Is the level of political discourse any different now than in years past? Are the word angrier? Is the media more obtrusive? Has the competition between political parties made the president’s job impossible? During a fascinating panel discussion that was co-hosted by Washington and Lee and held at the University of Virginia’s Miller Center last Friday, a star-studded group of academics and journalists debated those questions. It’s worth a listen (click on the audio above to hear the first hour of the program). W&L’s Knight Professor of Journalism Ethics, Edward Wasserman, moderated. Panelists were, in order of their presentations, Sidney M. Milkis, White Burkett Miller Professor of Politics and Assistant Director for Academic Programs at the Miller Center; Elane Kamarck, former senior advisor to Vice President Al Gore and lecturer in public policy at Harvard University’s Kennedy School; William Kristol, editor and publisher of the Weekly Standard; and E.J. Dionne, professor at Georgetown University, senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, and Washington Post columnist.