L. Brent Bozell III

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Brent Bozell
Bozell in 2011
Leo Brent Bozell III

(1955-07-14) July 14, 1955 (age 68)
EducationUniversity of Dallas (BA)
  • Writer
  • activist
Employer(s)Media Research Center, Parents Television Council
SpouseNorma Petruccione

Leo Brent Bozell III (/bˈzɛl/; born July 14, 1955)[citation needed] is an American conservative activist and writer. Bozell is the founder of the Media Research Center, an organization whose stated purpose is to identify alleged liberal media bias.

Early life and education[edit]

Bozell is one of ten children of L. Brent Bozell Jr. and Patricia Buckley Bozell.[1] He is a nephew of the late conservative writer and National Review founder William F. Buckley Jr. and the late United States Senator James L. Buckley through Buckley's sister, Patricia, and is a grandson of William Frank Buckley Sr. He is of Irish, German, and English descent. Bozell's father was William Buckley Jr.'s debating partner at Yale University and a conservative activist; his grandfather Leo B. Bozell was a co-founder of Bozell Worldwide.[2]

Bozell received a Bachelor of Arts in history from the University of Dallas in 1977.[3]


Bozell joined a since-disbanded organization called the National Conservative Political Action Committee, where he worked for the group's founder, Terry Dolan, to help elect conservative politicians.[4]

Bozell ran the National Conservative Foundation project at the Conservative Political Action Conference, in which he moderated debates between Sam Donaldson and Robert Novak over media bias.[5]

Media Research Center[edit]

In 1987, Bozell formed the Media Research Center,[6][7] an organization whose stated purpose is to identify alleged liberal media bias.

In 1998, Bozell founded an organization called the Conservative Communications Center.[8] The MRC also established CNSNews, the site of the Conservative News Service, which was later known as Cybercast News Service, several additional Media Research Center-affiliated websites.[6] On its website, MRC publishes Bozell's syndicated columns, the CyberAlert daily newsletter documenting perceived media bias, and research reports on the news media.

In October 2006, Bozell founded the Culture and Media Institute, an MRC branch whose mission is to reduce what he claims to be a negative liberal influence on American morality, culture, and religious liberty.[6]

Ghostwriting scandal[edit]

In February 2014, former employees of the Media Research Center confirmed media reports that Bozell does not write his own columns or books and has relied on a Media Research Center colleague, Tim Graham, to write them "for years".[9] Following revelation that Bozell does not write his own material, the Quad-City Times, a daily newspaper, announced that it was dropping Bozell's column, reporting that, "Bozell may have been comfortable representing others' work as his own. We're not. The latest disclosure convinces us Bozell has no place on our print or web pages." The Quad-City Times article appeared under the headline, "WANTED: A replacement for Brent Bozell".[10]

Reports that Bozell did not write his own material were confirmed by his Media Research Center colleagues. On February 13, 2014, The Daily Beast reported, "Employees at the MRC were never under any illusion that Bozell had been writing his own copy. 'It's an open secret at the office that Graham writes Bozell's columns, and has done so for years,' said one former employee. In fact, a former MRC employee went so far as to tell The Daily Beast: 'I know for a fact that Bozell didn't even read any of the drafts of his latest book until after it had been sent to the publishers'."[9][11]

Talking Points Memo reported on February 14, 2014 that, "Brent Bozell has staked much of his career on challenging what he sees as a lazy media establishment, all while reportedly collecting the profits from books and columns he never actually wrote." According to the report, "despite not actually writing any of the content, Bozell still collects 80-90 percent of the profits."[12]

Parents Television Council[edit]

Bozell founded the Parents Television and Media Council in 1995, initially as a branch of the Media Research Center focusing on entertainment television, after saying that he felt that decency was declining on prime-time television programming.[13] The PTC's stated mission was "to promote and restore responsibility and decency to the entertainment industry."[14]

During his tenure as PTC president, Bozell filed complaints with the FCC over what he alleged were indecent programs and attempted boycotts against advertisers on television programs the organization alleged were offensive. PTC was one of many organizations that filed complaints over the 2004 Super Bowl XXXVIII halftime show in which co-performer Justin Timberlake caused a brief exposure of Janet Jackson's right breast for which the FCC ultimately fined CBS.[15] Excluding Super Bowl-related complaints, the vast majority of FCC complaints from 2003 to 2006 were found to have come from PTC.[16]

In 2001, the PTC organized a mass advertiser boycott of the professional wrestling television program WWE SmackDown on UPN over claims that the program caused the deaths of young children whom the PTC felt were influenced by watching the program; in particular, the PTC cited the case of Lionel Tate, a 12-year-old Ft. Lauderdale boy who was arrested after murdering a 6-year-old girl. Tate's attorney claimed that he had accidentally killed her when he botched a professional wrestling move. It was ultimately determined that the girl had been stomped to death and had not been the victim of any professional wrestling move and was actually watching cartoons at the time the murder occurred. World Wrestling Federation (now World Wrestling Entertainment, or WWE) sued Bozell and his organization for libel. PTC's insurance carrier eventually chose to settle the case, paying $3.5 million to the WWE, and issuing a public apology.[17]

In Bozell's mandated apology as part of settling the libel charges, Bozell said: "It was premature to reach that conclusion when we did, and there is now ample evidence to show that conclusion was incorrect. It was wrong to have stated or implied that WWE or any of its programs caused these tragic deaths."[17]

Bozell and the PTC were criticized in a book entitled Foley is Good: And the Real World Is Faker Than Wrestling (2001), a memoir published by former WWE wrestler Mick Foley who questioned the reasoning and research PTC used to associate SmackDown with violent acts performed by children watching the program.[18][19]


Bozell has authored and/or co-authored the following books:

  • And That's the Way it Isn't: A Reference Guide to Media Bias (with Brent Baker) (1990)
  • Weapons of Mass Distortion: The Coming Meltdown of the Liberal Media (2004)
  • Whitewash: How The News Media Are Paving Hillary Clinton's Path to the Presidency (with Tim Graham) (2007)
  • Collusion: How The Media Stole The 2012 Election And How To Stop Them From Doing It In 2016 (with Tim Graham) (2013)
  • Unmasked: Big Media's War on Trump (with Tim Graham) (2019)

Presidential politics[edit]

On December 22, 2011, Bozell appeared on a Fox News Channel segment. After being showed a clip in which an MSNBC journalist said that a Republican candidate looked like a "car bomber", Bozell asked how media would react if someone said that President Barack Obama looked like a "skinny ghetto crackhead".[20][21]

Bozell was an outspoken critic of Donald Trump during the 2016 Republican Party presidential primaries, describing him as "the greatest charlatan of them all," a "huckster," and a "shameless self-promoter".[22] He said, "God help this country if this man were president."[22]

After Trump clinched the Republican nomination, however, Bozell attacked the media for their alleged "hatred" of Trump.[22] Politico noted, "The paradox here is that Bozell was once more antagonistic toward the president than any journalist."[22] Bozell singled out Jake Tapper of CNN for being "one of the worst offenders" in coverage of Trump.[22]

In August 2020, Bozell told a meeting of conservatives and donors that "leftists planned to steal this election." On January 6, after a mob of Trump supporters – including Bozell's son, L. Brent Bozell IV – attacked the United States Capitol, Bozell appeared on Fox Business Network and denounced the riot, stating that "you can never countenance police being attacked. You cannot countenance our national Capitol being breached like this. I think it is absolutely wrong.” Bozell also said that "Look, they are furious that they believe this election was stolen. I agree with them."[23]

Personal life[edit]

Bozell is married to Norma Petruccione. They have five children and several grandchildren. Bozell has stated that contrary to speculation by some in the media, he is not officially a Republican.[24][25]

Bozell was named the 1998 Alumnus of the Year at the University of Dallas. That same year, Grove City College named Bozell a Pew Memorial Lecturer.[6]

Bozell's son, David Bozell, is director of an organization called ForAmerica, a conservative group active on social media, founded by Bozell III in 2010.[26]

Bozell's other son, Leo Brent Bozell IV, participated in the 2021 United States Capitol attack; he entered the United States Senate chamber. Leo Brent Bozell IV was federally charged with obstructing an official proceeding, entering a restricted building, and disorderly conduct.[27][28] He was convicted in September 2023 of ten charges, including five felonies, and is scheduled to be sentenced on January 9, 2024.[29]


  1. ^ Bernstein, Adam (July 15, 2008). "Patricia Buckley Bozell, 81; Activist Founded a Catholic Opinion Journal". The Washington Post. Retrieved December 9, 2010.
  2. ^ Staff report (March 25, 1946). Leo B. Bozell; President of Bozell & Jacobs Advertising Firm Dies in Omaha. The New York Times
  3. ^ "History Department | Alumni Profiles". University of Dallas. Archived from the original on October 20, 2017. Retrieved October 7, 2020.
  4. ^ Parents Television Council sees new era, by Michael Learmouth, Variety, March 17, 2007
  5. ^ Bozell, Weapons of Mass Distortion, p. 18.
  6. ^ a b c d Media Research Center biography of Bozell Archived July 14, 2009, at the Portuguese Web Archive. Accessed July 16, 2007.
  7. ^ Conservative Official Resigns, The New York Times, September 1, 1987
  8. ^ The ConWebWatch Primer. ConWebWatch: September 4, 2007.
  9. ^ a b Jacobs, Ben (February 13, 2014). "Ex-Employees of Conservative Figure L. Brent Bozell Say He Didn't Write His Books or Columns". The Daily Beast. Retrieved February 14, 2014.
  10. ^ Editorial board, ed. (February 15, 2014). "WANTED: A replacement for Brent Bozell". Quad-City Times. Davenport, Iowa. Archived from the original on February 17, 2014.
  11. ^ Krepel, Terry (February 24, 2014). "Brent Bozell's Ghostwriter Scandal Is Just His Latest Outrage". HuffPost
  12. ^ Kludt, Tom (February 14, 2014). "Brent Bozell Called Journalists Lazy In Columns Someone Else Wrote For Him". Talking Points Memo
  13. ^ Poniewozik, James (March 20, 2005). "The Decency Police". Time. Archived from the original on August 24, 2013. Retrieved January 20, 2008.
  14. ^ What is the PTC's mission? Parents Television Council Frequently Asked Questions
  15. ^ "FCC Proposes Statutory Maximum Fine of $550,000 Against Viacom-Owned CBS Affiliates for Apparent Violation of Indecency Rules During Broadcast of Super Bowl Halftime Show" (Press release). Federal Communications Commission. September 22, 2004.
  16. ^ Shields, Todd (December 6, 2004). "Activists Dominate Content Complaints". Mediaweek. Parents Television Council. Archived from the original on February 13, 2005.
  17. ^ a b "Wrestling promoter settles libel suit against TV watchdog", Reporters Committee, July 25, 2002
  18. ^ Foley, Mick (2001). Foley is Good: And The Real World is Faker Than Wrestling. New York, NY: HarperCollins. pp. 451–60. ISBN 0-06-039300-9.
  19. ^ Smith, Dinitia (May 22, 2001). "A Wrestler Who Prefers the Pen to the Pin". The New York Times. Retrieved January 5, 2008.
  20. ^ Shaw, Lucas (December 23, 2011). "Barack Obama: Now He's a Skinny, Ghetto Crackhead?". Reuters. Retrieved April 17, 2021.
  21. ^ Lowry, Brian (December 23, 2011). "Brent Bozell's Word Game: No, I Didn't Say That…". Variety. Retrieved April 17, 2021.
  22. ^ a b c d e "The Deep Roots of Trump's War on the Press". POLITICO Magazine. Retrieved April 27, 2018.
  23. ^ Hsu, Spencer S. (February 17, 2021). "L. Brent Bozell IV, descendant of prominent conservative family, charged in Capitol breach". The Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved February 18, 2021.
  24. ^ Bozell, Weapons of Mass Distortion, p. 5.
  25. ^ "CNN Crossfire, Music and Politics transcripts". CNN. August 5, 2004.
  26. ^ Goldmacher, Shane; Alberta, Tim; National Journal (December 8, 2014). "ForAmerica: The Right Wing's Facebook Army". The Atlantic. Retrieved August 27, 2021.
  27. ^ "Affidavit in Support of a Criminal Complaint: Leo Brent Bozell, IV", Complaint Arrest Warrant]
  28. ^ Reilly, Ryan J.; Blumenthal, Paul (February 16, 2021). "Brent Bozell IV, Son Of Prominent Conservative Activist, Charged In Capitol Riot". HuffPost.
  29. ^ "Prominent activist's son convicted of storming Capitol and invading Senate floor in Jan. 6 riot". NBC News. Associated Press. September 9, 2023. Retrieved September 10, 2023.

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