Presidents in Hollywood
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On September 30, the University of Delaware welcomed political minds from Washington D.C. to Hollywood to examine portrayals of the White House and the real thing for the National Agenda 2020 series, "We Are the People," hosted by the Center for Political Communication. Homeland co-creator Howard Gordon, House of Cards co-executive producer John Mankiewicz, NPR TV critic Eric Deggans, and political strategist and UD alumnus Steve Schmidt convened for "Fact vs. Fiction: Presidents in Hollywood."
Howard Gordon, a critically acclaimed television writer and producer, co-created the award-winning breakout series Homeland. Gordon was also the executive producer of the television series 24, 24: Live Another Day, Tyrant, and 24: Legacy. A twenty-five-year industry veteran, Gordon first gained national attention for his award-winning work on the groundbreaking series The X-Files, for which he won multiple Golden Globes.
John Mankiewicz is an Emmy-nominated television and film executive producer and screenwriter. He was co-executive producer of the popular series House of Cards. Recently, he co-created the 2020 true-crime drama series Interrogation. He was also co-executive producer for Bosch, and he co-created the television series The Street. He wrote and produced on the first two seasons of the medical drama, House. A former journalist, he has contributed to Esquire, Rolling Stone, and most recently, the New Yorker.
Steve Schmidt, a University of Delaware alumnus and CPC founding senior fellow, is one of the premier public affairs and campaign strategists in the country. In December 2019, he co-founded The Lincoln Project, a political action committee, after formally leaving the GOP. He regularly appears on national news programs including those on MSNBC. Schmidt has worked on numerous Republican campaigns, most notably managing daily operations of John McCain's 2008 presidential campaign and Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s 2006 re-election campaign. He also served as an adviser for President George W. Bush.
Eric Deggans is National Public Radio's first full-time TV critic, crafting stories and commentaries for the network’s shows, such as Morning Edition, Here & Now and All Things Considered, along with writing material for NPR.org. He also appears on NPR podcasts such as Life Kit, Code Switch, It’s Been a Minute, and Pop Culture Happy Hour. Deggans is a contributor and media analyst for MSNBC/NBC News and an adjunct instructor in the Sanford School of Public Policy at Duke University. In 2020, he was given the Distinguished Alumni Service Award by Indiana University, four years after Indiana University’s Media School of journalism and communications named him a distinguished alumnus.