Kathleen Parker

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Kathleen Parker
EducationWinter Haven High School
Alma mater
Notable credit(s)
Orlando Sentinel
The Washington Post
Spouse(s)Woody Cleveland

Kathleen Parker is a right-leaning[1][2] columnist for The Washington Post. Parker is a consulting faculty member at the Buckley School of Public Speaking, a popular guest on cable and network news programs and a regular guest on NBC's Meet the Press and previously on MSNBC's Hardball with Chris Matthews.

Parker describes herself politically as "mostly right of center"[3] and was the highest-scoring conservative pundit in a 2012 retrospective study of pundit prediction accuracy in 2008.[4] Parker urged the 2016 Electoral College electors to be "unfaithful" to prevent Donald Trump from becoming President of the United States.[5]

Early life and career[edit]

Parker was raised in Winter Haven in Polk County, Florida.[6] She is the daughter of lawyer J. Hal Connor and mother, Martha, originally from Barnwell County, South Carolina,[7] who died when Parker was aged 3.[6] Parker often spent summers with her mother's family in Columbia, South Carolina.[7]

Parker's career in journalism began in 1977 when she was hired to cover Hanahan, Goose Creek and Moncks Corner by the now-defunct Charleston Evening Post.[7]

A columnist since 1987, she has worked for five newspapers, from Florida to California. She has written for several magazines, including The Weekly Standard, Time, Town & Country, Cosmopolitan, and Fortune Small Business.

She serves on the Board of Contributors for USA Today's Forum Page, part of the newspaper's Opinion section. She is also a contributor to the online magazine The Daily Beast. Parker is the author of Save the Males: Why Men Matter, Why Women Should Care.

From fall 2010, Parker co-hosted the cable news program Parker Spitzer on CNN with former New York governor Eliot Spitzer.[8]

Parker was the 1993 winner of the H. L. Mencken Writing Award presented by The Baltimore Sun.[9] The Week magazine named her one of the nation's top five columnists in 2004 and 2005.[10] She won the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for Commentary for a selection of political opinion columns.[11]

Parker wrote about the April 2019 arrest of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in the Ecuadorian embassy in London comparing him unfavorably to the "historic act of bravery" by Daniel Ellsberg, who leaked the Pentagon Papers about American government lies in the Vietnam War. Assange's "non-fans—including many in the U.S. media—long have viewed him as a sociopathic interloper operating under the protection of free speech."[12]


During the 2008 U.S. presidential election Parker called on the Republican vice-presidential nominee, Governor Sarah Palin, to step down from the party ticket (the day before the Vice-Presidential debate), saying that a series of media interviews showed that Palin was "clearly out of her league".[13][14][15] Parker received over 11,000 responses, mostly from conservatives critical of her opinion.[16]

During the 2018 Brett Kavanaugh nomination to be a justice of the United States Supreme Court, Parker wrote a column advancing the theory that the alleged victim, Christine Blasey Ford, was mistaken in her identification of Brett Kavanaugh, and that there must be a Kavanaugh doppelgänger.[17] The doppelgänger theory was denounced as ludicrous and madness by multiple other Washington Post columnists, such as Max Boot,[18] Erik Wemple,[19][20] Jennifer Rubin, E. J. Dionne, and Avi Selk.

Personal life[edit]

Parker is married to an attorney, Woody Cleveland, has one son and two stepsons, and resides in Camden, South Carolina.[7][21]


  1. ^ "Kathleen Parker: I'm 'Slightly to the Right of Center;' Fan of Obama". Retrieved 17 April 2018.
  2. ^ Cillizza, Chris (May 18, 2016). "Yes, Hillary Clinton is beatable in the general election. Just watch this video". The Washington Post.
  3. ^ "'Parker Spitzer' Preview; Tony Curtis Remembered". Larry King Live. 2010-09-30. CNN.
  4. ^ Media Relations. "Pundit - Executive Summary - Hamilton College". Hamilton.edu. Retrieved 2012-09-01.
  5. ^ Parker, Kathleen (6 December 2016). "The electoral college should be unfaithful". Retrieved 17 April 2018 – via www.washingtonpost.com.
  6. ^ a b McMullen, Cary (April 14, 2010). "Winter Haven Native Kathleen Parker Awarded Pulitzer Prize for Commentary". The Lakeland Evening Ledger. Retrieved 7 May 2016.
  7. ^ a b c d Monk, John (April 13, 2010). "A Pulitzer Prize with S.C. ties". The State Media Company. The State.
  8. ^ "Spitzer, Parker to host primetime CNN show". CNN.
  9. ^ "13th Mencken award goes to S.C. columnist". Baltimore Sun. Retrieved 17 April 2018.
  10. ^ "CNN Taps Eliot Spitzer, Kathleen Parker for Debate Show". New York. Retrieved 2020-09-08.
  11. ^ "Washington Post Leads in Pulitzers". The Wall Street Journal. April 13, 2010.
  12. ^ "Julian Assange isn't a journalist or a Daniel Ellsberg. He's just a 'cypherpunk.'". The Washington Post. April 12, 2019. Retrieved May 30, 2020.
  13. ^ Mooney, Alexander (2008-09-26). "Palin should step down, conservative commentator says". CNNPolitics.com. Retrieved 2008-09-26. Prominent conservative columnist Kathleen Parker, an early supporter of Republican VP candidate Sarah Palin, said Friday recent interviews have shown the Alaska governor is "out of her league" and should leave the GOP presidential ticket for the good of the party.
  14. ^ Weisman, Jonathan (2008-09-26). "Conservative Columnist Turns on Palin". Washington Post. Retrieved 2008-09-26. Parker, after a scalding critique of Palin's readiness for high office, begs the Alaska governor to step down from the Republican ticket.
  15. ^ Parker, Kathleen (2008-09-26). "Palin Problem: She's Out of Her League". National Review. Archived from the original on 2008-09-27. Retrieved 2008-09-26. Palin’s recent interviews with Charles Gibson, Sean Hannity, and now Katie Couric have all revealed an attractive, earnest, confident candidate. Who Is Clearly Out Of Her League.
  16. ^ Reliable Sources, CNN, October 5, 2008. Transcript on Lexis/Nexis. Retrieved August 2009.
  17. ^ Is there a Kavanaugh doppelganger? Retrieved September 23, 2018
  18. ^ The Kavanaugh doppelganger theory shows how far the right has descended into madness. Retrieved September 23, 2018
  19. ^ 'Really': 'Fox & Friends' goes credulous on Kavanaugh conspiracy theory. Retrieved September 23, 2018
  20. ^ The Kavanaugh controversy meets fake news. Real fake news.. Retrieved September 26, 2018
  21. ^ Ellen Belcher (May 15, 2005). "Beyond the Byline: Kathleen Parker". Dayton Daily News (Ohio).

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