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Roger L. Simon

Duking it out on Air America

February 24th, 2009 - 7:48 am

Yesterday was one of those days so dizzyingly busy it was hard to remember if I was coming or going and hard to remember everything I did. It began with a stint on the floor of the Chicago futures market, making a video in the shadow of the Affaire Santelli, and ran into an afternoon and evening of book events, culminating with a late night two-hour appearance on the remarkably thoughtful Milt Rosenberg Show.

But it was an interview that came right in the middle of the futures market chaos that I may end up remembering most from this lengthy round of book promotion – and it won’t be fondly.

A publicist called a week or so ago wondering if I would be willing to be on Thom Hartmann’s show on Air America. (Hartmann is the current Al Franken replacement.) Sure, I said, always anxious to promote my book and curious about what AA would be like. I must confess to a tinge of trepidation at the moment, knowing this would be oppo media, but in another sense it made me all the more eager to go on.

And go on I did. Hartmann turned out to be the rude type who interrupts you and puts words in your mouth, making assumptions about what you think from the most conventional of liberal playbooks. I sensed immediately that he hadn’t read the book through and when I called him on it, he admitted it, but allowed as how that was impossible given his schedule. (For the record, the likes of Rosenberg-above, Hugh Hewitt, Michael Medved, Laura Ingraham and even the nefarious Gordon Liddy read the book through, as did, of course, Armstrong Williams – twice – for the one-hour interview he did for BookTV. But they, of course, may not have been as busy as Mr. Hartmann.).

Nevertheless, I excused him. Anyone who has gone on shows of this nature to promote a book with any frequency knows this is a common occurrence. It was a comment he made shortly thereafter that I found to be despicable.

He said that, “After 9-11, you and Ron Silver were frightened,” or words to that affect, implying that Ron and I had become suddenly terrified of the terrorists and our acts thereafter, supporting the war on Islamofascism, were motivated by a (one supposes) bullying cowardice.

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