Brian McNicoll is a conservative columnist and freelance writer based in Alexandria, Va. He has worked as a newspaper writer, editor and columnist, as a senior writer for The Heritage Foundation and as director of communications for the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. He also is a high-level girls basketball coach. McNicoll, who hails from Shreveport, La., is married with tw ...
Brian's episode appearances
Episode 112: 2020 Silver Linings
As we wrap up one of the most chaotic years in modern memory, members of the BWS team gather virtually to talk about the impact of COVID-19 on our lives. What will the future hold when it comes to masks? The economy? Life in general? While 2020 is one most of us would like to forget, we manage to find several “silver linings” heading into 2021.
Episode 98: “Fact-Free Journalism with Mark Tapscott and Brian McNicoll”
Last month Atlantic ran a hit piece on President Trump that was notable, even by today’s low standards of journalistic practice, for its invisible sourcing. It remains news because it typifies the realities of our increasingly fact-free media environment. “It’s based on four anonymous sources and has in addition the strange sideshow of other media outlets ‘confirming’ the anonymous sources” says my guest, veteran journalist Brian McNicoll. “It’s a classic illustration of how to do bad journalism that destroys the credibility of journalists,” emphasizes Mark Tapscott, a member of the Freedom of Information Act Hall of Fame. Join me in a clarifying conversation about how the standards of what’s called journalism have eroded over the years. How today’s reporting compares to the Watergate story. How the distinctions between “opinion” and “news” have become fainter and fainter. Why the Society for Professional Journalists no longer plays the role of trusted guardian. And more. As Brian McNicoll concludes, “There’s a reason why only about 12% of Americans trust what the media says.”
Episode 94: College Football: Money Culture Politics with John Tamny and Brian McNicoll
It’s Saturday in September and there’s no Big Ten football being played today. But in a not-so-surprising reversal, just weeks after Kevin Warren, the Big Ten commissioner, pointedly said the decision not to play this year would “not be revisited”, they revisited. They just announced that it will start up its fall football season October 24. Why the change? Of course it faced pressure from coaches, players, parents and fans but the decision looks like it has everything to do with politics and money, and very little to do with “science.” Last week, before the Big Ten’s change of heart, I talked about the cultural phenomenon, politics and money of college football with my friends and frequent collaborators, John Tammy, author of When Politicians Panic and Brian McNicoll, a veteran newspaper and sports reporter. Both are “certified college football fanatics” and do a great job explaining to me what’s happening with the college football season this fall. It seems to be a crazy mishmash. Some teams are playing, some canceling their seasons. Some with fans, others not. In the Big […]
Episode 93: “The Post Office: Explained” with Brian McNicoll
Confused about what’s going on with the Post Office? I’ve been. So I asked my friend Brian McNicoll, who has written extensively about the post office for many years and has a real feel for its economics and the politics, to clarify what’s going on. In our conversation he explains, “the Post Office has a monopoly on two things. Only the post office can put something in your mailbox and only the post office can handle first class mail. But the number of first class letters have dropped by almost 40% in the last decade. And in the last 15 years, the U.S. Postal Service has lost some $60 billion and this year is expected to lose some $10 billion.” Its package delivery business is growing like gangbusters, but it it also losing money on that. Why? Turns out U.S. Taxpayers are subsidizing Jeff Bezos’s Amazon and other package delivery companies, big time. So we dig into post office economics 101. I suspect it could break even, especially with its new Postmaster in charge. But it isn’t just its bad […]
Brian McNicoll is a conservative columnist and freelance writer based in Alexandria, Va. He has worked as a newspaper writer, editor and columnist, as a senior writer for The Heritage Foundation and as director of communications for the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. He also is a high-level girls basketball coach. McNicoll, who hails from Shreveport, La., is married with two children.