Skip to main content
Expand AU Menu

Media Relations

AU in the Media: 2/13/09

Top Story

Journey to Alabama

American University professor Akbar Ahmed, and his current project, Journey Into America, was featured in a multimedia homepage story which followed Ahmed and a group of students as they visited Arab, Alabama, to observe the city’s Muslim culture. "As a social scientist ... as a Muslim, it was almost my moral duty ... to be involved in some way in the exercise of talking about, explaining, debating [and] discussing Islam," he said. "After 9/11, Islam became the most talked-about, controversial, debated, hated and, really, mystified religion in America. I just couldn't sit it out." The story became the stop story on CNN’s homepage for two hours and led to almost 10,000 unique visits to the team’s blog, The project takes Ahmed and the students across the country to study Muslims in America and the American opinion of them. (2/9/09)

Faculty, Programs, & Quotes

Changing the way Washington works

James Thurber, director of the Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies, was quoted in an Associated Press story about President Obama setting a high bar to change how Washington operates on Capitol Hill. "He promised to make it a less partisan, post-partisan place. And so he has to do this,” he said. “The question is whether he can hit the sweet spot on the stimulus package with enough tax breaks and enough non-controversial spending to get the votes. I think he can.” This story was picked up by 12 news outlets, including the New York Daily News and the Dallas Morning News. (2/7/09)

Scared straight

Allan Lichtman, professor of history, appeared on an MSNBC news segment about President Obama’s prime time press conference regarding his stimulus package and how it affects citizens. “When Harry Truman in 1947 wanted to dedicate the United States to fighting the spread of communism, it was a Republican, van Derberg, who said you have to scare them to death. That's what Obama had to do,” he said. “But like Franklin Roosevelt, he also had to reassure the American people that with strong and decisive federal action - and doing nothing was not an option - and the American people pulling together, we can get out of this crisis.” (2/10/09)

Avoiding the tax snag

Don Williamson, chairman of Kogod’s accounting and taxation department, was a guest on CNN’s On the Money to discuss common tax preparation problems after the tax debaucle involving Obama nominees Tom Daschle and Nancy Killefer, and new head of Federal Reserve Timothy Geithner. “You do see folks that well- intentioned prepare their returns themselves or even have professionals prepare them for them and there are mistakes made,” he said. “In these cases with nominees the issue was perhaps were the mistakes reckless or negligent or maybe intentional.” (2/7/09)

Following Lincoln’s steps

Alan Kraut, professor of American history, was quoted in a story about President Obama’s White House strategies as it compares to former President Abraham Lincoln. "Lincoln expanded the government's role enormously during his presidency," he said. "While Lincoln was willing to take a lot of this bold action himself, Obama is trying very hard to work in a spirit of [bipartisanship] and to work cooperatively with the Congress." (2/11/09)

Nonprofit news?

Charles Lewis, journalist-in-residence with the School of Communication, was a guest on WAMU 88.5's Kojo Nnamdi Show to discuss the outlook of the newspaper industry, and the likelihood of it taking a nonprofit approach. “Nonprofits are not new; the largest news organization in the world, the Associated Press, is nonprofit,” he said. “Can it be done is not a question; it has been done, it is done.” (2/11/09)

Job Seeking 2.0

Caren Goldberg, a management professor and human resources researcher, was quoted in a U.S. News and World Report story about how more and more entrepreneurs are going online to recruit employees. “You really can't get any more cost-effective than web recruiting,” she said. “Given that it comes at a very low cost and does have such a strong influence on attitudes toward the organization and intentions to pursue employment, organizations would be foolish not to make this part of their recruiting package.” (2/11/09)

Funny vs. offensive

William Leap, a professor and chair of the Department of Anthropology, was quoted in an Edge Magazine story about gay humor and the thin line between jokes and homophobia. "Usually, the decision about whether a joke is offensive or homophobic is based on criteria external to the joke,” he said. “The evaluation has nothing to do with the joke itself and everything to do with the politics of the social moment." (2/9/09)

Who owns it?

Wendy Seltzer, a law professor, was quoted in a Wall Street Journal law blog about the validity of a man’s case against the Associated Press over the artistic versionof a popular image of President Obama. “Most of what is in the image is the un-copyrightable image of President Obama,’’ she said. “Commentary is already a recognized category of fair use, so political commentary is given an added bump on the fair use scale . . . If someone had to tried to appropriate that image for a news story without paying the AP, that would have been unfair. But making it into a poster commentary on the election campaign, I think that is not something the copyright monopoly should cover.’’ (2/10/09)

Sharing the fight

Arturo Porzecanski, a professor of international economics and finance, was featured in a Washington Post story about his advocacy for research and a cure for systemic capillary leak syndrome (SCLS), a rare disease with which he lives. “I can be happy knowing I've passed the baton to the scientific community,” he said. “It’s not about me. It’s about patient power.” For the above-the-fold story in the Health section, the two associated photos were taken on the AU campus. (2/10/09)