Bernstein, Jake

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Bernstein, Jake

PERSONAL:

Born in NY.

ADDRESSES:

Home—Austin, TX. E-mail—[email protected]

CAREER:

Writer, editor, and journalist. Texas Observer, Austin, executive editor. Worked as a journalist for the Miami New Times, San Francisco Examiner, Dallas Morning News, and the Houston Chronicle.

AWARDS, HONORS:

Green Eyeshade Excellence in Journalism Award; James Aronson Award for Social Justice.

WRITINGS:

(With Lou Dubose) Vice: Dick Cheney and the Hijacking of the American Presidency, Random House (New York, NY), 2006.

Contributor to Web logs, including Comment Is Free.

SIDELIGHTS:

An award-winning editor and journalist, author Jake Bernstein is the executive editor of the Texas Observer. As a reporter, he has covered stories in the United States and South America. Among his more notable assignments, he covered the hotly contested 2000 presidential election recount in Florida and the emotionally charged case of young Cuban refugee Elian Gonzalez. He has also reported on stories from Guatemala and El Salvador, where he wrote about the ongoing destruction of the South American rainforests and explored the demise of guerilla insurgencies. His reporting on the campaign finance scandals of former U.S. representative Tom Delay earned him a number of journalism awards, according to a biographer on the Nieman Watchdog Web site.

With author Lou Dubose, Bernstein is the author of Vice: Dick Cheney and the Hijacking of the American Presidency. In the book, Bernstein and Dubose examine the life and career of U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney and the breathtaking scope of power and influence that Cheney has gradually co-opted from President George W. Bush. The book "is in effect the case for the prosecution against Mr. Cheney," commented Paul Reynolds on the BBC News Web site. "The charges are that he has over-extended the powers of the executive and has in the process turned the office of vice president into an office of excessive power, ‘exercising authority that often subsumes the president's.’" Bernstein and Dubose explore Cheney's early political career, his rise to prominence, his secretive and abrasive personality, and, most importantly, his role as what the authors consider the actual power behind the George W. Bush presidency. They clearly make the case that Cheney has created an atmosphere that has allowed him to "skirt all the rules that were meant to balance powers in the U.S. government," making him the most powerful U.S. vice president ever, remarked Vanessa Bush in a Booklist review. They chart the circumstances and machinations that allowed this to happen. They also assess what they believe is the tremendous damage that the Bush/Cheney administration has done to the offices of the president and vice president, the executive and legislative branches of the government, and to the country itself. Their assessment is that Cheney is a genuine threat to the nature of democracy in the United States, and they conclude that it will be up to a strong Democratic leadership to undo the damage and restore the necessary checks and balances eroded by Cheney's secrecy and defiance. "The study of the consolidation of power by Cheney in the Bush White House is bone chilling. One is never sure if Bush is allowing it or simply cannot stop it. Either way, it adds up to an internal coup," commented Mark Groubert on Crooks and Liars. Reviewer Tom Frewen, writing in New Zealand Management, commented favorably on the "fine investigative journalism of Dubose and Bernstein," and noted that "this book will be an indispensable resource for students of American politics and essential background for readers who live within the Beltway."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Booklist, November 1, 2005, Vanessa Bush, review of Vice: Dick Cheney and the Hijacking of the American Presidency, p. 9.

Campaigns & Elections, December, 2006, review of Vice, p. 110.

New Zealand Management, December, 2006, Tom Frewen, review of Vice, p. 25.

Washington Post, October 24, 2006, Chris Suellentrop, "Cheney in Charge," review of Vice, p. C10.

ONLINE

BBC News Web site,http://news.bbc.co.uk/ (October 29, 2006), Paul Reynolds, "The Most Powerful Vice-President Ever?," review of Vice.

Comment Is Free Web log,http://commentisfree.guardian.co.uk/ (November 27, 2007), biography of Jake Bernstein.

Crooks and Liars,http://www.crooksandliars.com/ (May 6, 2007), Mark Groubert, review of Vice.

Jake Bernstein Home Page,http://www.jakebernstein.net (November 27, 2007).

Nieman Watchdog,http://www.niemanwatchdog.org/ (November 27, 2007), biography of Jake Bernstein.