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Howard  Fineman

Howard Fineman

Leading Journalist, Political Commentator & Best-Selling Author

Biography

Howard Fineman is an admired journalist and political commentator who taps into unrivaled knowledge of the political and media landscapes to present vivid insights into Washington, presidents, Congress, and national and international affairs. Known for his wit as well as his work, Fineman is a political analyst and contributing writer for NBC News and MSNBC, a contributing correspondent for RealClearPolitics, a regular contributor to the Washington Post, a regular on Meet the Press, and the former Global Editorial Director of HuffPost. He regularly covers elections – where he traveled to and reported on 49 of the 50 states when covering the 2018 midterms. Fineman possesses unrivaled ground-level knowledge of the country outside the Beltway and an encyclopedic knowledge of the entire country’s electoral politics. He has vast experience covering Presidential, Congressional, and local elections. Fineman’s decades-long journalistic experience is wide-ranging: He has covered seven presidents and reported in personal depth on the most recent five, including Donald J. Trump and Barack Obama. He has known Trump for years, interviewed him during the campaign, covered his rallies, and reported and written extensively about his White House. Having held senior roles in digital media, broadcast television, cable television, magazines, books, newspapers, podcasts, social media and political comedy, Fineman is expertly positioned to discuss the political landscape and the many personalities driving it, the rise of digital media, and the relationship between the media and the White House. Read More >

Fineman brings humor and optimism to speeches, presenting an overview of the challenges facing our nation and the world, and drawing on historical examples and anecdotes to illustrate why we should remain hopeful. An astute observer of Washington and the figures leading it, he speaks on presidential politics, the relationship between the White House and Capitol Hill, and the ways politics and policies shape our ties with foreign countries and governments. He is the author of The Thirteen American Arguments, a best-selling book of political history used in many college courses, and is particularly skilled at dissecting power dynamics as well as the motivations behind some of D.C.’s biggest names and policy proposals.

In his role as Global Editorial Director of HuffPost, Fineman oversaw 17 global editions of HuffPost and an audience of over 200 million unique visitors per month. Prior to joining HuffPost in 2010, Fineman was chief political correspondent and deputy Washington Bureau Chief of Newsweek, where he pioneered online offerings in the early 1990s. He began his reporting career at The Courier-Journal in Louisville, Kentucky, where his coverage of the historic 111-day coal miner’ strike was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. He began his TV career as a regular on PBS’s Washington Week and later CNN before joining NBC/MSNBC in 1998, where he became one of the first contributors to MSNBC.com.

Fineman frequently appears on Hardball, Rachel Maddow, Morning Joe, and The Today Show, and is a regular on the Tony Kornheiser Show, one of the web’s most popular sports-and-politics podcasts. He served as a consultant to Comedy Central’s The President Show and taught a popular seminar on new media and politics at the University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg School for Communication.

The recipient of several honorary degrees, Fineman was won numerous journalism awards, including the National Magazine, Front Page, ABA Silver Gavel, SDX Journalism Society, and Columbia University Journalism School’s for alumni achievement. He is the recipient of Pulitzer and Watson Traveling Fellowships. Read Less ^

Speaker Videos

Colgate Commencement 2011 Address

Obama: A Progress Report | Eisenhower Institute Speaker Series

Speech Topics

Not Business As Usual: Populist Politics, New Media & Trumpland

Having overseen content for a monthly readership of more than 200 million, Howard Fineman knows what informed and invested audiences need to know about politics and policy now. Blending his unique experiences as reporter and political analyst and new media guru and content executive, Fineman offers an up-to-the-moment, insider’s view of Washington and the rising tides of political and technological disruption that are influencing all aspects of American life. He has known President Donald J. Trump for years, interviewed him during the campaign, covered his rallies, and reported and written extensively about his White House. Read More >

Having covered and interviewed every president since George H.W. Bush, no one knows more than Fineman about the inner workings of the Oval Office, the Hill, and how and why policies are developed and implemented. Funny, optimistic, and packed to the brim with anecdotes about personal interactions with Washington and New York’s most-connected power players, Fineman’s talk is a refreshingly honest and deeply informative look at what’s going on in Washington and across the country and the ramifications of those changes across the globe. Read Less ^

Riding That New Media Wave

Widely known for his work in print and on television, Fineman is also one of the nation's preeminent early adopters of 21st century journalism. Always on the cutting-edge of new media, Fineman offers insight drawn from his positions as one of the first regular contributors to the Internet, for MSNBC.com in 1998, and now as Global Editorial Director of the digital publication that sits atop numerous rankings in terms of both popularity and web traffic. He is riding the rise of other “new media” as well, as a regular on The Tony Kornheiser Show podcast and as political consultant to Comedy Central’s The President’s Show. Read More >

With this talk, Fineman looks at how the role of “the media” has evolved within politics as well as what’s at stake as political reporting continues to iterate. Calling Washington, DC, a “Hollywood on the Potomac,” and acknowledging that President Trump may have made for “great copy,” Fineman evaluates the ways political news has changed into a 24-hour-a-day, social-media reliant phenomenon and considers what that means for American institutions and citizens alike. He is a must-see speaker for any audience sitting at the intersection of media and policy. Read Less ^