David Bender is an activist, author, and broadcaster. He currently cohosts the nationally syndicated radio program Ring of Fire, with Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and Mike Papantonio. Citing Bender's more than 30 years of experience in politics, government, and entertainment, John F. Kennedy Jr. chose him as George magazine’s first West Coast contributing editor.
Bender's political activism began when he was 12. He took a "leave of absence" from the seventh grade to volunteer full-time in Senator Robert F. Kennedy’s presidential campaign. As a high school reporter, Bender covered the presidential campaigns of Richard Nixon, George McGovern, and Hubert Humphrey. Later, he became a key aide to Allard K. Lowenstein, former New York congressman and activist in the civil rights and anti-Vietnam War movements.
In 2003, Bender was a senior advisor in Vermont Governor Howard Dean’s presidential campaign. He subsequently joined Air America Radio and hosted Politically Direct with David Bender. Bender was also Rachel Maddow’s “political guru,” appearing regularly on her show on Air America.
Bender has worked in the television and music industries, as a senior executive in musician Stephen Stills’ production company, and as vice president of Roseanne Barr and Tom Arnold’s television production unit. He also served as the Democratic National Committee’s liaison to the entertainment industry. Author or coauthor of four books, including Stand and Be Counted, a chronicle of artist activism in the music industry, written with musician David Crosby, Bender scripted and coproduced a four-hour documentary of the same name that aired on The Learning Channel.