October 6, 1957
Chicago, Illinois, United States
As a news correspondent, bestselling author and Newsweek media columnist, it's no surprise that Jonathan Alter found a new home producing a scripted sitcom focused on the lives of American political power players. "Alpha House," which premiered in 2013 as Amazon.com's very first original series, followed the lives of four Republican senators who live together in a house in Washington, D.C. The series was written by "Doonesbury" cartoonist Garry Trudeau and starred John Goodman.Jonathan Alter spent the 1980s working as Newsweek's media critic, gaining attention in his position by being one of the first journalists to break with convention and actually challenge the accountability of other news organizations. Newsweek responded by allowing Alter to cover a significantly wider swath of topics in the magazine. A staunch critic of President George W. Bush, Alter was one of the first of many pundits to predict the arduous recount process that followed the disastrous 2000 Presidential election. In addition to his disgust with what he felt was a lack of accountability on the part of the Bush administration, Alter leveled heavy criticism at Bush for his refusal to fund embryonic stem cell research. Alter, himself a survivor of lymphoma, wrote extensively about the benefits of the adult stem cell transplant he received. Education reform was another issue on which Alter took a firm position; he was an important participant in the documentary "Waiting for 'Superman'" (2010), which explored educators' efforts to resuscitate a failing educational system.