A day after moderating the first presidential debate, Jim Lehrer declared in a statement that he wasn’t phased by the frequently nasty reviews of his performance. Then the following day, he told Politico that he “saw it as successful,” and wasn’t losing sleep over the criticism. On Monday, Lehrer participated in one more interview with the Associated Press, just to make it perfectly clear that he’s barely thinking about the backlash. “I may be seeing something that’s not there, but I can’t imagine emerging from this experience — I’m talking about myself — with any permanent scars,” said Lehrer. “I’m very upbeat about it, and I don’t have any second thoughts.”
Lehrer explains that he would have made more of an effort to cut the candidates off had they been talking about “tiddlywinks or baseball,” but “they were talking about the things that really matter.” As for his critics, he’s mostly just confused. “I was thinking, ‘Weren’t you paying attention to what was happening before your very eyes?’” he said. At first, sure — then everyone got distracted by Tweeting about #PoorJim and Big Bird.