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John Rash

Editorial writer and columnist | Opinion
Phone: 612-673-4301

John Rash is an editorial writer and columnist. His Rash Report column analyzes media and politics, and his focus on foreign policy has taken him on international reporting trips to China, Japan, Rwanda, Kazakhstan, Turkey, Lithuania, Kuwait and Canada.

Rash's commentary can be heard on WCCO-AM on Friday mornings at 8:10 a.m. and on Wednesdays on "Playing Politics," a podcast from the Editorial Board. He lives in St. Louis Park with his wife, two children and a dog..
Recent content from John Rash
India is experiencing record-setting COVID cases and deaths. Above, on April 26, relatives stand in front of funeral pyres of those who died from the

In India, and beyond, a looming COVID catastrophe

The U.S. must quickly and comprehensively act upon President Joe Biden's aim to be "an arsenal of vaccines for other countries."
Journalists are hit with pepper spray by law enforcement officers outside the Brooklyn Center Police Department on April 14, the fourth night of unres

Minnesota should be America's 'Nordic model' on press freedom

World Press Freedom Index shows the Scandinavian exception to global press repression, and conditions this state should aspire to.
Derek Chauvin as the verdict was read.

Playing Politics podcast: The Chauvin verdict

Reverberations from the jury's conviction continue. Hear the "Playing Politics" analysis from WCCO Radio's Adam Carter and the Star Tribune Editorial Board's Patricia Lopez and John Rash.
Left, Sinclair Lewis inscribed his photo “amiably” to Chicago Sun literary critic C. N. Thomas, and it’s dated “Chicago, Oct. 10, 1922.” Rig

100 years on, 'Main Street' divide endures

New exhibit about Sinclair Lewis, author of the seminal novel about small-town America, opens at the Minnesota History Center.
Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of the World Health Organization (WHO), addresses a news conference on COVID-19 in February 2020.

WHO faces a health and geopolitical pandemic

World Health Organization leader will kick off Global Minnesota's World Health Day Symposium, which will focus on health equity.
An Amtrak train departs 30th Street Station moving parallel to motor vehicle traffic on Interstate 76 in Philadelphia.

Playing Politics podcast: Infrastructure Week (era, actually)

President Joe Biden proposes a $2 trillion plan. Hear the "Playing Politics" analysis from WCCO Radio's Adam Carter and the Star Tribune Editorial Board's Patricia Lopez and John Rash.
On the ground in Hong Kong: A still from “Do Not Split,” an Oscar-nominated documentary chronicling protests against restrictions from the Chinese

In Alaska, a cold start to Biden-era China relations

Reactions to U.S. documentary "Do Not Split" and Chinese action film "Wolf Warrior" series reflect Beijing's worldview and diplomatic approach.
A dusting of snow coats the makeshift memorial for those who lost their lives in the mass shooting at King Soopers grocery store in Boulder, Colo.

Playing Politics podcast: Will Washington finally act on guns?

Mass shootings in Atlanta and Boulder renew calls for congressional action. Hear the "Playing Politics" analysis from WCCO Radio's Chad Hartman and the Star Tribune Editorial Board's Scott Gillespie and John Rash.
Maren Morris, left, and John Mayer perform “The Bones” at the 63rd Grammy Awards.

Fans finding some sports championships, award shows less rewarding

Ratings decline due to many media, sociological, programming and pandemic factors, but the result is fewer shared experiences.
Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz

Playing Politics podcast: Walz sidelined by COVID exposure

While managing the vaccine rollout and coronavirus mitigation measures, the governor is quarantined. Hear the "Playing Politics" analysis from WCCO Radio's Chad Hartman and the Star Tribune Editorial Board's D.J. Tice and John Rash.
Despite partisan speech throughout the pandemic, there’s a strong sense that we’re in this together. Above, a handmade sign on the lawn of a Grand

Unity elusive during a long pandemic year

Unlike previous crises like World War II, virus left the country's politics, media and, at times, even society more divided than ever.
President Joe Biden at a roundtable meeting with Americans who will benefit from the COVID-19 pandemic relief checks that are a part of the American R

Playing Politics: Biden's big bill

The president gets a victory with the passing of the $1.9 trillion COVID-relief bill. Hear the "Playing Politics" analysis from WCCO Radio's Chad Hartman and the Star Tribune Editorial Board's Patricia Lopez and John Rash.
Anti-coup protesters hold signs as they gather in Mandalay, Myanmar, on March 5.

Freedom recedes worldwide — including here

Recently released report from Freedom House states that "fewer than a fifth of the world's people now live in fully Free countries."
Army Maj. Gen. William Walker, Commanding General of the District of Columbia National Guard answers questions during a Senate Homeland Security and G

Playing Politics: Getting answers on the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol

The country deserves a definitive account of what happened. Hear the "Playing Politics" analysis from WCCO Radio's Chad Hartman and the Star Tribune Editorial Board's Scott Gillespie and John Rash.
Tahar Rahim plays Mohamedou Ould Slahi, a Guantanamo Bay detainee, in “The Mauritanian.”

Ending the 'forever internment system' of Guantanamo Bay

New film "The Mauritanian," which depicts a detainee's ordeal, comes amid President Joe Biden's bid to close the U.S. detention facility.
From left, President Joe Biden is joined by his wife, Jill Biden; daughter Ashley Biden; and son Hunter Biden as he takes the oath of office at the U.

Playing Politics podcast: Biden's 'quiet' beginning

A sense of normalcy pervades politics despite the president's ambitious agenda. Hear the "Playing Politics" analysis from WCCO Radio's Chad Hartman and the Star Tribune Editorial Board's D.J. Tice and John Rash.
Gov. Tim Walz

Playing Politics podcast: Walz rings the school bell

Amid positive COVID trends, Minnesota's governor urges an accelerated return to in-person learning. Hear the "Playing Politics" analysis from WCCO Radio's Chad Hartman and the Star Tribune Editorial Board's Patricia Lopez and John Rash.
Several of the House impeachment managers watch the prosecution’s display of videos from Jan. 6 during the trial at the Capitol on Feb. 9.

Rash Report: Visceral video differentiates this impeachment trial

While a Senate acquittal is still highly likely, the series of searing images frames a different debate than the first trial.
House impeachment manager Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., speaks during the second impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump in the Senate on Wedne

Playing Politics: An impeachment trial — at the crime scene

For the second time, senators heard House managers present their case to impeach former President Donald Trump. Hear the "Playing Politics" analysis from WCCO Radio's Chad Hartman and the Star Tribune Editorial Board's Scott Gillespie and John Rash.
People clash with police on Jan. 23 during a protest against the jailing of opposition leader Alexei Navalny in St. Petersburg, Russia.

Tracking the 'extremist land rush' on social media

From Cairo to the Capitol to the Kremlin and beyond, the web continues to play a significant role in antigovernment protests.
Gov. Tim Walz

Playing Politics podcast: New budget, same gridlock

Gov. Tim Walz's proposal was met with Republican reluctance. Hear the "Playing Politics" analysis from WCCO Radio's Chad Hartman and the Star Tribune's Patricia Lopez and John Rash.
National youth poet laureate Amanda Gorman recites her inaugural poem during the 59th Presidential Inauguration at the U.S. Capitol in Washington on J

Amanda Gorman composes a poetic inauguration

Poetry is "having a moment" as America is riveted by a poem (and poet) that captures a country's and inauguration's inflection point.
Joe Biden is sworn in as the 46th president of the United States by Chief Justice John Roberts as Jill Biden holds the Bible on Wednesday at the U.S.

Playing Politics: President Biden

In his inaugural address, the 46th president calls for national unity. Hear the "Playing Politics" podcast analysis from WCCO Radio's Chad Hartman and the Star Tribune Editorial Board's D.J. Tice and John Rash.
Supporters of President Donald Trump storm the U.S. Capitol in Washington on Jan. 6.

America's divide seen in a clash of symbols

The Capitol attack, including the desecration of the American flag and unfurling of the Confederate one, shows the power of symbols.
Pro-Trump supporters storm the U.S. Capitol following a rally with President Donald Trump on Wednesday.

Playing Politics: MAGA mobs storm the Capitol

Protests against the presidential election resulted in violence as Congress convened to certify President-elect Joe Biden's victory. Hear the "Playing Politics" analysis from WCCO Radio's Chad Hartman and the Star Tribune Editorial Board's Scott Gillespie and John Rash.
Novelist John le Carré died on Dec. 12 in Cornwall, England. He was 89.

High-tech espionage veils le Carré's spy era

Surveillance trending more click-and-digital than cloak-and-dagger.
President-elect Joe Biden speaks on Nov. 7, in Wilmington, Del.

Biden White House will face black swans

The post-vote turmoil is itself an example of a geopolitically risky event that may test his foreign-policy and national-security teams.
James Baker, who coordinated George W. Bush’s legal effort, provided a brief statement on Dec. 12, 2000, after the Supreme Court reversed a decision

Country could use a 'James Baker-like' figure

Co-author of compelling new James Baker biography says that "The Man Who Ran Washington" knew how to get stuff done.
Voters wait in line for the primary election while wearing masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in Milwaukee, Wis., on April 7, featured in the doc

Elections should be contentious, not voting

New PBS "Frontline" documentary "Whose Vote Counts" focuses on Wisconsin as it examines issues around access to voting.
President Donald Trump on Sept. 30, at a rally in Duluth. Trump revealed early Friday morning that he and the first lady, Melania Trump, had tested po

The world wishes Trump — and America — well

Despite domestic divisions so apparent in the debate and campaign, America can and should still be the "indispensable nation."
President Donald Trump addresses the United Nations General Assembly in 2019. This year he’ll address the U.N. remotely.

Virus infects America's international image, too

New Pew Research Center poll of 13 allied nations reflects a nadir of confidence in several for President Donald Trump and America.
The Golden Gate Bridge at 11 a.m. on Wednesday in San Francisco, amid smoky skies.

The week's news vividly depicts concurrent crises

The pandemic, race relations, wildfires and an incendiary campaign converge.
President Donald Trump spoke from the White House on Thursday while Hurricane Laura hit Louisiana, California wildfires burned and protesters took to

Post-convention campaign pivots to news narrative

Events already transpiring, and ones that may yet dominate the news narrative, will determine the shape of the presidential race.
A woman holds an old Belarusian flag on Aug. 14 while protesting the disputed election in Belarus.

Voting issues roil U.S., Belarus

Perceptions of suppression are met emotionally everywhere because voting is about more than just politics; it's about identity, too.
Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden and his running mate Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., arrive to speak at a news confere

Still much on the line for online conventions

The outcome is predetermined, and the pandemic will change the optics. But voters will likely still be viewers anyway.
The fight over the future of the video-sharing app TikTok is unwinding globalization.

TikTok dispute quickens the 'technology Cold War'

President Donald Trump's executive orders regarding TikTok and WeChat reflect a deepening rift between the U.S. and China.
Lin-Manuel Miranda, center, is the creator, composer and original title character in the hit musical “Hamilton,” shown here in the “Yorktown”

Hamilton, and 'Hamilton,' reexamined anew

The musical's movie debut on Disney Plus reminds us that history is dynamic, not static, so "who tells your story" changes in context with what's happening today, too.
The relationship between the U.S. and Canada has been strong throughout the years, despite frosty feelings between leaders.

Amid tension at the top, U.S.-Canada ties are tight

50th anniversary of Canadian consulate in Minneapolis reflects a relationship that, like the Mississippi, "is deep, is profound and it flows."
John Bolton, then the national security adviser, watches as President Donald Trump hosts the Romanian president in the Oval Office, at the White House

More Burr than Hamilton in Bolton's 'The Room Where It Happened'

The new book is unflattering to both Bolton and Trump.
A mural outside Cup Foods, where George Floyd was killed on May 25, has been replicated around the world to honor him.

Peril, and promise, in 'Minneapolis moment'

"What Minneapolis will be remembered for is its response," said Brookings expert Amy Liu, reflecting thoughts of other civic leaders.
Minnesota State Patrol officers spray journalists with pepper spray and fire rubber bullets while they are reporting on the protests, despite their ex

Attack on news media is an attack on democracy

In Minneapolis and across the country, many journalists have been brazenly targeted by some in law enforcement.
This image from the Twitter account of President Donald Trump shows a tweet he posted on Friday, May 29, 2020, after protesters in Minneapolis torched

Twitter, Trump and the search for truth collide

After the social media site fact-checks him, the president signs an executive order that targets social media, but his tweets may ultimately become the target, too.
This year’s MSP International Film Festival will move from the big screen to smaller screens.

MSP International Film Festival, and world, redefined

A virtual version of the 39th annual world cinema event comes amid changes and challenges to globalization itself.
Reuters was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for breaking news photography for wide-ranging and illuminating photographs of Hong Kong as citizens protested

World Press Freedom Day, Pulitzer Prizes project journalism's vitality

U.N.'s World Press Freedom Day's theme of "Journalism without Fear or Favour" is reflected in an array of award-winning work.
Chinese President Xi Jinping talks by video with COVID-19 patients and medical workers at the Huoshenshan Hospital in Wuhan in central China’s Hubei

Rash Report: Quarantine of truth taints China's governance model

Reporters Without Borders' recently released World Press Freedom Index ranks the nation 177th out of 180 countries as Beijing tries to tout its governance structure.

Rash Report: A pointed report on the Trump administration and the media

President's "most effective ploy has been to destroy the credibility of the press," according to an analysis from the Committee to Protect Journalists.
President Franklin D. Roosevelt delivers his State of the Union message to Congress in 1942, where he outlined a war production program and said, “W

Rash Report: History holds lessons on presidents amid crises

Historians, former diplomats weigh in on a Carnegie Endowment for Peace panel examining presidential leadership in a time of crisis.
Kremlin-aligned websites aimed at Western audiences have trafficked in conspiracy theories to spread fear in Europe and political division in the Unit

Rash Report: A pandemic and 'infodemic' imperil the world

Disinformation and misinformation make the coronavirus response even more difficult.
Betty Gilpin in a scene from “The Hunt.”

Rash Report: 'The Hunt' and the search for meaningful films

The lineup for the now-postponed Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival offered an antidote to cinematic cynicism.
U.S. Rep. James E. Clyburn, D-S.C., endorses Democratic presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden, in North Charleston, S.C. in Febru

Rash Report: Biden won on sum of relationships, not ads

Endorsements from former rivals — and also from Rep. James Clyburn — were worth more than unlimited campaign spending.
Democratic presidential candidates former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., during the d

Rash Report: More heat than enlightenment in fiery debate

Complex, concurrent crises spanning the globe loom for the next president, but were mostly unmentioned in Wednesday's debate.
President Donald Trump speaks one day after his acquittal by the Senate of two impeachment charges, at the White House in Washington, Feb 6, 2020.

Middle ground recedes in politics, media and even relationships

Rash Report: New Pew Research Center polls show a nation riven with divisions.
George MacKay in “1917.”

Rash Report: Oscar nods show how Hollywood's plot is shifting

The nine nominated films contending for Best Picture reflect enduring content controversies and an ever-evolving media model.
August Diehl playes Franz Jägerstätter in the film “A Hidden Life,” which premiered locally at the Uptown Theater on Friday.

Rash Report: Power of conscience, conviction revealed in 'A Hidden Life'

A new film from director Terrence Malick shows how an Austrian man, firm in his faith, forsakes swearing allegiance to Hitler.
Members of Afghan’s security forces carry a wounded comrade into a U.S. Army medevac helicopter near the village of Tsunek, in Afghanistan’s north

Rash Report: 'Afghanistan Papers' show the power of the press

Washington Post's publication of "A Secret History of the War" exposes lies spanning 18 years across three presidential administrations.
An image from “Nothing Beats a Londoner,” a Nike ad that captured “Commercial of the Year” honors in the 2019 British Arrows Awards. The Arrow

Rash Report: Competing visions for British voters, and viewers

Arrows Awards, which honor the best of British advertising, reflect the U.K.'s cultural and political split.
In November 1989 a man hammers at the Berlin Wall, as the border barrier between East and West Germany is torn down after 28 years. Today marks 30 yea

Rash Report: Rediscover the resolve that felled the Berlin Wall

Enduring Western unity and purpose toppled the wall and won the Cold War. It's needed again to meet today's transatlantic challenges.
Left, Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, the top Ukraine expert on the National Security Council. Right, Ambassador William Taylor. Both testified as part of

Rash Report: A deep State Department, not a 'deep state'

Belying characterizations, the character of top envoys and officers has been apparent during the impeachment inquiry.
A Syrian woman and her children, displaced by the Turkish military operation in northeastern Syria, at the Bardarash refugee camp, north of Mosul, Ira

Rash Report: The world fails to save Syria's citizens

U.S. betrayal of Kurdish allies is just the latest sad chapter in this tragedy, as searing Syrian documentary, "For Sama," shows.
Roy Cohn, pictured with a young Donald Trump, is the subject of the documentary “Where’s My Roy Cohn?”

Rash Report: A film about Roy Cohn, but also about Donald Trump

New documentary 'Where's My Roy Cohn?' shows the notorious attorney's considerable influence on the future U.S. president.
Anne Frank wrote “The Diary of a Young Girl” during her years hidden in an attic during the Jewish Holocaust by the Nazis during World War II.

The enduring impact of Anne Frank's diary

Auschwitz survivor Eva Schloss, Anne's stepsister, will speak at the U's Northrop Auditorium on Oct. 27.
In Tel Aviv, Israel, an election campaign billboard for the Likud party shows Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, right, and U.S. President Don

Rash Report: Election leaves Israel hanging in the balance (again)

Coalition talks will tackle a political split, but long-term questions await answers.
The film “Official Secrets” tells the true story of Katharine Gun, left, the British intelligence specialist who leaked a U.S. National Security A

Rash Report: 'Official Secrets' and the open issue of the Iraq war

Katharine Gun and Martin Bright discuss a new movie that examines how the run-up to the war ran roughshod over the truth.
While there are tensions with Russia, a U.S.-China “Cool War” may be a bigger test of geopolitics.

Rash Report: 'Cool War,' warming planet are key to geopolitics

Two experts envision Sino-American relations and the climate crisis as profound present and future foreign-policy dynamics.
Protesters held a sit-in rally at the arrival hall of the Hong Kong International airport on Aug. 12.

Rash Report: Dissent seen despite rise of autocratic age

In Hong Kong, Moscow and elsewhere, a citizen-led counternarrative, though not yet a counterrevolution, to repressive regimes.
Candidates take the stage before the Democratic presidential debates hosted by CNN at the Fox Theatre in Detroit. Top photo includes the first night�

Rash Report: Debates focused on the wrong kind of conflict

CNN should have focused more on foreign policy and had candidates answer more profound questions about war and diplomacy.
Fifty years ago today Apollo 11 landed on the moon and from there, this was their view of Earth. It was a monumental achievement and it makes us wonde

Rash Report: Moonshot showed America at its best

Political and social strife was omnipresent 50 years ago, too, but the country did not let it eclipse its mission and achievement.
Two groups of incredible women, three decades apart. Left, the crew on board the Maiden led by Tracy Edwards (far left). Right, Megan Rapinoe holds th

Rash Report: Women's sports soar in 'Maiden' and World Cup

New documentary on the first female crew in a round-the-world race and soccer team's win give context to ongoing fight for equality.
President Donald Trump shakes hands with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia while posing with other world leaders for a group photo at t

Rash Report: The geopolitics of the G-20 — and the D-20 — agendas

The formal agenda at the summit of world leaders in Osaka and the top topics at the Democratic candidate debates in Miami were revealing.
A border impossible to ignore: Many Americans have forgotten about the Korean War, but for Koreans it’s ever-present. Above, North Korean leader Kim

Rash Report: 'Peace,' remembrance of the Korean War

In Korea, a lifetime's uneasy truce hasn't erased hopes for a true end to hostilities or reduced the importance of America's role.
Nationalist-style leaders including Geert Wilders (the Netherlands, front left), Matteo Salvini (Italy, second from left), Marine Le Pen (France, midd

Rash Report: Far-right's rise risks eroding European unity

The twice-a-decade, 28-nation European Parliament elections, which will be concluded on Sunday, will be a bellwether for populism's popularity across the Continent.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg met with French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris on May 10 to discuss the “Christchurch Call.”

Rash Report: Even from a co-founder, Facebook faces calls for reform

"Christchurch Call" amplifies global concern over antisocial abuse of social media.
Nicholas Hoult stars as J.R.R. Tolkien in the film, “Tolkien,” which depicts the author’s early life.

Rash Report: J.R.R. Tolkien's life was as compelling as his work

A new movie and a museum exhibit displaying his creative process reveal the human behind "The Hobbit."
Volodymyr Zelenskiy, Ukraine’s president-elect, in two settings: at left, on set of the TV show in which he plays the nation’s president,and at ri

The Rash Report: Did you hear the one about the Ukrainian election?

A comic actor will soon take on the country's serious challenges.
Former Vice President Joe Biden exchanged greetings with people at Gianni’s Pizza in Wilmington, Del., on Thursday, the day he announced he is runni

Rash Report: Candidates contend amid an ever-evolving media landscape

Joe Biden and 19 other Democrats try to break through in what "will be a battle for attention."