John McLaughlin (host)
John McLaughlin (on right) with President Richard Nixon at the White House on May 3, 1974
March 29, 1927 |
Providence, Rhode Island
|Other names||Dr. McLaughlin|
|Education||Master's degrees in philosophy and English literature
Doctor of Philosophy
|Alma mater||Weston College (B.A.)
Boston College (M.A.); Columbia University (Ph.D.)
formerly: Jesuit priest, magazine editor, speechwriter for President Richard Nixon
|Known for||The McLaughlin Group television show|
|Notable credit(s)||Creator/executive producer/host of The McLaughlin Group and John McLaughlin's One on One|
|Political party||Republican Party|
Cristina Clara Vidal McLaughlin
John McLaughlin (born March 29, 1927) is an American television personality and political commentator. He created, produces, and hosts the political commentary series The McLaughlin Group as well as John McLaughlin's One On One
Education and early career
McLaughlin was born in Providence, Rhode Island, in 1927, the son of Eva Philomena (née Turcotte) and Augustus Hugh McLaughlin. He grew up in a Catholic family who were second-generation Irish Americans. He entered Weston College in Weston, Massachusetts, which later became the theological seminary of Boston College, at the age of 18 to prepare for the priesthood.
He entered the Jesuit order of the Catholic Church in 1947, was ordained as a priest in 1959, and went on to earn two master's degrees (philosophy and English literature) from Boston College. After his ordination, McLaughlin spent some years as a high school teacher at Fairfield College Preparatory School, a Jesuit prep school in Connecticut. He took time off from teaching to earn a Ph.D. (philosophy) from Columbia University. He wrote his thesis on the Anglo-Catholic poet Gerard Manley Hopkins. He then became a writer and later assistant editor for the Jesuit current affairs publication, America, in New York City. Disagreements with the editor of the magazine led to his departure in 1970 after which he moved back to Providence, Rhode Island.
McLaughlin was originally a supporter of the Democratic Party and opposed the Vietnam War but then became a war supporter and changed his party affiliation to Republican. In 1970 he sought permission from the Jesuit order to run for a seat in the United States Senate, representing Rhode Island. When his superiors refused, McLaughlin defied them but lost to the incumbent four-term Senator John O. Pastore. Through a friendship with Pat Buchanan, McLaughlin then became a speechwriter for U.S. President Richard Nixon. In 1974, after the resignation of President Nixon, he was ordered by his Jesuit superiors to return to Boston. He soon thereafter left the Society of Jesus.
From 1981 to 1989, McLaughlin was Washington editor and author of the monthly political column "From Washington Straight," for National Review.
Leading up to the 2004 presidential election, McLaughlin—though a longtime Republican—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.
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, D.C.
The show is seen in the United Kingdom and other parts of Europe and worldwide on American Forces Network and Worldnet and is available in low-resolution video podcast form on the show's website 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....?" This was referenced in the 2009 superhero movie Watchmen.
At the end of each The McLaughlin Group program John McGlaughlin ends with his signature "Bye Bye"
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 hosted John McLaughlin's One On One, first telecast in 1984, and ended in 2013. Also from 1989 through 1994, he produced and hosted McLaughlin, a one-hour nightly talk show on CNBC. For a short while in 1999, he hosted an MSNBC show, McLaughlin Special Report. The show was announced on January 22, and its cancellation was announced on February 25.
During the December 26, 2014, year-end awards episode, McLaughlin ended the show saying: "Person of the year: Pope Francis, especially now that he's told that animals can go to heaven. And Oliver is up there waiting for me." Oliver Productions, Inc., is named after McLaughlin's pet dog —a basset hound—and is seen in an animation as part of the brand logo shown at the close of each show. Oliver shared their Watergate apartment during McLaughlin's tenure as speechwriter for President Nixon. Coincidentally, Oliver died on a Friday afternoon before a show was taped. McLaughlin, under dire emotional pain, completed that taping.
In popular culture
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.
- "Biography: John McLaughlin", Turner Classic Movies
- Murray, Michael D. (editor). "Biography: John McLaughlin", Encyclopedia of Television News
- America Magazine, June 23–30, 2014
- Starr, Michael. "McLaughlin Talks His Way to MSNBC Prime Time Lineup, New York Post, January 22, 1999. Retrieved on June 18, 2014.
- Starr, Michael. "A 'Special' Goodbye, New York Post, February 25, 1999. Retrieved on June 18, 2014.
- Cristina Vidal and John McLaughlin. The New York Times, 22 June 1997. Retrieved from http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9F0DE2D6123EF931A15755C0A961958260.
- Washington post http://voices.washingtonpost.com/reliable-source/2010/04/john_mclaughlin_and_cristina_m.html
- TMG Library Transcripts http://www.mclaughlin.com/transcript.htm?id=1042
- TMG Library Transcripts http://www.mclaughlin.com/transcript.htm?id=689
- People http://www.people.com/people/archive/article/0,,20077465,00.html
- The Huffington Post http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rose-procopio/the-love-of-my-dog_b_542218.html
- Nimmo, Dan D., and Chevelle Newsome (1997). Political Commentators in the United States in the 20th Century: A Bio-Critical Sourcebook. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press. pp. 201–11. ISBN 0-313-29585-9.