lecture series


carl bernstein

Carl Bernstein
Why Isn't Our Government Working—And Can It?

November 18, 2013, Staller Center Main Stage

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Carl Bernstein, is an author, political analyst and Visiting Presidential Professor at Stony Brook University. For 40 years, Bernstein’s books, reporting and commentary have revealed the inner workings of government, politics and the hidden stories of Washington and its leaders. In the early 1970s, Bernstein and Bob Woodward broke the Watergate story for The Washington Post, leading to the resignation of President Richard Nixon and setting the standard for modern investigative reporting, for which they and The Post were awarded the Pulitzer Prize. Since then, Bernstein has continued to build on the theme he and Woodward first explored in the Nixon years — the use and abuse of power: political, media, financial and cultural.

On November 18, 2013, Bernstein’s lecture “Why Isn’t Our Government Working – And Can It?” stressed the importance of determining what news is. He also focused on the two overriding stories of today — the breakdown of the political system and whether it can be fixed, as well as whether we are going to be a nation of the wealthy, for the wealthy, by the wealthy at the expense of the great majority of our people.

At the end of Bernstein’s lecture, he specifically addressed Stony Brook’s students by saying that young people know they have been wronged. “If we are going to undo what has been done, we have to understand our history and how we got here,” said Bernstein. “And I sense from my students this great desire to understand this history. And one thing’s for sure: The best obtainable version of the truth has got to be part of the process of undoing…I look forward to hearing from you.”