Barnes, Fred 1943-

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Barnes, Fred 1943-
(Frederic Wood Barnes, Jr.)


Born February 1, 1943, in West Point, NY; married Barbara Beatty, 1967; children: three daughters, one son. Education: University of Virginia, B.A., 1965.


Office—Weekly Standard, 1150 17th St. N.W., Ste. 505, Washington, DC 20036.


Charleston News Courier, Charleston, SC, reporter, 1965-67; Washington Star, Washington, DC, reporter, 1967-79; Baltimore Sun, Baltimore, MD, reporter; American Spectator, author of column "Presswatch," New Republic, Washington, DC, senior editor and White House correspondent, 1985-95; Weekly Standard, Washington, DC, cofounder and executive editor, 1995—. Writer and editor for publications, including Reader's Digest, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Newsday, Wall Street Journal, and Vogue. Panelist and television commentator for political news shows, including the McLaughlin Group, Crossfire, Nightline, Face the Nation, Good Morning America, Fox's Special Report and Meet the Press; host of syndicated radio show What's the Story? and moderator of Issues in the News on Voice of America; cohost of Beltway Boys, with Mort Kondrake, on the Fox News Channel, 1998—.


Nieman Fellowship, Harvard University, 1977; Father of the Year Award, 1994, Father's Day Committee.


(Editor) A Cartoon History of the Reagan Years, Regnery Gateway (Washington, DC), 1988.

Rebel-in-Chief: Inside the Bold and Controversial Presidency of George W. Bush, Crown Forum (New York, NY), 2006.


Fred Barnes is a journalist and television commentator who has carved out a career as a prominent conservative through his writings in many political magazines and newspapers, including the New Republic, American Spectator, and the Weekly Standard, which he cofounded with William Kristol and John Podhoretz. In 2006 he published Rebel-in-Chief: Inside the Bold and Controversial Presidency of George W. Bush, which outlines Barnes's approval and appreciation of the Bush administration's tactics on everything from the War on Terror to its economic policies. Above all, Barnes paints a portrait of Bush as a visionary, "big-picture" thinker who will be judged by history years from now as one of the United States' greatest leaders.

The book was based on a one-hour interview Barnes conducted with President Bush, in which the various controversial moments of Bush's tenure (including Central Intelligence Agency leaks and the United States' declining popularity worldwide) are glossed over in favor of more personal revelations, such as the president's sense of loyalty and how he is influenced by the material he reads and the people with whom he surrounds himself. Ilene Cooper, writing in Booklist, wrote that "Barnes is preaching to the choir here—and the choir will love it." Similarly, Michael O. Eshleman, writing in Library Journal, criticized Barnes's lack of research for the book, calling it "less biography than hagiography." Recognizing Barnes's strength as an affable, relentless cheerleader for conservative issues, Isaac Chotiner of the Washington Monthly nevertheless questioned Barnes's relentless support of the Bush administration and his conviction that Bush is an underdog: "Rebel-in-Chief's portrait of Bush is fawning and at times unintentionally amusing. It is also unlikely to change any partisan minds. What it does reflect is the startling conviction that movement Republicans—after five years of complete GOP control of every branch of government—somehow remain political underdogs in the nation's capital." Conversely, a writer on the Brothers Judd Web site called Barnes's volume "the best book available on the Bush presidency and its revolutionary nature."



Booklist, January 1, 2006, Ilene Cooper, review of Rebel-in-Chief: Inside the Bold and Controversial Presidency of George W. Bush, p. 50.

Library Journal, January 1, 2006, Michael O. Eshleman, review of Rebel-in-Chief, p. 128.

Washington Monthly, January-February, 2006, "Fred Barnes, Sycophant-in-Chief," p. 13; March, 2006, Isaac Chotiner, "Fred Barnes Delivered the Talking Points."


Brothers Judd Web site, (April 29, 2006), review of Rebel-in-Chief.