Walter Isaacson has had a long and hugely successful career in broadcast news. He was the managing editor of TIME and is former chairman and CEO of CNN. He has also written a number of best-selling biographies including books about Apple Founder Steve Jobs, Benjamin Franklin, Albert Einstein, and Henry Kissinger. He now runs the Aspen Institute, a nonpartisan educational and policy think tank in Washington D.C.
He says we are in uncharted waters when it comes to government and politics.
“I think the media’s played into this a lot,” Isaacson says, “it’s partly because we’ve become more balkanized, and polarized, and poisonous in our media.”
He says the country wants straightforward, objective news reporting right now, which he says is something that we are currently lacking in our society.
Isaacson knew founder and former CEO & chairman of Fox News, Roger Ailes, who died this week. He discusses how Ailes was not accepted as a media elite and tapped into a feeling of resentment among the Fox News audience. Isaacson says this helped to add to the atmosphere of discord in American politics and society.
He also discusses economic disrupters and innovators, a topic which he has written a book about. He talks about how economic innovation and disruption could play a role in Michigan’s economy going forward, which will be the focus of his talk on Mackinac Island next month.
Click on the audio player above to hear the full conversation.