SPRINGFIELD, Ohio — Two political debates down and two to go? Not exactly. Political commentators Peter Beinart and Jonah Goldberg will stage a debate of national significance at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 13, at Wittenberg University, titled “Decision 2004: The New Republic vs. The National Review.” The Wittenberg Series event is The Fred R. Leventhal Family Endowed Lecture, which will be held free of charge in the Health, Physical Education & Recreation Center.
The Wittenberg debate was scheduled long before the presidential and vice-presidential debates. The final match-up of President George W. Bush and Senator John Kerry happens to fall on the same evening.
“We think our debate will be a great way for people to prepare for the final debate between the presidential candidates,” said Gwendolyn Scheffel, director of the Wittenberg Series. “Ours should end just before theirs begins, so we encourage people to program their VCRs and come to Wittenberg to hear what the editors of two of the hottest political forums in the country have to say.”
Beinart, managing editor of The New Republic, and Goldberg, editor of the Web magazine National Review Online, will present opposing views on the candidates and major issues in the presidential election Nov. 2. J. Rob Baker, a Wittenberg professor of political science, will serve as moderator.
“Beinart and Goldberg represent their respective ideological positions quite well in their lectures and writings, and in so doing, help to clarify for us the significant distinctions between progressive and conservative political thinking in America,” Baker said. “In what promises to be another very close election, with monumental stakes, having these two sharp thinkers trade barbs in a debate format will be an exceptional educational opportunity for our community. It should be exciting.”
A 1993 graduate of Yale University, Beinart won the Alpheus Henry Snow Prize for leadership and academic excellence, the final award presented at Yale graduation. During his senior year, Beinart won both Rhodes and Marshall (declined) scholarships for graduate study at Oxford University. He spent the summer of 1993 as a reporter for The New Republic before beginning the masters of philosophy degree program in international relations at Oxford. He wrote for Newsweek and London’s Financial Times while in graduate school.
Upon graduation from Oxford in 1995, Beinart returned to The New Republic as managing editor and in November 1999, he became editor. He has written about the changing politics of America’s cities, the politics of Africa, globalization and the Christian right. Beinart has also written for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Boston Globe, The Atlantic Monthly and Time, where he remains a contributor. He is a regular “Final Round” panelist on the CNN Sunday show Late Edition.
Goldberg, Beinart’s opponent in the debate, is the editor of the award-winning Web magazine National Review Online and a contributing editor to the flagship conservative journal, National Review. He has earned wide praise as his generation’s successor to P.J. O’Rourke for his irreverent Web column called “Goldberg File.”
Also a CNN contributor and a regular panelist on Late Edition With Wolf Blitzer, Goldberg’s nationally syndicated column regularly appears in leading newspapers across the country. He is an occasional guest-host on Crossfire, and he has appeared on a variety of other television and radio programs, including Nightline, Good Morning America, the Today Show, Hardball with Chris Matthews, NPR’s All Things Considered, Larry King Live, Politically Incorrect and the NBC Nightly News.
Since Goldberg became editor of The National Review Online, the political news source has earned high praise from the Columbia Journalism Review, Vanity Fair, New York Times, Washington Post and Christian Science Monitor. The New York Press concludes that National Review Online is “by far the best political online operation going today.”
Made possible by a gift to Wittenberg University from the Fred R. Leventhal Family of Springfield, Ohio, this timely lecture and debate promises to be exciting, energetic and full of engaging dialogue. The Wittenberg debate could be considered ‘don’t miss TV,’ but unlike the presidential debate scheduled for later the same evening, it won’t be televised.
For more information about this and other events of the Wittenberg Series, contact Scheffel at (937) 327-7918 or visit the Wittenberg Series Web site.
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