Gwen's Take

Gwen's Take: Meeting Nelson Mandela

Posted: December 6, 2013 at 1:08 pm

Nelson Mandela visited New York during his U.S. tour in 1990 [Photo: CNN].

I can't say I actually met Nelson Mandela. I shook his hand once; asked him a question at a news conference. But, unlike the thousands of reporters, celebrities and politicians now weighing in with tales of personal remembrances, Mandela was a distant icon who nevertheless deeply influenced me.

Gwen’s Take: Counting on Diplomacy

Posted: December 5, 2013 at 3:43 pm

Just before the end of my PBS NewsHour interview with the lead Iran negotiator for the U.S. Wendy Sherman this week, she went out of her way to trot out a somewhat surprising endorsement of the Obama approach to Iran.

The Obama administration’s views on Iran, she suggested, are pretty much in step with what two former secretaries of state -- Henry Kissinger and George Shultz -- believe.

Gwen’s Take: Navel Gazing and Other News Dilemmas

Posted: November 21, 2013 at 2:58 pm

Working in the news business means making critical decisions every day. Everything we choose to cover – and more importantly, the stories we do not cover – is affected by judgment (much of it subjective) and resources.

So with that in mind, I was intrigued to read a new Pew Research Center report on the amount of time television devoted to two huge stories this month – the record-breaking Typhoon Haiyan and the fractured rollout of the health care law exchanges.

Gwen’s Take: The Art of the Kicked Can

Posted: November 14, 2013 at 4:02 pm

The coin of the realm in Washington, D.C. is delay.

Can’t agree on whether to raise the debt ceiling? Put it off. Unable to pass a budget to keep the government open? Put a patch on it. Impossible to stop the bleeding from a botched health care rollout? Reach for gauze and a big fat bandage.

In the nation’s capital, where no one seems able to agree on anything, delay has come to be the basis of governing.

Gwen's Take: A Tale of Two Missed Connections

Posted: November 7, 2013 at 4:50 pm

When Vice President Joe Biden called the wrong Marty Walsh the other night to congratulate him on winning the Boston mayor’s race, he was not the only politician struggling with mixed signals that night.

Biden could be forgiven for the misdial. There was clearly bad staff work at play here. (Plus, if I had a dime for every “Marty Walsh” living in Boston, I could probably afford to invest in Twitter.)

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