Press Release — Politics as Entertainment

Contact: Caty Borum (213) 821-1284

The Norman Lear Center at USC Annenberg Hosts “Politics as Entertainment” Panel & Reception. Neal Gabler, Norman Lear and Arianna Huffington Are Panelists.

LOS ANGELES – In the aftermath of one of the closest presidential elections in recent history, The Norman Lear Center at the USC Annenberg School for Communication will host a panel discussion, “Politics as Entertainment,” on Tuesday, November 14, from 4:00 to 5:00 p.m.

The event will feature Neal Gabler, senior fellow of The Norman Lear Center and author of “Life the Movie: How Entertainment Conquered Reality”; Norman Lear, writer, producer, and director; and Arianna Huffington, syndicated columnist and author of “How to Overthrow the Government.”

Panelists will address such questions as: “Has campaigning become theater” “Have conventions and elections become branches of the entertainment industry” and “What does the triumph of entertainment mean for democracy” A reception will follow the discussion.

The timing of the event one week after the presidential election presents a unique opportunity to discuss the increasingly fuzzy lines between entertainment and news in the political arena – a topic panelist Neal Gabler has written about in numerous New York Times and Los Angeles Times op-eds.

“Nobody better understands the blurring of boundaries between show business and reality than Neal Gabler,” said Marty Kaplan, associate dean of the Annenberg School and director of The Norman Lear Center. “The current campaign season is a perfect occasion to ask what’s gained and what’s lost in the transition from democracy to “politainment,” and this panel is ideally equipped to answer that.”

The discussion, free and open to the public, will be broadcast in Real Video at For confirmed seating, call 213-740-5658 or email Enter through Gate 6 on Vermont Avenue at W. 36th Pl. (between Jefferson and Exposition boulevards). Parking is free to journalists upon presentation of press credentials, $6 to the public.

The Norman Lear Center is a multidisciplinary research and public policy center exploring the convergence of entertainment, commerce and society. The Center is a unique convener of entertainment industry professionals, scholars, public figures, and social critics. The impact of entertainment on news and politics is a principal focus of the Lear Center.

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