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Ari Melber    

Attorney & Journalist for NBC News; Host of MSNBC's "The Beat with Ari Melber"

Ari Melber is a lawyer, writer and television journalist. He is a co-host of MSNBC’s The Cycle, airing daily at 3pm E.T., and he writes about law and politics for and other publications. Melber anchors and writes an MSNBC series on inequities in the criminal justice system, Presumed Guilty, and he is a guest host for MSNBC shows such as The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell, The Rachel Maddow Show, and All In with Chris Hayes.

Melber is also a correspondent for The Nation magazine, the oldest political weekly in America, a contributor to Reuters, and his writing has been published by The Atlantic, Salon, The Stranger, Politico, The American Prospect, The Baltimore Sun, The Philadelphia Daily News and The New York Daily News, among others.

From 2009 to 2013, Melber practiced law at a major New York firm, specializing in First Amendment, reporter’s privilege and copyright litigation. Melber received a J.D. from Cornell Law School, where he was an editor of the Cornell Journal of Law and Public Policy, and he is a member of the New York Bar.

Melber contributed chapters to the books America Now, (St. Martins, 2009) and At Issue: Affirmative Action, (Cengage, 2009), and he authored The Permanent Field Campaign in a Digital Age (techPresident, 2010), a 74-page special report about Organizing for America. Melber founded “Ask The President,” a project to inject citizen questions into White House press conferences, which Columbia Journalism Review dubbed “an idea whose time has come,” and he has participated in several online coalitions advocating transparency and open government.

Melber’s writing has also been cited by a wide range of news organizations, such as the The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Economist, The Week, The Washington Times, American Spectator, Slate, The Guardian, Rolling Stone, National Review Online, American Conservative Online, BBC, CNN, CBS, FOX News, and His reporting has also been cited in over twenty nonfiction books.

Melber has served as moderator or featured speaker in a range of academic, media and political forums, including Oxford, Yale, Harvard Law School, Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, the Columbia University Political Union, NYU, Georgetown University, USC, The Center for American Progress, TimeWarner Summit, Democracy for America, Personal Democracy Forum, Netroots Nation, Alpha Phi Alpha and the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.


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Speech Topics

Law & Politics in the News

Examining Current Legal Events

Law & Public Policy

Internet, Technology & the Law

Disintermediation: The Obama Model for Routing Around the Establishment

Everyone knows that Barack Obama upended American politics by using the web to run a different kind of presidential campaign, both in 2008 and 2012. But few observers appreciate that it was specifically Obama's risky strategy of disintermediation - routing around traditional gatekeepers in media, politics, and finance - that enabled him to reach the public directly, beat more famous competitors, obviate legacy media, and build a grassroots army distinct from his party's wilted infrastructure. In this deeply reported presentation, Ari Melber draws on a range of experience as an analyst and practitioner of presidential politics. He mixes stories from the campaign trail and data from recent studies and polls to show precisely how political and business leaders can develop networks to transcend sound-bite press coverage, disrupt conventional hierarchies, and organize people around deep interests and motivations.

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