National Review, the Musical! [Updated With Comment by John]

Featured image If Broadway can turn Alexander Hamilton’s life story into a rap musical, then why can’t we turn National Review‘s 60th anniversary into a musical number as well? Here it is: NR asked me to contribute a short item to the 60th anniversary issue on what one book stands out for having influenced my thinking at a young age, and I selected C.S. Lewis’s Abolition of Man. Since it’s behind a »

City Journal at 25, with Brian Anderson

Featured image The Manhattan Institute’s City Journal is celebrating its twenty-fifth anniversary. The table of contents for the twenty-fifth anniversary issue is posted here (subscribe here). To salute the magazine’s milestone, and bring the magazine to the attention of readers who might not be familiar with it, I submitted a set of questions to long-time editor Myron Magnet (now retired) and current editor Brian Anderson. I posted my exchange with Myron Magnet »

City Journal at 25, with Myron Magnet

Featured image The Manhattan Institute’s City Journal is celebrating its twenty-fifth anniversary. The table of contents for the twenty-fifth anniversary issue is posted here. City Journal is a fantastic and fantastically influential quarterly magazine that I have read regularly over the years (subscribe here).To salute the magazine’s milestone, and bring the magazine to the attention of readers who might not be familiar with it, I submitted a set of questions to long-time »

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 »

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 »

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 »

Media Alert

Featured image I will appear tonight on “Tipping Point,” a new program hosted by Liz Wheeler on One America News Network. We’ll be talking about sentencing reform. The show begins at 10:00 p.m. Eastern Time. I’m told the segment with me will begin around 10:30. »

“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 »

“Truth” doesn’t pay

Featured image I’ve been curious how the Rathergate film Truth would do at the box office. The film opened Friday in wide release. Will Truth take its place in the long line of Hollywood’s politically inspired clunkers? Keep hope alive! Sony Pictures Classics paid $6 million for the distribution rights. It is spending millions more to promote the film now. It’s not a big-budget picture. I certainly hope the producers didn’t pay »

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 »

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 »

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 »