Free Post-Election Panel Discussion and Debate at MSU

Jonathan Alter

Political journalism in the 21st Century is inextricably bound to the media. More than 66 million people tuned in to watch network news coverage of the elections according to Nielsen ratings. But social media is the new way people follow and discuss coverage. 306 million people used Facebook to talk about the election, with “Obama” being the top term used overall according to Facebook. And more than 11 million used Twitter, which clocked 31 million tweets about the election alone on Election Day.  This tweet is now the most popular tweet of all time.

It’s a whole new ballgame and certainly has an impact on politics and campaigning.

Montclair State University’s School of Communication and Media will examine its impact on Monday, November 12, at  7:30 pm by bringing together four leading, distinguished (and local) political analysts and journalists to discuss and debate the development of political journalism in the 21st Century and the impact of the media’s coverage on the 2012 presidential campaign. Panelists include:

Jonathan Alter is an award-winning author, reporter, columnist and television analyst. Since 2011, he has written a column for Bloomberg View, a worldwide commentary site for Bloomberg News. Alter spent 28 years at Newsweek, where he was a senior editor and columnist and wrote more than 50 cover stories. He has also written for The New York TimesThe Washington PostThe Washington Monthly, The AtlanticVanity FairThe New Republic and other publications. Since 1996, Alter has been an analyst and contributing correspondent for “NBC News” and MSNBC. His 2010 book, The Promise: President Obama, Year One, went to No. 4 on The New York Times Nonfiction Bestseller List and was one of the Times’ “Notable Books” of the year. The Defining Moment: FDR’s Hundred Days and the Triumph of Hope, published in 2006, was also a bestseller.

Robert A George is an editorial writer for the New York Post and a conservative /libertarian blogger and pundit. He was born in Trinidad and lived in the United Kingdom before moving to the United States. A graduate of St. John’s College in Annapolis, Maryland, George worked for the Republican National Committee and, following the 1994 midterm elections, Speaker of the House of Representatives Newt Gingrich.

Brigid Callahan Harrison is Professor of Political Science and Law at Montclair State University, where she has taught since 1994. In addition to American Democracy Now (McGraw-Hill Publishers, first edition, 2009, second edition, December 2010), she is also the author of  A More Perfect Union (McGraw-Hill Publishers, 2010), Power and Society (Cengage, now in its 13th edition) and Women in American Politics (Wadsworth, 2003), as well as various peer-refereed journal articles. A frequent commentator on U.S. politics, Harrison often provides political analysis to “FOX News,” local affiliates of ABC, NBC, and CBS, and NPR radio programs. She is a regular commentator on NJTV and writes a weekly column on New Jersey politics in the Sunday editions of The Record(of Bergen County). Her editorials have appeared in The New York TimesUSA Today,The Star-Ledger, and The Press of Atlantic City.

Timothy L. O’Brien is the Executive Editor of The Huffington Post, where he oversees all of the site’s original reporting efforts. He edited the 10-part series, “Beyond the Battlefield,” for which the HuffPost won a Pulitzer Prize in National Reporting earlier this year.  Prior to joining the HuffPost in early 2011, O’Brien was an editor atThe New York Times for the Sunday Business section.  There, he helped oversee a team of reporters that was a finalist for a 2009 Pulitzer Prize in Public Service for coverage of the financial crisis. The series that emerged from that work, “The Reckoning,” was  a winner of a 2009 Loeb Award for Distinguished Business Journalism.  O’Brien is currently writing a series of historical thrillers for Random House.

Merrill Brown, Director of Montclair State University’s School of Communication and Media, will moderate.

The event is free but reservations are recommended. To  RSVP and/or to reserve a seat e-mail

WHEN:  Monday, November 12, 2102   7:30 pm
WHERE:  Leshowitz Recital Hall, John J. Cali School of Music at Montclair State University
On-campus parking in the Red Hawk Deck.  For directions, visit here.

(Photo: Facebook)


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  1. Sorry I missed your “budget-smudget” posts, ROC, back when Bush ran two wars off the books! Please repost, please, I would enjoy your cranky, splenetic gusto on that one!

  2. At some point Spiro, I would think that even you would think the House of Representatives (and their leadership) would have to take responsibility for their own inaction rather than simply blaming it on Bush. As inconvenient as that might be.

  3. Sorry I meant the Senate. The House did pass a budget, the Republican one. Reid refuses to consider something so confining as a budget.

  4. Yes, ROC, I agree, they need to get their act together. But I wasn’t blaming Bush for the Senate’s negligence, I was hoping that you would re-post your budget-schmudget comments that dated back to when those wars were started. I look forward to seeing them !

  5. Despite all the back-and-forth above, there is no mention whatsoever of what actually transpired at this forum.

    Was, for example, Benghazi mentioned at all? (There’s an old Richard Conte movie called “Benghazi,” by the way, and since I can’t recall any more what it was actually about I wonder if its plot might have some relevance today.) Was the matter of General Petraeus? Did either of you lugs actually attend the event in question?

    It does seem, after all, that Benghazi and Petraeus are two matters which should have merited serious pre-election discussion. But one Romney shied away from during the third debate for some inexplicable reason and the other it appears the Obama administration got its pals in the press to sit on for a while. And for all your attempts at jocosity, Spiro T. (and often that’s all they ever are, failed and strained attempts), both rate serious examination as indicators of what sort of presidency we really will have during Obama’s second term. (I mean, Susan Rice, after her prevaricating tour of the Sunday chrome dome shows, deserves a promotion? Really? Well, maybe in the Protectorate under Cromwell or Allende’s Argentina, but in modern America?)

    Was anyone who reads this sit5e actually at the event? If so, I’d appreciate hearing what was actually discussed, as opposed to what Spiro and ROC wish to discuss here.

  6. It was refreshing, cathar, to read your mildly funny and quaintly self-depreciating stab at humor, vis-a-vis your dashed hopes for a free meal over at Elevation Burger… It’s nice to know that, along with the Obama voters, (at least according to Mitt Romney and Bill O’Reilly), you like “free stuff”….And, as per ROC’s observations (with regard to the sources of Elevation’s goods), your enjoyment of “organic” dead cows and “organic” exhumed potatoes. …However, it appears you have once again slid back to your usual sourpuss mode. Perhaps, this too shall pass, and you will once again be inspired, in the near future, to post something else that is faintly entertaining. I will be the first to complement you on your efforts.

  7. My mistake, cathar. The proper word in that last sentence is “compliment”, not “complement”. My high school English teacher, Mr. McDonough, would not have approved.

  8. Spiro, even by your own crummy standards for wit abd verbal style, that was lame-o in the extreme.

    And since you corrected yourself, it should also be “self-deprecating” as opposed to “self-depreciating.” As it happens, however, no, I wasn’t engaging in either self-deprecation or depreciation. (Advancing age does fine by me with the latter.) I was merely lamenting that I wouldn’t now get the free burger (my second such Elevation burger as it happens) I was working towards. Sometimes a lament really is just a lament, Spiro.

    But your, uh, “wit”is almost never that whatever the circumstances. That you nevertheless persist, however, that is always cause for, well, lamentation.

  9. Is there anyone who reads this site who actually attended this event?

    I’d appreciate hearing what was actually discussed, as opposed to what Spiro, ROC AND cathar wish to discuss here.

  10. Is there anyone who reads this site who actually attended this event?

    I’d appreciate hearing what was actually discussed, as opposed to what Spiro, ROC AND cathar AND croiagusanam wish to discuss here.

    (Couldn’t resist. Hello everyone!! Glad you all made it safely back home here. I’ll happily admit it: I missed y’all!)

  11. And it is heartening to see that you survived and, presumably, the estate is unscathed.

    Allah is merciful.

Comments are closed.