Jim Lehrer – “Everybody knows what they saw”


Spin Doesn’t Work If Everybody’s Seen The Event

Sean Hannity, Fox News: “I felt that for you, after the debate, a lot of criticism heaped on you.”

Jim Lehrer, PBS News Hour: “Yeah”

Hannity: “How did you feel about that?”

Lehrer: “Well, you know, I’m not really keen on criticism [laughs], just as a general thing. But, that was right at the beginning. The criticism has pretty much gone away now because people realize that spin doesn’t work if everybody’s seen the event. Sixty-seven million people watched it, sixty-seven million other people reacted to it — saw excerpts [of] it and all of that. So, they know what they saw. So, everybody is pretty well chilled out on this, and nobody’s blaming me for it and blaming me for anything. And the format is what made it possible. Whatever happened, some people look at it in a positive way, some people look at it in a negative way. However, the fact of the matter is it was the format and all I did was implement the format — which was a wide-open opportunity for the candidates to directly address each other.”

I think Team Obama made a serious miscalculation when they tried to blame Jim Lehrer. He is widely respected in the media and they tend to defend their own. Remember the War on FOX News? The media took FOX’s side.

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53 Responses to Jim Lehrer – “Everybody knows what they saw”

  1. votermom says:

    We have a twitter account! Follow @CrawdadHole.

  2. cj says:

    Hannity did good; I was relieved. He didn’t wander off the reservation with one his pet peeves & stayed focus on the topic which made the interview much more effective.

    You’re right, big miscalculation taking on someone like Lehrer, but what can you do when the only things left in your tool box are gimmicks & character assassination.

    • DM says:

      I think Hannity dropped the ball because Lehrer was there to talk about his book. Though it was okay to talk about the debate, that should not have been the whole discussion. It was good to give Lehrer an opportunity to talk about the criticism, but I thought that it should not have been the whole conversation.

  3. yttik says:

    It’s terrible that Lehrer even has to defend himself and for what?? Not showing enough bias towards President Obama? I swear, half the country has gone mad.

    Of course hidden in all of that and in the Presidential Debate Committee defense, is this blaming of the “format.” The format is what made it possible. It was the format.

  4. myiq2xu says:

    Bob Somerby isn’t quite so kindly towards Ol’ Jim:

    Has Jim Lehrer really been an “imperturbable voice of reason” during his many White House debates? We’ll examine that question tomorrow.

    But no.

    That said, Peters said Lehrer was “seething” as he endured his passion. In Peters’ judgment, Lehrer was outraged by the (very mild) criticism which had been coming his way.

    He was “offended” by other suggestions. In Gethsemane, Lehrer writhed in the face of comments which he regarded as “smears.”

    Surprise! Peters was skirting a fact which is rarely discussed—Lehrer has some of the thinnest skin of any big player in Washington. Here’s how we learned that:

    Last year, Lehrer wrote a strange but revealing book about his many White House debates. The book was called Tension City.

    In his book, Lehrer rather weirdly described how much he hates being criticized. He then proved that he wasn’t kidding as he discussed past debates. In particular, Lehrer indulged in a great deal of payback concerning the (rather mild) criticism he took in October 2000, when he behaved extremely badly during the pivotal Bush-Gore debates.

    Until we read Tension City, we ourselves had never realized that Lehrer has Washington’s thinnest skin. He basically said so in this strange book, then proved it with his fact-challenged accounts of his conduct, and the way he was criticized, in October 2000.

    More on those topics tomorrow. But as last week’s debate approached, Lehrer was writhing in the garden, offended by all the smears.

    Can we talk? The fact that Lehrer can see things that way shows how pampered he is. In fact, few mortals in any other profession are fawned over as Lehrer is.

    He has his ass kissed as few others do. Presumably, this helps explain the thin skin.


    When it comes to figures like Lehrer, this type of fawning has long been required by mandates of Hard Pundit Law. Within the guild, everyone knows that you must say such things about the guild’s masters and deacons.

    Please note: The press corps fawns about its own as it fawns about no one else. For that reason, few mortals are shielded from criticism in the way Lehrer is.

  5. myiq2xu says:


    Daily Kos/SEIU State of the Nation poll: Romney takes the lead in post-debate period

    by kos for Daily Kos

    Public Policy Polling for Daily Kos & SEIU. 10/4-7. Likely voters. MoE ±2.72% (9/27-30 results)

    The candidates for President are Democrat Barack Obama and Republican Mitt Romney. If the election was today, who would you vote for?

    Obama 47 (49)
    Romney 49 (45)

    • DM says:

      Good for Ryan. Reporters do that often, put words in others mouth as if those words were uttered. Reporters should be called on it every time. Usually the person interviewed says: “I didn’t say that”. But that’s too mild. Ryan pushed back. I like it.

  6. tommy says:

    Whats up with the progs? They are having a collective heartattack over the Pew poll. If some of those Obots don’t calm down, they’re gonna keel over. It ain’t the end of the world. Personally, I’m happy that Fareed Zakaria was proved wrong that the debates don’t really matter. He spouted that only external crisises like a Euro meltdown or an Israeli-Iran flareup could bring down his Precious.

  7. Lulu says:

    The debate failure aftermath has taken a life of its own. It is amazing to behold. Everyone that was shouted down, shoved aside, bullied for questioning Zero, coerced into going along with this boob and his mob of nasty dunces has coalesced into a roaring shit storm of a preference cascade. When the mob turns it gets ugly fast. LOL

    • cj says:

      What cracks me up is the thought that Axelrod & Gibbs knew this day was coming. The others might have deluded themselves, but those two knew exactly what they had in Obama. They must have been having recurrent nightmares for the last 5 years about the day it was all going to be exposed.

      • myiq2xu says:

        They were hoping and praying for another month. After Nov. 6th they could ride off into the sunset.

        • angienc says:

          Exactly. That is why they were trying to run out the clock instead of addressing real issues (such as Libya, meeting other world leaders at UN, etc) to minimize chances for Obama to fuck things up. Unfortunately, they thought 2012 debate Lehrer was going to be 2000 debate Lehrer and he would do enough to “spin” into a win. If you watch the debate again you clearly notice all the times Obama looks at Lehrer & is clearly trying to communicate to him to cut Romney off before Obama finally just tells Lehrer “Jim* you might want to move on.” Also unfortunately for them, they were up against the real Mitt Romney, not Strawmaney (h/t Dandy).

          *WTF with Obama & always with the first names? He’s never respectful.

        • cj says:

          Obama gave Lehrer the same look that my puppy gives me when his ball rolls under the couch. He looked absolutely astonished & miffed when help wasn’t forthcoming.

          When he loses, I swear they’re going to have to deprogram him like one of those hand-fed dolphins they release into the wild. 🙂

  8. gram cracker says:

    The town hall debate forum will probably be packed with ringers staged to submit predetermined questions designed to favor Obama and attack Romney.

    When attacked Romney could look at Obama and respond something along the line of…

    “Mr. President, you, your campaign and your surrogates have spent months trying to assassinate my character, even accusing me of being a liar, felon and killer. Meanwhile you and your administration neglected to provide the security that ambassador Stevens repeatedly requested for our Libyan diplomatic missions. Your administration’s irresponsible rejection of his security requests likely resulted in the assassination of ambassador Stevens on the anniversary of 9/11. The last time an ambassador was assassinated was in 1979 during the Carter Presidency.

    You and your campaign need to stop the personal attacks and engage with me and Paul Ryan in discussions of the vital economic and national security policy issues that face our great country and how best to get our country working again and resume our global leadership position to secure a prosperous, peaceful future for our children and grandchildren.”

  9. Rangoon78 says:

    Kill the Umpire?

    Subject: Baseball analogies: Obama Sox!

    “…one of the great examples of leadership… He’s the kind of leader anyone would want in your organization.”

    -Obama campaign manager Jim Messina on… Derek Jeter.
    Gore Blames Obama’s Whiff on Altitude


    Obama was “off his game,” cried MSNBC’s Ed Schultz, while Chris Matthews screamed, “I don’t know what was going on out there.”

    Obama blogger and idiot, Booman:
    Barack Obama is a unique talent, at least as rare as Derek Jeter. His debate performance was not up to his own standard of excellence, and it made all of our jobs harder and possibly eroded our eventual margin of victory. But people need to look in the mirror and ask themselves what contribution they are making to victory before they start sniping at their star player.

  10. myiq2xu says:

  11. myiq2xu says:

    Instant classic from Iowahawk:

    White House Scientists Struggle to Contain Outbreak of Scrutonium

    WASHINGTON DC – Engaged a relentless battle against time and fatigue, a select group of message scientists assembled by the White House’s Center for Narrative Control say they will take “all steps necessary” to contain a recent outbreak of scrutonium, a deadly poll-eating supervirus that attacks the immuno-hope system, leaving victims vulnerable to material facts.

    “Failure is simply not an option,” said an exhausted Mission Chief David Axelrod. “If left unchecked, this virus may actually force us to move back to Chicago.”

    There’s more at the link.

  12. myiq2xu says:

    Here’s a fun video for pointy-headed bean counter types:

    The rebuttal starts around the 39 minute mark.

    (Via Legal Insurrection)

    • cj says:

      Talk about f*cking disillusionment. I can’t think of a single pre Obama person on the left who I still feel the same about post Obama, including Bill & Hillary to a certain extent.

      I don’t know whether to thank the mom-pants weasel or curse him.

    • wmcb says:

      Good video. I agree with the speakers who point out that while Keynesian economics works in theory, in reality govts ALWAYS spend during recessions, then spend even MORE during booms. They never reduce the spending back down once the recovery starts. There is no way to make it work long term unless you create some sort of balanced budget binding structure that holds govts to smaller spending during boom times, yet allows some deficit spending in emergencies/recessions.

      I don’t give a shit what works on paper, if it is sabotaged every single fucking time by the reality of human nature and intractable bureaucracies in the real world.

  13. tommy says:

    Myiq had to step away for a while. I’m sensing this election day as a repeat of 2010. I ain’t a technical dude, but come election day, TCH would be swamped and flooded with comments. I don’t want to come home to TCH, and find the site hanging or slow. So being puter illeterate, hope we have enough whatever. And ofcourse, hope the boss crawdad makes an appearance.

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