Rebecca Hagelin

When I read the Washington Times, whether online or in its traditional paper form, the first thing I do after scanning the headlines on page one is turn to John McCaslin's column, "Inside the Beltway." It's always got the best tidbits on the most interesting "stuff" of Washington, which is why many folks around the country now make it a regular stop on their daily reading list.

Recently, I hosted a book event for John McCaslin at the Heritage Foundation to introduce folks to his new book by the same name, "Inside the Beltway" ? a must-read for all those interested in the personalities and moves of "Washington types". Why would I host an event and dedicate a column to material not seen as "hard news"? Because most times you can learn more about the character of a person when they think no one is watching.

But John McCaslin is always watching, so to speak. The wild popularity of his column sends the best news his way via some 1,000 e-mails a day from his eyes and ears in Washington and beyond. Veteran journalist that he is, John only uses tips from trusted sources and/or items he can verify. And many of these great insights into the lives of the powerful are included in his book in more expansive form than the space allotted for his daily column.

There's something about John you should know: He's a perfect gentleman ? the type rarely seen anywhere these days, let alone in Washington. And he is a warm, attentive father to his beautiful and poised 16-year-old daughter, Kerry, who often accompanies him on speaking engagements. John's writing reflects his thoughtful, deliberate style ? a style that is thoroughly engaging, but never mean or crass.

He simply collects the type of information a lot of reporters miss, the kind that gives insight into what type of person they're covering, and reports it in a manner that creates a vivid snapshot of the scene in your mind. As the popularity of McCaslin's column demonstrates, if you are known for collecting enough accurate "inside" information and sharing it in a manner that is useful, folks come to respect, trust and rely on you for the "real scoop."

Rebecca Hagelin

Rebecca Hagelin is a public speaker on the family and culture and the author of the new best seller, 30 Ways in 30 Days to Save Your Family.
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