Author Archives: Steven Hayward

Will the Media Ever Pay a Price for Its Irresponsibility?

Featured image Anyone remember Samantha Smith? Don’t run away to look her up on Google; I’ll come back to her in a moment and explain why her name occurs to me just now. Two large media meta-narratives prompt the title question here. First, Michael Avenatti. Finished laughing? Okay, good; to continue: Avenatti was entirely the creation of the media, right down to the idea, which CNN and MSNBC took seriously, that he »

Loose Ends (83)

Featured image • You’ll never guess what the UN is worried about now: How dare Amazon name their digital assistant Alexa! “Alexa: How can we liberate you?”  How come I suspect Alexa’s answer will be essentially, “Buy more things from Amazon!” Chaser:   • The Climatistas are always telling us that their prescriptions won’t shrink or slow economic growth, and won’t significantly impinge on the lifestyle of citizens. To the contrary, if AOC »

Loose Ends (82)

Featured image • Recall how Salena Zito explained the disconnect between the elite media and the “deplorables” who voted for Trump: “The media took Trump literally but not seriously, while voters took Trump seriously but not literally.” Well, I was reading through Arthur O. Lovejoy’s classic The Great Chain of Being when I came across this passage in the middle of his excellent discussion of Plato and Socrates: “It is true that »

The Infantile, Superficial Left (2)

Featured image Another one of the left’s favorite totems these days is “patriarchy,” along with “toxic masculinity,” in which women are “objectified” and “commodified,” kept in subjugation by “violence.” For example, Corey Robin’s attack on conservatives, The Reactionary Mind, dwells in its opening pages on the assertion that the subjugation of women is part and parcel of the central conservative principle (so Robin thinks) of maintaining power over women and minorities at »

Loose Ends (81)

Featured image • This is really neat: Wilfred McClay’s Land of Hope is today sitting at #9 on the Amazon best-seller list. Not #9 among books on history—#9 among all books. Take that, all you Zinnsane people! Land of Hope indeed! (I credit Power Line readers, but if you haven’t ordered yet, please do and let’s see if we can get the book to Number One.) • Remember the headline that Glenn »

From Beto to Zero in Six Months

Featured image So how did Beto O’Rourke go from being the golden boy of the media to a goat in just six months? The media is dunking on him more often than Dr. J or Michael J. in their prime. Margaret Carlson wrote of O’Rourke: According to my unscientific poll asking every woman I see, Beto reminds them of the worst boyfriend they ever had: self-involved, convinced of his own charm, chronically late »

The Power Line Show, Ep. 125: The Antidote to Howard Zinn? “Land of Hope” with Wilfred McClay

Featured image Lo and behold, I opened up this morning’s Wall Street Journal to see a weekend interview with this week’s guest, historian Wilfred M. McClay of the University of Oklahoma, about his brand new book Land of Hope: An Invitation to the Great American Story. In the course of our conversation, we cover not only what’s wrong (but also partly right) about Howard Zinn, but how Bill got the audacious idea »

Breaking: Big Election Upset in Australia

Featured image Australia held a national election yesterday which all of the polls predicted for weeks would be won handily by the Labour Party. The ruling Liberal Party (which is the conservative party in Australian politics because they still understand the historic meaning of liberalism) has been in office for over a decade, and had struggled as ruling parties often do when they grow stale in office. In fact leadership fights within »

The Week in Pictures: Train Wreck Edition

Featured image I’m thinking of printing up some bumper stickers that read, “Honk if you’re a Democrat who is not running for president!” Mayor de Blasio is now in, no doubt with memories of how well both John Lindsay and Rudy Giuliani fared with their base in Gracie Mansion. Don’t they know you need to live midtown on 5th Avenue to win the White House? Is there a switchyard big enough to »

The Antidote

Featured image Over at The Federalist, Joy Pullman draws our attention to a new working paper from the University of Arkansas that finds liberal bias in academia manifesting itself in lower grades for conservative students. From the abstract: We find that while standardized test scores are the best predictors of grade point average, ideology also has impacts. Even with controls for SES, demographics, and SAT scores, liberal students report higher college grades »

The Cultural Revolution at Evergreen State

Featured image News items about outrageous events at college campuses have been coming in so fast the last couple weeks that it is impossible to keep up. At this point I’m starting to think Sir Roger Scruton is right that we should just “get rid of universities altogether.” There are a couple of stories I’m watching right now that I intend to find time to analyze in depth, but for the moment, »

The Infantile, Superficial Left

Featured image If you are a glutton for punishment like me and you read a lot of leftist academic journals (but I repeat myself. . .), you discover quickly that for the left, everything is violence. Literally violence, especially free speech, but also capitalism of course. Violence is the instrument of racism and domination. Another peculiar feature of leftist academic jargon today is to talk about “bodies”—especially “black and brown bodies,” which »

Loose Ends (80)

Featured image • Today’s decoding of liberal lexigraphy: It has become a common refrain from liberals to say we need to have a “national conversation”—usually about racism or “Islamophobia” or something. Translation: “Shut up and agree with liberalism.” Leftists don’t really want a “conversation” about anything, still less an argument that they’ll lose. It’s more like this: • Who said this? “People are driving across that border with tons of everything from byproducts »

The Prospects for Trump, 18 Months Out

Featured image Right now if I had to drop a wager, I’d bet on Trump’s re-election next year. Yes, his overall approval rating remains below 50 percent in most surveys (though stand by on this), but Obama’s approval rating was below 50 percent for much of his first term, and he was re-elected anyway. Moreover, Trump’s highest approval ratings are for his handling of the economy, where he reaches 60 percent in »

“Diversity” and the Welfare State

Featured image John’s post yesterday about how Denmark’s left-leaning social democrats are turning against immigration—not just any immigration but specifically from you-know-where—has prompted me to writing about a broader dilemma that, sooner or later, America’s liberals will need to confront. Milton Friedman and other libertarians long argued that you can have high rates of unskilled immigration, or a generous welfare state, but not both. The basic thought is that high rates of »

The Power Line Show, Ep. 124: “Cracks in the Ivory Tower,” A Conversation with Phil Magness

Featured image This week I talk with economic historian Phillip Magness, co-author (along with Jason Brennan) of a brilliant new book, Cracks in the Ivory Tower: The Moral Mess of Higher Education. This splendidly written and fast-paced book vindicates Stan Evans’s first rule of insufficient paranoia—no matter how bad you think things are, when you look closer, you find out it’s even worse than you thought. Crack in the Ivory Tower explains »

The Week in Pictures: Nadlering Nabob of Nihilism Edition

Featured image How lucky is Trump to have Jerry Nadler as his chief inquisitor on Capitol Hill? I recall Nadler from his Jabba-the-Hutt days defending Bill Clinton from impeachment exactly 20 years ago. He must have thought we wouldn’t notice it is the same guy if he underwent barometric surgery—that’s where you let high pressure squeeze you into the human likeness of a raisin, but side effects include a full-blown case of »