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

Don't Ask Don't Yell?

by Robert Zelnickvia Arena (Politico)
Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The apparent victory for gays now on the verge of getting Congress to repeal "don't ask, don't tell" does not rest on a massive new evidence to rebut the widely shared assumption of 19 years ago...

Analysis and Commentary

Rush Limbaugh: Voice of conservatives?

by Robert Zelnickvia Arena (Politico)
Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The new Zev Chafets biography of Rush Limbaugh is bound to spark discussion over what conservatism really is and what Rush Limbaugh is or isn't...

Analysis and Commentary

The Constitution Versus the Green Brief

by Robert Zelnickvia Arena (Politico)
Saturday, May 22, 2010

While civilians compete for positions available, enhancing their credentials over time and barred by the Civil Rights Act of 1964 from practicing racial or religious discrimination, the military must above all else put a cohesive team into battle...

Analysis and Commentary

Rand Paul: Barry Goldwater 2.0?

by Robert Zelnickvia Arena (Politico)
Thursday, May 20, 2010

Two days into his campaign for the U.S. Senate, the winning GOP primary candidate, the populist, tea-gulping Rand Paul is already in trouble, this time over his apparent inability to say how he would have voted 46 years ago when the Civil Rights Act of 1964 came to the floor of the Senate...

Analysis and Commentary

Pat Buchanan's identity politics?

by Robert Zelnickvia Arena (Politico)
Monday, May 17, 2010

I must confess a utter lack of surprise upon hearing of Buchanan's latest slap at the political influence of Jews, chiding the nomination of Elena Kagan on the grounds that she would, if confirmed, become the third Jew on a 9-Justice Court..."

Arena: Did "big brother" work in Times Square? Will familiar post 9/11 partisanship over national security soon break out?

by Robert Zelnickvia Advancing a Free Society
Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Watching anti-terrorist personnel from several city, state and federal agencies swing into action against the would-be Times Square Bomber one is tempted to conclude that the nation is finally coming together on issues of national security and that the notion that politics sto

Arena: In memory of Walter Hickel

by Robert Zelnickvia Advancing a Free Society
Saturday, May 8, 2010

"Bob, this is Carl Mac Murray. Can you be at the secretary's office at 4:30 this afternoon? Wally wants to see you."

Analysis and Commentary

Is Obama's America like Greece?

by Robert Zelnickvia Arena (Politico)
Friday, May 7, 2010

Will the Greek debt crisis spread? Can Republicans pound the debt issue to prevent new federal spending...

Arena: Is Obama’s America like Greece?

by Robert Zelnickvia Advancing a Free Society
Friday, May 7, 2010

Politico:  Will the Greek debt crisis spread? Can Republicans pound the debt issue to prevent new federal spending?

Analysis and Commentary

Will familiar post 9/11 partisanship over national security soon break out?

by Robert Zelnickvia Arena (Politico)
Monday, May 3, 2010

Watching anti-terrorist personnel from several city, state and federal agencies swing into action against the would-be Times Square Bomber one is tempted to conclude that the nation is finally coming together on issues of national security...

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