Course Offering:

Todd S. Purdum

Spring 2021 Fellow, Center for the Political Future

Todd S. Purdum recently wrote for The Atlantic as a staff writer and California correspondent covering politics and culture. He has also been senior writer at POLITICO and a contributing editor at Vanity Fair. He was formerly with The New York Times, where he worked for 23 years, covering politics from city hall to the White House. He also served as diplomatic correspondent and Los Angeles bureau chief. During the 2016 presidential election, Purdum wrote extensively about Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump and the legacy of Barack Obama. He has also written several books. His most recent work is Something Wonderful: Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Broadway Revolution (2018), a revelatory portrait of the creative partnership of Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II that transformed musical theater and provided the soundtrack to the American Century.

Purdum is a native of Macomb, Ill., and a graduate of Princeton University. He is the author of the book An Idea Whose Time Has Come: Two Presidents, Two Parties and the Battle for the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and he is currently writing a biography of Oscar Hammerstein II and Richard Rodgers. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Dee Dee Myers, the former Clinton White House Press Secretary and former Executive Vice President and Director of Worldwide Corporate Communications and Public Affairs at Warner Bros, and their two children.

Course Offering: Politics and the Press: How Did We Get Here, Where Are We Going?
Wednesdays, 10:00 a.m. - 12:20 p.m.
Apply for POSC 410

Since our country’s earliest days, the relationship between politics and the press has been integral to the functioning of American democracy. But the speed and reach of modern communications poses unique opportunities and daunting challenges for this longstanding symbiosis. From the perspective of an instructor with nearly forty years’ experience as a professional journalist, the course will survey key developments since the mid 20th century, including evolving concepts of journalistic objectivity, the professional and peer pressures that motivate journalists, the role of polling and political advertising, the rise of new media and social media, and the historic challenges and failures of mainstream media in covering underserved communities. The class will include a close study of the impact of coverage of the 2000 election. It will feature guest appearances by leading national professionals from the worlds of journalism and politics and will grapple with what comes next in the Age of Trump and beyond.