Robert Zelnick

Biography: 

Robert Zelnick is a professor of national and international affairs at Boston University and was a research fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. He has been with Boston University since September 1998, where his course Media Law and Ethics has long been a student favorite.

Before joining Boston University, Zelnick spent twenty-one years with ABC News in various executive positions before being named Moscow correspondent.

From 1984 to 1986, Zelnick was posted to Israel, where he was known for his balanced coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian controversy. He then served as Pentagon correspondent from 1986 to 1994, covering the end of the Cold War and the Persian Gulf War. His investigation of the explosion aboard the battleship Iowa forced the navy to withdraw its charges that an innocent seaman was responsible for the blast.

From 1994 to 1998, Zelnick covered Congress and politics.

Before joining ABC News, Zelnick served as executive editor of the Nixon-Frost interviews.

From 1972 to 1974, he served as correspondent and, from 1975 to 1976, national bureau chief for National Public Radio.

Zelnick began his career in journalism as a freelance writer on Vietnam in 1967. The following year, he joined the staff of the Anchorage Daily News.

From 1973 to 1977, Zelnick served as a special correspondent for the Christian Science Monitor, covering the US Supreme Court.

Zelnick has won numerous awards, including two Emmys and two Gavel Awards from the American Bar Association.

During the years Zelnick has contributed numerous columns and articles to newspapers and scholarly journals. He is the author of five books: Backfire: A Reporter Looks at Affirmative Action, Gore: A Political Life, Winning Florida: How the Bush Team Fought the Battle, Swing Dance: Justice O'Connor and the Michigan Muddle, and Israel’s Unilaterialism. His most recent book, coauthored with his daughter Eva, is titled The Illusion of Net Neutrality: Political Alarmism, Regulatory Creep, and the Real End to Internet Freedom (Hoover Institution Press, 2013). He is currently working on his memoirs, which will be housed in the Boston University Archives.

A native of New York City, Zelnick graduated from Cornell and the University of Virginia’s Law School.

A US Marine Corps veteran, Zelnick currently resides in Brookline, Massachusetts, with his wife of forty-five years, Pamela S. Zelnick. The couple has three daughters: Eva, Dara, and Marni.

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Recent Commentary

Analysis and Commentary

Time out on nuclear power?

by Robert Zelnickvia Arena (Politico)
Monday, March 21, 2011

It is not surprising, given their experience in the Second World War, that in following most of the advanced nations into substantial reliance on nuclear power that the Japanese are recognized worldwide for their elevated safety standards...

Analysis and Commentary

Time out on nuclear power?

by Robert Zelnickvia Arena (Politico)
Monday, March 14, 2011

Given that circumstance and the inspiring Japanese response to the damage at Fukshima Dali chi, some degree of restraint is called for among those who seem never to have found a source of energy that suits their taste...

Analysis and Commentary

Anti-Obama or anti-spending?

by Robert Zelnickvia Arena (Politico)
Friday, March 11, 2011

In a situation, such as now exists, where the states are broke and the federal government is more broke, it takes little risk for the GOP to act like a party more anxious to guard the purse than are the Democrats...

Analysis and Commentary

Does First Amendment protect 'vicious verbal assault'?

by Robert Zelnickvia Arena (Politico)
Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The First Amendment is no pushover. Its exercise can promote pain, fury, humiliation or even deep sorrow in the target of smear, yet the right of the advocates of to display their policy wares is protected...

Analysis and Commentary

Who Should Replace Robert Gates?

by Robert Zelnickvia Arena (Politico)
Monday, February 28, 2011

The person most qualified to replace Robert Gates is Richard Haass, president of the Council on Foreign Relations since July 2003...

Who should replace Defense Secretary Bob Gates?

by Robert Zelnickvia Advancing a Free Society
Monday, February 28, 2011

The person most qualified to replace Robert Gates is Richard Haass, president of the Council on Foreign Relations since July 2003. Haass's objective qualifications are easy to summarize.

Analysis and Commentary

Wisconsin governor 'union busting'?

by Robert Zelnickvia Arena (Politico)
Friday, February 18, 2011

The Wisconsin clash is a symbol of the times...[In] recent years the union movement has gotten a shot in the arm from an unexpected source: the government employee...

Analysis and Commentary

Confederacy issues a 'no win' for Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour?

by Robert Zelnickvia Arena (Politico)
Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Perhaps as a Cabinet officer in the right Republican administration. But to get to the top I think he must go further than he has to date in showing he has moved beyond the racism and lawless anti-black violence that is part of his state’s heritage...

Analysis and Commentary

Has Mubarak already won?

by Robert Zelnickvia Arena (Politico)
Wednesday, February 9, 2011

If the United States is lucky its policy with respect to Egypt’s spasm of hyper political activity will fail, the country’s Day of Democracy will be postponed, the Army will blow the whistle on rule by mob, and a new cabinet will begin addressing the immediate complaints of the Egyptian people...

Analysis and Commentary

Open Mike weekend, Feb. 5-6

by Robert Zelnickvia Arena (Politico)
Friday, February 4, 2011

I am prepared to have the sort of relationships with others as they would have with us. And when my friends come under attack I will do my best to see that they prevail...

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