Athenaeum speaker series kicks off with political commentator and comedian Dave Rubin


The 2017-18 Athenaeum speaker series makes its return to the Marian Miner Cook Athenaeum tonight, hosting political commentator and comedian Dave Rubin. Per Ath tradition, the evening programming will begin with a reception at 5:30 p.m., followed by dinner at 6 p.m., with the speaker presentation, The Rubin Report: An Evening of Free Speech with Dave Rubin, beginning at 6:45 p.m.

Rubin, a veteran political satirist, is currently the host of The Rubin Report. Attendees to tonight’s presentation can expect Rubin to delve into the ongoing conversation on free speech and expression, political correctness, and current ideological divides, hallmarks of his show.

In the opening monologue for the inaugural episode of The Rubin Report, Rubin explained how his views as a “former progressive” relate to the show’s format, saying “To me there is nothing more important in a democracy than free speech and debate. We should debate everything, we should talk about everything, we should engage ideas we aren't comfortable with, and we should let the best ideas win…but too often these days it simply isn't what's happening…”

Rubin has been called one of the most influential political commentators in recent years, all while running a show on a non-traditional media platform. With more than 510,000 YouTube subscribers and approximately 120 million views, Rubin has found a way to bypass traditional media outlets and maintain a high-profile guest list. His programming is entirely fan funded, in part, as a way to build “something intimate” with his fan base that could never have been “built through a traditional route.” The online world, he said, “lets you really connect with, and cultivate, an audience that is truly yours.”

This self-described show “about big ideas and free speech,” was started after Rubin left his tenure as host of former MSNBC pundit Cenk Uyger’s The Young Turks news program. Prior to that, Rubin had a live talk show podcast, The Six-Pack, on SiriusXM satellite radio. In various hosting roles, Rubin has interviewed a diverse cast of commentators, scientists, politicians, and self-described provocateurs from all sides of the ideological spectrum in the spirit of free expression and non-partisan discourse.

While reservations for the dinner are closed, the CMC community is encouraged to attend Mr. Rubin’s presentation.

—Michael Tesauro