Media roundtable at Stanford’s Hoover Institution provides opportunity to think beyond the sound bite

Former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice speaks with participants at the Hoover Institution's recent Media Roundtable.
Former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice speaks with participants at the Hoover Institution’s recent media roundtable.

The Hoover Institution’s fall media roundtable was a prime opportunity to showcase the think tank’s brainpower as the 2016 presidential campaign ramps up.

Indeed, the theme of the two-day roundtable on Sept. 14-15 was “The 2017 White House Agenda,” and there was plenty of dialogue, analyses, viewpoints and plain old political talk.

Sessions focused on foreign policy, education, immigration, health care, and the economy. Nearly 30 members of the national media were in attendance from outlets and publications including Fox, NBC, CBS, the New York Times, Washington Post, Politico, the Los Angeles Times and the Daily Beast.

CHRIS STIREWALT, a digital politics editor for Fox News, said, “There’s no place in my professional life that challenges me in the same way Hoover does.”

He noted that working in a business where conventional wisdom and sound-bite shorthand often pass for insight, it is invaluable to be pushed to do deeper, critical thinking about substantive issues.

“It’s calisthenics for flabby Beltway brains,” Stirewalt said.

Over the course of the two-day conference, participants engaged in dynamic and often candid discussions with Hoover Institution fellows such as former U.S. Secretary of State and Stanford political science and business Professor CONDOLEEZZA RICE, who kicked off the roundtable a with wide-ranging conversation on foreign policy. Discussions that followed over the next two days covered the gamut from military and defense policy to Common Core education standards, immigration, cybersecurity, the economy and health care.

“The media roundtables have proven to be enormously effective in staying top of mind as a resource on critical and timely issues,” said ERYN TILLMAN, Hoover’s director of public affairs.

“Given that most national media outlets are headquartered in Washington, DC, and New York City, the roundtable provides an opportunity for participants to see our talent firsthand while engaging in a thoughtful exchange of ideas,” Tillman said.

HUGH HEWITT, host of the nationally syndicated Hugh Hewitt Show and co-moderator of the CNN Republican Debate, which took place the day after Hoover’s roundtable, broadcast his show live from the Hoover studio both days. Hewitt interviewed new Hoover Director TOM GILLIGAN, Hoover fellows and other roundtable participants.