Gore Vidal is a novelist, essayist, playwright, and provocateur whose career has spanned six decades, beginning in the years immediately following World War II and continuing into the early years of the twenty-first century. In addition to a major sequence of seven novels about American history, and such satirical novels as MYRA BRECKINRIDGE and DULUTH, he has written dozens of television plays, film scripts, and even three mystery novels written under a pseudonym. He has also written well over a hundred essays, gathered in several volumes published between 1962 and 2001. Taken as a whole, this seemingly varied work has an uncanny unity, exhibiting a tone of easy familiarity with the world of politics and letters, an urbane wit, and a supreme self-confidence on the part of the writer. Listen to Bob and Mr. Vidal discuss President Obama, the media and the state of the Union on Media Matters.
Eric Boehlert is the author of Lapdogs: How the Press Rolled Over for Bush (Free Press, 2006) and Bloggers on the Bus: How the Internet Changed Politics and the Press (Free Press, 2009). He worked for five years as a senior writer for Salon.com, where he wrote extensively about media and politics. Prior to that, he worked as a contributing editor for Rolling Stone. Boehlert has a bachelor's degree in Near Eastern studies from the University of Massachusetts and is a Senior Fellow at Media Matters for America.
Wendell Potter has served since May 2009 as CMD's Senior Fellow on Health Care. After a 20-year career as a corporate public relations executive, last year he left his job as head of communications for one of the nation's largest health insurers (Cigna) to try his hand at helping socially responsible organizations -- including those advocating for meaningful health care reform -- achieve their goals. He speaks out on both the need for a fundamental overhaul of the American health care system and on the dangers to American democracy and society of the decline of the media as watchdog, which has contributed to the growing and increasingly unchecked influence of corporate PR.