Mark Green

Host, 'Both Sides Now' & author of "Bright, Infinite Future"

Mark Green has been a public interest lawyer, an elected public official, author, tv/radio commentator and the president of Air America Radio. Most recently, he's published

He graduated with honors from both Cornell University School of Arts & Sciences (1967) and then Harvard Law School (1970), where he was editor-in-chief of the Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review.

Becoming a member of the Washington, D.C. Bar (and later the New York State Bar), he spent 10 years in the 1970s working with Ralph Nader, ultimately running Public Citizen's Congress Watch, the largest consumer lobbying group in D.C. In 1982, The Nation magazine said, "Next to Nader himself, Mark is the leading public interest lawyer of his generation."

In 1981, Mark founded and ran the Democracy Project, a public policy institute in New York City. Over the next three decades, he either ran the Democracy Project or held office (from 1989 to 2001) as the NYC Consumer Affairs Commissioner and then the elected Public Advocate for New York City.


From 1990 to 1993, in the administration of Mayor David Dinkins, he served as the Consumer Affairs Commissioner, leading a 340-person, $17-million agency that licensed 45,000 businesses in 72 lines of commerce. Mark left the post in 1993 to run to become the City's first Public Advocate. He was elected with 60% of the vote and was re-elected with 73% in 1997. He served from 1993-2001.

As a consumer prosecutor and public advocate, Mark established numerous local and national precedents: exposing and helping to break up the mob garbage cartel; enacting the law protecting the victims of domestic violence from unjust firings; filing the FTC petition that led to the elimination of Joe Camel ads addicting children; and twice successfully suing Mayor Giuliani because of racial profiling and police misconduct (see for more details).

In 2001 he won the Democratic nomination for Mayor, losing by two points to Michael Bloomberg in the general election.


Since 1970, Mark has written or edited 22 books -- ranging from the #1 best-selling Who Runs Congress? (1972 and three later editions) to Reagan's Reign of Error (1983 and 1987), to an agency-by-agency transition volume for incoming President Bill Clinton, Changing America: Blueprints for the New Administration (1993).

His most recent books are The Book on Bush: How George W. (Mis)leads America (with Eric Alterman, 2004), Losing our Democracy: How Bush, the Far Right and Big Business are Betraying Americans (2006), and Change for America, a 700 page transition report for the 44th President that he published with John Podesta and the Center for American Progress

He's appeared several hundred times on programs like CNN's Crossfire debating Pat Buchanan and Bob Novak; PBS's Firing Line with William F. Buckley; and MSNBC's Hardball. From 2002-2008, he was a regular panelist with Ed Koch and Al D'Amato on NY1's weekly public affairs segment, "Wiseguys."

In 2002, Mark was the "Distinguished Visiting Lecturer" at NYU Law School and then for five years taught a freshman honors seminar at the Arts College. He became president of Air America Radio in 2007, taking it out of Chapter 11 until it declared Chapter 7 bankruptcy in January 2010.