John Avlon, Covering the Intersection of Politics and Power

Published on22 FEB 2018

John Avlon, (then) editor-in-chief of The Daily Beast and author of the book Washington's Farewell: The Founding Father's Warning to Future Generations, discusses the changing state of journalism and why “democracy depends on it.”

On the importance of journalism to democracy: “Journalism is a mission driven business. That's what I think people sometimes forget. If you don’t get that, you probably shouldn’t be anywhere near it. It's not going to be your highest margin business from an investor standpoint, but democracy depends on it. We forget, the Constitution doesn’t mention political parties, it does mention journalists.”

On the prescient message of President George Washington’s Farewell Address: “Washington sets a precedent where he writes a memo to future generations about the forces he felt could destroy our democratic republic, rooted in the lessons of his life and the lessons of history...The big three threats he foresaw were hyper-partisanship, excessive debt, and foreign wars/foreign influence in our elections... It's an eerily prescient document.” 

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