Conservative New York Times columnist Bret Stephens will join California broadcast journalist Warren Olney for an online discussion of U.S. foreign policy on March 22 at 5:00 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time. Free access to the event on Zoom can be obtained by registering at Eventbrite.
While working as deputy editorial page editor for The Wall Street Journal, Stephens won the 2013 Pulitzer Prize in commentary "for his incisive columns on American foreign policy and domestic politics, often enlivened by a contrarian twist." Since 2017, he has been a columnist for The New York Times.
An opponent of Donald Trump, Stephens wrote in his July 21, 2022 column that he regretted being insulting rather than empathetic to Trump’s supporters. "When I looked at Trump, I saw a bigoted blowhard making one ignorant argument after another. What Trump’s supporters saw was a candidate whose entire being was a proudly raised middle finger at a self-satisfied elite that had produced a failing status quo."
Stephens grew up in Mexico City and his columns have drawn upon his experiences there. On February 7, he recalled memories of the 8.0 earthquake that had hit Mexico City on September 19, 1985, killing 5,000 people or more. The earthquake had exposed government corruption and fueled demands for democratization, he said.
"After the quake, it became impossible to ignore that privately built office towers and homes stood unscathed while government-built and operated hospitals, ministries and schools lay in ruins," Stephens recalled.
He has been critical of Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador. On November 22, 2022, Stephens wrote that the Mexican leader was worse than Donald Trump "thanks to being a more effective demagogue and bureaucratic operator." The Mexican people had a government which was carrying out "an assault on their economic well-being, personal security and political freedom and the rule of law itself," Stephens said, warning that the country could become another Venezuela.
Olney has had a long career in journalism and is the only person to have been twice recognized as "Broadcast Journalist of the Year" by the Society of Professional Journalists, Los Angeles. He is the host of To the Point, a monthly podcast at KCRW.
The March 22 virtual event is being hosted by two Los Angeles-based organizations, Community Advocates, Inc. and Jews United for Democracy and Justice. Videos of past events can be found on the organizations' websites.
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