Lester Kinsolving

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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".[1][2][3][4] 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.[5]

Life and career[edit]

Kinsolving has been an outspoken opponent of gay rights organizations – "the sodomy lobby," as he refers to them – mainly because of his religious beliefs.[6] 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.[7] WND later reported that after a "one-on-one conference" with Snow, Kinsolving agreed to return to the briefings.[8]

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,[9] who Kinsolving has described as his cousin.[10] 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.

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