Tag: Uncommon Knowledge

Uncommon Knowledge: Tom Cotton on Whether He Still Thinks the Editors of the New York Times Should be Behind Bars


The first time that most Americans heard of now-Senator Tom Cotton was in 2006, when, while serving as a lieutenant in Iraq, he wrote a famous letter to the New York Times upbraiding them for publishing the secret details of the federal government’s anti-terrorist financing program. The conclusion of that letter: “By the time we return home, maybe you will be in your rightful place: not at the Pulitzer announcements, but behind bars.” In this final clip from our recent conversation on Uncommon Knowledge, I ask him, at the remove of nearly a decade, if he still stands by those words:

Uncommon Knowledge: Tom Cotton on the Threat From Iran


In this excerpt from my recent conversation with Senator Tom Cotton for Uncommon Knowledge, I ask him to diagnose the dangers posed by Iran. The most chilling part of his answer: the idea that Tehran need not even complete work on a nuclear weapon in order to throw the region—and, by extension, the world—into chaos.

Uncommon Knowledge: Tom Cotton on the Road Not Taken


As I prepared for my recent Uncommon Knowledge interview with newly-elected Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton, this thought jumped out at me: at 37 years of age, with a couple of Harvard degrees to his name, a new wife, and a baby on the way, Tom Cotton is—on paper—the kind of guy you’d expect to be making a killing on Wall Street or a white shoe law firm. Instead, he’s opted for professional politics. Why? His answer below:

Our Soldiers Are NOT Victims


Were you shocked by the combat scenes in “American Sniper?” Do you find yourself worrying about the price our soldiers pay–about how many must suffer post-traumatic stress disorder?

A recently retired four-star general in the United States Marine Corps has a suggestion for you:  Knock it off. Our soldiers aren’t victims, and there’s such a thing as post-traumatic growth.

Uncommon Knowledge: James Mattis on the Virtues of ROTC


In the most recent episode of Uncommon Knowledge, I had the pleasure of sitting down with James Mattis — retired U.S. Marine Corps General, former Commander of U.S. Central Command, and now Annenberg Distinguished Visiting Fellow at the Hoover Institution — for a wide-ranging conversation about the military and national security. In this first clip from that conversation, I ask him how one makes the case for ROTC to young people today. His answer below:

Uncommon Knowledge: Liam Fox on What the Special Relationship Really Means


In the newest episode of Uncommon Knowledge I sit across the table from Liam Fox, conservative member of the British Parliament and author of the book Rising Tides: Facing the Challenges of a New EraIn this excerpt I press him on whether the special relationship between the United States and Great Britain has begun an inevitable recession — and he notes that the entire concept of a unique bond between the two countries may have come to be overly sentimentalized.

Kevin McCarthy, Standing Athwart Jerry Brown


In the final clip from my recent conversation with House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy for Uncommon Knowledge, we turn to California politics — specifically to the future of the Golden State’s high-speed rail project, a topic on which McCarthy has become a thorn in the side of Governor Jerry Brown:

Coming Soon on Uncommon Knowledge


WynnRobinson-e1401775832649-440x330On the wall to the left, Picasso. On the wall to the right, Leger. On the cabinet beneath the Leger, the original maltese falcon used in the 1941 Bogart movie of the same name. Seated at the table in the center, the owner of all these splendid objects, Steve Wynn, the founder, chairman, and chief executive officer of Wynn Resorts.  

Mr. Wynn is talking to an unidentified man in a red tie.

What Putin Wants


In this final excerpt from my conversation with Michael McFaul —  America’s ambassador in Moscow up until as recently as the Sochi Olympics — I put to him the question we’ve all been nursing these past few months: just what, exactly, is Vladimir Putin up to? And when will his appetite be sated? His answer below:


McFaul: ‘We’re in for a Long Standoff with Russia’


In the latest episode of Uncommon Knowledge, Michael McFaul — former Ambassador to Russia and a Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution — sat down to analyze Vladimir Putin’s aggression towards Ukraine, the West’s response, and what it all means for the future of the region. One of the major flaws he identifies in the reaction of the democracies: a sheepishness about defending our values from Moscow’s caricature.

Yuval Levin on Edmund Burke’s Example for Modern Conservatives


In the clip I posted yesterday from the Uncommon Knowledge interview with Yuval Levin about his book, The Great Debate: Edmund Burke, Thomas Paine, and the Birth of the Right and LeftYuval clarified where Burke fit in the context of his own time. Today, a different focus: how Burke fits in ours.

Below, Yuval explains how the lessons of Burke can offer a corrective for modern conservative excesses:

Yuval Levin on the Revolution That Wasn’t


In the latest episode of Uncommon Knowledge, I interviewed Yuval Levin — the Hertog Fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, Founding Editor of National Affairs magazine and Senior Editor of The New Atlantis — about his most recent book, The Great Debate: Edmund Burke, Thomas Paine, and the Birth of Right and Left.

In this exchange, Yuval explains Burke’s views on the American war for independence — and why he refused to refer to it as a “revolution.”

Robert Thomson Offers a Glimpse of Things to Come


Interviewing him for Uncommon Knowledge, I served up several questions in a row that all but begged Robert Thomson, chief executive officer of News Corp —which owns the Wall Street Journal, the Times of London, and more than 150 other newspapers — to weep and moan about the way technology has squeezed the profits out of journalism.

Thomson wouldn’t bite.

Robert Thomson, a Journalist’s Journalist, Explains Why a Lot of Journalists Ought to be Spanked


Since becoming a copyboy back home in Australia at 18, journalism is the only life Robert Thomson has ever known—and he has made a brilliant career of it as a foreign correspondent for the Financial Times, editor of the Financial Times, editor-in-chief of the Wall Street Journal, and now chief executive officer of News Corp, the newspaper company, built by Rupert Murdoch, that owns more than 150 titles.

When I interviewed him for Uncommon Knowledge, I tried to get Robert going on journalism-as-a-noble profession.