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 editor and publisher Rebecca Bynum of the New English Review in studio to discuss her company and being a conservative in media.
Leahy: With us in studio Andy Ogles mayor of Maury County. We made it!
Ogles: Well, you know, I thought I was going to have to just jump on the air and start DJing or beatboxing or something because you left me just sitting here by myself.
Leahy: I did. (Laughter) But I had great confidence, Andy. The way it works here during the breaks is we go down and we let our guest in the studio. And sometimes it’s a short break.
Ogles: It was a short break and I was watching my clock. I was like well, here we go.
Leahy: We had at least 10 seconds to spare. Joining us now in studio our new friend Rebecca Bynum of the New English Review. Good morning, Rebecca.
Bynum: Good morning. I’m so pleased to be here. Thank you for having me.
Leahy: Well, we appreciate having you in and one of the things we’re talking with Andy about is how Tennessee is becoming really the center of the conservative media universe. And I didn’t know anything about your publishing company the New English Review until we had the opportunity in a great interview with one of your authors’ former NYU Professor Michael Rectenwald. And he talked about how there’s no opportunity for freedom of speech in academia anymore. It was a fabulous interview.
Bynum: Oh, that’s absolutely true. And I’m thrilled to be part of his career. He’s a wonderful author.
Leahy: I know we have another publishing company you probably know. The Post Hill Press.
Bynum: Ah. Yes.
Leahy: Which is here in Nashville. We’ve actually had some of our friends publish books with them. Jeff Webb has published a book about the crush of the middle class going on right now. And then Aubrey Shines wrote a book Eight Questions About Race. And so I was very excited to know that there’s actually a conservative. I was so excited that there was one conservative book publishing company in Nashville, and then all of a sudden I discovered no, it’s not one it’s two! Tell us if you would Rebecca about the New English Review and how you came to run it and the history of the New English Review.
Bynum: The original English Review was a magazine started by Joseph Conrad and Ford Madox Ford.
Leahy: The Joseph Conrad the famous author?
Bynum: Yes back in the 20s.
Leahy: No kidding?
Bynum: Yes, and it began as a literary magazine and became more political as time went on we became began as a political magazine and have become more literary.
Leahy: And, are you ready for some you know literary stuff here?
Ogles: I am. Let’s do this. You’ve got a big stack of books there.
Bynum: That’s right. And my book I just got a notice from Kindle that they will not allow Allah is Dead to be published anymore.
Leahy: Oh, yeah. You’ve got a lot of that censorship going on with Amazon. Let me ask you this. The New English Review. Are you the owner of it? Are there other people involved in it? When did it get started? Tell us about it..
Bynum: Yes, I began it in 2006 with Theodore Dalrymple. Are you aware of him?
Leahy: The name rings a distant bell. Not Clay Dalrymple the catcher for the Philadelphia Eagles in the 60s (Ogles chuckles) Tell us about Theodore.
Bynum: Theodore Dalrymple was an English writer who was a prison doctor in England and wrote about the lower classes in England and how the ideas of the intelligentsia were absolutely ruining the lower classes that took it all seriously. Their families were destroyed. Their livelihoods were destroyed. And so forth and so on. Whereas the intelligentsia was telling them oh, this is wonderful. You’re going to be fine. This is what you want. It’s the same thing that is going on here now in the United States.
Leahy: I see Rebecca at the newenglishreview.org that you are based in Nashville and also in London.
Bynum: In London. We have an office in London as well.
Leahy: So you are an international company.
Bynum: Sort of.
Leahy: We are in the presence of an international media conglomerate.
Ogles: One of the things you said is you look at this kind of woke era and the Facebook and the Amazon and the censorship that’s taking place. And this idea of the free exchange of ideas and thoughts and the opportunity to quite frankly be wrong. But that’s being challenged now if not erased. And it’s very troubling to me. And so kudos to you. Of course, obviously. I know one of your publications or your books has been censored on Amazon. So what’s next as far as Allah is Dead? And how do you push that forward considering that Amazon has become a behemoth in almost everything it touches but certainly in the publishing world?
Bynum: Yes. I know. It’s getting worse and worse. I think it’s been closing in and closing in. And like Google another thing our advertising was with Google for a while and they wanted to censor some articles. And of course, I just said no and took Google off.
Leahy: I have a solution for yeah, I was telling Andy about this. These guys are friends of mine. It’s an alternative site to Facebook and Twitter and Parler. It’s called clouthub.com.
Bynum: That’s new to me. I’m on Gab.
Leahy: Gab is another one. But if you go to clouthub.com they don’t censor you there. And it’s very easy to use organizationally and you could form groups and a New English Review group and promote your books. Let’s talk about the process by which you deal with authors. Michael Rectenwald has written Thought Criminal and Beyond Woke.
Then you have the interesting Whose Holy Land?: Archaeology Meets Geopolitics in Today’s Middle East by Kenneth L. Hanson. You are handing me the book right now and I’m looking at this. And so for those people who want to have something and they want to get published, tell us what that process is like. How do you go about doing this?
Bynum: Well, I just ask for submissions and people send me their submissions. Usually a few chapters. And I decide on that basis. It’s not a very very scientific process. It’s what I like or what I don’t like. Of course, I think all of our books are fantastic and wonderful. Some sell better than others.
Leahy: Andy is smiling and I know why he’s smiling. Here’s why. And this is the essence of liberty. This is why I started The Tennessee Star.
Ogles: That’s right.
Leahy: The reason I started The Tennessee Star four years ago is that I had a point of view about what was going on in Tennessee. I didn’t see anybody else articulating a point of view like that and I thought others wanted here that. I just wanted to have my voice heard. And it sounds to me like you just want to have your voice heard.
Bynum: Yes that’s right. I started out with Robert Spencer at Jihad Watch. And I was writing for him for quite a while and then I decided I just didn’t want to do Islam all the time. It’s very limiting. So we decided to branch out into New English Review.
Leahy: Now tell us a little bit about this book by Kenneth L. Hanson. The New English Review is a subsidiary of the World and Counter Institute.
Bynum: Yes. That’s our 501-C3 organization. And we have a board of directors.
Leahy: Okay, who’s on your board of directors?
Bynum: Evan Warrick, this gentleman here. My managing editor Kendra Malick who does the magazine side. Richard Rubenstein. I can’t remember exactly everybody right now. Jerry Gordon. I can’t think of them all.
Leahy: Well you had to figure out a way to finance your desire to be able to have your voice heard. Is that essentially it?
Bynum: That’s right. And we began with a wonderful man who financed this, to begin with, and his name is Roy Bishko. He started the tie rack and all the airports. Anyway, he helped us to get started. and then after a while, we started selling books.
Leahy: Making money on the books.
Leahy: Let me just say this, job well done. Job well done.
Ogles: Well that’s where the free market does what it’s supposed to do. We don’t need thought police and we don’t need Amazon, Google, and Facebook telling us What we can and can’t read. We should go we should trust the free market and who would have thought that Orwellian predictions from decades ago would come true.
Leahy: I tip my hat to you because I self-published about five books. I didn’t make money on any of them. I’ve got to hear your secret when we get back.
Listen to the full second hour here:
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Photo “Rebecca Bynum” by New English Review.