National Press Club

Eisenhower in the Media

Eisenhower in the Media

October 11, 2012 6:30 PM

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Location: Holeman Lounge

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The National Press Club is hosting a conference and discussion on October 11, 2012 that will focus on Dwight David Eisenhower, and how his distinctive leadership style related to the media in an era of transition in press coverage of the White House. That, along with his desire to communicate his views and policies directly to the public governed many of the media initiatives that were a legacy of his Administration , and are still utilized today.

Discussing these issues will be noted journalists and historians Evan Thomas and Jim Newton. both authors of books on Mr. Eisenhower. They will be joined by Eisenhower scholar, Dr Michael Birkner, of Gettysburg College. The panel moderator will be Dr. James Thurber, American University distinguished professor, and Director of the Center for Congressional & Presidential Studies.

History demonstrates that Eisenhower, as a military leader and as President, recognized the importance of initiating and maintaining a “dialogue” with the public through the media. His initiation of the first televised news broadcasts, his almost weekly press conferences, and his efforts to find new and creative ways to reach the public became a standard for Presidents and national public leaders who followed him. The only President to receive an Emmy, his appearance at the National Press Club in January, 1959 heralded the Club's Silver Jubilee.

Evan Thomas

Evan Thomas is a journalist and the bestselling author of six books. His most recent work is a biography on Dwight David Eisenhower, "Ike's Bluff: President Eisenhower's Secret Battle to Save the World" which is being released early in mid-September. Mr. Thomas is recognized for his work as a columnist and as assistant managing editor of Newsweek Magazine, and is a frequent television commentator and panelist. Previously he worked for Time magazine. A graduate of Harvard University and Virginia Law School, Mr. Thomas teaches at Princeton University.

Jim Newton

Jim Newton is a recognized author, and veteran journalist, and currently serves as member of the editorial board and editor-at-large of the Los Angeles Times. Most recently author of the well received book, "Eisenhower: The White House Years, " Mr. Newton's previously published “Justice for All: Earl Warren and the Nation He Made,” a biography of the former chief justice and California governor. Newton is a Senior Fellow with the UCLA's School of Public Affairs. He formerly served as a John Jacobs Fellow at U.C. Berkeley's Institute of Governmental Studies, and is a graduate of Dartmouth College.

Michael Birkner

Dr. Michael Birkner, is a well regarded historian and Eisenhower scholar. A former chair of the history department at Gettysburg College, he has published twelve books on US history. He serves on the faculty advisory committee of the Eisenhower Institute, and on the Legacy Committee of the Eisenhower Memorial Commission with other historians including Michael Beschloss. Dr. Birkner, a former editorial page editor of New Hampshire's Concord Monitor. graduated from Gettysburg College, and received his masters and doctorate degrees from the University of Virginia.

James A. Thurber

The panel moderator, Dr. James Thurber currently is the Director for Congressional and Presidential Studies at American University. As a widely published and recognized commentator on the US government and political process, Dr. Thurber is frequently asked to provide expertise on a wide-range of public policy developments including congressional presidential relations, His most recent book is, "Obama in Office --- The First Two Years." Dr.Thurber earned a BS in political science from the University of Oregon and an MA and Ph.D. from Indiana University

NOTE: After the Eisenhower event, guests are invited to participate in a 9:00 PM to 10:30 PM broadcast of the Vice Presidential debate coming from Danville, Virginia and moderated by Martha Radditz of ABC News. National Press Club members are free and non-members $10.00

NPC Members: There is a member promotion available for this event. Login here to get the code.