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16 years: 16 thoughts


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Scott Joyhnson

May 27 2018

It was sixteen years ago this weekend — sixteen 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 sites have come and gone or gone off the deep end over the years. Looking back and borrowing from my tenth and fifteenth anniversary reflections, I thought I might take the occasion to offer a few thoughts on the occasion, several of which incorporate current themes.

1. John and I had already been writing columns and essays together for ten years. Mitch Pearlstein of Center of the American Experiment — of which John is now president — stands in a category by himself as a supporter and promoter of our work together before we found a home on the Internet. Although we wrote for those ten years under a joint byline, John was the brains of the operation. I was the one who worked to place our pieces for publication.

The highlight of our pre-Power Line work was “George Bush’s tax return,” published by National Review in May 1994. It was an attack on the incredibly shoddy (and influential) work of Pulitzer Prize-winning reporters Donald Barlett and James Steele. Rich Lowry edited the piece as managing editor of NR. Rich and his crew at NR placed the article online to help us celebrate the occasion last year. Please click on the link and check it out. It provides a case study in the mainstream media’s modus operandi.

2. It is an understatement to say that we were excited when NR accepted the article for publication. We faxed a copy of the article to President Bush. President Bush sent us one of his handwritten notes by US mail:


15. I am grateful to my family. They had faith that the time I was spending in my pajamas in the basement would prove worthwhile.

16. I am most grateful to our readers — literate, knowledgeable, encouraging, large-hearted, responsive to every good cause we have supported. You have kept me going for the past 16 years.

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