Ari Naftali Melber
March 31, 1980
Seattle, Washington, U.S.
|Residence||Carroll Gardens, New York, U.S.|
|Alma mater||University of Michigan (BA) |
Cornell University (JD)
(m. 2014; div. 2017)
Ari Naftali Melber (born March 31, 1980) is an American attorney and journalist for NBC News and host of MSNBC's The Beat with Ari Melber. The show premiered on July 24, 2017 and now averages 1.8 million average viewers, far more than CNN at 6pm and "MSNBC's best rating ever for the time slot," according to Forbes. Melber's show has become one of the most viewed news shows online, drawing "around 13 million viewers per month on YouTube—the highest of any MSNBC show," according to a 2019 Daily Beast profile. Columbia Journalism Review states Melber is "a remarkably effective interviewer," while a New York Times columnist said he is "an outstanding interviewer, among the best on television."
Melber graduated from the University of Michigan with an A.B. degree in political science. After school he moved to Washington, D.C. and worked for Senator Maria Cantwell. He then joined Senator John Kerry's presidential campaign, working the Iowa caucus and as California deputy political director. When Kerry failed to win the presidency, Melber went on to earn a J.D. degree from Cornell Law School, where he was an editor of the Cornell Journal of Law and Public Policy and interned at New York County Defender Services, a Manhattan public defender's office. Craig Melvin said on his show on March 13, 2019 that Melber graduated at the "top of his class" from law school.
Melber worked for First Amendment lawyer Floyd Abrams at Cahill Gordon & Reindel from 2009 to 2013. He also began writing political columns for various news outlets like The Nation, The Atlantic, Reuters, and Politico. MSNBC took note and asked him to serve as a guest host. In April 2015, Melber was named their chief legal correspondent.
Melber is a legal analyst for NBC News as well as MSNBC's chief legal correspondent, covering the United States Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Supreme Court. He has won an Emmy Award for his Supreme Court coverage.
Melber was one of the first journalists to report that the firing of FBI Director James Comey could trigger an investigation into obstruction of justice. He reported on May 9, 2017, the day Comey was fired, that a former FBI official told him the firing raised the question of potential obstruction by President Trump. A probe was announced on May 18, 2017, which included an obstruction investigation of the Comey firing, and other events.
Melber reported Pres. Trump's actions toward Ukraine provided a potential case of impeachment for "bribery" in October. In November, Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff and Speaker Pelosi began making the bribery case for the first time, showing "Democrats agreed with the MSNBC host," according to an article about Melber's work in Mediaite Republican Congressman Ratcliffe also cited a bribery segment from The Beat during one of the impeachment hearings.
A few months into the Mueller probe, on August 29, 2017, Melber broke the story that a state investigator was exploring jurisdiction to charge potential defendants in the Mueller probe with state crimes, meaning a conviction would not be eligible for a presidential pardon. Politico followed up on the report the next day, and New York State prosecutors ultimately did file separate charges against Paul Manafort in March 2019, at the conclusion of his trials in the Mueller probe.
Melber interviewed former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski in Feb. 2019 about whether Trump asked him to interfere in the Mueller probe, and Melber later reported that Lewandowski's response was false. In a congressional impeachment hearing in Sept. 2019, Lewandowski was questioned about his false answer.
On the night of the 2018 midterm elections, Melber broke a story live on MSNBC that Democrats on the Ways and Means Committee "intend to request President Trump's tax returns." In April 2019, United States House Committee on Ways and Means Chairman Richard Neal carried out that plan, formally requesting Trump's tax returns from the IRS.
"The Beat with Ari Melber" has featured several newsworthy interviews, such as Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who talked to Melber after receiving the first pardon of Donald Trump's administration; Eric Holder, Kamala Harris, Trump attorney Jay Sekulow, Dave Chappelle, Meek Mill, Ken Starr, and a range of witnesses in the Mueller probe, including Steve Bannon, whose Beat interview was his first ever appearance on MSNBC.
Melber has drawn attention for his interviewing and questioning skills. In November 2019, Columbia Journalism Review stated Melber is "a remarkably effective interviewer," adding "his veins appear to contain ice water; he betrays no emotion at all" during intense exchanges. New York Times columnist Peter Wehner, a former White House official in GOP administrations, said in February 2019, "Melber is an outstanding interviewer, among the best on television." Mediaite writes Melber's interviewing style uses "the facts of the story and logical reasoning, rather than partisan cheap shots," and his presentation of evidence to interview subjects, sometimes at "great length," makes for "fascinating" exchanges. Director Lee Daniels got emotional in a 2019 interview about his life and career with Melber, saying it was the only time he would ever "cry on television." 
Melber previously served as the host of The Point, a Sunday evening MSNBC program; a cohost of MSNBC's talk show The Cycle; and a substitute host for other MSNBC shows, such as The Rachel Maddow Show and The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell. Melber was also a correspondent for The Nation, where his writing focused on law, politics, organizing, civil rights, and technology issues. His writings have also appeared in The Atlantic, Reuters and Politico.
Melber lives in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn. He is divorced from Drew Grant, a pop culture reporter at the New York Observer. He is a member of the New York State Bar Association.
- Lathrop, Daniel; Ruma, Laurel (2010). Open Government: Collaboration, Transparency, and Participation in Practice. O'Reilly Media. p. 348. ISBN 9780596804350. Retrieved 24 April 2014.
The Nation magazine's Ari Melber understood the larger import of the students' action. '(T)his incident also shows the prospects for what we might call a substantive Macaca Moment—using YouTube and citizen media to scrutinize our leaders on the issues, not gaffes,' he wrote. ...
- Schaal, Eric; Articles, More; January 30, 2019 (2019-01-31). "Why Does MSNBC's Ari Melber Have So Many More Viewers Than CNN's Wolf Blitzer?". Showbiz Cheat Sheet. Retrieved 2019-08-30.
- Berg, Madeline. "Mixing Rap And Politics, MSNBC's Ari Melber Produces A Hit". Forbes. Retrieved 2018-01-18.
- Steinberg, Brian. "MSNBC to Launch 'The Beat With Ari Melber' on Monday".
- Scott, Becky. "5 Things About Ari Melber, Greta Van Susteren’s Replacement", Jewish Daily Forward, June 30, 2017
- Grove, Lloyd (2019-04-26). "Even Trump's Personal Attorney Loves MSNBC's Ari Melber". Retrieved 2019-04-30.
- "MSNBC public editor: Who exactly are these people?". Columbia Journalism Review. Retrieved 2019-11-17.
- Wehner, Peter (2019-02-21). ".@AriMelber is an outstanding interviewer, among the best on television. Just FYI". @peter_wehner. Retrieved 2019-11-17.
- Ommaney, Charles. "Is Ari Melber the future of cable-news anchors?", Columbia Journalism Review, December 2014
- "John Kerry-California Campaign Organization". p2004.org. Retrieved 2019-05-23.
- Ballon, Marc (February 26, 2004). "Local Kerry Support Shows Softness". Jewish Journal.
The senator plans to fight for every Jewish vote, said Ari Melber, a Southern California deputy political director on the Kerry campaign who's responsible for Jewish outreach. Melber and other staff members have assembled a group of prominent Jewish Democratic supporters to spread the word about Kerry in the community.
- Jewish Business News: "Ari Melber Named MSNBC Chief Legal Correspondent" April 19, 2015
- Connor, Jackson (15 April 2015). "MSNBC Names Ari Melber Chief Legal Correspondent". HuffPost.
- Steinberg, Brian (21 July 2017). "MSNBC to Launch 'The Beat With Ari Melber' on Monday".
- Steinberg, Brian (2017-07-21). "MSNBC to Launch 'The Beat With Ari Melber' on Monday". Variety. Retrieved 2017-10-16.
- "Ari Melber Says "Former FBI Official" Described Comey's Firing As "Insane," Questioned If It Is "Obstruction"". Media Matters for America. 2017-05-09. Retrieved 2018-01-18.
- Melber, Ari Melber Ari; Attorney, An; correspondent, is MSNBC's chief legal; Melber.", host of "The Beat with Ari. "Perspective | 'Bribery' is right there in the Constitution. Trump could be impeached for that". Washington Post. Retrieved 2019-11-26.
- "How Did Democrats Decide on 'Bribery' as Trump's Offense?". Mediaite. 2019-11-22. Retrieved 2019-11-26.
- "In Trump 'bribery' clash at impeachment hearing, Congressman cites interviews and MSNBC". MSNBC.com. Retrieved 2019-11-26.
- "Presidential pardons might not end Russia prosecutions". NBC News. Retrieved 2019-03-18.
- Dawsey, Josh. "Mueller teams up with New York attorney general in Manafort probe". POLITICO. Retrieved 2019-03-18.
- Donut Defense: Anchor Grills Top Trump Aide On Obstruction Report | The Beat With Ari Melber | MSNBC, retrieved 2019-09-23
- House Investigator Confronts Trump Aide Under Oath For Lying On MSNBC | The Beat With Ari Melber, retrieved 2019-09-23
- Wilstein, Matt (2019-09-17). "Corey Lewandowski Caught in Lie to MSNBC During House Testimony". The Daily Beast. Retrieved 2019-09-23.
- Board, Editorial (2015-11-15). "Another senseless death in police custody". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2019-11-30.
- "Driven to hospital, Virginia man tased, shackled and dies in police custody". MSNBC. 2015-11-11. Retrieved 2019-11-30.
- "Feds close inquiry into death of Linwood Lambert after Va. police tasing". NBC News. Retrieved 2019-11-30.
- "With House majority, Dems intend to request Trump's tax returns". MSNBC.com. Retrieved 2019-04-06.
- EST, Tom Porter On 11/7/18 at 6:18 AM (2018-11-07). "Democrats set to demand Donald Trump's tax returns after winning House majority". Newsweek. Retrieved 2019-04-06.
- "Once in power, House Democrats will reportedly demand Trump's tax returns". theweek.com. 2018-11-06. Retrieved 2019-04-06.
- Gordon, Marcy (April 4, 2019). "White House pushes back on request for Trump tax forms". AP NEWS. Archived from the original on April 5, 2019. Retrieved April 5, 2019.
- EST, Tim Marcin On 1/15/18 at 2:25 PM (2018-01-15). "Joe Arpaio found out he admitted guilt with Trump pardon on live TV". Newsweek. Retrieved 2019-04-25.
- Wehner, Peter (2019-02-21). ".@AriMelber is an outstanding interviewer, among the best on television. Just FYI". @peter_wehner. Retrieved 2019-04-25.
- "Ari Melber Grills Jerome Corsi: 'A Lot of What You've Said Does Not Add Up'". Retrieved 2019-04-25.
- "MSNBC's Ari Melber Grills Andrew McCabe: The Rosenstein Memo is 'Not the Whole Story' … is It?". Retrieved 2019-04-25.
- "Lee Daniels gets emotional over historic Oscar". www.msn.com. Retrieved 2019-09-23.
- "MSNBC Correspondent Ari Melber Uses Rap Lyrics to Get His Point Across - XXL". XXL Mag.
- "Viral Clip Shows MSNBC Pundit Appropriately Citing Gucci Mane During Segment On Trump - Blavity". blavity.com. Retrieved 2019-05-23.
- Levine, Daniel (2017-06-29). "Ari Melber: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know". Heavy.com. Retrieved 2017-10-16.
- New York Times: "Step Away From the Phone!" by Caroline Tell September 20, 2013
- New York Observer: "Drew Grant - Staff Writer" retrieved July 30, 2016
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