Renowned Media Critics to Debate Election Coverage

Published 02.19.2008


Cliff KincaidJeff CohenTwo of the country's top media critics will face off March 5 at Pennsylvania College of Technology to address the topic "How the Media Can Sway Votes and Win Elections."

The event, sponsored by the Student Government Association at Penn College, will feature a debate by writer, lecturer and media critic Jeff Cohen, the founder of FAIR (Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting), a progressive media watch group, and veteran journalist/media critic Cliff Kincaid, editor of the AIM Report for Accuracy in Media, a conservative media watchdog organization.

The program is free and open to the public and will begin at 7 p.m. in the Klump Academic Center Auditorium at Penn College.

Cohen and Kincaid will discuss whether the media are obstacles to serious discussion of campaign issues. They'll tackle questions such as: Can Democrats get a fair shake at the hands of conservative media conglomerates? Are Republicans undermined by liberal reporters and public broadcasting? How is campaign coverage being changed by the Internet, YouTube and Comedy Central?

Cohen's latest book − "Cable News Confidential" − is an insider's expose of TV news. He has appeared regularly on national television and radio, serving as a commentator/panelist on all three cable news channels: as a daily contributor on MSNBC in 2002-03, a weekly panelist on the Fox News Channel's "News Watch" from 1997-2002 and a co-host of CNN's "Crossfire" in 1996.

He has been a talk-radio host and a guest on such programs and outlets as "Larry King Live," "Today," "Donahue," "Crossfire," "Hardball," "Reliable Sources," C-SPAN and NPR. He was senior producer at MSNBC's "Donahue." His op-eds have run in dozens of newspapers, and he co-wrote the weekly, nationally syndicated "Media Beat" column (with Norman Solomon) for Creators Syndicate in 1992-96. In 2003, he was communications director of the Kucinich for President campaign. Before launching FAIR in 1986, Cohen worked in Los Angeles as a journalist and as a lawyer for the American Civil Liberties Union.

Kincaid's recent book − "The Death of Talk Radio?" − centers on the likely return of the Fairness Doctrine under a Democratic president. He has appeared on the Fox News programs "Hannity & Colmes" and "The O'Reilly Factor." He was a guest co-host on CNN's "Crossfire" (filling in for Pat Buchanan) in the 1980s. Through his America's Survival Inc. organization, Kincaid has been an advocate on behalf of the families of victims of terrorism and has published reports and held conferences critical of the United Nations.

He contributes to the American Legion Magazine and appears regularly as a Washington contributor on the "For the People" Liberty Broadcasting program. He served on the staff of Human Events for several years and was an editorial writer and newsletter editor for former National Security Council staffer Oliver North at his Freedom Alliance educational foundation. Kincaid has written or co-authored nine books on media and cultural affairs and foreign policy issues.

For more information about the debate, call the Student Activities office at Penn College at (570) 327-4763. For more information about the college, visit online or call toll-free (800) 367-9222.