The Jim Lehrer SnobHour: PBS Anchor Says Talk Radio/TV Never Digs Into Health Care Substance

Has longtime PBS anchor Jim Lehrer listened to Rush Limbaugh – ever? Has he ever sat through a talk program on cable news? The answer seems to be "no" from Lehrer’s interview with Howard Kurtz in Monday’s Washington Post. Lehrer wants his show to be up-to-date, but his take on the New Media is stunning in its ignorance:

"The shouting and opinion and jokes don't exist if there isn't first a story," he says. "If you start at the end with Glenn Beck or Keith Olbermann -- I'm not knocking these people, but they're at the end of the reaction chain. All you know is what Beck or Bill O'Reilly or Rachel Maddow or Rush Limbaugh said. But what was actually in that legislation? Where are you going to get that piece? You go to a serious news organization."

You can’t water down the inaccuracy of that quote with an "I’m not knocking these people," I’m only suggesting that we at PBS are the makers of fine food, and the talkers, well, they come out at the other end of the food cycle.

Does Lehrer think Rush Limbaugh doesn’t get into the nitty-gritty of a health-care bill? Did Lehrer miss that Glenn Beck broke open the ACORN story and forced the resignation of Obama aide Van Jones on the front-end of the news cycle?

Lehrer’s ignorant crack isn’t even fair to Olbermann and Maddow, who have been quite clear about their offense at the pro-life Stupak Amendment in the House health bill, and quite aggressive in attacking the wimpiness of the "public option" being proposed.

Lehrer needs to do his homework and listen to talk radio and TV before he sings this snobbish Done Somebody Wrong song again. Get out of your taxpayer-subsidized cave, anchor man, and see how the other half talks.

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis