Author Archives: Scott Johnson

Lies of “Truth”

Featured image The Rathergate film Truth opened in more than a thousand theaters around the country this past Friday. The Sunday Star Tribune carries my column reminding readers of the film’s factual background. The column is published as “Lies upon lies: The sad state of the movie ‘Truth.'” I am grateful to Star Tribune commentary editor D.J. Tice for letting the column see the light of day in the hometown paper. Please »

Another fake hate crime

Featured image Reading a hard copy of the New York Times this morning, I find Monica Davey’s story “Suspect is charged in St. Louis church fires.” Davey updates on an investigation of church arsons that have been suspected of reflecting racial animus: A man was accused on Friday of setting two fires at St. Louis churches, part of a series of seven arson attacks that had left places of worship around the »

Live from Council Bluffs, it’s Chris Christie

Featured image Nebraska attorney David Begley continues his series of reports on appearances of the presidential candidates in Iowa for us. Yesterday Paul Mirengoff and Dave met up to attend the appearance of Chris Christie in Council Bluffs, Iowa. Paul’s impressions are set forth in the adjacent post. Omaha’s WOWT News has posted its report with video here. Dave’s report is below. Paul Mirengoff and I attended the Chris Christie town hall »

What just happened at MSP?

Featured image We went out to dinner with close friends this past Saturday evening. One of our friends told me the story below, which I asked the friend to reduce to writing in as great detail as was remembered. This is the story. It is an interesting story. It has the additional advantage of being true. I thought readers would find it of interest. My friend writes: On Sunday, October 18, I »

John Harwood reflects

Featured image The most obnoxious of the three CNBC debate moderators must have been John Harwood. The competition was stiff, but Harwood combined smug superiority together with liberal cluelessness in perfect balance. As we might have anticipated, however, Harwood is not inclined to look in the mirror to account for the negative reaction he provoked among viewers outside the media bubble. See, e.g., his walk down memory lane below via Harwood’s Twitter »

Thoughts from the ammo line

Featured image Ammo Grrrll goes TIPTOEING (Past the Graveyard of Formerly Free Speech): Way back in my misguided leftist days in San Francisco, I knew two families with wildly-varying child-raising philosophies. One couple had a lively little boy who ran barefoot in damp, chilly, meeting halls that exhibited the same standards of hygiene as many radicals did personally. He ate hot dogs, chips and candy, some picked up off dirty floors. He »

Fox News can handle this “Truth”

Featured image The folks at Fox News invited me to appear for a brief interview about the Rathergate film Truth, opening tomorrow at a theater near you. They sent me to the heart of KMSP TV’s working newsroom in suburban Minneapolis for the interview. The reporters and producers in the newsroom couldn’t escape my side of the conversation if they wanted to. That was a new one on me. FNC’s Julie Banderas »

The Kasich kritique

Featured image In the adjacent post I note that John Kasich is bidding to become the media’s favorite candidate. This is not a case of unrequited love; the ardor is reciprocated. At MRCTV, Brittany Hughes highlights Katich’s take on the CNBC proceedings (video below): “Kasich: ‘I was very appreciative’ of CNBC moderators.” Now that is funny. Let’s just say it makes him something of an outlier in more ways than one. »

After last night

Featured image After sleeping on last night’s Republican presidential candidates’ debate event, I offer a few notes and queries in the spirit of candid inquiry. Jeb Bush’s decision to go after Marco Rubio was stupid in so many ways that I wonder what he was thinking. This is what I was thinking: your campaign is so over. And I doubt I was alone. For the record, let it be noted that Bush »

Questions for the RNC

Featured image Watching the Republican candidates debate on CNBC, I see a glorified disgrace. The leading Republican candidates are an impressive crew. We are charged with the responsibility of choosing who among them can best represent us in the coming presidential election. Yet the RNC has set up a program of debates that has served up a prominent forum for smash face attacks on our leading candidates by moderators who sound like »

Live from Sioux City, it’s Donald Trump

Featured image Nebraska attorney David Begley continues his series of reports on appearances of the presidential candidates in Iowa for us. Yesterday Dave attended the appearance of Donald Trump in Sioux City, Iowa. The Omaha World-Herald’s report is here; Dave’s is below. If there was any doubt, Donald Trump is in it to win it. Other than the Ted Cruz rally for religious liberty in Des Moines, Trump had the largest and »

The decriminalization delusion

Featured image Heather Mac Donald has made herself the most valuable player supporting law enforcement in the teeth of the generation-long movement against it originating in the American Civil Liberties Union. The movement has now culminated in Black Lives Matter and embedded itself inside the Obama administration. Celebrating its twenty-fifth anniversary, City Journal has just published Heather’s powerful new essay on the subject under the title “The decriminalization delusion.” I asked City »

Patricia Smith still waiting

Featured image RealClearPolitics has posted the video below of Andrea Mitchell’s emotional interview of Patricia Smith yesterday afternoon. Mrs. Smith is the mother of Sean Smith, one of the four killed in the Benghazi consulate attack in September 2012. Unlike media types such as Mitchell, Mrs. Smith was not impressed by Hillary Clinton’s performance before the House Benghazi Select Committee. As RCP puts it, Smith said she learned nothing from the hearing »

Anatomy of GOP fundraising [with note by Paul]

Featured image Crane Brinton was the historian whose Anatomy of Revolution used to be required reading. He was an old-fashioned type who interrupted his academic career to serve in the OSS during World War II. He encouraged fellow academics out in the real world to act on “the patient virtues [they] had acquired professionally” rather than to “get obsessed with the importance of thinking and planning.” Brinton claimed in self-deprecating fashion: “I »

Biden hangs Dowd out to dry

Featured image 60 Minutes led off the show last night with a segment devoted to Vice President Biden and “Dr. Jill Biden” (video below, transcript here). The interview was conducted by CBS News White House correspondent Norah O’Donnell. O’Donnell kept the interview within the parameters of human interest related to Biden’s announcement last week that he would not challenge Hillary Clinton for the Democratic presidential nomination. Biden came across as a real »

Unmaking at 50

Featured image Even as a mindless teen-age liberal I read Bill Buckley’s syndicated column in the St. Paul Pioneer Press. I even learned something from it. I looked up the words I didn’t understand in the dictionary. Reading Buckley was my preparation for the Verbal portion of the SAT exam. Reading Buckley and looking up the exotic vocabulary he employed might have constituted overpreparation, even back in those somewhat more rigorous days. »

Comey, complete and unexpurgated

Featured image Yesterday’s New York Times carried Michael Schmidt and Matt Apuzzo’s page-one report “FBI chief links scrutiny of police to rise in violent crime.” On Thursday President Obama spoke up for the virtues of the disgusting Black Lives Matter movement. On Friday at the University of Chicago Law School FBI Director James Comey provided a sort of counterpoint. Comey’s comments do not comport with the Times’s prescribed views or, I think, »