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Media Relations

AU in the Media: 7/31/09

Top story

Unlawful Arrest

Angela Davis, a professor of law, was an in-studio guest on CNN’s Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer to discuss the arrest of Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates and the issue of racial profiling. "If a person is in their own home, the police officer doesn't have the right to come into a person's home to arrest them without a warrant, except under certain circumstances," she said. "But disorderly conduct is one of those vague, broad statutes that leave the officer a lot of discretion, and that's what we're talking about here. He has to be in public in order to be arrested. And it certainly sounds like he was calling him out because he was angry with him for being called a racist to give him a reason to arrest him, and that's an abuse of discretion."(7/24/09)

More Features

In national news outlets, one AU alum and WAMU host was featured for his contributions to radio and his Radio Hall of Fame nomination, and another alum was featured for her switch from the House of Representatives to teaching at her alma mater.

Old Radio’s Hero

American University alum Ed Walker, host of WAMU's The Big Broadcast and American University’s first blind student, was featured in a Washington Post article about his contribution to broadcast radio. Walker was recently named a Radio Hall of Fame nominee. "Radio has been everything to me," he said. "Now I look back and marvel that I was able to make a career out of it for 50 years in one market. I've gotten to interview all the people I used to listen to -- Bob Hope, Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby. It's just amazing." (7/28/09)

A Passion for Public Service

Constance Morella, an American University alum and ambassador-in-residence with the Women and Politics Institute, was featured in a Washington Times article about her legacy in the House of Representatives as a Congresswoman for Maryland’s 8th Congressional District. "Public service is exciting, satisfying, gratifying, and an adventure with great rewards," she said. "My public service strengthened my belief that America is the land of opportunity. I feel very fortunate to have had the great privilege to serve on many levels in many ways." Former Women and Politics Institute director Karen O’Connor said the School of Public affairs is excited about Morella’s arrival "We are thrilled to have Ambassador Morella join SPA and the Women & Politics Institute," she said. "In Congress, she helped make tremendous strides for women and families."(7/28/09)

Opinions & Editorials

In a national trade outlet, an AU professor discussed the importance of improving the government's executive-branch initiative and leadership.

Showing Initiative

In his opinion piece for Government Executive, Robert M. Tobias, director of the Institute for the Study of Policy Implementation, discussed the importance of initiative and leadership from the executive branch of the federal government. "Although many presidents have talked about the need to improve executive branch performance, President Obama is the first to assume personal leadership responsibility for doing so," he wrote. "Without that impetus from the chief executive officer of the executive branch, there is unlikely to be the kind of change many have talked about but none so far has effected."(7/29/09)

Faculty & Quotes

And in other news, AU's community contributed to the discussion of political, national, and international issues:

Stabilization of Afghanistan

Akbar Ahmed, chair of Islamic Studies, was a guest on BBC World News to discuss the state of Afghanistan as elections near and the Taliban’s presence remains constant. "You see a major shift in policy and strategy at the local level," he said. "A lot of work has to be done, particularly in winning hearts and minds so that the Taliban are marginalized from within society." (7/28/09)

A Tougher Battle

James A. Thurber, director of the Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies, was quoted in a New York Times article about the changing shift of moderates in the House and Senate. "In the last 30 years, we continually lost the middle, ideologically," he said. "And the loss of the moderates makes it very difficult to get bipartisanship for major policy changes." (7/25/09)

A Step toward the Positive

Robert Pastor, a professor of international relations, was quoted in a New York Times article about the Obama administration’s showing examples of initiative toward negotiations with Cuba after it removed a billboard promoting democracy from outside an American diplomatic mission in Havana. "Taking down the billboard has permitted both sides to act like mature adults,” he said. "That’s the most hopeful thing we’ve seen." (7/27/09)

Same-Sex Parental Rights in D.C.

Nancy Polikoff, a law professor, was quoted in a Washington Blade article about D.C.’s new law giving legal, automatic parental rights to lesbian partners who bear children through artificial insemination. "A mother should not have to adopt her own child," she said. "When a heterosexual married couple uses artificial insemination to have a child, the husband does not have to adopt the child born to his wife. He is the child’s legal parent automatically. Now the child of a lesbian couple will have the same economic and emotional security accorded the children of heterosexual married couples who use artificial insemination." (7/27/09)

Opening the Floodgates

Gemma Puglisi, an assistant professor of communication, was quoted in a Boston Herald article about the media attention surrounding the issue of racial profiling after the arrest of Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates. "The bottom line is it happened to a respected professor and that, to me, was the beginning," she said. "The other big issue is the race issue." (7/24/09)