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Famed journalists Carl Bernstein and P.J. O’Rourke are latest Knight Lecturers


“Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the White House” is the theme for the 2016 John S. Knight Lecture on Thursday, March 31, at 7:30 p.m. at E.J. Thomas Performing Arts Hall. Joining forces for this “no holds barred” look at current events are Carl Bernstein and P.J. O’Rourke — two of the most respected writers in America today.

Bernstein and O’Rourke will open the program with remarks on the country’s most relevant political and economic developments. A 30-minute moderated discussion will follow — offering equal parts candor and levity. A question-and-answer session with the audience will conclude the program.


Dr. John Green, director of the Ray C. Bliss Institute of Applied Politics and interim dean of the Buchtel College of Arts and Sciences, is the moderator for the evening.

Both men rose to prominence in the early 1970s, Bernstein at The Washington Post and O’Rourke at National Lampoon magazine.

Bernstein, along with fellow Post reporter Bob Woodward, is best known for breaking the story behind the 1972 break-in at the Democratic National Committee headquarters at the Watergate complex in Washington, D.C. Their reporting led to government investigations and helped The Washington Post win the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service in 1973. Bernstein and Woodward went on to co-author two books — “All the President’s Men,” which was made into a movie by the same name with Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman, and “The Final Days,” about the end of Richard Nixon’s presidency.

Varied career

After leaving the Post, the Washington, D.C., native worked for ABC News. Bernstein has written for numerous publications and has authored several best-selling books, including the biography, “A Woman In Charge: The Life of Hillary Rodham Clinton.” He appears regularly on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” is a contributing editor of Vanity Fair magazine and has been an on-air political analyst for CNN.

O’Rourke, a native of Toledo, Ohio, is best known for political satire. Joining National Lampoon in the early 1970s, O’Rourke eventually served as its editor-in-chief. After leaving the magazine, he went on to become a foreign correspondent, covering crises and conflicts in more than 40 countries.

Best-selling author

The author of 16 best-selling books, O’Rourke has been called the “funny conservative.” His latest book, released last fall, is “Thrown Under the Omnibus.” He writes a weekly column for The Daily Beast titled “Up To a Point…,” is a contributing editor at The Weekly Standard and writes a regular column for Stansberry Research, an investment newsletter company. O’Rourke has written for a variety of other publications, including The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, The Atlantic and Rolling Stone, where he was the foreign affairs desk chief for 15 years.

General admission tickets for the Knight Lecture are $20. The event is free for UA students with a valid Zip Card. Tickets may be purchased by calling 330-253-2488 and in person at the Akron Civic Theatre Box Office, located directly across the street from the theatre, inside the front doors of the Summit County Building at 175 S. Main St. Tickets may also be purchased online at Ticketmaster, at Ticketmaster Charge-by-Phone at 1-800-745-3000 and at Ticketmaster outlets.

The John S. Knight Lectureship was established in 1990 by the Knight Foundation to bring to campus once each year writers, political figures, or individuals of international importance. 

Carl Bernstein

Carl Bernstein

P.J. O'Rourke

P.J. O'Rourke

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