Ari Melber is a lawyer, writer and television journalist. He is a co-host of MSNBC’s “The Cycle,” airing daily at 3pm E.T., and he writes about law and politics for MSNBC.com and other publications.
Melber is also a correspondent for The Nation magazine, the oldest political weekly in America, a contributor to Reuters, and his writing has been published by The Atlantic, Salon, The Stranger, Politico, The American Prospect, The Baltimore Sun, The Philadelphia Daily News and The New York Daily News, among others.
From 2009 to 2013, Melber practiced law at a major New York firm, specializing in First Amendment, reporter’s privilege and copyright litigation. Melber received a J.D. from Cornell Law School, where he was an editor of the Cornell Journal of Law and Public Policy, and he is a member of the New York Bar.
During the 2008 general election, Melber traveled with the Obama Campaign on special assignment for The Washington Independent. He previously served as a legislative aide to Sen. Maria Cantwell and as a national staff member of the 2004 John Kerry Presidential Campaign.
Deemed “one of the left’s most important young voices” by Politico’s Mike Allen, Melber provides reporting, analysis and commentary on range of programs on MSNBC, CNBC and NBC. In addition to serving as a co-host on “The Cycle,” he has guest-hosted for Lawrence O’Donnell, Melissa Harris-Perry, Martin Bashir, Alex Wagner and Karen Finney, and appeared as a guest on “The Today Show,” “Washington Journal,” “The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell,” “Hardball,” “NOW with Alex Wagner,” “The Daily Rundown with Chuck Todd,” “Melissa Harris-Perry,” “Martin Bashir,” “Power Lunch,” and “The Kudlow Report,” among others. He also anchors the MSNBC series “Presumed Guilty,” a series of reports on inequities in the criminal justice system.
Melber has contributed chapters or essays to the books “America Now,” (St. Martins, 2009), “At Issue: Affirmative Action,” (Cengage, 2009), and “MoveOn’s 50 Ways to Love Your Country,” (Inner Ocean Publishing, 2004).
Melber worked as a contributing editor at techPresident, a nonpartisan website covering technology’s impact on democracy. In 2010, Melber authored a 74-page special report for techPresident analyzing the first year of Organizing for America, the 13-million person network that grew out of the 2008 presidential campaign. Northwestern political scientist Daniel Galvin called the report “the most comprehensive and insightful account of Obama’s ‘Organizing for America’ to date,” and the report’s findings have been cited by The New York Times, The Washington Post, National Journal, Rolling Stone and the BBC.
Melber has served as moderator or featured speaker in a range of academic, media and political forums, including Oxford, Yale, Harvard Law School, Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, the Columbia University Political Union, NYU, Georgetown University, Fordham University’s “American Age Lecture Series,” The Park Center for Independent Media at Ithaca College, USC, The Center for American Progress, TimeWarner Summit, Democracy for America, Personal Democracy Forum, Netroots Nation, Alpha Phi Alpha and the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. Melber also co-moderated the Pennsylvania Leadership Forum for the 2010 U.S. Senate primary, interviewing Sen. Arlen Specter and Rep. Joe Sestak on C-SPAN, and moderated “Elected and Connected,” a George Washington University forum with Sen. Claire McCaskill and several members of Congress.
Melber founded “Ask The President,” a project to inject citizen questions into White House press conferences, which Columbia Journalism Review dubbed “an idea whose time has come,” and he has participated in several online coalitions advocating transparency and open government.
Melber’s writing has also been cited by a wide range of news organizations, such as the The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Economist, The Week, The Washington Times, American Spectator, Slate, The Guardian, Rolling Stone, National Review Online, American Conservative Online, BBC, CNN, CBS, FOX News, MTV.com and Wired.com. His reporting has also been cited in over twenty nonfiction books, including “Power and Constraint: The Accountable President After 9/11,” “Collective Action for Social Change: An Introduction to Community Organizing,” “Alexis de Tocqueville and the Art of Democratic Statesmanship,” ”The MoveOn Effect,” “The American Elections of 2008,” “Open Government: Collaboration, Transparency, and Participation in Practice,” “Political Campaign Communication: Principles and Practices,” “Rethinking Arab Democratization,” and in academic journals including, among others, The New England Journal of Medicine, The Middle East Journal, International Affairs, American Behavioral Scientist, Catholic University Law Review, Southern California Interdisciplinary Law Journal, the Journal on Telecommunications & High Technology Law and Boston University Law Review.