Jim Lehrer: Champion of the People
"I think that starting tomorrow, we're going to have four of the eight most important days we can have as a nation," said Lehrer, criticizing CBS's Dan Rather, ABC's Peter Jennings, and NBC's Tom Brokaw for not getting more air time. "I'm sorry. You guys are a hell of a lot more important than your bosses are willing to admit."
Addressing the challenges of covering politics in a politically polarized environment, CBS Rather stated that "fear has increased in every newsroom in America," and added that reporting on explosive issues can bring a torrent of e-mails and phone calls. That can lead to a situation, he said, in which journalists conclude that "when you run this story, you're asking for trouble with a capital 'T'. . . Why run it?"