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It Was 20 Years Ago Today (Power Line)


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Power Line

20 years, 20 thoughts

Scott Johnson

May 29 2022

I think I accumulated my first 10 thoughts for our tenth anniversary online. I hoped to have one big one or 20 new ones in honor of our twentieth anniversary next year, but I’m borrowing from previous editions to note the occasion today.

It was 20 years ago this weekend — 20 years ago today, I think, but maybe tomorrow — that John Hinderaker went to Blogger and set up Power Line. On Memorial Day that weekend he gave me a call and invited me to contribute. We’ve moved on from Blogger, but we’re still here.

Survival has its charms; many good sites have come and gone or gone off the deep end over the years. I thought I might offer 20 thoughts on the occasion.


15. Power Line has opened so many doors for us it’s hard to count them all. We have made a lot of friends we would never have made without the site. Hugh Hewitt, David Horowitz, the late Peter Collier, Tom Steward, Senator Tom Cotton, the late Leo Thorsness, Wilfred McClay, Larry Kadish, Nina Rosenwald, Paul Beston, Heather Mac Donald, Bill Campenni, Fred Fleitz, Pete Hegseth, Paul Rahe, Tim Groseclose, Michael and Barbara Ledeen, the late Bruce Cole, Roger Kimball, Richard Starr, Eric Felten, Steve Hayes, Michelle Malkin, Judy Miller, Michael Anton and friends new and old at the Claremont Institute, Tevi Troy, Norman Podhoretz, John Podhoretz, Seth Lipsky, Amity Shlaes, Rich Lowry, Andrew McCarthy, Bill Bennett, Seth Leibsohn, Roger Simon, the late Rush Limbaugh, Howie Carr, Laura Ingraham, Susan Vass (Ammo Grrrll) and Fern Oppenheim are just a few who come to my mind this morning.


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A Few More Thoughts

John Hinderaker

May 29, 2022

1. Scott and I have been writing together since, as I recall, 1990. It isn’t easy to sustain a partnership of any kind for more than 30 years; most of the credit goes to Scott.

2. Paul Mirengoff joined the site in August 2002 and contributed greatly to the site for nearly 20 years.


4. As Scott wrote, it was 20 years ago this weekend that I set up the original site on Blogger. I was in our kitchen and had gone through the various Blogger steps, but couldn’t come up with a name for the site. At that moment my oldest daughter, then 13, walked into the kitchen with one of her good friends. They asked what I was doing; I said I was setting up a web site, but couldn’t think of a name for it. My daughter asked what kind of a site it would be, and I said we would be doing commentary on politics and current events. My daughter’s friend thought for a moment, and said, “Why don’t you call it Power Line.” I liked the idea: multiple references and a masculine feel. I typed in “Power Line” as the name of the site and hit the Publish button.


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  • Valin changed the title to It Was 20 Years Ago Today (Power Line)

20 for 20

Steven Hayward

May 29 2022

In the spirit of ESPN’s documentary series “30 for 30,” which it launched on its 30th anniversary, herewith some “20 for 20” documentary observations on the day-to-day life of Power Line on its 20th anniversary.

If I read our site meter correctly, since its founding 20 years ago Power Line has posted 63,016 items, or about 8.5 articles a day. Not bad for a bunch of guys with day jobs. Assuming an average length of 500 words each (which may be an underestimate), that totals to more than 30 million words in 20 years.

Needless to say this number makes it hard to single out a Top Ten Best list, or really places 2 – 10, as Scott’s “61st Minute” post will always be number one (except for that one peculiar outlier we could never explain, “Down and Out in Santa Monica,” which turned out to be a preview of California’s urban future and somehow a reader favorite by traffic for several years).


Anyway, one Saturday—I think it was in late 2013—I skipped my regular morning TWiP posting to catch an airplane to fly across the country. Upon arriving at my hotel at the destination, I opened up my computer to a flood of indignant emails: “WHERE THE HELL IS THE WEEK IN PICTURES!!” Who knew there would be a fanatical fanbase for such a thing. The temptation is to do it every day—there is that much material—but then I wouldn’t get anything else done. So the rule is, mid-week special editions only in connection with proximate breaking news, like monkeypox, “15 days to slow the spread,” etc.

We’re thinking about some refinements and new additions to the site (I’ll have a reader poll on this some time soon), but our biggest constraint is time. There isn’t enough time for everything worth doing. When asked once how he came up with column topics, William F. Buckley said something like, it’s easy; just put on a blindfold, turn to any page of the New York Times, and you’ll have a topic—usually something that outrages you. That’s a typical day for me: I’ll see ten things every morning that are worth comment or coverage, and time for maybe three at best. Maybe one of these days I’ll retire from my present job(s), and then I’ll really be busy here.

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