Category Archives: Columns

John Avlon Poliwood: The Ups and Downs of Combining Celebrities and Politics – CNN

Poliwood: The Ups and Downs of Combining Celebrities and Politics – CNN

Poliwood — the intersection of politics and Hollywood — can be a powerful combination, capable of elevating policy debates and inspiring broad audiences. Unfortunately, it can also dumb us down to a nation of slack-jawed spectators. This past week, we … Continue reading

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John Avlon Trump’s McCarthyism Charge is Deeply Ironic – CNN

Trump’s McCarthyism Charge is Deeply Ironic – CNN

“Study the late Joseph McCarthy, because we are now in period with Mueller and his gang that make Joseph McCarthy look like a baby!” President Donald Trump tweeted from the final days of his golfing vacation at Bedminster, New Jersey. … Continue reading

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John Avlon Trump, the Saudis, and America’s Disastrous ‘Enemy of My Enemy is My Friend’ Strategy – CNN

Trump, the Saudis, and America’s Disastrous ‘Enemy of My Enemy is My Friend’ Strategy – CNN

“He’s a son of a bitch, but he’s our son of a bitch.” President Franklin Delano Roosevelt is said to have been talking about Nicaraguan dictator Anastasio Somoza. It was 1939, and you can imagine him, cigarette and martini in … Continue reading

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John Avlon Independent Voters are Trump’s Judge and Jury – CNN

Independent Voters are Trump’s Judge and Jury – CNN

It’s the best of times and the worst of times for independent voters and candidates. With Washington bitterly polarized, the need to break out of the divisive duopoly of Republican and Democrat has never been clearer — especially for those … Continue reading

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John Avlon Our Murrow Moment

Our Murrow Moment

The time for hand-wringing and hysteria is over. The Trump presidency promises a civic stress test. In a time of principled fights, citizens and journalists need to respond with fearlessness rooted in fairness. “We must not confuse dissent with disloyalty…We … Continue reading

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John Avlon The Best Columns of the Year – The Daily Beast

The Best Columns of the Year – The Daily Beast

I’m a fan of the American art form once known as the newspaper column. That’s why I co-edited two Deadline Artists anthologies with my friends Errol Louis and Jesse Angelo—to honor and archive the best of the past. But the … Continue reading

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John Avlon George Clooney: A 21st-Century Statesman – Newsweek

George Clooney: A 21st-Century Statesman – Newsweek

In the age of Twitter-shortened attention spans, fame is an increasingly powerful weapon of diplomacy. John Avlon on how George Clooney is helping to bring change—and a hefty dose of hope—to Sudan. George Clooney hates the paparazzi. But he also … Continue reading

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John Avlon What News Needs to Do Now

What News Needs to Do Now

Trump has changed the rules of the game and journalists can’t expect things will return to normal after the election. That’s why news needs to do two things now more than ever: call bullshit and make important stories interesting. When … Continue reading

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John Avlon The Resilient City – from Empire City: New York Through the Centuries

The Resilient City – from Empire City: New York Through the Centuries

From “Empire City: New York Through the Centuries” Three hundred and forty-one New York City firefighters. Twenty-three New York City police officers. Thirty-seven Port Authority police officers. Three court officers. Two EMS workers. Thousands of innocent civilians. Numbers alone, of … Continue reading

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John Avlon The Ballad of Lester Maddox

The Ballad of Lester Maddox

As we’ve been reminded by the fight in Indiana, supporters of discrimination have always cloaked their views in appeals to personal liberty. Once upon a time, a restaurant owner refused to serve people who were different. He said he did … Continue reading

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John Avlon In Defense of U2 and The War on Apathy

In Defense of U2 and The War on Apathy

Drill down on all the hipster conventional wisdom and the core complaint is earnestness. With number one albums across four decades, their very success undercuts the rebellious edge that’s at the heart of rock n roll. To their critics, they … Continue reading

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John Avlon David McCullough on Reading History as Resistance

David McCullough on Reading History as Resistance

We’ve had inexperienced and irresponsible presidents before. We’ve had populists and people who weren’t regarded as remotely the best and the brightest. We’ve been always saved by some combination of character and honesty and, above all, a respect for our … Continue reading

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John Avlon What Macron Can Teach America: It’s Time for Center-Left and Center-Right to Unite

What Macron Can Teach America: It’s Time for Center-Left and Center-Right to Unite

In a time of Trump and deepening populist polarization in both parties, the idea of a radical centrist revolution seems as unlikely as it does quaint. But in 15 months, Emmanuel Macron has created a powerful counter-narrative in a time … Continue reading

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John Avlon How Corporate Citizens Can Stop Fake News and Hate News—and Help Save Quality Journalism in the Process

How Corporate Citizens Can Stop Fake News and Hate News—and Help Save Quality Journalism in the Process

We vote for president every four years, but we vote with our wallets and eyeballs every day. Bill O’Reilly’s sudden fall from cable news supremacy happened because over 60 advertisers—under digital grassroots pressure—decided that they couldn’t be seen supporting him … Continue reading

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John Avlon Why We Stand With Charlie Hebdo – And You Should Too – The Daily Beast

Why We Stand With Charlie Hebdo – And You Should Too – The Daily Beast

The massacre of cartoonists at the French magazine Charlie Hebdo is a crystallizing moment. The shock brings clarity—a reminder that evil exists and free speech, no matter who might it offend, is a bedrock value of liberal democracy. An attack … Continue reading

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John Avlon How The Daily Beast Will Stand Up to President Donald Trump

How The Daily Beast Will Stand Up to President Donald Trump

We will be the loyal opposition. We will not deny his legitimacy. But we will oppose his worst policies and hold him to account. In 1960, after John F. Kennedy narrowly defeated Richard Nixon, staunch Hollywood conservative John Wayne declared, … Continue reading

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John Avlon The GOP’s Crump Cancer

The GOP’s Crump Cancer

Donald Trump and Ted Cruz are two faces of the same phenomenon—the rise of conservative populism with a mean streak—empowered by the GOP’s purge of the center-right. When asked to assess the presidential prospects of Donald Trump and Ted Cruz, … Continue reading

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John Avlon Fidel Castro Finally Dies, But His Apologists Live On

Fidel Castro Finally Dies, But His Apologists Live On

Cuba’s communist dictator is finally dead. Good riddance. His apologists live on but they will look foolish in the rearview mirror of history. When a five-decades-long dictator dies, it is customary to hear analysts offer up the following kind of … Continue reading

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John Avlon What George Washington Knew About Vladimir Putin’s Political Hack – The Daily Beast

What George Washington Knew About Vladimir Putin’s Political Hack – The Daily Beast

The Founding Fathers reflected on how foreign influences try to erode republican government. We should, too. The idea that a foreign power might try to impact an American election sounds like a chapter ripped from a dystopian novel. It’s not. … Continue reading

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John Avlon George Washington’s ‘Warning From a Parting Friend’

George Washington’s ‘Warning From a Parting Friend’

Washington’s farewell address inspired presidents from Ike to Obama. Read the introduction to Daily Beast Editor in Chief John Avlon’s new book. This is the story of the most famous American speech you’ve never read. Once celebrated as civic scripture, … Continue reading

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