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Ari Melber

MSNBC’s Chief Legal Correspondent


Ari Melber is MSNBC’s Chief Legal Correspondent, covering the Justice Department, Supreme Court, FBI and legal issues on air and for

Melber also writes and anchors an MSNBC series on legal challenges in the fight against terrorism, Rules of Engagement, and a series on inequities in criminal justice, Presumed Guilty. Melber serves as a guest host for shows such as The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell, The Rachel Maddow Show, Hardball, and All In with Chris Hayes.

Previously, Melber co-hosted MSNBC’s daily ensemble show The Cycle. Additionally, Melber wrote for a number of publications, including The Nation, The Atlantic, Reuters, Salon, Politico, The American Prospect, and The New York Daily News, and contributed chapters to the books America Now, (St. Martins, 2009) and At Issue: Affirmative Action, (Cengage, 2009). He also authored The Permanent Field Campaign in a Digital Age (techPresident, 2010).

From 2009 to 2013, Melber practiced law at a major New York law firm, specializing in First Amendment, reporter’s privilege and copyright litigation. During the 2008 presidential election, he traveled with the Obama Campaign on special assignment for The Washington Independent. Before entering law and journalism, Melber was a national staff member for the 2004 John Kerry Campaign, and from 2002 to 2003, he served as a legislative aide to Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA).

Melber received a J.D. from Cornell Law School, where he was an editor of the Cornell Journal of Law and Public Policy, and he is a member of the New York Bar.


Law & Politics in the News

Examining Current Legal Events

Law & Public Policy

Internet, Technology & the Law

Disintermediation: The Obama Model for Routing Around the Establishment

Everyone knows that Barack Obama upended American politics by using the web to run a different kind of presidential campaign, both in 2008 and 2012. But few observers appreciate that it was specifically Obama's risky strategy of disintermediation - routing around traditional gatekeepers in media, politics, and finance - that enabled him to reach the public directly, beat more famous competitors, obviate legacy media, and build a grassroots army distinct from his party's wilted infrastructure. In this deeply reported presentation, Ari Melber draws on a range of experience as an analyst and practitioner of presidential politics. He mixes stories from the campaign trail and data from recent studies and polls to show precisely how political and business leaders can develop networks to transcend sound-bite press coverage, disrupt conventional hierarchies, and organize people around deep interests and motivations.

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