PBS ombudsman to Judy Woodruff: Stop telling guests, ‘We hear you’

PBS ombudsman Michael Getler looked into the matter above and found out that the second guest scheduled to be on last night’s “NewsHour” was a no-show.

“It remains inexplicable to me why the viewers were not told that a scheduled out-of-town guest who previously worked in the Obama administration could not appear because of last-minute technical problems,” writes Getler. “The decision not to do so unnecessarily hurt the credibility of the program and viewers will have no understanding of how this happened.”

When Kagan – an analyst with the conservative American Enterprise Institute – finished his remarks, anchor Judy Woodruff closed by saying, “We hear you, Frederick Kagan of the American Enterprise Institute. Thank you.”

A “NewsHour” viewer writes to PBS: “Judy’s closing remarks ‘We hear you Frederick’ seemed to imply her agreement with the guest’s questionable take on this issue of national importance.”

Woodruff tells Getler: “This is an expression I sometimes use at the end of an interview or a letter – especially when someone has expressed strong views on something. It’s a polite way of saying something other than ‘thank you.’ There is absolutely no suggestion of endorsement or the opposite.”

Getler writes: “My strong and unsolicited advice would be to stop using that ‘we hear you’ phrase as a sign off. It is quite understandable that viewers were especially outraged to hear that at the close of a segment that they rightly viewed as one-sided.”

* “We hear you” is not what viewers wanted to hear (pbs.org)
* Greta Van Susteren: What the ombud should be writing about (foxnewsinsider.com)

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