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University Communications and Marketing
Thursday, September 29, 2005
Court TV’s Catherine Crier urges civic action
Emmy Award winning journalist Catherine Crier implored a UNC Pembroke audience to take the reigns of democracy.
Crier spoke to about 600 at the Givens Performing Arts Center (GPAC) September 28 on the campus of The University of North Carolina at Pembroke. She was the first speaker in the 2005-06 Distinguished Speaker Series.
“Who’s in control?” she said. “The people or the politicians.”
Crier, who calls herself a “non-ideological basher,” said capitalism increasingly “runs the country.”
She quoted George Soros, a billionaire businessman turned political activist, saying “only fools believe in the conscience of markets. We can have a market economy, but we cannot have a market society.”
“I’d like to think I have a solution,” Crier said. “The duty – no privilege – belongs to you and I to improve the world we live in.”
And to students and their professors, Crier offered this advice: “The only way to make knowledge relevant is to act on it. Unless you act, education is worthless.”
An attorney who was elected a district court judge in Dallas, Texas, at
the age of 30, Crier’s career in journalism started at CNN and took
her to Fox, ABC and finally Court TV, and she said “things haven’t
stopped shaking since.”
At Court TV, Crier said she is able to combine compelling issues with interesting television. She is critical of the media, which she says is in “a race to the bottom” for ratings since the advent of 24-hour cable news channels.
“The problem with the media is not that it’s a liberal tiger but a toothless tiger,” Crier said.
An audience with many UNCP students were exposed to a wide range of scholarship, as she quoted sources as diverse as author Ernest Hemmingway and political theorist Alexis DeTocqueville. She is the author of three books, including New York Times bestseller “The Case Against Lawyers” and her latest, “Contempt: How the Right is Wronging American Justice.”
But Crier’s cause this night was that “dramatic change is needed and needed today.”
“We are delegating our deliverance into the hands of others,” she said. “As Henry Grunwald once noted, ‘Sometimes the followers must lead until the leaders follow.’”
At CNN, Crier covered major news stories from the San Francisco earthquake to the fall of the Soviet Union. She won an Emmy at ABC for an in-depth documentary on patient abuse in nursing homes.
She is host of Catherine Crier Today, a live daily talk show on Court TV. A native of Dallas, Crier earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in political science and international affairs from the University of Texas. She received a Juris Doctor from Southern Methodist University School of Law.
The Distinguished Speaker Series continues on October 17 with best-selling author Nicholas Sparks. All shows are at 7 p.m.
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