Covering Washington in a Time of Divided Government

February 21, 2023
12:00 P.M. ET
Wexner Building – W-434 A.B. Conference Room, Zoom & livestreamed on YouTube
Communication—writing in particular—is the lifeblood of politics and journalism. Rosenthal Fellow Adam Lashinsky, who is at work on a biography of the Presidential speechwriter and political columnist William Safire, is hosting a series of interviews with today's leading practitioners of the craft. Join him in conversation with top columnists and speechwriters for a discussion of technique, of-the-moment topics in Washington, and the interdependent relationships between political writers and their government subjects and clients.   

On Tuesday, Feb. 21, The Shorenstein Center hosted a moderated discussion with Susan Glasser, Washington columnist for The New Yorker, whose popular column, “Letter From Biden’s Washington,” appears weekly on Glasser, a Harvard College alumna, is a virtuoso veteran of the capital’s journalism scene, having held positions at Foreign PolicyPolitico MagazineRoll Call, and The Washington Post. She has written several books, including the last year’s bestseller, “The Divider,” the definitive account of Donald Trump’s presidency, which she co-wrote with her husband, The New York Times journalist, Peter Baker. In a wide-ranging conversation with Rosenthal Fellow Adam Lashinsky, Glasser discussed how the role of Beltway journalism has evolved in her three decades of reporting from the capital, differences and similarities between the Trump and Biden administrations, and what the prospects for divided government are in the run-up to the 2024 elections. This conversation is especially helpful for anyone needing to understand the mindset of Washington’s elite journalists, at once adversarial with the often-transient governing class while very much a permanent part of the political landscape.

Susan B. Glasser is a staff writer at The New Yorker, where she writes a weekly column on life in Washington.

Glasser has served as the top editor of several Washington publications, including Politico, where she founded the award-winning Politico Magazine, and Foreign Policy, which won three National Magazine Awards, among other honors, during her tenure as editor in chief. Before that, she worked for a decade at the Washington Post, where she was the editor of Outlook and national news. She also oversaw coverage of the impeachment of Bill Clinton, served as a reporter covering the intersection of money and politics, spent four years as the Post’s Moscow co-bureau chief, and covered the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. She edited Roll Call, a Capitol Hill newspaper, early in her career.

Her books include “Kremlin Rising,” “The Man Who Ran Washington,” and, most recently, “The Divider,” a best-selling history of Donald Trump in the White House, which she co-wrote with her husband, Peter Baker. 

Adam Lashinsky is the A.M. Rosenthal Writer-in-Residence at the Shorenstein Center. Adam is an award-winning journalist, bestselling author, and seasoned TV and radio commentator who has covered the technology industry, finance, and other topics for more than 30 years, with postings and assignments on three continents. He is the former executive editor of Fortune Magazine, where for two decades he covered the biggest and fastest-growing companies in Silicon Valley, as well as venture capital, Wall Street, and a wide variety of industries. Before joining Fortune, Lashinsky held positions at, The San Jose Mercury News, and Crain’s Chicago Business. For many years he was an on-air contributor to the Fox News Channel and Fox Business Network as well as Marketplace Radio. Lashinsky freelances for a variety of publications, including The Washington PostInsiderThe InformationThe San Francisco Examiner, and Airmail, and is developing two documentary film projects. He is the author of two books: the New York Times bestseller Inside Apple: How America’s Most Admired—and Secretive—Company Really Works (2012) as well as Wild Ride: Inside Uber’s Quest for World Domination (2017). Lashinsky is currently writing a biography of William Safire, the late newspaper columnist and presidential speechwrite