Matt Bai's Official Bio

Matt Bai is a nationally known journalist, author and screenwriter. Starting in 2002, he covered three presidential campaigns for the New York Times, where he was the chief political writer for the Sunday magazine and a columnist for the newspaper. He then spent five years as the national political columnist for Yahoo News, which he left in 2019.

Bai’s most recent book, All the Truth is Out: The Week Politics Went Tabloid(Alfred A. Knopf, 2014) looks back at the ruinous scandal involving the presidential candidate Gary Hart in 1987 and how it shaped the political and media culture. It was selected as one of the year’s best books by NPR and Amazon and was one of 10 books long-listed for the PEN Faulkner Award in nonfiction. 

Bai also co-wrote, with Jay Carson and Jason Reitman, the feature film adapted from the book, titled “The Front Runner.” The film, directed by Reitman and starring Hugh Jackman as Hart, debuted in theaters nationally in 2018. Bai and Carson have co-written two other feature films that are currently in production. 

Bai is also the author of The Argument: Billionaires, Bloggers and the Battle to Remake Democratic Politics (Penguin Press, 2007), which was a New York TimesNotable Book for 2007. He contributed a personal essay to the anthology I Married My Mother-in-Law: And Other Tales of In-Laws We Can’t Live With—And Can’t Live Without, published by Riverhead Books in 2006. 

Bai has appeared frequently on NBC’s “Meet the Press” and played himself in a recurring role on season two of the Netflix drama “House of Cards.”  

In his early twenties, Bai was a speechwriter for UNICEF, where he worked with Audrey Hepburn during the last year of her life. He began his journalism career as a city desk reporter for the Boston Globeand spent five years as a national correspondent for Newsweek. His international experience includes coverage from Iraq and Liberia. 

Bai is a graduate of Tufts and Columbia’s Graduate School of Journalism, where the faculty awarded him the Pulitzer Traveling Fellowship. He has been a visiting fellow at the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars, Harvard, the University of Chicago and Stanford. He serves on the board of the Jonathan M. Tisch College of Civic Life at Tufts. 

A native of Trumbull, Connecticut, Bai lives with his wife and two children in Bethesda, Maryland. He rarely misses a Yankee game or a Timescrossword. You can follow him (occasionally) on Twitter at @mattbai.

[Updated September 2019]