I was in Washington, DC, this weekend for a meeting and, dutiful writer that I am, I went to visit the Newseum. That's a museum on Pennsylvania Avenue that chronicles the history of journalism (www.newseum.org). My friend Hildy had told me she’d heard it was highly worth seeing—and it was. In fact, it was fantastic! I had a great couple of hours there.
First off, it's a beautiful glass-windowed building with an incredible view--it gazes down the block to the U.S. Capitol.
Second, the exhibits are fascinating, varied, and often interactive. My favorite was the collection of Pulitzer-prize winning photos spanning some 40 years. Most were outrageously sad and somber: a naked young Vietnamese girl running from napalm ...a dead American soldier being dragged through the streets of Somalia...a Thai man being hanged.
Others were incredibly joyful: Bill Clinton laughing amidst a parade...a young boy looking up at a kindly policeman.
Still others gave me chills: a rain-soaked Barack Obama making a last campaign stop despite a downpour...soldiers raising the U.S. flag at Iwo Jima.
There were so many other great exhibits, too: Pieces of the Berlin Wall, a 9/11 exhibit (complete with tear-inducing video interviews with journalists on the scene at the World Trade Center), photos from Woodstock, pictures of presidents and their dogs, a crime wing containing Unabomber Ted Kaczynski’s actual cabin in the Montana woods, and covers of the current day’s front pages of newspapers from all over the country (with nary a throughline story among them!). And finally, George Stephanopoulos’ tiny (and I mean tiny) studio, where he shoots his Sunday news show. Basically, it consists of a small round table sitting in front of a row of windows looking down to the Capitol. Amazing how spacious TV can make a set look!