James Charles Lehrer (/ˈlɛərə/) (19 May 1934 – 23 January 2020) was an American journalist and novelist, the executive editor and a news anchor for the PBS NewsHour on PBS, and a debate moderator during U.S. presidential election campaigns. He authored numerous fiction and non-fiction books that drew upon his experience as a newsman, along with his interests in history and politics.
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- I’m Jim Lehrer. Terrorists used hijacked airliners to kill Americans on this September 11, 2001 … another day of infamy for the United States of America.
- Lead statement on the The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer (11 September 2001)
- 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. 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. I am in favor of 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.
If Letterman tells a joke with a piece of information in it that you didn’t know before, that’s fine with me, that doesn’t bother me. I mean, my God, you’ve got to get it off a serious news program or it doesn’t count? I don’t believe that for a second … 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.
- What I took away and have taken away — and it still overrides everything that I have done in journalism since — what the Kennedy assassination did for me was forever keep me aware of the fragility of everything, that, on any given moment, something could happen.