1. How the White House Smothered the News of Obama’s Trip to Afghanistan
One of the first American reporters to note early reports that President Obama was in Afghanistan last May, Zeke Miller chronicled the White House’s frantic — and ultimately futile — efforts to quiet the news as it rocketed through social media and the blogosphere.
2. Horror Hospital: The Most Shocking Photos and Testimony from the Dawood Military Hospital Scandal
A disturbing exposé by Michael Hastings and Rebecca Elliot of a U.S.-funded military hospital in Afghanistan that kept its patients in “Auschwitz-like conditions.”
3. How Same-Sex Marriage Supporters Beat the “Princess” Ad
Following same-sex marriage victories in four states in 2012, Chris Geidner reported exclusively on the behind-the-scenes research and confidential reports used by advocacy groups to shift the terms of the national debate.
4. For Thousands of Veterans, the New G.I. Bill Isn’t Working
In an investigative report, Rosie Gray revealed that the Department of Veterans Affairs was failing to deliver tuition checks and housing stipends to tens of thousands of veterans across the country — a story that prompted swift reforms and the introduction of new legislation to Congress.
5. Chelsea Clinton, TV’s Dork Diva, Struggles at NBC
Michael Hastings found that a host of the former First Daughter’s colleagues at NBC are less than thrilled with her privilege and performance at the network.
6. Welcome to Liberal America
On an election night that brought victories for same-sex marriage, pot legalization, and President Obama’s party, Ben Smith and Zeke Miller argued it was time for the Republican Party to adapt to a new America.
7. Valerie Jarrett Versus the Haters
Michael Hastings and Ruby Cramer painted one of the most revealing portraits yet of Valerie Jarrett, the enigmatic Obama confidante who spent 2012 facing down her haters and bolstering her influence in the White House.
8. Bryan Fischer’s Last Stand Against the Gays
In May, Rosie Gray beat every other major national outlet to publishing an in-depth profile of Bryan Fischer, the last, loudest, proudest anti-gay crusader in the Republican mainstream, who found himself at the center of the presidential campaign.
9. Where Todd Akin Is Coming From
Rebecca Berg provided an exclusive, and colorful, dispatch from an anti-abortion protest among congregants at Todd Akin’s church in Missouri — a scene that provided context to the candidate’s controversial remarks about “legitimate rape.”
10. At Harvard, Obama Dived into Diversity Fight
Andrew Kaczynski was the first to publish a video of a young Barack Obama praising Harvard Law professor Derrick Bell — a champion of the controversial “critical race theory” — during a campus protest over the lack of faculty diversity.
11. Cantor Urges Tolerance on Gays, Muslims
In an interview with John Stanton last July, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor foreshadowed the party-wide soul-searching that would take place after Election Day when he called on the GOP to be “the party of inclusion.”
12. Polygamists See Themselves in Romney, Obama Family Trees
McKay Coppins spent a week in July touring polygamist compounds and visiting with plural families in Utah, where the polygamist roots of both President Obama and Mitt Romney was a hot topic of conversation in this tightly knit American subculture.
13. Mitt Romney’s Advice for ObamaCare: Look at RomneyCare
As Mitt Romney tried to convince Republican primary voters of his opposition to Obamacare, Andrew Kaczynski was the first to surface a little-noticed 2009 op-ed in which the politician argued his universal health care plan in Massachusetts should be a model for the nation.
14. A Mormon Reporter on the Romney Bus
After spending a year on the campaign trail with the first Mormon presidential nominee, McKay Coppins wrote about the tense, conflicting experience of covering a coreligionist and candidate.
15. MoveOn Fights for a Role in the Obama Era
Ruby Cramer went inside MoveOn, providing a detailed account of the once dominant progressive group now struggling to retain relevance in the Obama era.