Marian Miner Cook

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Covering January 6: Journalists’ Reflection

Tue, September 13, 2022
Dinner Program
Sahil Kapur '09, Michael Shear '90, and Elise Viebeck '10

On January 6th, 2021, insurrectionists breached the U.S. Capitol building as citizens across the country followed the unfolding events on television, social media, and other news sources. Information about what happened in the Capitol on that day was—and still is—challenging to piece together. A panel of three journalists, all CMC alums, will discuss the events of January 6th from a journalist’s point of view. Elise Viebeck ’10, formerly of the Washington Post, will moderate a discussion with New York Times' Michael Shear ‘90 and NBC Universal’s Sahil Kapur ‘09, on what happened on that day, how different media outlets covered the events in real-time, and the challenges and opportunities journalists face in analyzing political events with constitutional implications. 

Sahil Kapur ’09
Sahil Kapur ’09 is a senior national political reporter for NBC News covering Capitol Hill, elections, and Washington, DC. Having reported on American politics and public policy for more than a decade, he appears regularly on MSNBC and NBC News Now.

He has broken stories on a range of topics from the Obama-era health care legislation and the Trump tax cuts to the major Biden-era economic bills. He uncovered a rare Supreme Court error that led to a correction, covered the January 6 attack and its aftermath, delved deep into the politics and internal machinations of the Senate filibuster, and reported on strategy and stakes of countless campaigns for Congress and the presidency.

He previously worked for Bloomberg News, TPM Media, and Inside Washington Publishers, with beats ranging from the 2016 and 2020 presidential elections, the White House, Congress, and Supreme Court. He has appeared on CNN, Fox News, CBS, ABC, PBS and NPR to discuss his reporting.

Kapur has a B.A. in economics and government from Claremont McKenna College.

Michael Shear ’90
Michael Shear ’90 is a New York Times’ White House correspondent and two-time Pulitzer Prize winning reporter in the Washington bureau, where he covers President Biden, with a focus on domestic policy, the regulatory state, and life at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. A veteran political correspondent, he has covered the White House for 13 years, including the Trump and Obama presidencies. As with the Presidents Obama and Trump, Shear travels the world with President Biden.

Shear joined The Times in 2010 and has written extensively about national politics and policymaking in Washington. During 2020, Shear worked with investigative teams at New York Times to document the Trump administration's response to the Covid crisis. He was a leading member of the team that won the Pulitzer Public Service prize for the paper's coverage of the pandemic and its health and economic consequences.

Before coming to The Times, Shear spent 18 years at The Washington Post, writing about local communities, school districts, state politics, the 2008 presidential campaign, and the White House. A member of the Pulitzer Prize-winning team that covered the Virginia Tech shootings in 2007, Shear is a 1990 graduate of Claremont McKenna College and has a master’s in public policy from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.

Elise Viebeck ‘10
Elise Viebeck '10 is a former Washington Post investigative reporter whose work chronicled the movements and controversies that shaped American democracy during the Trump presidency. Covering the nexus of the administration, Capitol Hill, and the electoral system, Viebeck helped lead the Post’s efforts as the #MeToo movement hit the political world, including vetting and reporting on dozens of allegations of sexual misconduct against government leaders. She has written extensively about Donald Trump’s legal battles and first impeachment trial, as well as the legacy of Joe Biden’s Senate record. In her final, groundbreaking work for the Post, she directed a team monitoring hundreds of changes to voting rules during the Covid-19 pandemic and documented the unprecedented effort by Trump and his allies to restrict ballot access and overturn his election loss.

Viebeck majored in government at CMC and previously covered Congress and health care policy for The Hill newspaper. She now writes and consults independently from San Francisco.

This panel discussion is co-sponsored by the Salvatori Center at CMC.


View Video: YouTube with Sahil Kapur '09, Michael 'Shear '90, Elise Viebeck '10

Food for Thought: Podcast with Michael Shear '90

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