Eric Alterman: What Would Thomas Paine Think? Liberal Values in Obama's First Year

Who: Eric Alterman
What: free public presentation, "What Would Thomas Paine Think? Liberal Values in Obama's First Year"
Where: New York Society for Ethical Culture [travel instruction] 2 West 64th Street (at Central Park West) [map]
When: 700 pm, Wednesday, 20 January
Cost: FREE and open to the public

CFI-NYC's annual Thomas Paine Memorial Lecture will be delivered by Eric Alterman, media columnist for The Nation and Distinguished Professor of English and Journalism at Brooklyn College. The event takes place exactly one year after the inauguration of President Obama, and Paine's view -- on issues ranging from economic justice to freedom of and from religion -- are highly relevant to some of the most significant political controversies that have emerged during the first year of the new administration.

The event is co-sponsored by the Center for Inquiry | New York City with the New York Society for Ethical Culture and will be held at the Ethical Culture headquarters, 64th Street & Central Park West, beginning at 7 p.m. A question-and-answer period and author booksigning will follow.

Alterman, widely praised for his incisive criticism of the media, is the author, most recently, of Why We're Liberals: A Handbook for Reviving America's Most Important Ideals (2008) and What Liberal Media?: The Truth About Bias And The News. He is also a regular contributor to The Daily Beast and a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, a liberal think tank.

Alterman's passionate, persuasive, and polemical writing -- always backed up by scrupulous research -- is in the best tradition of the independent journalism of Thomas Paine, the preeminent propagandist of the American Revolution; radical economic thinker, and passionate advocate for the separation of church and state. Following a tradition established by freethinkers in New York in the early 1820s, the Center for Inquiry always celebrates the anniversary of Paine's birthday (Jan. 29, 1737) with a talk by a distinguished journalist or scholar.

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My parents have a copy of Glenn Beck's rip-off of Paine's Common Sense on display in their dining room. I wonder what the old hell-raiser would think of his being exploited by such a low-life.

I was mocked relentlessly among my technorati peers for being a Hillary supporter.

Now, literally everything I predicted has come to fruition. Obama appeased his enemies at the expense of his supporters, and the result was a fig leaf of a health care reform bill.

Don't get me wrong. I love the guy, but I don't think he has the testicular fortitude to do battle against the party of the old, rich, white males.

yeah, sadly, i agree with you about obama. it's a good thing i got out of the country when i did. after living nearly all my life without health insurance, i had a stack of unpaid medical bills and if i'd stayed, it looks as though i'd be facing a substantial financial penalty every year when i file my taxes for not having health insurance. yay, america! the land of the greedy: where all problems can be solved by financially penalizing the poor!