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Join us as we look back and forward at Congress, politics, and the impact of the media, with a distinguished panel collectively holding more than 100 years of expertise in these areas.

From partisanship in Washington and a shift from mainstream media to to more citizen journalism, where have we been and how do we move towards a more effective government?

What impact has the media and technology had on the “news” we hear today?

What happened to the idea of civil discussion, compromise and progress?

We hope our panel can answer some of these questions and more, in a unique forum  led by our moderator, Tom Griscom. Our speakers  includes:

A University of Tennessee alumni, Pat Butler, has bridged the gap between politics and the media. He worked with President Reagan, President Ford, and Senator Baker.  Butler is a former VP at the Washington Post and is presently CEO of the Association of Public Television Stations

Trey Grayson, Director of the Harvard Institute of Politics and former Kentucky Secretary of State, he  has been called a “rising star” and is known for his dedication to civil debate and bipartisanship. His longing to connect both sides of the political aisle can be seen through his discourses with Democratic Representative, Gabby Gifford, whom he said could best be honored by politicians assembling to create bipartisan solutions.

Ira Shapiro was a long-time Senate staffer, Clinton administration trade ambassador, and author, has spent much of his career defining ethics in the Senate. Always working for what he believes, Ira Shapiro has dealt with some of the most difficult trade negotiations imaginable and ran a congressional campaign based on his opposition to President George Bush’s tax cuts.  He is author of the new book, The Last Great Senate, and will sign copies following the discussion.

Tom Griscom has seen both sides of the problem, as a political staffer and newspaper editor.  Currently serving as a media consultant, Tom was the communications director for President Ronald Reagan, and a staffer to Senator Howard Baker, prior to serving as the editor of the Chattanooga Times Free Press.




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