Jonathan Alter is a columnist and senior editor for “Newsweek” magazine, where he has worked since 1983. He is also a contributing correspondent to NBC News, where since 1996 he has appeared regularly on NBC, MSNBC and CNBC. He is the author of The Defining Moment: FDR’s Hundred Days and the Triumph of Hope, published by Simon & Schuster in 2006. For a decade in the 1980s, Alter was Newsweek’s media critic, where he was among the first in the mainstream media to break tradition and hold other news organizations accountable for their coverage, a precursor to the role later played by blogs.
When Newsweek launched his wide-ranging column in 1991, it was the first time the magazine allowed regular political commentary in the magazine, other than on the back page. After the election of Bill Clinton in 1992, during which Alter was a consultant to MTV, he was among a small group of reporters and columnists who had regular access to Clinton, though he was far from a reliable supporter, particularly during the Monica Lewinsky scandal.