Last night, PBS newsman Jim Lehrer braved the satirical lion’s den that is the Colbert Report. And, we have to say: he held his own.
When Stephen complimented him for not voting and cracked about his “wishy-washy-ness” Lehrer replied “I’m wishy-washy for a living.”
Colbert went on to critique Lehrer’s interview style, asking “How do we know what’s important in a newscast if you’re not yelling at your guests?” To which Lehrer replied “If I asked a guest a question, and then afterward yelled ‘LIAR!’ …”
“…your ratings would go through the roof,” Stephen interjected.
On the subject of political bias, Lehrer insisted he was bias-free, “like a manila envelope,” according to Colbert. But when pressed about whether he inserts his own flavor into the news, Lehrer would only say he inserts a flavor of neutrality. “That sounds delicious,” quipped Stephen.
Lehrer then turned the tables on Colbert. Speaking of the Report, Lehrer said “You have an obligation five nights a week to be serious and funny. I have an obligation five nights a week to be serious and boring. It takes a lot of courage to be boring five nights a week.”
When asked what he was going to cover next, Lehrer deadpanned “We’re into the Britney Spears thing, we’re not sure if they’re going to get back together…”
Stephen cut to a commercial as Jim playfully begged for a chance to clarify, or perhaps say ‘just kidding.’ All in all, a good performance by the public broadcasting newsman.