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Morning routine: Brian Lehrer

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This week: Brian Lehrer , host of The Brian Lehrer Show which airs weekdays at 10 a.m. on 93.9 FM, and and 10 a.m. and midnight on 820 AM. 

Q: How do you get up?

A: I set two alarms: I wake up at 5:30 a.m. to the alarm on my $15 Casio watch because I don’t want to wake anybody up. (A son, 18, is at college, leaving Lehrer’s wife and a 12-year-old son at home.) But I have an alarm clock set as a back up. I wash up and I’m out the door by 6 a.m. 

Q: What about coffee?

A: I’ve never had a cup of coffee in my life. 

Q: What kind of journalist are you?

A: Caffeine gives me the shakes. I’ve never smoked a cigarette either. 

Q: Have you smoked weed?

A: No one should ever answer that question.  

Q: When does the limo arrive to whisk you to the studio?

A: I take the A train. It’s about an hour. I love Inwood because it’s in the city, but off the grid. I get on at the end of the line at 207th and I always get a seat. I have all the papers delivered to my house, so I read in comfort (and mark them up) on the A train! I transfer at West 4th to Spring, or get off at West 4th and walk (to 160 Varick). When we had the transit strike (in 2005), I rode my bike.

Q: You still read newspapers!

A: I use my smart phone, too. It’s an HTC Touch Pro and the app for the New York Times news digest is really well laid out. 

Q: Don’t people recognize you on the train?

A: Sometimes. Different people feel different levels of entitlement to engage me in conversation and a little bit is fine. I don’t feel intruded upon. 

Q: What about the most important meal of the day?

A: I eat at the station, and I’m a lunch-for-breakfast kind of person, so I usually have something like a turkey sandwich for breakfast. I eat  at my desk before the 8 a.m. meeting while searching for topics on Google news.  

Q: So you have one of those journalist’s keyboards filled with crumbs.

A: Yes, I probably do.

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