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Nov 5, 2017

Here’s a job for you: No matter what your title is, you’re going to be called upon from one day to the next to express opinions on important, global topics about which you may start the day not always knowing a lot. But by day’s end, you damn well better be an expert, or there will be hell to pay in the morning. Welcome to breaking news, son. John Harwood, chief Washington correspondent for CNBC and a political writer for the New York Times, has a high level of expertise on all sorts of major and minor political matters. But I think the real reason he is in demand is that he is cool and measured under pressure and doesn’t talk out of his ass. Pardon my French.

JOHN HARWOOD podcast excerpt: "(Cable news channels) want people to fight, whatever is happening. They're looking for the most intense arguments you can have."

Harwood is the kind of guy you want to turn to in a developing crisis, whether you’re an assigning media editor or a viewer/reader. He gives you straight talk and can do so on whatever subject is put in front of him. I knew John mostly in passing – you know, I’d walk by his desk and say, “Hi, John” and he’d say, “I’m sorry, who are you?” – back when he was a highly respected reporter at the St. Petersburg Times and I was the kid they’d call to fill in when the grizzled veteran covering Indian Shores was hospitalized for terminal boredom. Harwood was one of an army of guys and gals from that era who now populate the highest levels of American journalism. (I’m looking at you, Dana Priest, Tom French, Sheryl James, Jacob Schlesinger, Anne Hull, Doron Levin, David Finkel, Karl Vick, Milo Geyelin…)

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