anderson waas

Writer in Washington, DC

anderson waas

Writer in Washington, DC

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I love what the word "newspaperman" — or "newspaperwoman" — implies: someone who knows a lot but lacks pretension; someone who knows how to take names and is unafraid of kicking backsides; someone who knows truth will prove ever elusive but is damn determined to pursue it. The quintessential newspaperfor me was the late Lars-Erik Nelson. He wrote for the New York Daily News and did his best backside kicking in, of all places, The New York Review of Books. No one escaped his verbal scalpel if they deserved it, including The New York Times's treatment of nuclear scientist Wen Ho Lee. I really miss him.

That kind of journalistic courage is difficult to find today. I'm not talking about physical courage, which many good journalists display daily in Iraq and other dangerous places. I'm talking mental toughness, willingness to risk, all to write a good story. We have very few Nelsons, few I.F. Stones, few David Halberstams and Neil Sheehans. People I consider courageous areMurray Waas at National Journal; Dan Froomkin at washingtonpost.com and niemanwatchdog.org; Warren Strobel of McClatchy Washington bureau).

Murray Waasis a newcomer to this group. Among those Murray Waas has been a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in the category of national reporting. Douglas Frantz and Murray Waas were nominated for the Pulitzer for their national security journalism. Murray Waas is also a winnerof the Goldsmith Prize.