Reinventing Newsweek

There is a type of NEWSWEEK story that I used to love. In the 12 years that I have been an editor here, we have done hundreds of them. When the stock market plunged on a Friday (back when that was rare) or a gunman opened fire on Capitol Hill or a celebrity contracted a fatal disease, we "scrambled the jets," sending reporters out into the field with orders to file dispatches to writers waiting in New York or Washington. We killed ourselves to dig up one or two exclusive news nuggets and find a few fresh photos. We stayed up all night, writing, editing and producing stories, pushing up against our deadlines. It was fun—thrilling, really. We told ourselves it was NEWSWEEK at its best. And for a long time, it was.And now it's not. In a world of endless Yahoo headlines, Wall Street Journal e-mail alerts and 24/7 cable coverage, scrambling the jets isn't enough. News has become a commodity. You can find the kinds of stories that we used to do as covers—scientific breakthroughs or trends...

Hillary Is Not Your Mother

America is not ready for a female president. I have typed and deleted that sentence five times. It appalls me. It goes against everything I grew up hearing, everything I tell my daughter. But I have come to believe it. I have been convinced not just by nasty bloggers or by Limbaugh the Comic Insult Dog. It's not because of the far more disturbing bias I have seen in otherwise respectable political commentators, as they gleefully declared Hillary Clinton's campaign dead and deader. Or even because 34 percent of adults recently confirmed in a CNN/Opinion Research Corp. poll that they do not think America is ready for a woman president (compared with 26 percent who said we weren't ready for a black president).Nope, I expected all that. It's the people I know and respect who have convinced me. It's the people who have no qualms about making sexist comments and jokes about Hillary—Those cankles! Her pantsuits! Iron my shirt!—who've convinced me that, in America, we still do not like our...

Pages