Who’s to Blame for Donald Trump? Open to Debate Debates Trump Phenomenon in NYC and Livestreamed, September 13

August 30, 2016
Shore Fire Media Press Release

This election cycle has seen large swaths of the electorate reject political and media establishment wisdom by backing the campaigns of outsider candidates the most surprising result being the candidacy of Donald Trump. How did a businessman turned reality TV personality, with no political experience, capture the Republican ticket? Could it be the fault of the “elites” for pursuing policies that have failed to help the struggling working class? Or is this rise in populism the result of misplaced anger and extreme political polarization? On Tuesday, September 13, America’s premiere debate series Open to Debate will investigate the forces that made Donald Trump’s rise possible with a debate on the motion “Blame the Elites for the Trump Phenomenon.”

Four prominent media figures will debate this motion, two on each side. Debating for the motion are Ben Domenech, publisher of The Federalist, and Timothy Carney, a senior political columnist at the Washington Examiner. Debating against the motion are Bret Stephens, deputy editor of the Wall Street Journal’s editorial page, and Jennifer Rubin, writer at the Washington Post.

This debate will be held at NYC’s Kaufman Center and stream live online, then air soon after as part of the syndicated public radio show and podcast “Open to Debate” On September 13, online viewers can tune in at Open to Debate’s new website (http://bit.ly/IQ2Trump).

WHAT: Open to Debate Debates “Blame the Elites for the Trump Phenomenon”

WHEN: Tuesday, September 13, 2016/ Reception 5:45-6:30 / Debate 6:45-8:15 PM

WHERE: Kaufman Center/129 W. 67th Street (bet. Broadway and Amsterdam)/New York, NY 10023

TICKETS: $40 ($12 for students w/ ID). To purchase, visit https://opentodebate.org/

Arguing for the motion:

* Timothy Carney: Senior Political Columnist, Washington Examiner & Visiting Fellow, AEI

Timothy P. Carney is a senior political columnist for the Washington Examiner and a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. He helps direct AEI’s Culture of Competition Project, which examines barriers to competition in all areas of American life, from the economy to the world of ideas. He has over a decade of experience as a journalist covering the intersection of politics and economics. He is also the author of The Big Ripoff: How Big Business and Big Government Steal Your Money (2006) and Obamanomics (2009).

* Ben Domenech: Publisher, The Federalist & Host, The Federalist Radio Hour

Benjamin Domenech is the publisher of The Federalist, host of The Federalist Radio Hour, and writes The Transom, a daily subscription newsletter for political insiders. Domenech also serves as a fellow at the Manhattan Institute. He was previously a senior fellow at the Heartland Institute; editor-in-chief of The City, an academic journal on faith and culture; and a speechwriter for HHS Secretary Tommy Thompson and U.S. Senator John Cornyn of Texas. He co-founded Redstate and co-hosted Coffee & Markets, an award-winning economic podcast. He appears regularly on Fox News, MSNBC, CNN, HBO, and CBS’s Face the Nation.

Arguing against the motion:

* Jennifer Rubin: Author, The Washington Post’s “Right Turn” Blog

Jennifer Rubin writes the “Right Turn” blog for the Washington Post, offering reported opinion from a conservative perspective. She covers a range of domestic and foreign policy issues and provides insight into the conservative movement and the Republican Party. Rubin came to the Post after three years with Commentary magazine. Her work has appeared in a number of print and online publications and she is a frequent commentator on MSNBC, CNN, CBS, NPR and syndicated radio shows.

* Bret Stephens: Deputy Editor, Editorial Page and “Global View” columnist, The Wall Street Journal

Bret Stephens writes “Global View,” the foreign affairs column for the Wall Street Journal, for which he won the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for commentary. He is the paper’s deputy editorial page editor, responsible for the opinion sections of the Journal’s sister editions in Europe and Asia, and a member of the Journal’s editorial board. Previously, Stephens was editor-in-chief of the Jerusalem Post. His first book, America in Retreat: The New Isolationism and the Coming Global Disorder, was published in 2014.


A non-partisan, nonprofit organization, Open to Debate was founded in 2006 to restore civility, reasoned analysis and constructive public discourse to today’s often biased media landscape. The award-winning debate series reaches over 30 million American households through multi-platform distribution, including radio, television, live streaming, podcasts, interactive digital content, and on-demand apps on Roku and Apple TV. With over 120 debates and counting, Open to Debate has encouraged the public to “think twice” on a wide range of provocative topics. Author and ABC News correspondent John Donvan has moderated Open to Debate since 2008. The executive producer is Dana Wolfe.

Go here for photos, links and more info: http://shorefire.com/client/intelligence-squared-us

For more information on Open to Debate, please contact Ray Padgett (raypadgett@shorefire.com) or Mark Satlof (msatlof@shorefire.com) at Shore Fire Media.