Live from Music Row Tuesday 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 lead political columnist for The Epoch Times Roger Simon to the studio to discuss the end of Voice of America and his position with Radio Free Europe.
Leahy: It’s always good to have friends in studio. In studio right across from me is our good friend Roger Simon. My former boss at Pajamas Media. We had a little show there called PJTV for a while when you were in Los Angeles. A beautiful studio. I learned there that I really liked radio better than television because it’s a lot harder work in television.
You had a show yourself on PJTV where you did criticism of music. Pollywood. That was fantastic. We’re going to talk a little bit about some news that you have. You’ve been named to the board of Radio Free Europe and the in the waning days of the Trump administration. There’s a battle ahead on that. You’ll tell us about that in a moment.
Simon: I will.
Leahy: I have a little bit of a ceremony little surprise for you.
Simon: I’m ready.
Leahy: If you’re going to go with the flow. All right here I got to do a little preparation for it. Okay. So, Roger as you know, you’re wondering what I’m about to do. I have you’ll see I you know, we have one
Simon: Are you one of those guys who went into the capital? Where are your horns?
Leahy: For those of you in the listening audience I have basically a very about a six-foot-long stick here, and I’m about to do something with it. Roger as you know, we have five All-Star panelists on The Tennessee Star Report Crom Carmichael, Carol Swain, Laura Baigert, Ben Cunningham, and Clint Brewer. So we’re going to do a little ceremony here.
And I’ll start now. In recognition of your devotion Roger Simon to constitutional conservative principles your body of work as a screenwriter and columnist for The Epoch Times and your obvious intelligence for moving from California to Tennessee I, dub thee and all-star panelist for The Tennessee Star Report. and now I am dubbing one shoulder and moving over and dubbing another shoulder. You are officially an all-star panelist Roger. I know it takes your breath away.
Simon: That’s the best thing that’s happened to me since I got nominated for an Oscar in 1989. (Laughter)
Leahy: Well welcome.
Simon: It’s been a long wait.
Leahy: As an all-star panelist Roger. So tell us this saga about Radio Free Europe.
Simon: Okay. It’s kind of an interesting story of our time really because about a week ago I got a phone call from a man named Michael Peck who was then the CEO of USAGM. That’s the United States Agency for Global Media. He’s in charge of Voice of America, Radio Free Europe, Radio Free Asia, and the Middle East Broadcasting Network, etc. etc.
He made me one of the five board members of Radio Free Europe, Radio Liberty there which is one unit. Radio Free Asia very important unit right now, obviously because of China. And the Middle East Broadcasting Network. I was taken aback. I was thrilled. It was almost as good as being dubbed. It was almost as good.
Leahy: Almost as good as being dubbed an all-star panelist on The Tennessee Star Report.
Simon: I hope this lasts longer is I’ll take because this was a couple of days before the inauguration. I said to Michael on the phone, is this long-term? He said oh don’t worry this is a two-year term. No, it wasn’t. Everybody in the whole Radio Free Europe world that he had nominated got canned the day of the inauguration.
Leahy: So you served on the board of Radio Free Europe for like two days?
Simon: Maybe three. (Chuckles)
Leahy: So interestingly enough, Biden’s first action. By the way, stolen elections have consequences.
Simon: Oh, they sure do.
Leahy: And one of the consequences is Michael Pack was fired.
Simon: He was great.
Leahy: He was fabulous. Head of Voice of America. And of course all the whiny liberal journalists there were saying, oh, no, he’s not letting us be whiny liberal journalists. They didn’t like him. I liked him a lot. How do you receive the notice that you would no longer be a board member?
Simon: By email. As I said to my fellow board members is not even suitable for framing. (Leahy laughs) Another aspect of this should be interesting to your listeners and that is I didn’t feel bad about this because after it happened, I realized one thing. That Radio Free Europe and all those things are based on something that’s no longer true. It’s really sad when you think about it. Because the idea of Radio Free Europe is you’re telling everybody about American democracy.
Leahy: And freedom.
Simon: And freedom. But American democracy and freedom are waning.
Listen to the full third hour:
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