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The newspaper of The Johns Hopkins University September 19, 2005 | Vol. 35 No. 3
A Star-Studded Symposium

James Carville, Bill Clinton campaign strategist, opens the MSE Symposium.

James Carville leads off speaker series focused on American mass media

By Staff
The Gazette

One of the city's highest profile speaker series — Johns Hopkins' annual Milton S. Eisenhower Symposium — gets under way this week on the Homewood campus when author and political pundit James Carville takes a look at "The State of American Politics."

Carville is the first of six speakers in this year's symposium, American Mass Media: Redefining the Democratic Landscape, which will look at the role the media plays today in various aspects of society. Also scheduled are Kate Michelman, Dick Morris, Frank Newport, Neal Baer and Phyllis Schlafly.

A series of free lectures during which prominent guests address a single issue, the MSE Symposium typically draws thousands of people. Past luminaries include Nelson Mandela, Aaron Copland, Kurt Vonnegut, Maya Angelou, Spike Lee, Charlton Heston, Carl Bernstein, George McGovern, Eugene McCarthy, Russell Simmons, Bob Woodward, Patricia Ireland, Wesley Clark, Isaac Asimov, Antonin Scalia and Jerry Springer.

Two of this year's speakers — Carville and Morris — each masterminded a presidential campaign for Bill Clinton, Carville in 1992 and Morris in 1996.

Carville, known for his colorful debating style (and marriage to Republican strategist Mary Matalin), is a political commentator on CNN, where he formerly co-hosted Crossfire and now holds down the liberal left in debates on Inside Politics. His lecture will be on Thursday, Sept. 22.

Morris, who appears as a commentator for Fox News and writes a weekly column for The New York Post, was Clinton's political consultant for 20 years and has masterminded winning campaigns for more than 30 senators and governors. His latest book, Rewriting History, is a rebuttal to Hillary Clinton's Living History. Morris' talk, "Public Interest in Alternative Media," is set for Tuesday, Oct. 18.

Scheduled for Wednesday, Nov. 2, is Frank Newport, editor in chief of the Gallup Poll, who says he's been fascinated as long as he can remember by human behavior. After receiving a doctorate in sociology, Newport taught college and was a radio talk show host before entering the world of market and public opinion research. Today he uses survey research as a methodical tool for studying humans, and he appears frequently on CNN and other media outlets to explain what's on the minds of Americans, and why it's important. Newport will address "Polling and Politics."

Neal Baer, a former educator, editor, longtime writer for ER, executive producer and writer of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and, since 1996, a Harvard-educated physician, will add another perspective to the ongoing discussion. He'll take the stage on Tuesday, Nov. 15, talking about "Medicine and Hollywood."

Kate Michelman, who headed NARAL Pro-Choice America for 18 years, will speak on Wednesday, Oct. 5, on "Building Grassroots Campaigns." Called one of America's 200 Women Legends by Vanity Fair, Michelman first honed her organizing skills in the civil rights movement. NARAL, which she joined in 1985, has been described by Fortune as "one of the top 10 advocacy groups in America."

On. Nov. 29, civil rights activist and author Phyllis Schlafly will talk on "Feminism vs. Conservatism." Schlafly, named one of the 100 most important women of the century by Ladies Home Journal, became a leader of the conservative movement after the publication of her 1964 book, A Choice Not an Echo, and has been a leader of the pro-family movement since 1972, when she started a national volunteer organization now called Eagle Forum.

Also part of the symposium are a workshop on broadcast journalism led by Jennifer Gilbert, co-anchor of Fox 45 Evening News, and a debate between the College Republicans and the College Democrats. The workshop will be at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 11, location TBA. The debate is at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 9, in Levering's Arellano Theater.

Since the Milton S. Eisenhower Symposium was established in 1967 to honor the university's eighth president, it has been entirely organized and managed by undergraduates. This year's co-chairs are seniors Emilie Adams, a political science major from Potomac, Md.; William Ares, a psychology major from Malverne, N.Y.; and Garvey Rene, an economics major from Miami.

The student chairs are responsible for securing the speakers, which means going through agents — and sometimes going around agents — and convincing national figures to speak at Johns Hopkins for a fraction of their customary fees. The chairs receive some funding from Student Council and raise the balance from university departments, corporations and foundations. They are also responsible for everything else, a daunting array of tasks that includes booking auditoriums; arranging for hotels, dinners and receptions for the guests; securing the sound system; and publicizing the series.

All talks are at 8 p.m. in Shriver Hall. Each lecture lasts approximately 45 minutes and is followed by a question-and-answer session. The speaker also attends a post-lecture reception open to the audience.


'American Mass Media: Redefining the Democratic Landscape'
The 2005 Milton S. Eisenhower Symposium

The following lectures are at 8 p.m. in Shriver Hall Auditorium, Homewood campus; doors open at 6:30 p.m. A reception follows upstairs in the Clipper Room. For more information, contact the MSE Symposium office at 410-516-7683.

Thursday, Sept. 22
"The State of American Politics"
James Carville, author and political pundit

Wednesday, Oct. 5
"Building Grassroots Campaigns"
Kate Michelman, former president of NARAL Pro-Choice America

Tuesday, Oct. 18
"Public Interest in Alternative Media"
Dick Morris, Fox News commentator and New York Post columnist

Wednesday, Nov. 2
"Polling and Politics"
Frank Newport, editor in chief of the Gallup Poll

Tuesday, Nov. 15
"Medicine and Hollywood"
Neal Baer, executive producer of Law & Order: SVU

Tuesday, Nov. 29
"Feminism vs. Conservatism"
Phyllis Schlafly, civil rights activist/author


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