John R. MacArthur

John R. MacArthur is the publisher of Harper’s Magazine.

What liberal America gets wrong about Trump supporters

Hillary Clinton normally speaks in carefully crafted bromides, so when I read in the New York Post about her risqué suggestion during a televised interview with CNN that ‘maybe there needs to be a formal deprogramming of the cult members’ supporting Donald Trump, I took notice. Had the grimly platitudinous former secretary of state suddenly developed a

Meet the aristocrat plotting Macron’s downfall

Vitry-le-François Can a modern revolution emanate from the political centre or, more unconventionally, from the heart and mind of an aristocrat who places republican values above factional allegiance? This was the question that propelled me more than a hundred miles east of Paris – while another day of mass demonstrations unfolded in the capital and

America’s woke assault on English

Each time an American institution commits a new corruption of the English language in the name of ‘social justice,’ US wire services, assisted by the internet, circulate the latest absurdity to the four corners of the world. Nearly everyone I know has commented on the University of Southern California School of Social Work’s recent ban on the use of ‘the field’ when

The descent of New York

New York When Will Smith strode to the stage and slapped Chris Rock, I was surprised by how many of my friends thought the violence had been staged to rescue the Academy Awards from its years-long ratings decline. I instantly recognised it as authentic rage, not because I know anything about Hollywood or Will Smith,

Biden isn’t FDR

With Biden sliding to 38 per cent approval in the polls, it’s finally time for everyone to stop calling him ‘the new FDR’. That preposterous moniker was always misplaced. Biden’s ambition for ‘transforming’ the country has never extended beyond removing Donald Trump from the White House, inserting his patronage picks into important jobs and, most

You can’t keep an American exceptionalist down

Like millions of other Americans I was riveted by the images of chaos and despair at the Kabul airport as US forces finally left Afghanistan, yet another sad result of a forever foreign policy driven by ignorance, overreach and hubris. But as distressed as I was by the sight of desperate Afghans clinging to the exterior

Power jab: the rise of vaccine diplomacy

44 min listen

How are China and Russia getting ahead in the great game of vaccine diplomacy? (00:50) Has the US press lost its way? (11:30) Why is Anglo-Saxon history making a comeback? (27:20) With The Spectator‘s broadcast editor Cindy Yu; journalist Owen Matthews; Harper’s publisher Rick MacArthur; The Washington Post‘s media critic Erik Wemple; journalist Dan Hitchens;

The decline of American journalism

The latest absurdity in American journalism is the forced resignation of the veteran New York Times reporter Donald McNeil Jr for uttering the word ‘nigger’ in front of a group of teenage tourists on a Times-sponsored trip to Peru. It has been justly ridiculed by many sane conservatives and even some courageous liberals. Although the

Is Trump more left-wing than Biden?

Just when it seemed that Donald Trump had finally committed political suicide — his notion of injecting disinfectant to cure coronavirus marking only one of his recent reckless absurdities — he says something off the cuff that makes one lament the sight of so much raw political talent going to waste in the cause of

Alfred Dreyfus is being erased all over again

In London to promote a book, I received an invitation to a secret screening of An Officer and a Spy, Roman Polanski’s new film about the Dreyfus affair. I boarded public transportation to a clandestine destination, somewhere in England, to view what recalled for me the samizdat literature once produced in Communist eastern Europe. I

A rotten party

 New York For leftist anti-Trumpers like me, the Mueller report was initially a godsend, though not for the more obvious reasons. I belong to a rarified group that hates liberal moaning about Russian ‘interference’ in the 2016 election: we ridicule the claim that Vladimir Putin and his henchmen stole the presidency from Hillary Clinton because

The hypocrisy of Jeff Bezos

It is tempting to view the blow-up between Amazon’s billionaire owner Jeff Bezos and David Pecker, publisher of the tabloid National Enquirer, with the peculiar glee some journalists experience when they cover a natural disaster: it can be exciting, fun even, to sit back and observe the flames. As political earthquakes go, the Bezos-Pecker face-off

All the rage | 25 October 2018

My father, an avowed liberal, taught me old-school manners: hold the door and give up your seat for ladies; stand up when anyone, male or female, enters the room or approaches you at a social gathering; extend your hand in greeting; listen politely when others speak. My mother issued similar instructions in French, and as

There is a greater menace than chasing ‘diversity’ at any cost

While I largely agree with Coleman Hughes that racial quotas are counterproductive (‘The diversity trap’), he misuses Martin Luther King Jr to buttress his argument. King said that he hoped his descendants would ‘be judged…by the content of their character’, not by their standardised test scores. The grim pursuit of purely quantifiable ratings for intelligence