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Scott Simon on Henry In The Hub

NPR's Scott Simon Talks Baseball, World Politics And Radio

Scott Simon.
Jacques Coughlin/NPR
Scott Simon on Henry In The Hub

WGBH mid-day anchor Henry Santoro is celebrating three years of hosting Henry In The Hub on WGBH. To mark the milestone, Santoro is featuring some of the first guests he interviewed when the segment began. Below is an interview with NPR's Weekend Edition Saturday host Scott Simon that is slightly edited for clarity.

Henry Santoro: When this Henry In The Hub segment first aired here on WGBH three years ago, one of my first guests was none other than the host of NPR's Weekend Edition Saturday, the show you're listening to right now. Scott Simon just happened to be in Boston, and he just happened to be at WGBH, the building that I work in. I had no time to prepare, but we winged it. We talked baseball, Chicago, Scott's relationship with his mom, and of course his love of all things journalism. And, if I say so myself, it came out well. Scott Simon, welcome back.

Scott Simon: Thank you. Very good to be here, Henry.

Santoro: Let's start with good news. Your second-favorite baseball team and my favorite baseball team won the World Series this year.

Simon: Yes, so I've been told. I stopped watching right after the Cubs lost to the Brewers. I understand there was a postseason exhibition or something. I was happy for the Red Sox. They not only won, but they won! It wasn't even close. I was quite happy.

Santoro: It was a record-setting year. What are your thoughts on the Red Sox winning this again, and its first-year coach Alex Cora?

Simon: They're a great team. Alex Cora in his first year as manager, obviously, did just an utterly terrific job. It's a great franchise. And I say this with great respect for Theo Epstein, who we all know where he is at the moment, I think this ownership group in Boston has just done a terrific job over the past 10 and 12 years. To turn the Red Sox from perennial has-beens and hard luck stories into perennial champions — I mean, almost out Yankee-ing the Yankees, if I can say that, it's a great, great story of a great franchise. And this was a great season from start to finish.

Santoro: Yeah, a bunch of good guys with some very big hearts. You have reported from all 50 states, you've reported from five different continents. You've covered 10 wars from El Salvador to Sarajevo to Iraq and Afghanistan. From where you sit today, is America in trouble?

Simon: Well, I guess America's been in trouble ever since I've been a reporter. I can't recall a time when it hasn't been. I do think, I'll chance to say now, I think a lot of the troubles America is going through at this point seem to be more self-inflicted than I remember. We've just been through the armistice ceremonies. And I think that entire coalition that the Western world engendered with each other, following the close of World War II. I understand even better than I certainly did as a youngster, having been married into a French family, how important it was following the enormous destruction of the Second World War — the unprecedented destruction of the Holocaust and what that represented in human experience. To try and put together a post-war system, in which the world would look out for each other and would elevate the question of human rights above all other considerations, certainly above economic rights and nationalism. And to see that system, I think, being turned on its head at this point is something that I think we hadn't expected before and the implications are extraordinary.

Santoro: Scott, what do you like most about hosting Weekend Edition Saturday?

Simon: I enjoy the cavalcade of the world. I enjoy being able to be a part of it. In one small way or another.

Santoro: Scott Simon, thank you so much for sharing your time this morning and once again, thank you again for steering the NPR ship the way you do each and every Saturday morning. We will let you get back to doing that right now.

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