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John Rash

Editorial writer and columnist | Opinion
Phone: 612-673-4301
Location: Minneapolis
Other languages: None

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
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."
In April 2018, a candlelight vigil was held in Managua, Nicaragua, in honor of slain journalist Angel Gahona, who had died in the city of Bluefields w

'A cycle of fear' imperils press freedom worldwide

Pulitzer Prizes, clarity of Mueller report are antidotes to Reporters Without Borders' chilling annual analysis.
As other women lined up, a voter (far right) left after casting her ballot in the Indian state of Assam last week. Voting in India’s general electio

Rash Report: India's election a vote of confidence in democracy

World's largest democracy can be a global beacon amid a time of increasing authoritarianism.
Molly Ivins at her New York Times desk in 1978. A documentary film — “Raise Hell: The Life & Times of Molly Ivins” — will have its local premi

Rash Report: Documentary on 'disrupter' Molly Ivins fits film fest's theme

The 38th annual Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival will screen more than 250 films from 77 countries during its April 4-20 run.

Rash Report: 'World Happiness Report' reveals much about true wealth

Annual U.N. study of people polled in 156 countries suggests that while it can help, money doesn't (always) buy happiness.
Razia Sultana posed with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and First Lady Melania Trump as she was awarded the 2019 International Women of Courage at the

Rash Report: The humanitarian example of Razia Sultana, an 'International Woman of Courage'

The world needs to match the State Department honoree's intrepid advocacy on behalf of Rohingya refugees.
The Academy Awards will be presented Sunday night. This year’s best picture nominees have done well at the box office.

Rash Report: Oscars should focus its lens on film, not just movie stars

Filmmaking, and the movies themselves, should be the stars of a show that's been shadowed with controversy.
FebRUARY 1979: Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, center,was greeted by supporters in Tehran after his return to Iran from exile.

Rash Report: 40 years on, Iran's Islamic Revolution still roils

A juxtaposition of the anniversary of the Islamic Revolution and an Iran-focused Mideast security conference in Warsaw.
Sen. Amy Klobuchar has chosen an island in the Mississippi River for an outdoor wintertime announcement about her political future. Pursuit of the Whi

Rash Report: Can Klobuchar connect with voters' 'true north?'

Minnesota senator's expected presidential bid comes amid a polarized, turbulent political environment.
An image from the documentary “They Shall Not Grow Old,” about the service and sacrifice of soldiers in World War I. The film comes 100 years afte

Rash Report: Those who 'shall not grow old' should be remembered

A new documentary from director Peter Jackson uses old footage and voices to renew interest in the sacrifices of soldiers who fought, and won, the "Great War."
President Donald Trump and British Prime Minister Theresa May during a joint news conference in England in July.

Rash Report: World's woes won't wait for Western paralysis

Political stalemates in Washington, London and elsewhere reflect a crisis in governance at a time of rising global challenges.
French President Emmanuel Macron, British Prime Minister Theresa May, center, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the European Union-Western Balkan

Rash Report: 'A world with fewer rules' is among top global risks

Foreign-policy experts cite the erosion of international institutions and the global order itself.
Candles lit by activists protesting the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi were placed outside Saudi Arabia’s consulate in Istanbul, Turkey

Rash Report: Journalists cover, and are central to, Senate's Saudi rebuke

Jamal Khashoggi's murder spurs Senate to condemn the crown prince and end U.S. military aid for the war in Yemen.
Yalitza Aparicio (center) plays a maid to a Mexico City family in “Roma.” The film was written, directed and produced by Alfonso Cuarón, who won

Rash Report: 'Roma' is human, and humane, counternarrative

New film by acclaimed Mexican director Alfonso Cuarón reflects an alternative cultural, commercial approach.
An ad featuring athletes from the Olympics’ first refugee team is among those that won Arrows Awards (best of British advertising).

Best of British advertising amid worst of Brexit times

"Arrows Awards" reel, which begins its annual Walker Art Center run, may better reflect British society.
Hugh Jackman portrays U.S. Sen. Gary Hart in the film “The Front Runner.” After a promising effort in 1984, Hart made what turned out to be a shor

Rash Report: 'Front Runner' Gary Hart stumbled at new era's starting line

New movie recalls the 1988 sex scandal that engulfed the favorite to be the Democratic presidential nominee.
Watergate reporter Bob Woodward said his and Carl Bernstein’s reporting on the Nixon White House looks “quite restrained” in hindsight.

Rash Report: Bob Woodward on Watergate's, and today's, political-media eras

President Trump, the journalist said, might be best remembered for his 'policy casino.'
The meeting last week of U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, left, and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman did little to dispel the furor over the

Rash Report: World watches Saudi, U.S. response to Khashoggi crisis

Even if Trump doesn't act, Congress can reassert U.S. foreign-policy independence by limiting arms sales to the kingdom.
An image taken from CCTV video obtained by the Turkish newspaper Hurriyet and made available on Tuesday claims to show Saudi journalist Jamal Khashogg

Rash Report: More than arms sales at stake in Khashoggi case

American values and U.S. leadership are needed to counter the rise of a global "authoritarian alliance."
President Donald Trump, at a news conference last week in New York. Differences between Republicans and Democrats in their views of the media have wid

Rash Report: Enormous partisan divide on media endangers democracy

New Pew poll reflects deep divisions on support for the watchdog role of the press, perceived fairness, trust and other key issues.
A scene from “Time for Ilhan,” a documentary about Ilhan Omar, a refugee from Somalia who came to Minnesota as a youth and won election to the Min

Rash Report: A split vote on two new documentaries about democracy

"Fahrenheit 11/9," "Time for Ilhan" leave moviegoers with different takes on America's political system.
Prague, August 1968: In this file photo, residents of the capital of what was then Czechoslovakia tried to block a Soviet tank. The vehicle was part o

Rash Report: From Soviet tanks in 1968 to Russian clicks in 2018

Tactics shift, but the foreign policy objectives seem similar to a previous era.
Gubernatorial candidates at a forum at Farmfest in Morgan, Minn., last week: Tim Walz, DFL; Tim Pawlenty, GOP; Lori Swanson, DFL; Jeff Johnson, GOP; E

Rash Report: Primary shows Minnesota is a microcosm of broader U.S. trends

Geographic, generational and gender trends, not to mention ideological divides, are apparent in state races.
President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin arrived for their one-on-one meeting on July 16 in Helsinki.

Rash Report: A Russian (and at times, Soviet) news narrative

Controversy over Trump-Putin summit, attacks on the press and a Republican rebuke of policy "commissars."
President Donald Trump, heading to a news conference Wednesday at NATO headquarters in Brussels after a summit of the organization.

Rash Report: Trump's disruption of international order comes with peril

The president is accelerating the waning of a system that's advanced U.S. interests.
North American neighbors Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada, President Donald Trump and Mexico’s leftist presidential candidate Andres Manuel L

Rash Report: Mexican election comes amid frayed North American ties

But relationships between Americans, Mexicans and Canadians transcend politics.
The Somali Museum Dance Troupe performs traditional dances from all regions of Somalia. The troupe, made up of high school and college students, is am

Rash Report: The migration issue is global, and growing

History Center's "Somalis + Minnesota" shows how immigration enriches.
In this screen grab, Mamoudou Gassama was scaling a Paris apartment building to save the boy dangling from a balcony.

Malian 'Spiderman' becomes real-life French superhero

Remarkable rescue shows the power of viral video and reflects the potency of immigration issue in Europe.
The Minnesota State Capitol in St. Paul.

'Amazing' state needs governance to match it

Enduring political paralysis risks marring Minnesota's brand.