John McLaughlin (host)

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John McLaughlin
Nixon with John McLaughlin - NARA - 194578.tif
John McLaughlin (on right) with Richard Nixon
Born (1927-03-29) March 29, 1927 (age 87)
Rhode Island
Other names Dr. McLaughlin
Education Master's degrees in philosophy and English literature
Doctor of Philosophy in philosophy
Occupation Creator/executive producer/host
formerly: Jesuit priest, magazine editor, speechwriter for President Richard Nixon
Years active 1970s–present
Notable credit(s) Creator/executive producer/host of The McLaughlin Group and John McLaughlin's One on One
Title Host
Religion Roman Catholic
Spouse(s) Ann Dore
Cristina Clara Vidal McLaughlin
Website Dr. McLaughlin Biography

John McLaughlin (born March 29, 1927) is an American television personality and political commentator. He created, produces and hosts the long-running political commentary series The McLaughlin Group as well as John McLaughlin's One On One.

Education and early career[edit]

Born in Rhode Island, McLaughlin earned two master's degrees (philosophy and English literature) from Boston College, and a Ph.D. (philosophy) from Columbia University. Upon entering the Jesuit order of the Roman Catholic Church and being ordained a priest, McLaughlin spent some years as a high school teacher at Fairfield College Preparatory School, a Jesuit prep school in Connecticut, where his grandiose mannerisms earned him the nickname "Father God." A Republican, he originally opposed the Vietnam War and, in 1970, sought permission from his order to run for a seat in the United States Senate, representing Rhode Island. His superiors denied him this. McLaughlin defied his superiors and ran anyway, losing to the incumbent four-term Senator John O. Pastore.

Through a friendship with Pat Buchanan, McLaughlin became a war supporter and a speech writer and advisor to U.S. President Richard Nixon. Because priests are not allowed to take on political jobs, he was ordered by his Jesuit superiors to return to Boston and, rather than obey, he left the Society of Jesus.

Prior to entering broadcasting, he was associate editor of America, a weekly opinion journal published by American Jesuits. From 1981 to 1989, McLaughlin was Washington editor and author of the monthly political column, "From Washington Straight," for National Review.

Broadcast career[edit]

The McLaughlin Group premiered in 1982. The show features four political commentators, usually two conservatives and two liberals, with McLaughlin seated in the middle. The McLaughlin Group is most widely seen on PBS affiliates, and is taped at the studios of WUSA-TV in Washington, DC.

The McLaughlin Group is seen in the United Kingdom and other parts of Europe and worldwide on American Forces Network and on the WORLDNET satellite service.

The McLaughlin Group is available in low-resolution video podcast form on the show's web site and on iTunes. Although the show is broadcast on PBS member stations with no commercials, the podcast edition has commercial messages from the broadcast Sunday mornings on WUSA-TV.

McLaughlin is fond of making witty predictions based on current events, and of asking questions in interesting ways. One of the phrases he often uses is:

On a scale of 0 to 10—with 0 representing zero possibility and 10 representing metaphysical certitude—what is the chance of...?

His loud and forceful style of presentation has been parodied by comedians and other commentators, most notably Dana Carvey of Saturday Night Live. McLaughlin himself appeared as the Grim Reaper in an SNL sketch that parodied his show.

McLaughlin also hosts John McLaughlin's One On One, first telecast in 1984, and from 1989 through 1994, produced and hosted McLaughlin, a one-hour nightly talk show on CNBC.

Personal life and views[edit]

On August 23, 1975, McLaughlin married Ann Dore, his former campaign manager. She served as Secretary of Labor under Ronald Reagan from 1987 until 1989. The couple divorced in 1992.

On June 22, 1997, McLaughlin married Cristina Clara Vidal McLaughlin.[1] They said at the time they met in a bookstore in 1990. The marriage ended in divorce in 2010.[2]

McLaughlin is a longtime Republican. However, leading up to the 2004 presidential election, McLaughlin announced that he would be voting for Democratic Party candidate John Kerry. His political views in general are diversified and often differ from Republican Party positions depending on the issue in question.[citation needed]

In popular culture[edit]

McLaughlin has appeared in several films, including Dave, Mission Impossible, Independence Day and War, Inc. In the 2009 movie Watchmen, he is portrayed by Gary Houston in an early scene interviewing Pat Buchanan (played by James M. Connor) and Eleanor Clift (played by Mary Ann Burger) about the possibility of nuclear war with the Soviet Union. McLaughlin also hosted a special celebration for the 200th episode of the TV sitcom Cheers.[3]

The host of the show 'The Think Tank' in cut-scenes in the video game MechCommander 2 mimics the speech patterns and body language of John McLaughlin.[4]


External links[edit]