Chasing Denis Leary: actor supports firefighters as long as they don’t believe in ‘9/11 conspiracy theories’

Leary (left) hangs out in the dressing room with my longtime friend Fred Serre.

“… what you need is an event, an event that gets everyone’s heads turned around the right way. What you need is a new Pearl Harbor. That’s what they said they needed… and that is sure as shit what they got.” —Daniel Sunjata as Franco Rivera in a scene from Rescue Me, created by Denis Leary

“War is show business. That’s why we’re here.” — Robert DeNiro as Conrad Brean in Wag the Dog, which features Leary

“I’m an asshole.” —Leary in his satirical song Asshole

October 26, 2019

By Craig McKee

It was a short interview.

Okay, technically it was more of a refusal to give an interview. But why split hairs?  I got a quote.

“Nah, I’m not gettin’ involved in that… 9/11 conspiracy theories… nah,” 62-year-old actor Denis Leary said as he walked briskly to his car outside a Montreal ball hockey rink last Saturday afternoon. He was responding to my request to do an interview with him about the efforts of firefighters in the New York area to get a new investigation into 9/11.

Leary may have been trying to pull away from me, but I do have deceptive speed when pursuing famous people holding hockey sticks. Especially when 9/11 is involved.

I know. You have questions. Like what is a mid-level Hollywood actor and former stand-up comedian doing at a ball hockey rink in Montreal? And why was I even there to chase him?

In September, my good buddy Fred Serre got in touch to tell me that I wouldn’t believe who was going to be playing in his weekly ball hockey game for the next several Saturdays. He explained that Leary, in between seasons of his hit show Animal Kingdom, is in town making a TV miniseries for Fox called A Moody Christmas with Jay Baruchel. And being an avid hockey player (and certainly a fan of the hated Boston Bruins), Leary had to find a regular game while he was here. Baruchel, a fanatical Montreal Canadiens fan, was supposed to play at some point also, but he hasn’t as of the publication of this article.

Fred has been a friend and fellow journalist for more than 30 years. We worked together at The Chronicle newspaper in Montreal for five years, and I am now a regular contributor to a magazine that he edits. In recent years, Fred has come to agree with me that 9/11 was indeed an inside job, which makes him the second most enlightened journalist in town, next to me.

When I got the intriguing news about Leary, I started thinking about how I could arrange to talk to him and what that might lead to, particularly with regard to 9/11 and firefighters, which he and I both have an interest in, although for very different reasons.

Leary isn’t a real firefighter, he just played one on TV. A scene from Rescue Me.

Leary is well known for his support of firefighters, including those who lost their lives or got sick at Ground Zero on or after Sept. 11, 2001. That part we have in common. He created and starred in a show about firefighters called Rescue Me (which ran from 2004 to 2011). The show featured a scene in its fifth season in which character Franco Rivera, played by real-life 9/11 truther Daniel Sunjata (who is a member of the 9/11 Consensus Panel), explains why he thinks 9/11 was an inside job (see the first quote at the top of this article).

Leary’s affinity for firefighters goes back at least to 1999 when a cousin and a childhood friend were killed fighting a fire in Worcester, Massachusetts. This tragedy led him to create The Leary Firefighters Foundation in 2000, its mission “to provide funding and resources for Fire Departments to obtain the best available equipment, technology and training.” The events of 9/11 led the foundation to create The Fund for New York’s Bravest, which raised money for the families of the 343 firefighters who died that day.

At one time, I would have thought only of the acting/celebrity angle for approaching Leary since I used to be the entertainment editor of the largest English weekly newspaper in my native province of Quebec, Canada. I’ve interviewed (name dropping alert!) some pretty big talents over the years, like Janet Leigh of Psycho fame, Leslie Nielsen, James Cromwell, David Cronenberg, Norman Jewison, Stephen Colbert, Carl Reiner, Kevin Pollak, Russell Peters, Michael York, Eric Idle, and the one and only Dame Edna Everage. I’ve also talked to a whack of musicians, including members of Rush, Styx, Supertramp, Coldplay, The Barenaked Ladies, and solo acts like Michael Bublé, Josh Groban, Paul Anka, and the guy who played Bjorn in the Abba tribute show Bjorn Again (his fake Swedish accent was surprisingly convincing).

But this time, Fred’s news did not make me think about show business possibilities; I thought about firefighters and 9/11. Because of what I perceived to be potential open-mindedness from Leary on the subject, I imagined trying to get some kind of statement of support for the efforts of firefighters from the Franklin Square and Munson Fire Department — located near Queens, New York — to expose the truth of what really happened at the World Trade Center on 9/11.

The fire district passed a ground-breaking resolution in July calling for a new investigation of 9/11 and stating that it is “beyond any doubt” that the three World Trade Center towers were brought down with explosives. In my capacity as a writer for Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth, I interviewed fire commissioner Christopher Gioia, the driving force behind this resolution, and wrote articles about his initiative for Common Ground magazine in Vancouver, Canada, and the Manhattan monthly paper The WestView News.

With all this attention to firefighters very fresh in my mind, I excitedly imagined a variety of scenarios for Leary. Would he do an interview? Could I get it on video? Would he pose for a picture in support of the Franklin Square and Munson firefighters? Make a statement of support?  Hang out for beers after the game with me and Fred?

When I learned that last week he might be playing his last game before leaving town, I decided to get my ass over there (I had gone to a game about a month earlier but Leary left immediately after the game). Turns out it wasn’t his last week, but it’s just as well that I went so I could make a move once and for all or give up. As you can tell from “the quote,” I ended up with nothing. Leary’s respect for firefighters and their willingness to risk their lives every day apparently didn’t help one bit when it came to these firefighters.

By the way, three firefighters who worked in Franklin Square and Munson died at Ground Zero on Sept. 11, and two of the district’s commissioners are now ill from breathing the toxic air that day and in the weeks that followed. But Leary never found out about these people because he didn’t want to “get involved in that.”

Nah. Conspiracy theories. Nah.

The funny thing is that Leary actually had a role in the 1997 film Wag the Dog, which satirized massive government deceptions and the use of propaganda to sell fake wars. It seems, however, that he didn’t realize that this kind of thing can actually happen in real life — and that it did on 9/11 (in this case, real wars started using fake “terror” attacks). Or maybe he did realize it but decided he could not say so and still continue doing those great Christmas movies for Fox.

Is Denis Leary an asshole (as he asserted proudly but with tongue in cheek in the song quoted above) because he brushed me off? No, I don’t think so. Fred says he’s great— just one of the guys. I bet if I’d been chasing him into the corner after the ball instead of chasing him for an interview about 9/11, I’d have thought he was great, too. So, no, not an asshole.

Just a hypocrite.

Christopher Gioia seeks justice for fallen firefighters in a meeting with Niambe Tomlinson, an aide to New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, on the 18th anniversary of 9/11.


  1. Well, if your point in writing this article was to toot your horn a bit, you succeeded cuz I’m jealous you got to interview Colbert. I also met Josh Groban, performed on stage with him in Idaho this summer. 🙂

    I also had personal correspondence with a few celebrities, a decade ago, including Sunjata, when I was the original coordinator for Actors And Artists for 9/11 Truth.

    1. I suppose there was a bit of tooting there, but I thought it was an opportunity for readers to know something about me beyond my 9/11 activities. After all, we all have lives outside of our activism, don’t we? I spoke to Colbert on the phone right before his show, The Colbert Report, debuted. One of his kids threw up in the kitchen during the interview and he had to call me back, which he did. Very nice guy.

      It’s awesome that you performed with Groban. I interviewed him in person, and he complimented the ring tone on my phone, which was Beethoven’s Ninth at the time. Too bad that Actors and Artists couldn’t become active (more active?) again.

  2. As a former journalist turned technologist (thanks to 9/11) I find your article extremely entertaining and enlightening even if I may disagree with your conclusion.

    Who can blame Dennis Leary for avoiding comment on Conspiracy Theories regarding 9/11 when there is hardly a journalist which has scratched the surface of the actual 9/11 sub-plot.

    You may notice I didn’t use the word conspiracy because the word like it or not is associate with outlandish theories which have been proven wrong. I’m talking about theories that no planes were used in the attacks or that missiles were fired from the planes from pods attached to her underbellies before impact, the list goes on and on. It is enough to make any celebrity like Dennis Leary a bit, well, leery of comment.

    I have approached the question of 9/11 and her sub-plots in a very rational and practical manner. Even so, my investigation which began before 9/11 touches on questions of at the heart of existence itself – on questions of time and space.

    The result of my investigation is of immense practical importance. It is a model space and time which is the missing link we have been searching for for decades linking space and time and gravity into a single framework. It asserts that the fundamental quality of time is regenerative. As living matter, we leverage off this fundamental aspect of time to create degrees of freedom inaccessible to non-living forms of energy.

    The model is called The Holy Grail Spiral of Life – 935Qkk. Its discovery coincides with important events both before and after the 9/11 attacks which will light a way forward towards a path which will place a greater weight on education and exploring possibilities than on the use of force and indoctrination.

    It’s great you can see Dennis is not an asshole for avoiding the questions. Yes, it would be nice to have a celebrity on your side, so to speak, to agree with you, but in this regard one must first take up the pen and write a story so compelling and honest that by its sheer ring of truth and humility it attracts the Dennis Leary’s out there to the cause. To tell that story we must focus like a laser on the prize of untainted, unvarnished truth.

  3. Craig, I have been reading about this subject of 9/11 and those who dispute the official stories. It is all very intriguing.

    I heard you on a soundcloud file from ae911, and see that you are a journalist. If these things are true -the new UAF study especially- how does the media and wikipedia manage to keep such important information hidden from the public ? How could they control so many people everywhere ?

    1. Hi George, thanks for the comment. I think you’ll find that the Hulsey study from the University of Alaska Fairbanks is valid, and this will be revealed once the period for comments ends on November 15. I am sure there will be no evidence provided that shows any fault in the study’s conclusions.

      Your other questions don’t have easy – or short – answers. The media are controlled to be sure but that does not mean that every journalist is in on the con. Some just know they mustn’t go there and others have been fooled by the conditioning we all undergo that pushes us to dismiss and mock “conspiracy theories.” Beyond that, I am certain there are many prominent journalists that are on the payrolls of various intelligence organizations – in particular the CIA. Certainly any one of them who rises to a level of power is either compromised or has risen because they have already absorbed the acceptable way of seeing the world. You might check out the latest piece by Fran Shure on why people can’t accept that the official story is false.

      1. I saw the work of Fran Shure as well, I found it in the same place I found you. What she says seems reasonable.

        In that regard there is one question I have been trying to ask: What about the Wiki “anyone-can-edit” media?…

        I looked this up and the UAF study is nowhere in Wikipedia. Notably, it is absent even in the AE911 page. I saw that some people tried to add the UAF study in a few relevant articles but a few editors with privileges take the information out right away- and even ridicule AE911 in their comments.

        Who are those editors that police the articles 24/7? Can they be confronted if they censor infornation inappropriately about your (meaning AE911) organization? Are they indeed being confronted? Why a 3000+strong group of professionals (including lawyers) is not demanding a proper review or a discussion with Wiki management ?

        These and other things come to. mind.

        I thank you sincerely for your time and responses.

  4. I think Leary and most Americans know 9/11 was a lie. How much each actually knows is debatable but along with cognitive dissonance, they simply don’t want to talk about it. There is of course shame in the fact they were hoodwinked in the beginning and most openly ridiculed truthers who attempted to open their eyes for years. As the years and evidence have piled up nobody wants to be reminded of the fact they were WRONG! I recently sent a number of links to my brothers and father regarding the Munson declaration and a copy of the summary evidence by the Lawyers Committee for 9/11Truth, I was ignored, ridiculed and told off, once again. The truth obviously hurts and the reality of 9/11 for most turns their world view on its head so they won’t allow that to happen. With regards to Leary, he may simply be protecting his mediocre career? Look at Charlie Sheen and what happened to his career as soon as he became very openly involved in the truth movement. He had the most popular show on television (two and a half men) and suddenly he was fired, his character was assassinated, made out to be a horing drug-using lunatic and in the end, declared publicly to be HIV positive.

  5. Denis Leary put down that fire hat you are disgracing and slowly back away from the fire truck. You, Sir, are clearly a danger to yourself, others around you, and the whole world at large; including little puppy dogs.
    You act as if it’s perfectly normal for a steel-framed building to just up and collapse on firefighters that had one minute earlier reported two isolated pockets of fire and with two hand lines they could put them out; as if 88,000 firest responders exposed to toxins is normal as they were actually engaged in the destruction of the crime scene that would eventually lead to more lies that sent us into war and personal cost my son his life.
    Besides all this, Denis doesn’t mention a few code of ethic violations being committed by firefighters on and after 9/11. (Mainly, they don’t have a plan of entry into buildings that can fall down due to office fires.) If Denis truly cared about our firefighters he would discover that firefighters were told to not wear mask as it was slowing them down,,, removing the crime scene, so they could lie us into war.
    Denies and his ilk remained silent on all this just as they did about the toxic water served to my son in Iraq, along with most of our troops.
    In fact, not only did Denis and his ilk not use their money and fame to expose this crime they used their money and fame to help hide this crime and I call that treasonous!

  6. Dear Mr. McKee, Thank you for sharing the journey.

    The 9/11 house of cards is so tall, because in the middle are those who should’ve known better, but could only think that by speaking up they might get special attention. Then their status as a functioning cog in the system gets questioned. Their livelihoods are put at risk.


  7. Craig’s piece, very well written as usual, ends by avoiding name-calling (e.g., “asshole”) but in saying that Leary is “just a hypocrite.” In my 50 years of gaining a cumulatively growing understanding of the bloodthirstiness of the American Empire, I’ve been disgusted, fearful, and angry based on evidence.

    Evidence of the napalming of villages in Vietnam angered me. Evidence of the bombing of country after country—in Vietnam more tonnage than was dropped by all countries during World War II angered me. The overturning of democratically-elected governments, as with the Henry Kissinger-masterminded coup in Chile in 1973, in which president Allende was assassinated, thousands were “disappeared” to this day, and a military dictatorship installed, made me feel sad and helpless.

    The whole five decades, most of the evidence was either suppressed or omitted outright by the mainstream media, handmaidens of empire. But I’ve learned that my greatest anger is for the hypocrites—be they in government, in pulpits, in the media or in the entertainment business. The ones who endorse or enable the ongoing lawlessness and slaughter meted out by the American Empire.

    One needs to be sure that a person KNOWS he is prevaricating, dodging, speaking with a forked tongue, before calling him or her a hypocrite. Leary at least should know. That he is so little an exception is truly disheartening. Hypocrites are cowards. They put their self-interests above truths they know, above the general good, the greater good. It’s a moral crime.

    1. Its funny I have been publishing Barrie Zwicker inside the World Trade Center Photos from Towers of Deception: The Media Cover-up, and here he is commenting. I asked William Rodriguez on facebook about them and he said it was from the 1993 bombing. I asked him why he thought so and he stopped responding

      William Rodriguez on Barrie Zwicker photos facebook

      Craig McKee can you ask Barrie if the photos are valid? thanks

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