Last Debate by Jim Lehrer
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Last Debate
By Jim Lehrer

The Last Debate

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Format: Paperback

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Last Debate by Jim Lehrer

Book Description

For the first time in paperback, just in time for the 2000 presidential election: the renowned PBS anchor's page-turning fictional look into the brutal truths of presidential politics and journalism.. It is the night of the presidential debate. The election is eight days away. Republican nominees James Meredith, a fundamentalist Christian whose ambitions border on white supremacy, is pitted against four reporters who have just discovered damaging information that could ruin his career. What unfolds during The Last Debate will change the course of electoral politics and the news business forever.As "the ultimate insider-outsider" ( Washington Post ), and as a moderator of presidential debates past and present, journalist and PBS news anchor Jim Lehrer knows the world he writes about only too well. His novel--a satirical and absorbing story of the behind-the-scenes world of news journalism--also exposes the duplicitous posing and posturing of made-for-TV political events. And with the 2000 elections looming ahead, the targets of his satire--religious fundamentalists, self-important journalists, feral network programming heads--could not be more timely.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9781586480042
ISBN-10: 1586480049
Format: Paperback
(210mm x 140mm x 25mm)
Pages: 368
Imprint: PublicAffairs,U.S.
Publisher: The Perseus Books Group
Publish Date: 31-Aug-2000
Country of Publication: United States

Other Editions...

Books By Author Jim Lehrer

White Widow by Jim Lehrer White Widow, Paperback (April 2000)

For the first time in paperback: the New York Times best-selling novel of passion and self-destruction in small-town Texas, by the admired anchor of PBS's NewsHour

» View all books by Jim Lehrer


US Kirkus Review » News anchor Lehrer's ninth novel (Fine Lines, 1994, etc.) is set in his own backyard - in the twin contests between the ethics of the journalist as neutral reporter and as responsible citizen, and between journalism and the political process. It's an election year again, but this time only one presidential debate has been scheduled between the two candidates - Paul Green, a lackluster, liberal Democratic governor; and David Donald Meredith, an ultraconservative, fundamentalist racist who has surged ahead in the latest polls. In the hours before the debate in Colonial Williamsburg, Mike Howley, a respected, old-school reporter moderating the panel of three other journalists, comes into possession of documents revealing the detestable Meredith as a man of uncontrollable temper who has a history of physically and verbally abusing women and children. Without verifying the allegations, Howley gets his fellow panelists to abandon the pre-agreed format and sandbag Meredith with questions about abuse. The result: The Republican candidate loses his cool, stalks off the stage after 28 minutes - and throws the election to Paul Greene. Did the "Williamsburg Four" abandon their journalistic standards or act courageously to protect their country from an evil fool? And, having done so, do they have an obligation to say how and why? The tale is narrated by self-righteous investigative reporter Tom Chapman, who easily justifies using bribery, innuendo, misrepresentation, and other investigative chicanery in the name of truth, and who "reports" in new-journalism, novelistic form how he discovered what really went on in the panel selection process, how Howley got the documents and seduced the others to go along, and what happened to them all afterward. Near the close, Chapman's effort to interview Meredith at the Music of the Messiah Life and Living Center in Tashobi, Oklahoma, where all communication is sung, is especially memorable. Broad satire, but entertaining - Lehrer finds plenty of recognizable targets in the heart of the news business. (Kirkus Reviews)

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Author Biography - Jim Lehrer

Jim Lehrer began his career as a newspaper reporter, political columnist, and editor in Dallas, Texas. Since 1975, he has been a news anchor at PBS, where he is currently the anchor and executive director of "The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer." Lehrer has won numerous awards for journalism, including most recently the 1999 National Humanities Medal from President Clinton. He is the author of "White Widow," currently available in paperback from PublicAffairs, and many other novels, most recently "The Special Prisoner" (ISBN 0375503714). He lives with his wife, Kate, in Washington, D.C.

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