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Pomona Student Union Presents Debate: "Media Bias: Can We Trust the News?"

The 2009 Pomona Student Union Great Debate will focus on the question “Media Bias: Can We Trust the News?” The event will be held at Pomona College on Thursday, November 5 at 8 p.m. and feature columnists Eric Alterman (The Nation) and Ross Douthat (New York Times).

This year’s Great Debate, moderated by students, will examine questions like: Is it fair to claim that popular news sources—the New York Times and Fox News, for instance— are biased? Does that influence our understanding of the world around us? Does news bias slant elections, policy decisions or our understanding of world events? The debate will raise discussion of the recent controversy regarding the Obama Administration’s criticism of Fox News and the protest from the rest of the White House press pool.

Alterman, “The Liberal Media” columnist at The Nation and professor of English and journalism at Brooklyn College, City University of New York, has authored seven books, including Why We're Liberals: A Handbook for Restoring America’s Most Important Ideals (2008) and the national bestseller What Liberal Media? The Truth About Bias and the News (2003). The New York Times Book Review hailed the latter book as, "Bold, counterintuitive, and cathartic...Alterman is ready for a bar fight, and he comes out swinging.” He is a fellow at The Nation Institute and a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress in Washington, DC, where he writes and edits the "Think Again" column.

Douthat, former senior editor of The Atlantic, became the youngest-ever regular op-ed writer for the New York Times in April 2009, at the age of 29, when he replaced Bill Kristol. Douthat most recently co-authored the book Grand New Party: How Republicans Can Win the Working Class And Save the American Dream (2008), with Reihan Salam. New York Times columnist David Brooks praised the book as the "best single roadmap of where the [Republican] party should and is likely to head."

The Pomona Student Union was founded by students in 2003 to inspire open dialogue on campus through a series of challenging and intellectually diverse debates and events.

This event will be held in Bridges Hall of Music (Pomona College, 150 E. Fourth St., Claremont). For further information, call (909) 621-8515 or visit

Pomona College is one of the nation's premier liberal arts institutions, offering a comprehensive program in the arts, humanities, social sciences and natural sciences. Its hallmarks include small classes, close relationships between students and faculty, and a range of opportunities for student research.