On the 60th anniversary of Orwell's Politics and the English Language, George Orwell described political speech as consisting "largely of euphemism, question-begging and sheer cloudy vagueness." Some six decades later, many symptoms of manipulation and propaganda diagnosed by Orwell persist on the American political landscape, along with new disinformation techniques enabled by modern technology.
Historians, scientists, philosophers, linguists, cognitive experts, journalists, image-makers, and public figures will debate in three separate sessions the current state of political discourse - and journalism's response to it - on the dawn of a bitterly contested presidential campaign- NYPL
Michael J. Copps
Michael J. Copps was sworn in for a second term as a member of the Federal Communications Commission in January 2006. His term runs until 2010.
From 1998 to 2001, Copps was assistant secretary of commerce for trade development at the U.S. Department of Commerce, where he worked to improve market access and market share for nearly every sector of American industry and devoted much of his time to building private sector-public sector partnerships.
From 1993 to 1998, he served as deputy assistant secretary for basic industries, a component of the Trade Development Unit. Mr. Copps moved to Washington, D.C. in 1970, joined the staff of Senator Fritz Hollings (D-SC), and served for more than a dozen years as his administrative assistant and chief of staff.
He has been director of government affairs for a Fortune 500 company and senior vice president for legislative affairs at a major national trade association. He holds a PhD from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and has taught history at Loyola University of the South.
A native of Milwaukee, he lives in Alexandria, Virginia.
Paul Holdengräber is the Director of LIVE from the NYPL.
Charlayne Hunter-Gault is a journalist, having worked with CNN, NPR, and PBS. She was the first African American woman admitted to or graduated from the University of Georgia. She is also the author of the autobiography In My Place, which reflects on African American life in the 1940s and 50s and the civil rights movement of the 50s and 60s.
Charlayne Hunter-Gault recently left her post as CNN's Johannesburg bureau chief and correspondent, which she had held since 1999, to pursue independent projects. Before joining CNN, she worked from Johannesburg as the chief correspondent in Africa for NPR from 1997 to 1999.
Hunter-Gault was the chief national correspondent for the Newshour with Jim Lehrer on PBS from 1983 to 1997. She had joined the MacNeil/Lehrer Report in 1978 as a correspondent. In 1989, she was also the correspondent for MacNeil/Lehrer Productions' five-part series, "Learning in America."
During her tenure at the NewsHour, she won two Emmys and a Peabody for excellence in broadcast journalism for her work on the series "Apartheid's People." She also received the 1986 Journalist of the Year Award from the National Association of Black Journalists.
Josh Marshall is the publisher of Talking Points Memo, TPMmuckraker, TPM Election Central and TPMCafe. He also writes a weekly column for the Capitol Hill newspaper The Hill.
His articles on politics and foreign affairs have appeared in numerous magazines and newspapers across the United States as well as abroad, including the American Prospect, the Atlantic Monthly, the Boston Globe, the Financial Times, , the New Republic, the New Yorker, the New York Post, the New York Times, Salon, and Slate.
Marshall graduated from Princeton in 1991 and holds a doctorate in American history from Brown.
He lives in New York City with his wife Millet, their son Sam, and their dog Simon.
Alessandra Stanley was named chief television critic for The New York Times in 2003. Before that, she was a foreign correspondent for the newspaper, serving as Rome bureau chief (1998-2001) and co-chief of the Moscow bureau (1994-1998).
She has also covered national politics and metropolitan news for the Times. Ms. Stanley has served as a writer and correspondent for Time, working in Paris, Los Angeles, New York, and finally, Washington, D.C., covering The White House and presidential campaigns.
While at Time, she reported from Central America, Afghanistan, Asia and Africa. She has also written for The New York Times Magazine, The New Republic, GQ and Vogue. Born in Boston, MA, Ms. Stanley grew up in Washington, D.C. and Europe, and studied literature at Harvard University. She lives in New York City with her daughter.
Andras Zanto is a writer, researcher, and consultant whose work spans the worlds of art, media, policy, and cultural affairs.
He is a member of the senior faculty of the Sotheby's Institute of Art and director of the NEA Arts Journalism Institute at Columbia University. The former head of the National Arts Journalism Program at Columbia, he has designed conferences, conducted research, and launched initiatives for major foundations and cultural organizations. He is co-author and editor of five books, and his reporting and commentary have appeared in The New York Times, The Boston Globe, The Los Angeles Times, The American Prospect, The Art Newspaper, and other newspapers and periodicals.
He is a founder of the online arts publication Artworldsalon and has edited the journals ARTicles and Reflections. Born in Budapest, he lives in New York City.
Ernest J. Wilson III
Ernest J. Wilson III, Ph.D., is Walter Annenberg Chair in Communication and Dean of the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism at the University of Southern California. He is also a professor of political science, a faculty fellow at the USC Center on Public Diplomacy at the Annenberg School, a member of the board of the Pacific Council on International Policy and the National Academies' Computer Science and Telecommunications Board, and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Journalist and blogger Josh Marshall discusses his more careful approach to using language when writing opinionated advocacy journalism, in order to distinguish his arguments from "the subterfuge and organized lying and propaganda that I'm trying to deconstruct."
He instead seeks to write simply and with extreme clarity while utilizing argument techniques he thinks are appropriate.
Award-winning journalist and author of New News Out of Africa Charlayne Hunter-Gault discusses the media's inaccurate, romanticized, or sensationalized depictions of the cultures of Africa and calls for "a new definition of news."