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 the CEO of Publius PR and author of The Woking Dead, A.J. Rice, to the newsmaker line to discuss his new book and saving America from cultural Marxism.
Leahy: We are joined right now by author and publicist A.J. Rice. His new book is The Woking Dead. It’s published by Post Hill Press. They are based right here in Nashville. It’s distributed by Simon & Schuster. Good morning, A.J.
Rice: Brother Michael, great to be here.
Leahy: A.J., tell me what the book is about.
Rice: Well, look, we got put down on lock over a medical virus. And while we were put down by this China virus and locked in through this sort of soft authoritarianism, they’ve been slow-pumping a cultural virus into us, into our kids, into our entertainment, and into our sports.
And that is Wokeism. And it comes in many forms. It’s cancel culture, it’s Critical Race Theory, it’s the 1619 Project. It’s really a sort of stealth attempt, and in some cases not-so-stealth, to unmake the pillars of Western civilization and, I guess, remake it into some sort of bizarre cultural Marxism.
Leahy: Exactly right. The Post Hill Press, who do you work with there? Our friend Adam Bellow or others?
Rice: I’ve got sort of most-favorite-son status because I actually do the PR work for a lot of their authors. So I’ve been with Anthony Ziccardi, who’s kind of at the top of the pyramid there.
Leahy: He’s the guy who runs the show.
Rice: Correct. I’ve known him since he was at Simon & Schuster three years ago running their conservative imprint Threshold.
But I know Bellow, I know all the boys over there, and girls. It’s a great team. And they’ve got a killer lineup and they got some new stuff on the way for sure.
Leahy: When Adam Bellow was at Harper Collins, he was my editor for my book Covenant of Liberty, which was published way back in 2012.
It seems like a different world more than a decade ago. We have a lot of friends in common. You were Laura Ingraham’s executive producer for four years.
Leahy: My goodness.
Rice: Yes, from 2005 to 2010.
Leahy: Yes. That’s a long time to work in that job. And then you worked with our good friend John Solomon at The Washington Times for several years.
Rice: Yes, we ran like a morning news wheel. So what we tried to do is create – and Solomon’s like this, man, everywhere he goes, he’s a creator. So we were trying to create sort of a conservative NPR’s Morning Edition alternative. It was fun. The same male anchor the whole time.
And I had three different female anchors over like a three-year period. That show was on, and it was syndicated by Talk Radio Network. That thing was going on. We got that up to like 275 stations. So it was great.
Leahy: Now you are the CEO of Publius PR in Washington, D.C., and you promote a lot of conservative authors. What’s the environment like out there these days compared to years ago in promoting conservative ideas and conservative authors?
Rice: Everyone has a target on their back. I mean, I’m kind of known, and I’m calling you, talking to you live from Swamp Central here. I’m sort of the publicist to a lot of the right-of-center world, especially groups, not just authors, but everyone from the Federalist Society, FreedomWorks, and Gun Owners of America. I’ve worked with all of them. Cause of Action.
Leahy: So what’s it like in the book world in particular?
Rice: One of the reasons Post Hill Press, your neighbor there, has all of a sudden really gotten some big names and been very successful is because a lot of the “Big Five” publishers are deciding to go with their middle management complaints about certain authors over making money.
So not all of them, but a lot of them have let some big-ticket items walk. So it is Woke for sure. And it’s really not even the conservative imprint in the publishing houses as it’s the mothership complaining down the line about the conservative imprint.
So if you’ve got Penguin in New York and their conservative imprint is Sentinel, there are people in New York complaining about what Sentinel is doing. Things like that.
Leahy: What’s been the reception to your book, The Woking Dead: How Society’s Vogue Virus Destroys our Culture?
Rice: We’ve been killing it. We’ve been number one a bunch of times on Amazon, different categories. Profiles are being written up.
If you look at the people that have endorsed the book – Laura Ingraham, Judge Jeanine Pirro, General Spalding, Pete Hegseth … I can go on and on. Will Witt, people at One America News, people at Newsmax. We’re doing good.
Look, we’re having fun. The thing about this book is, the American people, if they’re looking for a true insurrection, you can find it at your local school board. News flash to Liz Cheney. Okay? News flash to crying Adam. The people are fighting back.
They don’t want this garbage in their sports and they don’t want it in their entertainment. We have more entertainment options than ever before, so vote with your wallet. And when it comes to your local elections, you’ve got to get involved.
And it’s funny, they sent all these parents home and they had more time to look through their textbooks, and lo and behold, all they found was [Louis] Farrakhan, Michelle Obama, and George Washington and Thomas Jefferson were racist.
That’s what they discovered. And when they haven’t discovered that, sometimes they’re discovering that Steve and Gary are going into the women’s locker rooms. Look, this is cultural Marxism. This is an overhaul of everything that we considered normal. And they know it.
They know it! That’s why the Democrats are dangling all these shiny baubles in front of us, like the goofy dark Brandon speech that Biden gave last week talking about Roe v. Wade and raiding Mar-a-Lago.
They’re trying to knock us off the three points we should be making, and that is the medical lockdowns destroy people; the financial crisis right now is destroying people; $500 more a month for the average family? Six grand a year?
People can’t eat that just because Joe and his friends don’t know how to manage an economy. And, of course, Wokeism, you saw it in Virginia with Youngkin. That’s where I’m at. You’re seeing it across the country.
So that’s one of the reasons I wrote the book is you’ve got to take back the culture. And the thing about the book is you don’t have to read it cover to cover. It’s a series of vignettes, and you can kind of jump around. Some are funny, some are horrific. Some are both.
Listen to today’s show highlights, including this interview:
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