Jonathan Alter Biography
Jonathan Alter is an American liberal journalist, best-selling author, documentary filmmaker, and television producer. He was also a columnist and senior editor for Newsweek magazine from 1983 until 2011 and has written three New York Times best-selling books about American presidents. He is a contributing correspondent to NBC News, where since 1996 he has appeared on NBC, MSNBC, and CNBC.
He was one of the first magazine and newspaper reporters to appear on MSNBC. When the shows were on the air, he could often be heard on Imus in the Morning and The Al Franken Show on Air America Radio. In 2013 and 2014, he served as an executive producer on the Amazon Studio’s production Alpha House, which starred John Goodman, Mark Consuelos, Clark Johnson, and Matt Malloy. In 2019, he co-produced and co-directed “Breslin and Hamill: Deadline Artists,” a documentary about the columnists Jimmy Breslin and Pete Hamill, which is available on HBO.
Jonathan Alter Age
Jonathan Alter was born on October 6, 1957, in Chicago, Illinois, United States. Jonathan Alter is 61 years old as of 2018.
Jonathan Alter Net worth
Jonathan Alter earns his income from his business and other organization including the Awards industry. He also earns his income from his journalism work. He has an estimated net worth of $ 2 million dollars.
Jonathan Alter Family
Jonathan Alter was born in Chicago, Illinois, United States to Joanne H. Alter (1927–2008) and James Alter (1922–2014) who owned a refrigeration and air-conditioning company, his mother was an activist, politician, and the first woman to break the gender barrier in Chicago area politics and was also elected commissioner of the Metropolitan Sanitary District of Greater Chicago and a member of the Democratic National Committee. He was raised in a Jewish family in Chicago.
Jonathan Alter Wife
Jonathan Alter got married to Emily Lazar in 1986, his wife is an executive producer of the former Comedy Central show. The couples were blessed with three children.
Jonathan Alter Image
Jonathan Alter Children
Jonathan Alter has three children Charlotte Lazar Alter (daughter), Molly Lazar Alter (daughter) and Tommy Lazar Alter (son)
Jonathan Alter Education
Jonathan Alter graduated from Phillips Academy in 1975 and Harvard University in 1979, where he was one of the lead editors on the Harvard Crimson.
Jonathan Alter Journalist
Jonathan Alter began his journalism work while still in the University. In 1980 he was after Newsweek’s media critic, where he was among the first in the mainstream media to break tradition and hold other news organizations accountable for their coverage, a precursor to the role later played by blogs. When Newsweek launched his wide-ranging column in 1991, it was the first time the magazine allowed regular political commentary in the magazine, other than on the back page.
After the election of Bill Clinton in 1992, he became the was a consultant to MTV, he was among a small group of reporters and columnists who had regular access to Clinton, though he was far from a reliable supporter, particularly during the Monica Lewinsky scandal. “Alter bites me in the ass sometimes, but at least he knows what we’re trying to do,” Clinton was quoted as saying in the book Media Circus by The Washington Post’s Howard Kurtz.
He gained international notoriety during the 2000 election when the NBC claimed Tim Russert and Tom Brokaw, that the election would be settled in court. He was the first pundit to predict the months-long recount process. Two months after the September 11 attacks, he wrote an article for Newsweek called “Time to think about torture” which became one of his best-known articles. In the column, he suggested that the U.S. might need to “rethink … old assumptions about law enforcement”.
Stating that “some torture clearly works”, he suggested the nation should “keep an open mind about certain measures to fight terrorism, like court-sanctioned psychological interrogation”, and consider transferring some prisoners to other countries with less stringent rules on torture. While Alter did not advocate physical torture, he later wrote in his book “Between the Lines” that he regretted writing the article.
Alter was a fierce critic of President George W. Bush, emphasizing what he considered Bush’s lack of accountability and his position on embryonic stem cell research. Alter, a cancer survivor has written about his own bout with lymphoma and experience with an autologous adult stem cell transplant. On NBC’s Today Show, Alter was the correspondent for several stories about the effect of the Iraq War on returning veterans.
The Defining Moment, which was reviewed respectfully, surprised some critics with its analysis which concluded that the United States had come very close to dictatorship before Franklin D. Roosevelt became president, painting him as the savior of American democracy and capitalism. During an interview with 60 Minutes on November 14, 2008, then-President-elect Barack Obama said he had recently been reading The Defining Moment and hoped to apply some of Roosevelt’s strategies that were outlined in the book into his own administration.
A longtime proponent of education reform, Alter played a major role in the Academy Award-nominated documentary Waiting for “Superman”. He also sits on the Board of Directors of The 74, an education news website. In 2009, he was the commencement speaker at Western Connecticut State University, which awarded him an honorary doctorate. He also has received honorary degrees from Utica College (2008) and Montclair State University (2009). In April 2011, Alter left Newsweek, joining Bloomberg days after.
Alter is an executive producer of the Amazon Studios shows Alpha House starring John Goodman. Written by Doonesbury creator Garry Trudeau, the comedy series revolves around four Republican U.S. Senators who live together in a townhouse on Capitol Hill. After developing the script with Trudeau, Alter sold the pilot to Amazon, which picked up the show as its first original series. The eleven-episode first season began streaming online in late 2013. Production for the second season of Alpha House began in the summer of 2014. The 2019 HBO film Breslin and Hamill: Deadline Artists was co-produced and co-directed by Alter.
Jonathan Alter Books
- The Center Holds: Obama and His Enemies
- The Promise: President Obama, Year One
- Between the Lines: A View Inside American Politics, People, and Culture
- The Defining Moment: FDR’s Hundred Days and the Triumph of Hope
Jonathan Alter Movies
- Breslin and Hamill: Deadline Artists 2018
- I am Jane Doe 2017
- Labor Day 2009