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I'll be on the Newshour tonight, towards the beginning of the show. It's 6 p.m. my time, but I'm not sure when it plays in the rest of the country.

By Ezra Klein  |  July 28, 2009; 4:16 PM ET
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hey, you ought to go see Green Day, it's a fun evening. I saw them in Philadelphia last week.

Posted by: bdballard | July 28, 2009 5:01 PM | Report abuse

That's an awesome, and totally unexpected, comment on a post about PBS. I'm pretty sure Greenday is the opposite of the Newshour.

Posted by: Ezra Klein | July 28, 2009 6:59 PM | Report abuse

The Newshour appears at 6 P.M. in Virginia, too... and you certainly made your points clear.

As we've all seen on the recent Walter Cronkite retrospectives (showing, for example, the Kennedy/Nixon debates), television debates -- even debates between commentators -- require a certain demeanor. The fact that I took the time to review your biography and to read your work here at the Washington Post suggests that you had the "right stuff".

As I read an increasing number of opinions from people who a few years ago would never have had a soapbox, I am amazed to find that America is more a place of agreement and moderation than I would have otherwise thought: whether it is you here at the Post or William Wisner at the Monitor, I am constantly finding an opinion that reflects (at least to some slight degree) that reflects the sort of research-oriented / quasi-scholarly approach that gave America its foundation.

I look forward to more opinions here at the Post and on PBS between the time your gray hair starts to multiply and the time it begins to disappear.

Posted by: rmgregory | July 28, 2009 7:07 PM | Report abuse

Tevi said the public option will be subsidized, but under the proposed plan isn't the subsidy independent of which plan you choose?

Posted by: bluegrass1 | July 28, 2009 7:15 PM | Report abuse

Dude, you forgot to put on your jacket!

Posted by: thehersch | July 28, 2009 7:45 PM | Report abuse

I listened on the radio, but it was great. Good job.

Posted by: Castorp1 | July 28, 2009 9:22 PM | Report abuse

bah! you could have called Lehrer and said, "hey, Mr. Jimmy, sorry for the last minute dodge, but Green Day's in town, so we'll have to do this later. don't worry, health care's not going away, but this is one night only!" Lehrer: "Dude! thanks for reminding me, now I'm gonna call in sick myself. Come on with me, I know those guys, Tre Cool is a long time Newshour viewer and he'll slip us in the backdoor. You can tell Yglesias that you got to sniff the Wizards' dressing room!"

Posted by: bdballard | July 29, 2009 9:27 AM | Report abuse

Actually, I watched and listened to the segment, and you did quite well. Tevi Troy has interesting debate tactics: "I believe A, B and C, and my opponent has said the same things in the recent past." EK: "No I didn't!" Troy: "......."

Didn't I also hear Troy say that the CBO estimates 80 million users of the public plan (the crowd out thing)? -- Didn't CBO estimate 10-12 million users, and it was the Lewin Group with the enormous crowd out numbers?

Posted by: bdballard | July 29, 2009 10:11 AM | Report abuse


Why is every debate against the public option predicated on not one but two assumptions?:

1. That the public option will lead to socialized health care.

2. That that will be a bad thing.

Seriously. We should leave 47 million people uninsured and keep the prices in the individual / small group utterly unaffordable based on a guess that's standing on top of another guess? That's all they got?

And dude, keep a jacket in your office.

Posted by: ThomasEN | July 29, 2009 11:08 AM | Report abuse


And yeah, you need a jacket.

Posted by: wisewon | July 29, 2009 11:08 AM | Report abuse

Hmmm... I watch PBS and, in 1995, when Green Day's "When I Come Around" was released, I had a driver's license. They'll be even better at Cattle Annie's (way down south in Lynchburg, VA, home of the late Jerry Falwell) later this year... Jacket not required.

And Ballard's observations of two tactics used (and failed) is astute.

Posted by: rmgregory | July 29, 2009 9:09 PM | Report abuse

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