Editor depicted in priest sex abuse movie ‘Spotlight’ coming to Cal Poly — to talk Trump

A former Boston Globe managing editor who investigated sexual abuse in the Roman Catholic Church is coming to Cal Poly to talk about another controversial topic: President Donald Trump.

Ben Bradlee Jr. will discuss Trump’s presidential campaign, his performance in office and his repeated attacks on the media during an on-campus talk Monday, April 15, according to a university news release.

Bradlee will also address prospects for the 2020 election, followed by a question-and-answer session, the release said.

The event, which starts at 7 p.m. at the Baker Center, Room 101, is free and open to the public.

Bradlee’s new book, “The Forgotten: How the People of One Pennsylvania County Elected Donald Trump and Changed America,” examines how voters in Luzerne County played a key role in Trump’s 2016 victory. Copies of the book, published in October 2018, will be available for sale and signing at the event.

The son of former Washington Post executive editor Ben Bradlee, Ben Bradlee Jr. worked for the Boston Globe for 25 years — 10 as a reporter and 15 as an editor.

Cal Poly Journalism089
Former Boston Globe managing editor Ben Bradlee Jr., who oversaw the paper’s Pulitzer Prize-winning work uncovering sexual abuse in the Catholic Church, speaks at Cal Poly in 2016 as part of the university’s celebration of 100 years of student media. Bradlee will participate in a talk at the San Luis Obispo university on April 15, 2019. Laura Dickinson

He’s best known for his role in leading the Globe’s Spotlight team of investigative journalists, which investigated widespread child sex abuse by numerous Roman Catholic priests in the Boston area.

Their reporting earned the Globe a Pulitzer Prize for Public Service and inspired an Academy Award-winning movie, “Spotlight.” “Mad Men” actor John Slattery played Bradlee in the 2015 film.

Bradlee’s visit to Cal Poly comes about two and a half years after his previous appearance at the university.

He was the keynote speaker at the closing gala of Cal Poly’s two-day “100 Years of Delivering the News” centennial celebration of the university’s student media.

For more information about Bradlee’s talk, call 805-756-6738 or visit

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Entertainment editor Sarah Linn writes about all things fun, including movies, television, the performing arts, the visual arts and the best places to eat and drink in San Luis Obispo County. A graduate of Oregon State University, she has worked for The Tribune in San Luis Obispo for more than a decade and has earned multiple California journalism awards.