past event

SOF Discussion Reception: Defending Our Democracy: The Responsibility of the Press in the 2020 Elections

Join us for a conversation featuring Gillian Tett, chair of the editorial board and editor-at-large for the Financial Times U.S. Bureau, S.E. Cupp, host of CNN’s “S.E. Cupp Unfiltered,” and moderated by Craig Melvin, anchor of NBC’s Today Show.Together they will examine the duty of the press in the upcoming election, what the industry learned from its role on the 2016 Presidential race, and how social media and data-driven analytics impact the national conversation on politics and policy.

This program is part of our Society of Fellows Discussion Reception Series in New York, which is generously underwritten by Merilee and Roy Bostock and Ilona Nemeth and Alan Quasha.

**If you’re not a Society of Fellows member, but have an interest in joining, please contact the SOF team at or at (970) 544-7980 from 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. MST.


Gillian Tett is chair of the editorial board and editor-at-large, US of the Financial Times. She writes weekly columns, covering a range of economic, financial, political and social issues.

In 2014, she was named Columnist of the Year in the British Press Awards and was the first recipient of the Royal Anthropological Institute Marsh Award. In June 2009 her book Fool’s Gold won Financial Book of the Year at the inaugural Spear’s Book Awards.

Tett’s past roles at the FT have included US managing editor, assistant editor, capital markets editor, deputy editor of the Lex column, Tokyo bureau chief, and a reporter in Russia and Brussels.

S.E. Cupp is the host of CNN’s SE Cupp Unfiltered, a weekly Saturday program covering the white-hot intersection of politics and media, and a political commentator. Cupp is a practical conservative with a searing honesty who brings her distinct outlook to CNN programming and special political coverage. Cupp most recently hosted a panel-driven show on HLN that debated contemporary issues impacting the country. She joined CNN as a contributor in 2013 and HLN as a host in 2017.

Leading up to her move to CNN and HLN, Cupp was the host of S.E. Cupp’s Outside With Insiders, a digital series on where she took political insiders to the great outdoors. Past guests included Gov. Scott Walker (R-WI) and Rep. Mark Sanford (R-SC) among others. From 2013 to 2014 Cupp co-hosted “Crossfire” on CNN, the relaunched political debate program with panelists Newt Gingrich, Stephanie Cutter and Van Jones. Prior to joining CNN as a host and political commentator, Cupp co-hosted MSNBC’s roundtable show, The Cycle.

Cupp continues to be a nationally syndicated political columnist, culture critic and author. She regularly writes for the New York Daily News, Glamour and Cupp penned “Losing Our Religion: The Liberal Media’s Attack on Christianity” and co-authored “Why You’re Wrong About the Right” with Brett Joshpe. She was previously a consultant for HBO’s hit series, The Newsroom, contributor to TheBlaze’s Real News and contributing editor for Townhall Magazine.

A native of Massachusetts, Cupp relocated from Washington, D.C. to Connecticut and works out of the CNN New York bureau. She is a graduate of Cornell University and earned a master’s degree from New York University. In her free time, Cupp enjoys hunting, fishing and camping with her family. She is married with one son.


Craig Melvin is a news anchor on NBC News’ “TODAY,” a co-host of 3rd Hour TODAY, an anchor on MSNBC Live, and a host of “Dateline.” His breaking news coverage and reporting appears across all NBC News and MSNBC platforms.

Melvin has covered a wide-range of news events, including several Republican and Democratic National Conventions and three presidential inaugurations. His coverage of politics has included notable interviews with former President Bill Clinton, Former Vice President Joe Biden, Ambassador Nikki Haley, and Secretaries of State John Kerry, Mike Pompeo and Condoleezza Rice. He has also covered tragic mass shootings across the country for the network, including Dallas and Orlando in 2016; Charleston, South Carolina in 2015; the Navy Yard in Washington, D.C. in 2013; and Sandy Hook in 2012. Melvin reported extensively on police involved shootings and subsequent protests in Baltimore, Maryland in 2015 and Ferguson, Missouri in 2014.

In addition, he covered the 2016 death of Muhammad Ali and the 2016 EgyptAir MS804 crash. He has also covered two Olympic Games and six Super Bowls – most recently, the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang and the 2019 Super Bowl in Atlanta.

Prior to joining NBC News and MSNBC in July 2011, Melvin was a weekend anchor for WRC, NBC’s owned-and-operated station in Washington, DC.  Before that, Melvin earned acclaim as an evening news anchor at WIS in Columbia, South Carolina where he was named “Best Anchor” by the South Carolina Broadcaster’s Association and awarded two Emmy Awards.

Melvin is a graduate of Wofford College in Spartanburg, South Carolina where he serves on the board of trustees. He is an active member in several charities, including the Colorectal Cancer Alliance and the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.


Event information
Thu Jan 30, 2020
6:00pm - 8:00pm EDT
Private venue
New York, NY