Though much of McWethy's focus was on national security and diplomacy, his stories also touched upon terrorism, espionage and intelligence matters. He was heavily involved in coverage of the Oklahoma City bombing, and twice traveled to Antarctica.
McWethy reported on all five historic meetings between President Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev. He covered the Iran-Contra affair, and, from Washington, the U.S. invasions of Grenada and Panama, and Israel's invasion of Lebanon.
McWethy joined ABC News in 1979 as chief Pentagon correspondent, covering the Iran hostage crisis and the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.
McWethy received at least five national Emmy Awards for his participation in "World News Tonight" coverage of Sept. 11, 2001, ABC News' millennium coverage, and individual reporting on Ross Perot, the Persian Gulf War, and the Soviet military. He also received an Alfred I. duPont-Columbia Award, an Overseas Press Club Award and other honors. In 2002, he was awarded an honorary doctorate from DePauw University in Indiana.
From 1973 to 1979, McWethy was a reporter for U.S. News & World Report, the last two years as chief White House correspondent. He joined U.S. News as science and technology editor. McWethy began his career in journalism at Congressional Quarterly.
A graduate of DePauw University, McWethy held a master's degree from Columbia University's School of Journalism.