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American Program Bureau Speaking to the world for over 50 years

Ari Melber

Correspondent, The Nation
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Biography

Ari Melber is a co-host of MSNBC's ensemble show The Cycle and writes "The Law of Politics" for MSNBC.com, a reported blog on politics, law, and constitutional rights.
Melber is also a correspondent for The Nation magazine, the oldest political weekly in America. His writing has been published by The Atlantic, Reuters, Salon, The Stranger, Politico, The American Prospect, The Baltimore Sun, The Philadelphia Daily News, and The New York Daily News, among others.

From 2009 to 2013, Melber practiced law at a major New York firm, specializing in First Amendment, reporter's privilege, and copyright litigation. 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.

During the 2008 general election, Melber traveled with the Obama Campaign on special assignment for The Washington Independent. He previously served as a legislative aide to Senator Maria Cantwell and as a national staff member of the 2004 John Kerry Presidential Campaign.

Deemed "one of the left's most important young voices" by Politico's Mike Allen, Melber provides reporting, analysis, and commentary on a range of programs on MSNBC, CNBC, and NBC. In addition to serving as a co-host on The Cycle, he has appeared on The Today Show, The Daily Show, Washington Journal, The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell, Hardball, NOW with Alex Wagner, The Daily Rundown with Chuck Todd, Melissa Harris-Perry, Martin Bashir, Power Lunch, and The Kudlow Report, among others. His political analysis has been quoted by The Washington Post, The New York Times, and Time, among others.

Melber has contributed chapters or essays to the books America Now (St. Martins, 2009), At Issue: Affirmative Action (Cengage, 2009), and MoveOn's 50 Ways to Love Your Country (Inner Ocean Publishing, 2004).

Melber worked as a contributing editor at techPresident, a nonpartisan website covering technology's impact on democracy. In 2010, Melber authored a 74-page special report for techPresident analyzing the first year of Organizing for America, the 13-million person network that grew out of the 2008 presidential campaign. Northwestern political scientist Daniel Galvin called the report "the most comprehensive and insightful account of Obama's 'Organizing for America' to date," and the report's findings have been cited by The New York Times, The Washington Post, National Journal, Rolling Stone, and the BBC.

Melber has served as moderator or featured speaker in a range of academic, media, and political forums, including Oxford, Yale, Harvard Law School, Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, the Columbia University Political Union, NYU, Georgetown University, Fordham University's "American Age Lecture Series," The Park Center for Independent Media at Ithaca College, USC, The Center for American Progress, TimeWarner Summit, Democracy for America, Personal Democracy Forum, and Netroots Nation. Melber also co-moderated the Pennsylvania Leadership Forum for the 2010 US Senate primary, interviewing Sen. Arlen Specter and Rep. Joe Sestak on C-SPAN, and moderated "Elected and Connected," a George Washington University forum with Sen. Claire McCaskill and several members of Congress.

Melber founded "Ask the President," a project to inject citizen questions into White House press conferences, which Columbia Journalism Review dubbed "an idea whose time has come," and he has participated in several online coalitions advocating transparency and open government.

Melber's writing has also been cited by a wide range of news organizations, such as the The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Economist, The Week, The Washington Times, American Spectator, Slate, The Guardian, Rolling Stone, National Review Online, American Conservative Online, BBC, CNN, CBS, Fox News, MTV.com, and Wired.com. His reporting has also been cited in over 20 nonfiction books, including "Rethinking Arab Democratization," "Power and Constraint: The Accountable President After 9/11," "Winner-Take-All-Politics," "The MoveOn Effect," "The American Elections of 2008," and "Political Campaign Communication: Principles and Practices," and in academic journals including, among others, The New England Journal of Medicine, The Middle East Journal, Catholic University Law Review, and Boston University Law Review.

Topics

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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