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Ari Melber

MSNBC’s Chief Legal Correspondent


Ari Melber is an Emmy Award-winning journalist, writer and attorney. He serves as Chief Legal Correspondent for MSNBC, covering the Justice Department, Supreme Court, FBI, prominent court cases and national legal issues. Melber reports across all NBC platforms, appearing as an on-air correspondent and anchor, reporting original stories for, and appearing on programs such as The Today Show and NBC Nightly News.

Melber also serves as a guest host for shows such as The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell, The Rachel Maddow Show, and Hardball. In his legal reporting, Melber has conducted exclusive interviews with Attorney General Eric Holder, Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, Judge Richard Posner, U.S. Solicitor General Don Verrilli, Senators Ted Cruz, Al Franken and Rand Paul, and a wide range of policymakers and experts. Melber received a 2016 Emmy Award for his reporting on the Supreme Court.

Melber writes articles on law, policy and politics for Reuters; he is a former national correspondent for The Nation magazine and a former columnist for Politico; and his writing has been published by The Washington Post, The Atlantic, The Baltimore Sun and The New York Daily News, among other publications, and his essays have appeared in two nonfiction books.

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.


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.

Law & Politics in the News

Examining Current Legal Events

Law & Public Policy

Internet, Technology & the Law

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