a rally. So there’s this complete refusal on the left to denounce political violence when it comes to what their own supporters are doing. And in fact, Joe Biden frequently called it falsely peaceful protests. So to me, that’s the most important one.
But the ones that are easier to see, you know, you’d have trouble maybe convincing a leftist that there was a lot of violence on their side because they’re media just doesn’t show it to them. But the one that’s easiest to prove is the Hunter Biden laptop. I mean there you’ve got media now forced to report that he’s under federal investigation whereas just a few weeks ago before the election they told us it was a baseless conspiracy theory.
And you look at that and you say come on. We had this evidence for years while Republicans have been reporting on Hunter Biden’s connections and the exploitation of his father’s office to make himself wealthy for years. It was a big topic during the impeachment inquiry that came up and yet the media pretended it was all just a conspiracy theory and then oops! After the election, it turns out it was right. Now, there’s a big investigation.
Turns out Joe Biden lied to us. But we’re not going to even ask him about that. We’re not going to hold them accountable for that. I mean, that’s just one example. But the idea that you would have a story that’s about one of the main candidates running for president and goes to his credibility to his corruption questions of honesty and that you would suppress that during an election during the three weeks before an election, it’s completely ridiculous.
But that’s what our media did and they didn’t suffer for it. And I mean their colleagues aren’t holding themselves accountable or each other. And they’re not asking Joe Biden why he lied. So it’s pretty egregious what happened. And you know, the only thing I think one can say is that at least it wasn’t done by the government. But these companies that suppressed the story have more power than the government. So we have a lot to be concerned about.
Having said that I don’t think people should give up the fight. You know, I think that the first step to making sure there is accountability is winning those Senate seats in Georgia. Because if again Democrats win both Senate seats are going to pass HR1. They’re going to make D.C. a state and maybe Puerto Rico as well. They’re going to stack the Senate with their own members because D.C. is never going to send a Republican to the Senate.
So they’re going to make it almost impossible for Republicans to get a majority ever again. They’re going to give amnesty to 11 million-plus illegal aliens. They’re going to vote for Democrats forever. And it’s kind of a slippery slope after that. That’s why Republicans really have to kind of pick themselves up and fight another day because as upset if people are about November the point of being upset is not just to say well you should have gone the other way. The point of being upset has to do something about it.
Leahy: The book is Neither Free Nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. You can get it at Amazon. It was published on December eighth. Is Amazon the only outlet presently with the book Joel?
Pollak: That’s right. I’m publishing it through the Kindle select program which means Amazon for a while at least is the exclusive outlet. But it’s a great forum in which to publish books. I mean, thankfully they haven’t started really cracking down on conservative thought on Amazon. And who knows maybe that will happen eventually, but you can pick it up at Amazon.
I actually had discussions with Amazon beforehand believe it or not. I said would you publish a title about the election that said the election was unfree and unfair you know because YouTube is censoring that kind of content? And they said yeah, so you know we just published a book and we’ll be fine. So hopefully they’ll keep to that way of doing things. But yeah, you can get it at Amazon.com.
Leahy: Now I saw a report that you were interviewed by your former Professor Alan Dershowitz.
Pollak: That’s right.
Leahy: Was it about this book?
Pollak: It was about this book. And he challenged YouTube to take down the video under their new policy. He said if you guys are going to take down videos that mention the idea that the election was fraudulent. You know as a possibility. I mean, I don’t discount the possibility. I think it’s unlikely that fraud tilted the outcome. But anything’s possible. And certainly, there is a lot that remains unexplained about this election.
I mean the fact that there are 19 Bellwether counties in America that almost always go with the presidential winner and Trump won 18 of them. There were 27 toss-up House races. Republicans won all 27. And yet Trump lost the presidency. It doesn’t seem to make much sense. So it’s possible that there was something happening in the system. I doubt it. We haven’t seen the proof of it because sometimes when you look at this, you just have to say well sometimes life gives you funny expectations.
I mean funny outcomes. I mean you sometimes have to take what you get. The electorate is not always going to do things in a line or predictable pattern. So you got to take things as they are. But there could be other explanations for it. And you can’t rule them out. So Dershowitz and I talked about that a little bit. And he said he dared them to take it down. And so far they haven’t. But that might just be because he’s so prominently challenged them to do so.
Leahy: Yeah. By the way, Alan Dershowitz is a great guy. He was your professor at Harvard Law School, right?
Pollak: He was indeed. He was a great great Professor. Committed to open debate and committed to fair debate. And really really just a fantastic American and a one of a kind who really believes in the First Amendment in a way that few others do. I mean he’s got a lot of scars for that too.
Leahy: He sure does. He gave a Zoom speech to the kids at the National Constitution Bee that we held here back in October and he mentioned that exactly and that he wasn’t getting enough in but it wasn’t getting any invitations to dinner. One of the kids said well come on down to Nashville and we’ll take you out to dinner.
Pollak: Well there you go.
Leahy: This is perhaps the most insightful analysis that I’ve seen so far Joel on the 2020 presidential election. So we appreciate you getting it done. How did you do this so quickly?
Pollak: Well, you know when you have a lot on your mind, sometimes it just pours out onto the page. I think anything can be done as long as you break it down into small enough pieces. So I just was taking a walk one weekend and thought you know what? I have something to say about this election. And in my mind, I planned out a two-week schedule for writing and we got it done.
Leahy: Wow! Congratulations on that. Now Joel you are one of the few people that have been at Breitbart longer than I have. I started full-time in 2012. You’ve been there since I think 2011 and you were hired personally by Andrew Breitbart.
Pollak: I was. And this has been almost now 10 years since I’ve been here. So it’s been a really fantastic ride and I’m looking forward to the next opportunity. You know, we go to the next fight to fight. It’s the most important one ever. Obviously, we would have liked this election to go a little differently. But this is the moment that our website was in a sense designed for. To stand up to the left and to stand up to the powerful interests.
Leahy: Tell us a little bit about Andrew Breitbart because people are always fascinated by Andrew. He passed away in 2012. What would Andrew say to Americans today looking at this Electoral College victory of Joe Biden?
Pollak: What would he say? Well, I think this election showed everything Andrew tried to warn us about. The collusion of the mainstream media Hollywood and the Democratic party. I think the fact that they censored the Hunter Biden story. It would have shocked Andrew but not surprised him. I mean, this is the kind of thing they used to get away within a more subtle fashion. Now, they’re just being quite open about it.
And I think you know the world is as Andrew says it was. There’s kind of a Democrat media complex that operates to try to control this country. And the only hope that Americans have to take our country back is independent media. and you know, he didn’t necessarily limit that to conservative media. He thought that we needed independent voices and oddly enough he often found common ground with people on the left who we’re trying to get their voices out there outside and around the mainstream media.
Though the independent voices on the left get a lot more institutional support. I mean just to take an example these knuckleheads from the Obama administration started a podcast Pod Save America. They instantly get sponsorship and support from HBO. They go on nationwide tours and that sort of thing. And that doesn’t happen if you are conservative.
Leahy: No, no, no, no.
Pollak: You basically have to fight every day because people try to make your life miserable. And you know, I refuse to be miserable. But there’s a lot of bad stuff that happens when you speak out as a conservative, you know, we almost choked. It’s so easy to be a Democrat. Why wouldn’t you be? I mean, you just get all kinds of opportunities. You know sponsorships and that sort of thing. If you’re on the left life is easier. But on the other hand, You’re also walking hand-in-hand with the devil a lot of the time. So you got to fight the good fight. And it’s worth fighting. It really is. The best people are the people you meet on this journey.
Leahy: Well, You’ve been fighting the good fight for quite some time Joel. Here’s more of a personal question. I know you’re out there in the Los Angeles California area. It seems to be just going into chaos out there. I will make a personal pitch to you. A lot of folks seem to like the idea of moving to state income tax-free Tennessee. It’s a great place to live. And let me invite you to come out here and visit sometime soon. And I’ll give you a tour of Nashville and Middle Tennessee and show you why it’s in my view the greatest state in the union.
Pollak: Well, I look forward to visiting. But I do like my ocean here.
Leahy: Ah ha! You like the ocean. Well, you grew up in Cape Town right in South Africa?
Pollak: I actually grew up in Chicago, but I was born in Johannesburg. So very very far from the ocean. But I lived for many years in Cape Town.
Leahy: So you lived in Cape Town?
Pollak: After college.
Leahy: And so you have an affinity for the oh I can understand that. it is physically beautiful out there in California. What advice do you give to our listeners now who look at this and are disappointed and discouraged? What do you what would you suggest that our listeners do going forward in 2021 and beyond?
Pollak: Well, there are some great opportunities to take the country back in a way that I think preserves the best of President Trump’s legacy. The House majority that Democrats have is very narrow, which means Republicans are in a great position to win the House in 2022. Republicans have held most of the state legislatures so they’re going to redraw the congressional districts.
The Democrats had hoped to win in many of these legislatures and take over and basically redraw the districts to keep themselves in power forever. That’s not going to happen. So there’s a lot for Republicans to do with those state legislatures. Republicans can also change some of these voting systems. And get away from the abuses of vote-by-mail and get back to a traditional system of election day polling places. Showing up in person.
And if that can’t happen then we need to create technologies that allow people to vote remotely, but without the kind of potential for cheating that I think really worries people. And I think there’s a lot of good work to do. It becomes a lot harder if Democrats win in Georgia. And I’m getting messages from people who feel discouraged. Why bother? Why donate? And that sort of thing. If you do that and if you think that way you’re basically giving up the country.
I know people are upset. Very upset at the Republican establishment that sort of thing. The Republican establishment is not on the ballot in Georgia. America is on the ballot in Georgia. And you know, take it from a guy who spent a lot of time fighting the Republican establishment. You do not want to lose these Georgia Senate seats out of spite. It’s going to be a generation before we fix the damage that’s done if we lose these Georgia Senate seats.
Leahy: Yeah. Last question. Will the potential Biden administration harm our American sovereignty in our relationships with China beyond repair during the next several years? We got 30 seconds for that big question. (Chuckles)
Pollak: Well, I would just ask people to focus on the positive. I mean think about everything this President has done. He’s not happy to be leaving office the way this is happening and shaking out obviously. And I think he’ll be remembered in a sense as a tragic hero. You know, what are the heroes from the westerns as Victor Davis Hanson likes to say where he kind of saves the town and then is forced to leave in a way. But I think that there’s a lot of good that can be preserved in what he did and the beginning of preserving that Legacy is really just keeping a positive focus on the future. There are a lot of good things happening.
Leahy: Joel Pollak, the author of Neither Free Nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election is available on Amazon.com. Joel, thanks so much for joining us.
Listen to the full second 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 “Joel Pollak” by Joel Pollak. Photo “Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election” by Amazon.