All Star Panelist Roger Simon Talks Knowing Tucker Carlson and Who’s Who in Mainstream News Media
Live from Music Row Thursday 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 senior editor-at-large at The Epoch Times, Roger Simon, in studio to talk about his friendliness with Tucker Carlson.
Leahy: Roger Simon, all-star panelist. We were talking during the break and that right now, the most important, the most significant conservative media personality is Tucker Carlson.
Simon: Without a doubt. In fact, there’s nobody close except for you, Michael. (Laughter)
Leahy: Well, thank you, Roger.
Simon: No. I mean, there is nobody close, and he’s done a remarkable job. He is the most-watched, most interesting guy on TV.
Leahy: He’s a fact-based guy, and he reports facts, which makes him all the more powerful. You’ve known Tucker for some time. Tell us about how you first met Tucker.
Simon: I’ll tell you how I first met him and then I’ll tell you how he’s gotten me into trouble. (Laughter) I actually don’t remember the first time we met, but when The Daily Caller was being started by Tucker.
Leahy: 2009 or 2010?
Simon: This was earlier, I think, particularly with PJ Media. We were earlier than that.
Leahy: PJ Media was much like 2000.
Simon: No, it was for 2004. All of us sort of knew each other. I knew Breitbart.
Leahy: You knew Andrew.
Simon: And Tucker. Glenn Reynolds, the Instapundit over here at Knoxville.
Leahy: Glenn, of course, was a key part of PJ Media.
Simon: Oh, he still is.
Leahy: With Instapundit. Great guy.
Simon: Oh, he’s a fantastic person.
Leahy: Lives in Knoxville.
Simon: So we all kind of knew each other. So that’s how it happened, really. And then we keep bumping into each other at event after event.
So I don’t know Tucker that well, but I know him pretty well. We text back and forth.
Leahy: You text him.
Simon: That’s how he gets me in trouble. As many listeners know, the NSA apparently has been looking in on Tucker’s text. So, therefore, the NSA is listening in on my texts.
Leahy: Uh oh.
Simon: And I wrote a little bit about this at The Epoch Times, and I sent this over to Tucker. He really got a chuckle out of it. I said you are outing me at the NSA.
Leahy: As a conservative!
Simon: I think they already knew. The problem with the whole NSA thing is that there’s a book called The Puzzle Palace, written in 1988 about the NSA. It tells you that in 1988 they were able to access virtually all our communication.
Leahy: Way back in ’88. And it’s gotten much worse ever since, hasn’t it?
Leahy: So you had lunch with Tucker recently?
Simon: But I can’t talk about that too much because Tucker has security issues, as people know because Antifa types were at his house.
Leahy: Bad guys. They threatened his family and his poor wife was there. They were knocking on the door and she didn’t know what to do. That’s awful.
Simon: So he has to live a life a little bit under the radar, and I don’t blame him.
Leahy: Let me tell you something about Tucker Carlson. I’ve met him just once, but I’ve had a few communications with him. Not a lot. He’s a very nice guy.
Simon: He is a terrific person.
Leahy: I met him back in 2012 when I was doing the book tour for Covenant of Liberty: The Ideological Origins of the Tea Party Movement and I was on Fox News coming on Fox and Friends and did the whole tour.
I was actually on Morning Joe with Joe Scarborough. I got to tell you about that here in a second. But I was on Lou Dobbs’ show, and he was on the panels.
Lou came off and chatted with me briefly. Very nice. He’s much taller than you would think. He’s about 6’1. He’s not super tall.
Leahy: He’s taller than me.
Simon: Well, everybody’s taller than we are. (Laughter) It’s the sad truth.
Leahy: So if you want to hear my Morning Joe story?
Simon: Yeah, I do. One of the least likable people.
Leahy: No, there’s somebody even less likable than him. You know who it is?
Simon: His wife.
Leahy: Yes. Mika! So I’m going to go into name-dropping city here. Name dropping alert.
Leahy: I had a friend who was never a professor of mine at Harvard, but was a Ph.D. student there. He was a Ph.D. student of American History. His name was Alan Brinkley, the son of the great David Brinkley.
Alan is a very nice guy. He was a biographer of Franklin Roosevelt. Now he’s kind of a liberal. But a very nice guy. And so back then, I was a liberal.
We used to have these when you go to college and when you know everything. When you go to college, you’re also an Ivy Leaguer. Don’t tell anybody.
The expanses of New Hampshire at Dartmouth. You’d have lunch, and then you’d just sit around and just talk for hours about how much …
Simon: How much you know.
Leahy: Look at how much I know. Anyways, but this was fun. And so I got to know him. He would come and we’d chat. Very nice guy. Alan Brinkley.
So then fast forward – I don’t know – 35 years. He wrote a kind of nasty critique of the Tea Party movement. And as you know, I was involved in the launching of that movement.
I took exception to it. And I wrote him and I laid out all of his errors. And he responded. He was kind. And he said, well, okay, I get your point.
And we started talking about that. It turns out he was pals with – of course, because of his dad – Tom Brokaw. And so I got a call before the 2010 elections from Tom Brokaw to interview me about what the Tea Party was.
And, of course, this was before all the big Republican victories. Say what you will about Tom’s ideology, but he’s really probably one of the best interviewers that I’ve ever met.
He was very good. So he interviewed me. Tom got me on Morning Joe. I had a 12-minute segment there and Mika was there.
Joe was very nice to me by the way, back in 2012. Mika, let me just say if looks could kill, (Laughs) I would not be here today.
Because we got the Brokaw introduction she didn’t have permission to kind of go after me, but she wanted to. She really wanted to. I could tell her she just totally hated my guts.
Simon: Speaking of my life as a hypocrite, that duo is right up there. Joe and Mika, they’re right up there because they were all over Trump and then all of a sudden, Trump is Satan.
Listen to the full third 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 “Tucker Carlson” by Tucker Carlson Tonight. Background Photo “Fox News Studio” by Inside Cable news. CC BY 2.0.