Author Archives: Scott Johnson

After last night

Featured image I won’t review the GOP candidates’ event on FOX Business last night. John and Paul have already done that. I just want to make a few conclusory observations in the spirit of candid inquiry. First, a disclaimer. If I could have picked a candidate for 2016, my first choice would have been Rick Perry. He has dealt with the immigration issue. He compiled a formidable record as governor of a »

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Educayshun edition

Featured image The precocious Australian comedian Neel Kolhatkar wrote, produced, directed, and starred in the updated edition of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest that arrives just in time to explain the doings at Yale, Missouri, at other institutions of higher learning where liberal educators hold sway (video below). Or should that be educaytors? Kolhatkar calls this Modern Educayshun. The spelling harks back to the old Our Gang series, which included the »

Gilson grapples, Campenni pins

Featured image William Campenni served in the the same Texas Air National Guard unit as President Bush in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Bill has served as an authoritative source of information on matters related to Rathergate since 2004. Last night he wrote to comment on Gary Gilson’s letter to the editor attacking me and my Star Tribune column “Lies upon lies.” I noted but declined to engage the substance of »

Kondracke replies to the Times

Featured image Peter Robinson writes: Mort Kondracke and Fred Barnes have just published a marvelous book, Jack Kemp, the Bleeding Heart Conservative Who Changed America. Reviewing the book today, the New York Times slams it. Not only did the Kemp-Roth tax cut legislation of 1981 fail to do any good, Tim Noah, the reviewer, insists, but the legislation — the centerpiece, you will recall, of Reagan’s first-term economic reforms — proved “a »

Gilson grapples with truth

Featured image The Star Tribune has published two letters responding to my column about the Rathergate film Truth. The lead letter is by Gary Gilson, former executive director of the Minnesota News Council. This seems to be the best of what Star Tribune readers who responded had to say: Scott W. Johnson (“Lies upon lies: The sad state of ‘Truth,’ ” Nov. 1) condemns the movie “Truth” for making heroes out of the »

The Iran deal for dummies

Featured image MEMRI’s Yigal Carmon has what he calls a Daily Brief summarizing leading aspect of the Joint Comprehensive Plan Of Action among Iran, the United States and others regarding Iran’s nuclear program. It is a most peculiar deal. Carmon calls his summary “The emperor has no clothes.” John wrote about it here. Carmon’s exposition opens with these observations (footnotes omitted): What is mistakenly perceived as an agreement under the title of »

Gutter balls with Bill [With comment by Paul]

Featured image Last night I touched on the demented highlights of Bill O’Reilly’s wild interview with George Will in “O’Reilly projects.” I’ve watched the video now a few more times. If you haven’t seen it, you may find it of interest. I’m not entirely sure I understand all his points, but I think each point O’Reilly makes is haywire. O’Reilly begins with Will’s failure to call O’Reilly before publishing his “provocative column.” »

O’Reilly projects

Featured image Bill O’Reilly invited George Will to appear on his show tonight purportedly to discuss Will’s column disparaging O’Reilly’s bad Reagan book (video below). Instead, O’Reilly ambushed Will with a misdirected interrogation that only dug his hole a little deeper. O’Reilly then invented an obligation on Will’s part to call O’Reilly before publishing Will’s column on the book. The book is the issue. The book, as they say, speaks for itself. »

That awkward moment

Featured image The invaluable MEMRI clips the video below of Umm Muhammad Shamasneh. Shamasneh’s son Muhammad was killed while perpetrating a terror attack on a bus in Jerusalem on October 12. Appearing in her home via the Lebanese Al-Quds TV channel, she offered the interviewer candy to celebrate her son’s “martyrdom.” She said that she hoped her other sons would follow in his footsteps and pulled out a knife, threatening: “My deeds »

Did O’Reilly “slander” Reagan?

Featured image The law of defamation protects the profound interest each of us has in our reputation. It has long roots in the common law of England. The English attitude to reputation can be seen in Cassio’s lament to Iago in Othello: “Reputation, reputation, reputation! O, I have lost my reputation! I have lost the immortal part of myself, and what remains is bestial.” The foul Iago seeks to persuade Cassio that »

Thoughts from the ammo line

Featured image Ammo Grrrll has her eye on RED STATE BLUE STATE: Since the advent of color television, election-night coverage has featured two separate colors for states on the electoral map. But the color scheme had not solidified until the 2000 election. In fact, Wikipedia says that as late as 1980, the networks were still using Blue for Republicans such that David Brinkley opined that the 44-state landslide for Reagan made the »

Halting Halbertal

Featured image Minnesota United States Attorney Andrew Luger took to the pages of the Star Tribune to denounce the “Islamophobia” allegedly rampant in “the news.” The column appeared under the heading “Minnesotans must face Islamophobia head-on.” Luger condemns a “current wave of Islamophobia.” There are several problems with Luger’s column. I want to note two. “Islamophobia” is a term of art invented by fanatics to stigmatize their opponents. Speaking as “Minnesota’s chief »

Iran attacks, cyber edition

Featured image Jay Solomon reports in today’s Wall Street Journal: “U.S. Detects Flurry of Iranian Hacking” (accessible via Google here). The Israel Project’s Omri Ceren takes note and comments in an email message (with the usual footnotes!) that I thought readers would find of interest: The WSJ revealed last night that there has been a “surge” in Iranian cyberattacks against U.S. officials, journalists, and activists who work on Iran. At least some »

Inside the fraying US-Israel ties

Featured image On October 23 the Wall Street Journal published the page-one story by Adam Entous on the United States’ intelligence activities directed against Israel. Given the headline “Spy vs. spy: Inside the fraying U.S.-Israel ties” (accessible here via Google), the story was full of revelations including measures taken by the United States to deter Israeli military action against Iran. Entous works the national security beat at the Journal, and his story »

Why lie? (2)

Featured image Speaking to a partisan Democratic crowd at a fundraiser in New York on Monday, President Obama mocked the Republican presidential candidates. Disparaging his domestic political opponents is what Obama does best. Not to say he’s great at it, or that he doesn’t have significant accomplishments to point to, but disparagement is his greatest strength. The GOP candidates seem to have gotten under his thin skin. “Every one of these candidates »

“Truth” hurts [corrected]

Featured image The Rathergate film Truth opened in wide release this past Friday. I took a look at the weekend box-office estimates posted by Box Office Mojo in “Truth doesn’t pay.” The film did not appear to be doing well even by comparison with Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse. Hollywood Reporter observes that the film flopped on its opening this past weekend. Nevertheless, we may have underestimated the magnitude of the »

Why lie?

Featured image In his interview with Norah O’Donnell for 60 Minutes last week, Vice President Biden said this when asked to comment on Donald Trump: The one thing I do — I’m disappointed in Donald Trump. I know what a showman and all that he is. But I really don’t think it’s healthy and I hope he reconsiders this sort of attack on all immigrants. I think that is beneath the country. »