While more than 71 million Americans tuned in to watch the 58th quadrennial presidential election unfold on their televisions, Mosheh Gains ’01 had a front row seat. As a producer for NBC, Mosheh had the unique opportunity to cover both the Trump and Clinton campaigns, and on November 8, 2016, he witnessed firsthand the photo finish of a truly historic race.
That night, as states were painted blue or red and anticipation swelled on both sides, Mosheh and NBC White House Correspondent Kristen Welker set up camp at their live shot location inside Manhattan’s Jacob K. Javits Convention Center.
Votes were tallied well into the evening and red began creeping into the majority, causing a palpable shift in the air at Javits. As one of the producer and correspondent teams assigned to cover the Clinton campaign for the network, Mosheh and Kristen diligently reported each development to anxious viewers across the country. With just a quick stop at home to change clothes before Clinton’s concession speech the next day, they spent a total of 36 hours awake—a fitting conclusion to the constant hustle of the campaign.
“It was certainly the campaign cycle for the ages,” Mosheh says. “There was never a dull moment. I’m really lucky that I was able to see the inner workings of both campaigns and, along the way, see what was drawing people to each candidate.”
As busy as it was out on the campaign trail, Mosheh felt well prepared for the frenetic pace of political coverage because he had learned from one of the industry’s greats during another history-making campaign back in 2008. As a production associate at ABC, he worked primarily on This Week with George Stephanopoulos from 2007 to 2012, helping with tape research for George’s award-winning “On the Trail” series and producing a few of the show’s segments.
While Mosheh gained invaluable experience during his years at ABC, his true start in television was actually much earlier—as a student at Mount Saint Joseph, reporting on air for WMSJ.
“If there was any good foray into working in television, I feel WMSJ was it. Old equipment and all,” he laughs. “It was a lot of fun. Navigating the myriad of technical difficulties just helped you to think on your feet and really started to build the foundation for what would be needed in a life of TV news.”
Mosheh was also a staff writer for The Quill and served as features editor as a senior, but at the time, journalism was just a hobby on the road to a career in medicine. It wasn’t until he got to Temple University that he realized his passion was in telling stories and made the switch to pursue a degree in broadcast journalism.
In college, he completed an internship at Fox 29 in Philadelphia. As graduation neared, a friend connected him with a contact at ABC and he secured a job as a desk assistant at one of the Big Three networks.
As a desk assistant, he worked a rotation of different shows on the network for about seven months until earning the production associate position at This Week in 2007. In 2012, he transitioned to Good Morning America, where he produced Washington-based pieces, working with the White House, Department of Defense, and law and justice. Then, in 2015, “the peacock came a-calling,” and he set out on the campaign trail for NBC.
Shortly after the election, Mosheh covered the White House with Kristen, Peter Alexander, Hallie Jackson, and Kelly O’Donnell during the early months of the Trump administration.
“The excitement of the campaign continued in covering the White House,” he says. “I think it was a really great time of journalism because there were so many interesting stories coming out and because the standard was so high for making sure that everything was accurate.”
Having covered politics nearly his entire career at this point, Mosheh was ready for a change when he learned of an opening at another big white building across the Potomac. For the past four years, he has served as NBC’s Pentagon producer, covering all military-related stories for the network.
“There’s a rhythm to the building, but every day still looks a little different,” Mosheh explains. “Right now, of course, Ukraine coverage is at the forefront of our day.” In the morning, a senior defense official provides an operational update, laying out what’s new on the ground in Ukraine. Later in the day, the press secretary briefs on camera. Mosheh keeps a live log during the briefing while his colleague Courtney Kube, NBC’s Pentagon correspondent, is in the room asking questions. The rest of the day is largely spent “doing the rounds,” checking in with sources in the building, on Capitol Hill, or abroad.
“This is an old-school beat in the sense that it really is about relationships,” he says. “The relationships you build here in the building or when you get to travel can be very helpful, especially when breaking news is happening and you need information quickly.”
Mosheh has traveled the world covering the Pentagon, making countless vital connections along the way. Recently, he traveled to NATO Headquarters in Belgium, as well as Poland and Lithuania, as a “pool producer” covering the secretary of defense. When some administration officials travel, the networks rotate different teams to pool together resources for trip coverage.
“You’re basically working for all of the networks during these trips,” Mosheh explains. “They’re exhausting but they’re a lot of fun and the access you get is unparalleled. It’s such an honor when we’re able to do these trips because we get to travel to interesting places, and we’re also writing the first draft of history for our viewers and for our colleagues back home.”
Besides traveling, Mosheh says his favorite part of the job is getting to learn something new every day. He is also passionate about telling those stories that may not be breaking news but still have an important message or theme.
“There’s a saying that every story is a Pentagon story,” Mosheh says. “The military is a subset of the regular population, so all the things that affect civilians, at some point, can affect the military. We make sure we tell those stories so that everyday Americans, who may not have much interaction with the military, can make some sort of connection and bridge that gap.”
From interviewing a Green-Beret-turned-Olympic-bobsledder in Calgary, Canada, to sharing a Thanksgiving meal with troops in Afghanistan, Mosheh has certainly shown his viewers a side to the military they don’t often get to see, and for him, that’s what good journalism is all about.From the Spring 2022 issue of The Mount magazine.