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What’s the first word that comes to mind when you think about political banter—whether it’s on TV, in print media, or on social media?

Civility? Probably not.

“Politics, Incivility, and the Media: The Need to Restore Dialogue and Debate” is the title of a discussion featuring four political and media experts that will be held October 23 at the Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy.

The event, which begins at 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday in the Toyota Auditorium, is free and open to the public.

The panel will be moderated by Tom Griscom, former editor of the Chattanooga Times Free Press, communications director for President Ronald Reagan, and press secretary for Sen. Howard Baker.

Griscom will engage the audience and the panel in a discussion about how to move political discourse to a higher level. The panelists are:

  • Trey Grayson
    Trey Grayson

    Ira Shapiro, author of The Last Great Senate, long-time Senate staffer, and trade ambassador in the administration of President Bill Clinton

  • Trey Grayson, director of the Harvard Institute of Politics and former Kentucky Secretary of State
  • Patrick Butler, now president of the Association of Public Television Stations, and former senior vice president of the Washington Post, speechwriter for President Gerald Ford, and aide to Sen. Howard Baker.
Patrick Butler

“Our panelists will look at Congress, politics, and the impact of the media over the past fifty years,” said Matt Murray, director of the Baker Center. “They’ll talk about how Congress has changed and why. And they’ll look at the media, from investigative reporting to citizen journalist, and talk about the impact the media and technology have had on the ‘news’ we hear today.”

Afterward, Shapiro will be signing copies of his book, The Last Great Senate, which will be sold at the site.

The Baker Center is a nonpartisan institute devoted to education and research concerning public policy and civic engagement. For more information, visit the Baker Center website.

C O N T A C T :

Nissa Dahlin-Brown ( Baker Center) (865-974-8681,

Amy Blakely (865-974-5034,