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Before joining MSNBC, she was an award-winning senior investigative reporter at ProPublica ProPublica, a non-profit news agency., where she wrote the series and ebook "Shades of Mercy" on racial bias in presidential pardons. From 2004 to 2008, Linzer was a national security reporter for The Washington Post, covering intelligence and nonproliferation. Before joining the Post, she spent ten years as a foreign correspondent for Associated Press, based in Jerusalem and at the United Nations.
Linzer's reporting from Baghdad, on the hunt for weapons of mass destruction, won national attention and praise, ending with her report that the fruitless hunt had quietly come to an end. For her coverage of the Iranian nuclear program, she received the United Nations 2005 Gold Medal award for international reporting.