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Episode 55: From White House to War Zone with NYT Correspondent Peter Baker

podcast Nov 17, 2021

In this episode, Sharon is joined by Chief White House Correspondent of the New York Times, Peter Baker. From the White House to Afghanistan to Moscow, Peter has travelled the world to cover the world’s most pressing issues. Sharon and Peter dive into what it’s like to report on U.S. Presidents, and Peter shares his experiences as the first newspaper reporter to enter Afghanistan immediately following the 9/11 attacks. Peter and Sharon also discuss Peter’s latest book, The Man Who Ran Washington, and uncover the life and legacy of James A. Baker, a man who ran five presidential campaigns. You do not want to miss this fascinating episode!

Links to Full Episode:

This Episode Will Teach You:

  • What it’s like being the chief White House correspondent for the NYT
  • Why presidents have recently distanced themselves from the media 
  • How the relentless news cycle has changed American politics 
  • Objectivity is impossible in journalism 
  • What it was like to report in Afghanistan and Russia 
  • How Russia interfered in the 2016 election 
  • The life and impact of James A. Baker 

3 Biggest Takeaways:

  • Peter Baker currently works as the White House correspondent for the New York Times. Peter has covered five different presidencies and explains to Sharon that his job excites him because he gets a front row seat to history-in-the-making. Peter shares insight on why recent presidents have distanced themselves from the press and explains the relentlessness of the current news cycle. As well, Peter shares that his goal when writing pieces is that they are fair, factual and analytical. However, Peter believes it is impossible for journalists to be purely objective. 
  • Peter describes his experiences as a newspaper reporter in Afghanistan immediately following the 9/11 attacks. He and Sharon discuss the complexity of the situation and the heartbreak they currently feel for the Afghan people. As well, Peter talks about his time as a reporter in Moscow covering Vladimir Putin. Peter explains how Putin interfered in the 2016 election to grow political discord in the U.S.
  • Lastly, Peter and Sharon discuss Peter’s most recent book, “The Man Who Ran Washington.” The book covers the life and political career of James A. Baker, a man who was heavily involved in U.S politics and presidential campaigns during the 1970s and 80s. Sharon and Peter walk through pivotal moments in U.S politics and how Jim Baker affected them. As well, Peter talks about his experience writing “The Man Who Ran Washington” and other books with his wife. 

About the Guest:

Peter Baker is the Chief White House Correspondent for the New York Times, reporting on President Biden - the fifth president he has covered. He is also a political analyst for MSNBC and a regular panelist on PBS’s Washington Week. Peter’s most recent book, “The Man Who Ran Washington: The Life and Times of James A. Baker III” is out now.

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