Kelly Jane Torrance

Kelly Jane Torrance is assistant managing editor at The Weekly Standard. She is also film critic of The Washington Examiner. Her work has also been published in, among other venues, the Los Angeles Times, Philadelphia Inquirer, San Diego Union-Tribune, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, New York Sun, and New Criterion. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy from the University of British Columbia.

Stories by Kelly Jane Torrance

Canada Leads on Opposing Iran Deal

04:32 PM, Aug 14, 2015
President Obama claims, as Bill Kristol noted in his editorial in the latest issue of THE WEEKLY STANDARD, that no country in the world has expressed opposition to his deal with Iran, with the exception of Israel. But that's not accurate. Canada, the United States' biggest trading... Read more

Back to Basics

12:00 AM, Jun 16, 2014
Charles Murray was invited to speak in April at Azusa Pacific University about this, his latest book. The event had been scheduled for months, but two days before Murray’s appear ance the president of Azusa Pacific canceled it, writing to the American Enter prise Institute (where Murray is... Read more

Alexandros Petersen, 1984-2014

12:00 AM, Feb 03, 2014
The last time I heard from Alex, he emailed from Kabul. “Our lengthy discussions about your trip to St. Petersburg were apt, because you are like Russia: a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma.” As was not uncommon with an email from Alex, I didn’t quite know what to say, so I didn’t... Read more

There's No Such Thing as a Free Massage

03:24 PM, Aug 29, 2012
Our friends at the Washington Examiner reported briefly yesterday from the Huffington Post Oasis in Tampa:   When bleary-eyed reporters and convention delegates arrive at the Huffington Post Oasis just outside the Republican National Convention, Arianna Huffington appears... Read more

Beware of the Media

02:45 PM, Jun 15, 2012
New York City It's good to be reminded of just how big the disconnect can be between reporting and reality: Don't believe everything you read in your morning newspaper. I was outside the Plaza Hotel last night when I re-learned this lesson. It was shortly after Barack and Michelle Obama... Read more

A Mutually Beneficial Relationship

05:30 PM, Jun 14, 2012
New York City The Obamas are here to attend two campaign fundraisers this evening. The most fashionable one is at the home of Sex and the City star Sarah Jessica Parker, who's known more these days as a fashion icon than an actress. Advertising for the event included a short YouTube... Read more

Criminalizing Dear Abby

09:32 AM, May 31, 2012
Some people take to Twitter and Facebook to voice complaints. Others use social media for the greater good, offering advice to the complainers. But that sort of counsel is illegal—at least according to one state agency. The Institute for Justice yesterday filed a lawsuit against the North... Read more

Two Theories of Invention

09:33 AM, May 23, 2012
Who could resist reading a blog post titled , “How Thomas Edison, Mark Zuckerberg and Iron Man are holding back American innovation”? Writing for the Washington Post ’s Wonkblog, Suzy Khimm reports on a conference held  by the New America Foundation on the grand topic of “How to Save... Read more

The Sendak-Singer Connection

01:18 PM, May 14, 2012
What do Maurice Sendak, Isaac Bashevis Singer, and Commentary magazine have in common? Singer, who won the 1978 Nobel Prize for Literature, wrote his works first in Yiddish, and some were translated and published in  Commentary . Sendak, on the other hand, is best known for... Read more

Portland Pounces On Groupon

02:40 PM, Apr 26, 2012
As Ronald Reagan famously quipped, “The nine most terrifying words in the English language are: ‘I’m from the government and I'm here to help.’” Portland, Oregon, though, really is here to help. The problem is that the city hasn’t created laws to benefit Portlanders—it’s created them to benefit... Read more

How Canada's Tea Party Fared at the Polls

05:14 PM, Apr 24, 2012
If I ever doubted that reporters crave a good story more than almost anything else, my own reaction to the Alberta election last night would have reminded me of its veracity. Before the polls in the province were even closed, I had begun thinking about how I’d pitch a short piece about it to... Read more

TWS: Villain-Approved Reading Material!

07:41 AM, Apr 16, 2012
How do you indicate a character in a film is a villain? In these politically correct times, you can't just note he comes from a country whose leaders have declared "Death to America." It wouldn't work simply to make him a capitalist: Steve Jobs, who made pretty things, is different from Jeff... Read more

Institute for Justice Says IRS Is Breaking the Law

04:02 PM, Mar 12, 2012
Tomorrow, the Institute for Justice (IJ) will file a lawsuit against perhaps the most hated of all federal agencies—the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The suit challenges licensing requirements that the IRS introduced last year. Tax return preparers must take a test and obtain IRS... Read more

Some things are permanent

10:53 AM, Aug 17, 2011
It might be hubris for a writer to point out a typo made elsewhere. But when it's the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities making the mistake, it's irresistible. Perhaps the folks over there need some remedial English? This photo was taken on the metro this morning: [img nocaption... Read more

Arts in the Afternoon: Illegalities

04:03 PM, Jun 24, 2011
A new Australian reality series is "sending six native-born Australians with differing views on immigration on punishing journeys that retrace the voyages of asylum seekers seeking safe haven in their country." A Vincent van Gogh painting long believed by experts to be a self-portrait... Read more

Arts in the Afternoon: Freedom

04:06 PM, Jun 22, 2011
Finally some good news: Ai Weiwei has been released by Chinese authorities. The dissident artist had been detained for three months on charges the international community unanimously recognized were bogus. Weiwei told the New York Times , “In legal terms, I’m — how do you say? — on bail. So I... Read more

Arts in the Afternoon: Bells, Balls, and Bulls

12:31 PM, Jun 20, 2011
We all hate the sound of cell phones ringing during classical concerts. Master of the Queen's Music and composer Sir Peter Maxwell Davies has proposed a solution to what he calls "artistic terrorists": Fine them. "The 30 Harshest Author-on-Author Insults in History." Nabokov on Hemingway:... Read more

Arts in the Afternoon: Testing, Testing

11:51 AM, Jun 08, 2011
Another call for the art community to stand up for Ai Weiwei : Philip Bishop says a little known online petition is not enough. Museums should be publicizing the detention of the artist by Chinese authorities front and center. Perhaps the greatest of 20th century poems -- T.S. Eliot's "The... Read more

Arts in the Afternoon: Sequels

02:00 PM, Jun 07, 2011
Katie Couric wants to be the new Oprah . She says her upcoming show will model itself after the queen of daytime. Though Couric wasn't big on specifics: "It’s gonna be topical, it’s gonna be live, you know, hopefully it will deal with various issues." The University of Chicago will publish... Read more

Arts in the Afternoon: Whither the critic?

04:33 PM, Jun 06, 2011
"In 1992 Colm Tóibín encountered the power of the critic for the first time. He awoke one morning to find The Heather Blazing , his second novel, favourably reviewed in the books section of the Sunday Times  by a just-published author named Nick Hornby." The notice helped the Irish... Read more

Arts in the Afternoon: Enemies

04:26 PM, Jun 02, 2011
Some brave Chinese artists offered an artistic protest of the arrest of Ai Weiwei. The exhibition has been dismantled, and three artists and organizers have since disappeared. Now that V. S. Naipaul and Paul Theroux have buried the hatchet , Naipaul needs a new enemy. How about half his... Read more

Arts in the Afternoon: All in the Family

01:24 PM, May 31, 2011
“Stars are stars,” Metropolitan Opera general manager Peter Gelb says. “They’re different than company members."   In this case , it means musicians on union contracts must go on tour in Japan, while some of the Met's brightest lights have cancelled their planned appearances due to worries... Read more

Arts in the Afternoon: Cowardice

03:19 PM, May 27, 2011
"Are America's museums as willing to stand up for an artist whose life may be on the line?" That's the cutting question asked by Terry Teachout , who points out the cowardice of some cultural leaders unwilling to protest the Chinese government's imprisonment of artist Ai Weiwei. In fact, some... Read more

Arts in the Afternoon: Smells Like Celebrity

04:02 PM, May 26, 2011
From the Metropolitan Museum of Art to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, exhibitions around the country are threatened after a court ruling has Russia afraid to loan out its art. Broadway: Is it simply a place for troubled celebrities to make their comebacks? "Eurotrash" stage... Read more

Arts in the Afternoon: The Death of ...

03:12 PM, May 25, 2011
Supreme Court justices talk about who has influenced their writing and how they approach penning an opinion, with mentions of Vladimir Nabokov and the television show 24 . " Cultured People Feel Less Stress ." But men relieve their anxiety best as spectators, while women are less depressed... Read more

Arts in the Afternoon: Ranking Shakespeare

03:41 PM, May 24, 2011
Shakespeare might be the greatest writer ever to live, but he ranks only 40 out of 100 on this list  -- a charity contest whose winner is chosen American Idol-style. Voting ends tomorrow for the Chase Community Giving project on Facebook. While arts organizations struggling to survive turn... Read more

Arts in the Afternoon: Challenges

02:39 PM, May 23, 2011
Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg plans to challenge the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act so that youngsters under 13 can join his social networking site. Boston Globe film critic Ty Burr writes about something none of the cinema chains are willing to discuss: Many theaters show... Read more

Arts in the Afternoon: Provocations

01:17 PM, May 18, 2011
Philip Roth wins the 2011 Man Booker International Prize. And one of the judges promptly resigns , with this provocative comment (among others):  "Emperor's clothes: in 20 years' time will anyone read him?" A worthy question. Dennis Stevenson, former chancellor of the University... Read more

Arts in the Afternoon: Form vs. Content

03:04 PM, May 16, 2011
"Harlequin is revolutionizing the e-book market," John Barber writes in the Globe and Mail . ( I wrote about this two years ago -- and offered a number of other reasons for romance's popularity in electronic form.) Meanwhile, there's one type of book that's just not the same on a Kindle... Read more

Arts in the Afternoon: Trash-Talking

03:27 PM, May 13, 2011
It's official: Ashton Kutcher is replacing Charlie Sheen on Two and a Half Men . Though really, no one could actually replace the singular Sheen... "Pages on Facebook are ugly and horrible." No, that's not an employee of Google speaking after news broke that Facebook hired a PR firm... Read more