Charles Lester Kinsolving (born December 18, 1927) is a former American political talk radio host, previously heard on WCBM in Baltimore, Maryland. He is known for being the first White House correspondent to ask questions about the spreading HIV/AIDS epidemic during the Reagan administration; he continued to ask questions about the disease even though press secretary Larry Speakes and some other correspondents made light of it, with Speakes joking that Kinsolving had an "abiding interest in the disease" because he was "a fairy". Kinsolving first asked questions about AIDS in 1982; President Ronald Reagan would not acknowledge the epidemic until 1985, by which time more than 5,000 people had died from the disease.
Life and career
Kinsolving has been an outspoken opponent of gay rights organizations – "the sodomy lobby," as he refers to them – mainly because of his religious beliefs. After a verbal altercation with White House Press Secretary Tony Snow on July 25, 2007, Kinsolving's publisher, Joseph Farah of WorldNetDaily, wrote a harshly-worded column characterizing Snow's comments as "...a rebuke, and a threat, and an attempt to control Les Kinsolving and WorldNetDaily's right to ask questions at the White House." Farah announced that Kinsolving would no longer be attending White House press briefings as a result. WND later reported that after a "one-on-one conference" with Snow, Kinsolving agreed to return to the briefings.
Kinsolving has also appeared as an actor, playing the same role in two films: Gettysburg and Gods and Generals. In those films, he portrayed Confederate Gen. William Barksdale, who Kinsolving has described as his cousin. A biography of Kinsolving, Gadfly, The Life and Times of Les Kinsolving – White House Watchdog, ISBN 978-1935071808, was written by his youngest daughter, Kathleen, and was released in 2010.
- Amira, Dan. "AIDS Was Hilarious to the Reagan White House, Press Corps". New York Magazine. Retrieved March 7, 2016.
- Leon, Harmon. "Listen to the Reagan Administration Laughing at the AIDS Epidemic". Vice. Retrieved March 7, 2016.
- Geidner, Chris. "13 Times The Reagan White House Press Briefing Erupted With Laughter Over AIDS". BuzzFeed. Retrieved March 7, 2016.
- Lawson, Richard. "The Reagan Administration's Unearthed Response to the AIDS Crisis Is Chilling". Vanity Fair. Retrieved March 7, 2016.
- Les Is More – The Long, Strange, and Maybe Even Meaningful Career of a Right-Wing Media Gadfly
- WorldNetDaily: ENOUGH OF THE SNOW JOBS. July 25, 2007.
- WorldNetDaily: KINSOLVING RETURNING TO PRESIDENTIAL PRESS BRIEFINGS. August 5, 2007.
- iMDB: Charles Lester Kinsolving.
- WorldNetDaily: A DEEPLY RELIGIOUS MOVIE ABOUT WAR. February 11, 2003.
- LesKinsolving.com, official web site
- Kinsolving article archive at WorldNetDaily.com
- Appearances on C-SPAN
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