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.