“Non-adversarial face-to-face conversation can more meaningfully stimulate a meeting of the minds than the commonly elicited talking points,” says Heffner. He insists he’s ready to bring sober discussion to Americans used to the screaming matches on cable news.
In an increasingly polarized political — and cable TV news — climate, “The Open Mind” remains what Heffner calls “a stage for civil discourse.” “If there is going to be an interrogation, it’s of the idea, not of the person,” he said. “The ideas are what deserve critical reflection.”
Alexander Heffner was a special correspondent for PBS’s Need to Know chronicling the Millennial vote in 2012. He founded and edited SCOOP08 and SCOOP44, the first-ever national student newspapers covering the 2008 campaign and the Obama administration, and taught a civic education/journalism seminar in New York City public school classrooms.