Spring 2020 Fellow
Jeff Greenfield is an award-winning television journalist and author focused on the fields of politics, media, and culture. He served as a senior political correspondent for CBS News from 2007-2011. Prior to that, he contributed to “CBS Evening News with Katie Couric”, “The Early Show”, “CBS News Sunday Morning”, as well as CBSNews.com.
Prior to returning to CBS news in 2007, Greenfield had been a senior analyst for CNN since 1998. During his time as CNN, he acted as the lead analyst for its coverage of primaries, conventions, presidential debates, and election night, as well as presidential funerals, and Supreme Court nomination hearings.
Before his time at CNN, Greenfield was was a political and media analyst for ABC News, appearing primarily on “Nightline” and delivering weekly commentaries for “World Sunday News”. He also appeared on “Firing Line” and PBS’ “We Interrupt This Week”. In addition, Greenfield was the host of the national television series, “CEO Exchange”. In his time reporting, Greenfield was sent around the world from South Africa to Japan to Europe.
In addition to television, Greenfield is a prolific author who has appeared in many publications, including The New York Times Magazine, Harper’s and National Lampoon. He is also the author or co-author of 13 books including his first book, The People’s Choice (1995), a national bestseller and was named by The New York Times as one of the notable books of the year. Greenfield’s most recent book, Then Everything Changed: Stunning Alternate Histories of American Politics became a national bestseller and was a finalist for the 2011 Sidewise Award for Alternate History, Long Form.
Course: Political Media in the United States
This course examines how American Presidents, Presidential candidates, and prominent political players have used the media to advance their prospects, and how the changing nature of the media has–and has not– changed what these major players say and do, and how they say and do it. Unsurprisingly, political players have turned to whatever tools were at their disposal to argue on their behalf, and to disparage their opponents. A key question that drives this course is: how have the media changed our political life, and how have they not.
Spring 2020 Semester Recap
“I am glad to have participated in the program,” Jeff Greenfield said. “I enjoy teaching and over the years, the appearance of Google and Youtube has made teaching political and media history easier and easier — and this spring was no exception. I could show great events, political advertising, great speeches, and presidential debates.”
“My students got to see for themselves how the experience of politics has changed over time,” Greenfield added. “I can’t say enough about how my students stepped up when I challenged them, from writing their own political ads to ‘role playing’ as journalists faced with an ethical dilemma.”
Nick Gonzalez, a senior majoring in Political Science, said:
“Having the opportunity to learn from Greenfield has been an enriching experience because we learned so much about the political influence of the media from someone who possesses extensive experience working in the field. My favorite part was the fact that we could pick his brain on just about anything related to strategic political engagement with the media and he always gave substantive answers that were rooted in his experiences.”
Chloe Gudino, a sophomore majoring in Political Science, said:
“It was a positive and enjoyable experience where I learned how crucial political media is to the American audience. I have a better understanding of how the media has impacted the American perception of political offices. With this new insight, I have been able to further understand how my perspectives and opinions of politics have been affected by the media. I’m glad that I decided to take this course and grateful to Jeff for sharing his knowledge with me and my classmates.”
Jeff shared his thoughts on the importance of politics, his first political experience, and his advice for having respectful political discourse in her “Quick Takes: Q&A with CPF Fellow Jeff Greenfield” video.