Distinguished panel convenes for Charlie Ross debate

An all-star panel packed the Ira Allen Chapel on Tuesday Apr. 25, to discuss “The Media And The Public Trust: The Making And Breaking Of Political Heroes.” The panelists included members of the national media, and members of both the Democratic and Republican political parties. Howard Dean was the star of the show and much of the lecture revolved around his 2004 presidential campaign. Dean and the rest of the panelists reflected upon the mistakes made in that campaign. Dean stated, “I was never able to successfully switch gears and be seen as someone who could be president of the United States. You have to do that to be president.” The panel was able to stay on topic much of the time thanks to the diligence of moderator Norman J. Ornstein, a Resident Scholar at the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research. Ornstein was a guest on the Colbert Report on Apr. 24, the night before the panel discussion. On the subject of the interactions between political actors and journalists, Dotty Lynch, the former Senior Political Editor of CBS News stated, “you see a huge breakdown in trust between the politicians and journalists, and it’s on both sides.” Howard Finemann, Newsweek’s Chief Political Correspondent, explained that Watergate has taught a generation of reporters to look for what’s wrong with politicians, not what they are doing well. Ron Kaufman, the lone Republican in the group and former Political Director to President George H. W. Bush, explained the shift in media today. “The difference is the medium, as opposed to the media,” said Kaufman. Finally, Howard Finemann summed it up by stating, “Media with a capital ‘M’ just doesn’t exist anymore.” Jesse Schauben-Fuerst, a Student Ambassador here at UVM, had this to say of the discussion: “I thought there was a good range of personalities on the panel, I really enjoyed Mr. Ornstein. He did a great job bringing out the issues and keeping the mood light. He did a phenomenal job bringing out the perspectives of each of the panelists.” President Fogel, when asked for his impressions on the panel discussion, had this to say, “it was neat.” The panel discussion and dinner was the second annual tribute to the late Charlie Ross. Ross was a public and was elected to positions of public trust under five presidents: Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, and Carter. Ross returned to Vermont and began teaching public policy at UVM in 1968, where he touched the lives of two of his students who are now the creators of the Charlie Ross Memorial Annual Panel Discussion. Ross’s wife and son attended the panel discussion and dinner. When asked whom she would identify as a hero in recent years, Mrs. Ross stated that, “I lived with him.”Panel debates the ability of heroes to emerge in the current state of constant media coverage