Jim Lehrer - Quotes

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There's only one interview technique that matters... Do your homework so you can listen to the answers and react to them and ask follow-ups. Do your homework, prepare. ---->>>

If we don't have an informed electorate we don't have a democracy. So I don't care how people get the information, as long as they get it. I'm just doing it my particular way and I feel lucky I can do it the way I want to do it. ---->>>

A debate has one purpose, one purpose only, and that is to facilitate the exchange of ideas directly between two candidates, and that's it. ---->>>

I wanted to be a bus driver when I was a kid. I look at bus driving through the eyes of a little boy. I see it as glamorous. ---->>>

You want to see an angry person? Let me hear a cell phone go off.

You want to see an angry person? Let me hear a cell phone go off.

I came from a family of Marines into the family of Marines. ---->>>

I believe an invitation from the Commission on Presidential Debates is similar to a draft notice - a civic responsibility. ---->>>

I'm a gatekeeper, and the gatekeepers all used to be mostly old, white men. ---->>>

I've always said this and finally I had a chance to demonstrate it: The moderator should be seen little and heard even less. It is up to the candidates to ask the follow-up questions and challenge one another. ---->>>

I'm an expert on the NewsHour and it isn't how I practice journalism. I am not involved in the story. I serve only as a reporter or someone asking questions. I am not the story. ---->>>

As I say, I'm a discourse advocate. What form it comes is less important to me than the fact that there is discourse. ---->>>

I always wear blue shirts and I like wine or purple ties. ---->>>

If you go to the ball game, you don't need to read the game story. ---->>>

There are very few really stark black and white stories. ---->>>

There's always a germ of truth in just about everything.

There's always a germ of truth in just about everything.

Everyone should get their news however they want to and in whatever form they want. I'm not going to sit back in judgment of other people and the way they do it. ---->>>

I'm in the civil discourse business. I think it takes all kinds. And more power to everybody. ---->>>

If people want bells and whistles and all of that, there are bells and whistles available. If they don't want bells and whistles there are places to go where they are not available. ---->>>

Best I can do for them is to give them every piece of information I can find and let them make the judgments. That's just my basic view of my function as a journalist. ---->>>

People can get their news any way they want. What I love about what's happened is that there are so many different avenues, there are so many different outlets, so many different ways to debate and discuss and to inquire about any given news story. ---->>>

Well, I don't know about objectivity, but I know for certain that it's always possible for a professional journalist who understands what he or she's up to to be fair, and that's the key word. Fairness to individuals, fairness to ideas, and to issues and whatever - that is critical, and that is also part and parcel of what the job. ---->>>

My Marine experience helped shape who I am now personally and professionally, and I am grateful for that on an almost daily basis. ---->>>

The death rate among Marines in Iraq has been more than double that of the other services. ---->>>

I'm in the reporting part of journalism. ---->>>

In order to reduce the deficit, there has to be revenue in addition to cuts. ---->>>

The shouting and opinion and jokes don't exist if there isn't first a story. ---->>>

People can say anything they want to. If they don't want to get the news from me, get it from somebody else. It's not something I'm going to worry about, I'm sorry. ---->>>

I have great faith in the intelligence of the American viewer and reader to put two and two together and come up with four. ---->>>

I started as a print reporter. ---->>>

I'm a journalist and that's what I do. ---->>>

I'm not in the being-annoyed business. ---->>>

I'm not in the judgment part of journalism. ---->>>

If we're going to have debates, let's have real debates. ---->>>

In my case, I was covering politics in Texas as a newspaper man in the 1960's. ---->>>

In television there are only about 12 people who do what I do. ---->>>

Most of the gaffes I've made have not been funny - they've been stupid. ---->>>

My own view, there is a need for and a demonstrated need for more journalism now than there ever has been. ---->>>

My writing is extremely important, so I write every day. I just enjoy it. I get a kick out of it. ---->>>

No two people see things the same way. ---->>>

On a daily basis there are some huge ones that are, sure, from time to time, but it is helping the reader sort through all this sort of gray stuff out there. ---->>>

One of the problems is that everybody is used to the old-fashioned debate system, which is very controlled, and where the moderator plays a more active role. ---->>>

A skill required to be president is to explain to the American people any given thing they do. ---->>>

Most of the stories I have covered in 45 years have been gray stories. ---->>>

My conscience is clear. ---->>>

Those who know me know I won't hesitate to turn around and point someone out. ---->>>

We have increasingly fewer and fewer journalists who have any military experience and understand what life is like in the military and in combat. ---->>>

I've traveled around the country and I read local newspapers and all of that, and it's a sad, sad thing to go from city to city and see the small newspapers and they're tiny. They're tiny not only in size but also in scope. ---->>>

Preparation is based on one driving force for me and that is to be relaxed enough to be able to listen to what the candidates are saying and react appropriately. ---->>>

The best moderators are the moderators who are essentially invisible. A moderator who is there to be seen and heard and to be talked about either, 'oh, God, what a great question,' or, 'oh, God, what a lousy question,' that to me is a failed moderator. ---->>>

Well, to tell you truth, I have learned a long time ago that the trick when doing a debate, any kind of debate, is to just turn off the judgment switch in my head. ---->>>


Nationality: American
Born: 05-19, 1934
Birthplace: Wichita, Kansas, U.S.
Occupation: Journalist

James Charles Lehrer (/ˈlɛərər/;—born May 19, 1934) is an American journalist and a novelist. Lehrer is the former Executive Editor and a former News Anchor for the PBS NewsHour on PBS, and is known for his role as a Debate Moderator in U.S. Presidential Election campaigns. He is an author of numerous fiction and non-fiction books that draw upon his experience as a newsman, along with his interests in history and politics (wikipedia)