Saturday, November 18 at 4:00 pm

Speaker Series: Linda Greenhouse

The Library is pleased to welcome back Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Linda Greenhouse to our speaker series on Saturday, November 18, 2017 at 4:00 p.m. to discuss her new book, Just a Journalist: On the Press, Life, and the Spaces Between.

In this timely book, the Pulitzer Prize–winning reporter trains an autobiographical lens on a moment of remarkable transition in American journalism.  Just a few years ago, the mainstream press was wrestling with whether labeling waterboarding as torture violated important norms of neutrality and objectivity. Now, major American newspapers regularly call the president of the United States a liar.  Clearly, something has changed as the old rules of “balance” and “two sides to every story” have lost their grip.  Is the change for the better?  Will it last?

In Just a Journalist, Linda Greenhouse—who for decades covered the U.S. Supreme Court for The New York Times—tackles these questions from the perspective of her own experience.  A decade ago, she faced criticism from her own newspaper and much of journalism’s leadership for a speech to a college alumnae group in which she criticized the Bush administration for, among other things, seeking to create a legal black hole at Guantanamo Bay—two years after the Supreme Court itself had ruled that the detainees could not be hidden away from the reach of federal judges who might hear their appeals.

One famous newspaper editor expressed his belief that it was unethical for a journalist to vote, because the act of choosing one candidate over another could compromise objectivity.  Linda Greenhouse disagrees.  Calling herself “an accidental activist,” she raises urgent questions about the role journalists can and should play as citizens, even as participants, in the world around them.

About the author: Linda Greenhouse, during nearly thirty years as the Supreme Court correspondent for The New York Times, won a Pulitzer Prize and earned a reputation as an authoritative and insightful chronicler of the Supreme Court and its justices. She appeared regularly on the PBS program Washington Week and lectures frequently about the Supreme Court to legal and judicial audiences. She currently teaches at Yale Law School and writes a biweekly online opinion column for The Times on the Court and the law. Among her previous books are The Burger Court and the Rise of the Judicial RightBecoming Justice Blackmun; and The U.S. Supreme Court: A Very Short Introduction.  She lives in Stockbridge and in New Haven, Connecticut.


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