Type of site
|Created by||John H. Hinderaker, Scott W. Johnson, and Paul Mirengoff|
|Alexa rank||5,986 (June 2014)|
Power Line is an American conservative political blog, founded in May 2002. Its posts were originally written by three lawyers who attended Dartmouth College together, namely John H. Hinderaker, Scott W. Johnson, and Paul Mirengoff. The site is published by Publir LLC, founded by Joseph Malchow, also a Dartmouth graduate.
The site gained recognition among the American right for its role in covering the Killian documents story that aired during the 2004 Presidential campaign about forged documents relating to President George W. Bush's term of service in the Texas Air National Guard, which kept him out of the Vietnam War.
In 2004, Power Line was named Time magazine's first-ever "Blog of the Year." When AOL added blogs to their news Web site in 2007, Power Line was one of the five blogs included. A 2007 memo from the National Republican Senatorial Committee described Power Line as one of the five best-read national conservative blogs.
The main contributors to Power Line are Steven F. Hayward, John H. Hinderaker, Scott W. Johnson, and Paul Mirengoff. Susan Vass, writing under the name "Ammo Grrrll," contributes a humor column to the site each Friday.
Steven F. Hayward is an American author, political commentator, and policy scholar. He argues for libertarian and conservative viewpoints in his writings. He writes frequently on the topics of environmentalism, law, economics, and public policy. Hayward earned a Bachelor of Science in business and administrative studies from Lewis & Clark College. He then earned a Ph.D. in American History and a Masters of Arts in government from the Claremont Graduate School. He worked as the Director of Journalism of the group Public Research Syndicated at the Claremont Institute from 1984 to 1987. He was the Richard M. Weaver Fellow at the Intercollegiate Studies Institute from 1985 to 1986. He was the director of the Golden State Center for Policy Studies from 1987 to 1991. He also worked as the Executive Director for Inland Business Magazine from 1985 to 1990. In 1987, he received the Felix Morley Memorial Prize for distinguished commentary on business and economic affairs.
From 1990 to 2001, Hayward was a contributing editor at Reason. He served on the Departmental Transportation Advisory Committee of the Government of California from 1996 to 2001. He served as well as a Public Interest Member in the California Citizens Compensation Commission from 1990 to 1995. He has worked as a Senior Fellow of the Pacific Research Institute for Public Policy since 1992. He has also held various fellowships with the American Enterprise Institute (AEI). As of April 2009, he serves as the F. K. Weyerhaeuser Fellow at AEI. He is also a former President of the Philadelphia Society.
John H. Hinderaker (born September 1950) is a conservative American lawyer, as well as a fellow at the Claremont Institute. He is a 1971 graduate of Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire, and received a Juris Doctor degree from Harvard Law School in 1974.
Johnson was born in Fargo, North Dakota. He received a bachelor's degree from Dartmouth College in 1973 and subsequently undertook a degree at the University of Minnesota Law School. At one stage, he was a partner of John Hinderaker at Faegre and Benson.
Johnson started working with Hinderaker on opinion pieces on tax, welfare reform, and other public policy issues. The articles were run in conservative publications such as National Review and a wide range of newspapers. Both Johnson and Hinderaker became involved with the Claremont Institute, along with Paul Mirengoff, who was Hinderaker's roommate at Dartmouth.
Paul Mirengoff (born April 17, 1949) is a retired attorney.
Mirengoff graduated from Dartmouth College in 1971, and from Stanford Law School in 1974. He formerly practiced law in Washington, D.C. as a partner at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld. For several years, he worked for the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. He started writing articles for publications, including The Washington Post, The Weekly Standard and FrontPage Magazine.
He became a fellow of the Claremont Institute, a conservative institute. Mirengoff formed Power Line in May 2002 with John Hinderaker and Scott W. Johnson, also fellows of the Claremont Institute. He originally used his nickname "Deacon" in posting to the blog. The blog gradually built a strong following among conservative Americans, winning praise from such notable conservatives as Rich Lowry, the editor of National Review, Mark Steyn and Michelle Malkin.
A stand-up comedienne for more than 30 years, the now-retired Susan Vass, writing under the name "Ammo Grrrll", contributes a humor column to the site each Friday. The column takes a comedic view of "politics, guns, marriage, popular culture, and American life." Three collected editions of the columns have been published.
Power Line's authors typically support nominally conservative causes, for example, the Iraq War and the War on Terror, criticizing former president George W. Bush for being "insufficiently conservative" on issues such as immigration and affirmative action. The blog advocated the confirmation of judicially conservative judges during the Bush administration and regularly featured analysis of court decisions. Power Line often vigorously criticized Democrats and liberals, alleging dishonesty, immorality, bad judgment, and disloyalty to the United States. They occasionally attacked Republicans for similar imputed shortcomings, such as late Sen. John McCain, for opposing existing United States policy on detainee interrogation of suspected terrorists or enemy combatants.
The Power Line authors believe the media suffer from systemic bias, claiming that many reporters and editors are partisan liberals. They frequently question the integrity of organizations such as Associated Press, the BBC, Reuters, The New York Times, and The Washington Post. Power Line authors have repeatedly advocated prosecution of alleged CIA leakers and media outlets that publish national security information. They also frequently criticize the Star Tribune of Minneapolis, home to two of the Power Line authors.
Power Line gained widespread recognition during the 2004 Killian documents controversy relating to a CBS report on George W. Bush's service in the Texas Air National Guard, starting with a post entitled "The Sixty-First Minute". Conservatives (including Power Line, National Review Online and Little Green Footballs) referred to the controversy as "Rathergate". The blogs and their readers questioned the authenticity of the documents, presenting hints of supposed forgery. After noting that the alleged documents used a proportional font, Power Line helped advance the story, triggering coverage by mainstream media outlets. Dan Rather apologized and resigned from the CBS anchor chair.
Power Line speculated that the Schiavo memo was most likely forged by Democrats as a political dirty trick. When the memo turned out to be written by a Republican aide, Brian Darling, Power Line acknowledged the revelation, but continued to criticize mainstream media for stating that the memo was "a product of the party's leadership or had an official status."
Power Line frequently criticizes former United States President Jimmy Carter. They have called him a "nut" and said in a post about his actions regarding the January 2005 Iraqi parliamentary election that he is "on the other side".
Hinderaker later wrote that Carter "started aligning himself with America's enemies", alleging that Carter asked the Soviet Union to expand Jewish emigration to help him in the 1980 presidential election, and added: "Carter has never met an anti-American dictator he didn't like ... [H]e used the occasion of being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize to attack the current American government ... Jimmy Carter is a disgrace. We've said so before, and we'll continue saying so as long as he merits the criticism."
The bloggers often commented on nominations of federal judges, especially to the Supreme Court. Mirengoff suggested that Republican Senators should vote against Sonia Sotomayor, writing: "Half of the Senate Democrats voted against [John] Roberts, and a strong majority voted against [Samuel] Alito ... for no other reason than their desire not to have another 'conservative' on the Supreme Court ... Thus, non-liberal Senators have every right to vote against her for that reason."
Coverage and commentary by Hinderaker, Johnson, and Mirengoff, all alumni of Dartmouth College, was instrumental in the 2005 election of "insurgent" candidates Peter Robinson and Todd Zywicki to the Board of Trustees.
The blog also covers some lighter material. Johnson regularly posts historical articles about jazz and other musicians, Mirengoff reported on European soccer teams and Hinderaker covers beauty pageants. Hinderaker also hosts a weekly radio show as part of the Northern Alliance Radio Network in Minnesota (Johnson left the show in February 2005, but is an occasional guest).
Mirengoff left the blog shortly after writing a January, 2011 post on a Tucson memorial service honoring those who died as the result of shootings at a Gabby Giffords rally; in his post he criticized the inclusion of Native American rituals. The post was later removed, but days later Mirengoff left the blog, and in announcing his exit thanked Hinderaker, Johnson, and the readers for the opportunity to participate in the blog. When Mirengoff left the site, Hinderaker and Johnson recruited Steven F. Hayward to replace him. On Apr 20, 2012, Mirengoff rejoined the site, saying "My return to blogging coincides with my retirement from the practice of law. With all that extra time on my hands, I hope to be a better, more productive blogger this time around."