Blain Michael "Moon" Griffon
|Blain Michael "Moon" Griffon|
|Born||May 16, 1961|
Plaquemine, Iberville Parish
|🏡 Residence||Monroe, Ouachita Parish|
Louisiana (1979-2014) Lafayette, Louisiana (since June 2014)
|🎓 Alma mater||University of Louisiana at Monroe|
Radio talk show host
|👩 Spouse(s)||Connie Moseley (div.)|
Tonia DiGirolamo (married 1995)
Griffon is sometimes called "The Louisiana Limbaugh".
Blain Michael "Moon" Griffon (pronounced gre-FONN, born May 16, 1961) is an American conservative radio talk show host who broadcasts statewide through station KPEL 96.5 FM in Lafayette in southwestern Louisiana. He was formerly based at KMLB 540 AM in Monroe in Ouachita Parish in the northeastern part of the state.
Griffon is sometimes likened to the national radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh but his program reflects his distinct Louisiana accent and his own brand of politics. The Moon Griffon Show debuted on August 23, 1993, five years after the beginning of The Rush Limbaugh Show.
Griffon was born and reared in Plaquemine, the seat of government of Iberville Parish south of Baton Rouge. His paternal grandfather, Charles A. Griffon, Jr., was a sheriff of Iberville Parish for sixteen years until he was unseated in 1964 by then 31-year-old Jessel Ourso. His maternal grandfather, Matherine J. "Matt" Berthelot (1904–1985), originally from Morganza in Pointe Coupee Parish, owned and operated a Shell Oil service station in Plaquemine. Griffon's father, Charles Thomas "Tommy" Griffon (born November 1, 1935) of Plaquemine, served an unexpired term as an Iberville Parish police juror. Griffon's mother, the former Dorothy Ann "Dot" Berthelot (born January 9, 1936), is one of four children of Matt Berthelot and the former Nethla Morales. His brother-in-law, attorney Brian Steele Lestage (born December 1961), a Republican, has been since July 2008 the clerk of court in DeRidder in Beauregard Parish.
Griffon received his nickname "Moon" because as a small boy he particularly enjoyed the song "Moon River". He graduated in 1979 from Roman Catholic-affiliated Redemptorist High School in Baton Rouge, since closed. He was then recruited by coach and later athletic director Benny Hollis (1939–2011) to the University of Louisiana at Monroe to play basketball. Griffon subsequently graduated in 1983 from ULM, then known as Northeast Louisiana University. On his radio program on May 13, 2009, Griffon revealed that he had kept a pistol for protection in his ULM dormitory room. In 2013, Griffon said on his program that he owns weapons but has never been compelled to use one for either personal or family protection.
Griffon is divorced from the former Connie Rene Moseley (born March 1962). She remarried and is now known as Connie M. Pace. Griffon has two sons from his first marriage, Daniel Blain Griffon (born 1987), like his father a graduate of the University of Louisiana at Monroe, and Derek Charles Griffon (born 1989), a graduate of Northwestern State University in Natchitoches. In December 2012, Daniel Griffon wed the former Elizabeth Morgan Ernst; both are from Monroe.
His second wife is the former Tonia Lou Digirolamo (born April 1963), a nurse at a specialty hospital. She is the daughter of Joseph John Digirolamo of Greenwell Springs in East Baton Rouge Parish, and the late Lucille "Mama Lou" Digirolamo. She had worked as a secretary for the Greenwell Springs Baptist Church, and died in 2011 at the age of eighty-five. From the second marriage, Griffon has two children, including a son, Andrew Walker Griffon (born 2001), and daughter, Mattie, born in 1996, whom Griffon frequently mentions on his program in terms of her special needs. He attributes his move to Lafayette in large part to meet Mattie's special needs.
He is an avid fisherman and frequently makes light on the radio program of his fishing success. Griffon was a caterer for nine years before he began his radio career. Griffon also addresses dinners and private gatherings as an entertainer and a motivational speaker.
He has been affiliated with the North Monroe Baptist Church.
Talk show host
Besides his Monroe and Lafayette outlets, Griffon broadcasts from stations in Alexandria, Baton Rouge, Lake Charles, Natchitoches, Shreveport, Thibodaux, and Winnfield, Louisiana, and Natchez, Mississippi. He acquired a New Orleans station in nearby Slidell late in 2008. The Moon Griffon Show debuted on August 23, 1993.
Griffon frequently hosted the late Hammond attorney and state government watchdog C. B. Forgotston, known for his carefully crafted words, fiscal conservative views, and opposition to gambling and political corruption. Another occasional guest is Elliott Stonecipher, the political analyst, consultant, and pollster from Shreveport.
An occasional substitute host for Griffon has been the Monroe attorney Paul Loy Hurd, Sr. (born March 1954), the author of Louisiana's Governmental Cesspool: The Constitutional Solution, an exposé of government waste and inefficiency.
Another substitute host, John William Sutherlin, a native of El Dorado, Arkansas, who holds a Ph.D. from the University of New Orleans, is an associate professor of political science at Griffon's alma mater, the University of Louisiana at Monroe. He is the co-director of the Social Science Research Laboratory at ULM.
Griffon's former co-host, Ruth Ulrich of Monroe, is a former member of the Louisiana Republican State Central Committee and the Republican National Committee. The co-host role was exercised daily from 2010 to 2014 by Gregory Francis "Greg" Gulyas (born December 1950), a Democrat, a native of Flint, Michigan, and the news director of KMLB in Monroe, which carries Griffon's program. Gulyas is also a play-by-play sports reporter. He did not follow Griffon to Lafayette, and Brandon Comeaux, who covers news and sports for KPEL, became the co-host of the program.
A frequent guest is Dallas Long Hixson (born March 1970), an Alexandria automobile dealer and an advocate of limited government.
At times, Griffon has irritated the GOP leadership. In 2006, he invited the Shreveport catfish restaurateur Chester T. Kelley for a full segment on the program. At the time the conservative Kelley was unsuccessfully opposing the reelection of the Moderate Republican, Jim McCrery of Shreveport in Louisiana's 4th congressional district. In 2008, Kelley emerged as an independent candidate for the U.S. House against Republican John C. Fleming, who barely managed to hold the seat that McCrery vacated after twenty-one years. Fleming, who has since joined the Donald Trump administration, has been an occasional guest on the Griffon program.
Griffon repeatedly holds Republican former Governor Bobby Jindal, whom he humorously refers to as "Campaign Bobby", accountable for a lack of reform in state government though a surplus of political rhetoric. Griffon claims that Jindal, who frequently appeared on the radio program prior to his election as governor in 2007, has failed to tackle the state's financial woes, uses one-time funds in the state budget, and spends too much time campaigning out-of-state to raise funds for himself and other Republican candidates. Because of his opposition to U.S. President Barack H. Obama, Griffon supported Mitt Romney in the 2012 presidential election. He also criticized Jindal, who had campaigned in other states for Romney, for then having made critical remarks about Romney just a few days after the Republican nominee lost the general election to Obama.
On December 10, 2007, Griffon announced his opposition to Jindal's expected support for incoming State Representative Noble Ellington as chairman of the House Appropriations Committee. Ellington, who was term-limited in the state senate and hence ran for the Louisiana House of Representatives, was closely tied to the Democratic former administrations of Edwin Washington Edwards and Kathleen Babineaux Blanco and was a strong supporter of numerous tax increases. Ultimately, Jindal, acting on the advice of then incoming Speaker Jim Tucker, did not recommend Ellington for the chairmanship. Griffon further voiced strong opposition to Republicans for accepting Ellington into the party when the lawmaker defected in December 2010 in what was mistakenly believed to have been a prelude to a run for House Speaker in 2012. Griffon questioned the defection of State Senator John Alario to the Republican Party in preparation for a 2012 run as State Senate President. Griffon considers Ellington and Alario "big government" advocates, not conservatives. On October 25, 2011, Jindal endorsed the election of Alario as State Senate President; the selection was confirmed with a single dissenting vote, that of freshman Senator Barrow Peacock of Shreveport. In 2017, Griffon was still critical of Alario, whom he said because of patronage issues controls the votes of nearly all of the state senators with a couple or three exceptions. Griffon predicted that Alario will guide additional tax increases through the legislature in 2017 advocated by Jindal's Democratic successor, John Bel Edwards.
In 2008, Griffon endorsed the Republican U.S. senatorial candidate John Neely Kennedy, the state treasurer, in Kennedy's unsuccessful challenge to incumbent Democratic U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu. Kennedy occasionally appears on Griffon's program. Griffon criticized several state Republican leaders for having endorsed Landrieu over Kennedy. Landrieu thereafter defeated Kennedy with 52 percent of the vote in the general election. Kennedy was elected to the Senate to succeed Republican David Vitter in 2016, with Griffon's support.
In November 2008, Griffon left the Republican Party and re-registered as a "No-Party" voter. He cited Jindal's political moves during the first year in office as a reason for leaving the party. "My frustration with Bobby Jindal is that he is not being a conservative. Conservatives are mad as hell and they’re not taking it any more," Griffon said in an interview. Griffon has also criticized the late Republican Governor David C. Treen because Treen supported Senator Landrieu and Treen sought without success to obtain a pardon or commutation of sentence for Treen's former Democratic rival, former Governor Edwin W. Edwards. On several days in late November 2008, Griffon humorously suggested that listeners mail change-of-voter registration cards to Treen and urge the former governor to re-join the Democratic Party, from which he defected in 1960.
In October 2010, former State Senator Mike Smith, a Democrat (subsequently an Independent) from Winnfield, using his first name, "Kenneth," called the program to allege that Griffon is controlled by two unnamed wealthy Republicans. Griffon denies the allegation and claims that he alone owns his company and urged Smith to call again for further discussion on the air.
Griffon has opposed Senator Mary Landrieu throughout her career. He believes she case the critical sixtieth vote in 2010 to implement the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, legislation which Griffon contends has been a particularly "unaffordable" law from his family perspective. Griffon questioned why Jindal did not endorse until after the 2014 primary election the Republican who unseated Landrieu, U.S. Representative Bill Cassidy of Baton Rouge. The Cassidy campaign fired Jindal operative Timmy Teepell in 2013, and Jindal, who campaigns nationally for various Republican candidates, had reportedly been lukewarm toward Cassidy. Griffon also criticized a wealthy cadre of Republican businesspeople for having crossed party lines to back Landrieu in 2008.
Early in 2017, Griffon called for the resignation of Mike Edmonson as the superintendent of the Louisiana State Police after disclosure that Edmonson in October 2016 had taken seventeen of his high-ranking personnel, with one guest allowed for each employee, to San Diego, California, to attend a conference and to observe Edmonson's receiving a lifetime achievement award from the International Association of Chiefs of Police. The trip cost state taxpayers $70,000. It included a stay for four troopers traveling by car to the Grand Canyon and Las Vegas, Nevada. U.S. Senator John Neely Kennedy, who defeated the Democrat Foster Campbell in the 2016 election, agreed that Edmonson should leave his position but said he doubted if the official would be disciplined because of the "good ole' boys club." Within a few weeks after the controversy surfaced, however, Edmonson took early retirement from the state police.
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