MOLLY IVINS - Best-Selling Author & Widely Syndicated Political Columnist

Mon. March 29, 2004 at Thousand Oaks 8:00 pm
Tues. March 30, 2004 at Pasadena 8:00 pm
Wed. March 31, 2004 at Redondo Beach 8:00 pm

     This widely syndicated columnist who writes about Texas, national politics, and other bizarre happenings is one of the nation's wittiest and best-known liberal political pundits. She is a keen observer of President George W. Bush. Sharing stories and silly anecdotes with the audience, she has an unparalleded ability to make discussing politics thoroughly enjoyable - and funny! This three time Pulitzer Prize finalist, she has also won numerous journalism awards, including a Headliner's Award for best Texas column.

     Ivins, was raised in Houston, earned her BA from Smith College, her master's degree in journalism from Columbia University, and studied for a year at the Institute of Political Science in Paris. She began her journalism career at the Complaint Department of the Houston Chronicle, then rapidly worked her way up to the position of Sewer Editor-from whence she wrote a number of gripping articles about street closings. She next went to work for the Minneapolis Tribune, first as a police reporter and later on a beat called "Movements for Social Change." She covered militant blacks, angry Indians, radical students, uppity women, and a motley assortment of other misfits and troublemakers.

     In 1970, Ivins returned to Texas as co-editor of The Texas Observer, a publication devoted to the coverage of Texas political and social events. Her specialty was covering the Texas Legislature, which undoubtedly accounts for her frequent fits of hysterical laughter in those years.

     In 1976, she joined The New York Times as a political reporter, first at City Hall and then at the Statehouse in Albany. In 1977, The Times sent her to the Rocky Mountain Bureau and named her Rocky Mountain Bureau Chief, because there was no one else in the bureau. For three years, she covered nine mountain states by herself and was often tired. In 1982, she returned once more to Texas, which may indicate a masochistic streak, and has had plenty to write about ever since.

     Her freelance work has appeared in Esquire, The Atlantic, The Nation, Harper's, TV Guide, and numerous other publications. She also does occasional commentary for National Public Radio and the NewsHour with Jim Lehrer. Ivins served for three years on the board of the National News Council and is active in Amnesty International's Journalism Network, as well as the Reporters' Committee for Freedom of the Press. She writes about press issues for the American Civil Liberties Union and several journalism reviews. She has received a number of journalism awards, and was named Outstanding Alumna by Columbia University's School of Journalism in 1976.

     Ivins has appeared as a weekly commentator on 60 Minutes, the perennially popular CBS newsmagazine. She is the author of the best-selling book, Molly Ivins Can't Say That, Can She? , a collection of essays on politics and journalism. Her second book, Nothin' But Good Times Ahead, was published in 1993. She published her third book, You Got to Dance with Them What Brung You: Politics In the Clinton Years, in 1998. Her most recent book entitled, Shrub: The Short But Happy Political Life of George W. Bush, details George W.'s dismal record in Texas and his road to the White House. She is now at work on a book about the consequences of the Bush presidency on regular people, to be released in Spring 2003.

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