Mark Levin

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Mark Levin
Mark Levin by Gage Skidmore.jpg
Mark Levin
Birth name Mark Reed Levin
Born (1957-09-21) September 21, 1957 (age 59)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Alma mater Temple University Ambler
Show The Mark Levin Show
Station(s) WABC
Network Cumulus Media Networks
Time slot 6:00–9:00 pm ET
Style Talk radio, television
Country United States
Website marklevinshow.com

Mark Reed Levin (/ləˈvɪn/; born September 21, 1957) is an American lawyer, author and the host of syndicated radio show The Mark Levin Show. Levin worked in the administration of President Ronald Reagan and was a chief of staff for Attorney General Edwin Meese. He is president of the Landmark Legal Foundation, has authored six books, and contributes commentary to various media outlets such as National Review Online. On September 1, 2015, Levin was named Editor-in-Chief of Conservative Review.[1]

Biography[edit]

Mark Reed Levin, one of three boys, was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and grew up in Erdenheim as well as Elkins Park, Pennsylvania. His father, Jack E. Levin, is the author of several books.[2] He graduated from Cheltenham High School after three years in 1974.[3][4] After high school, Levin enrolled at Temple University Ambler including summer classes and graduated with a B.A. in Political Science in 1977 at age 19, summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa.[5] Levin won election to the Cheltenham school board in 1977 on a platform of reducing property taxes.[4] In 1980, Levin earned a J.D. from Temple University Beasley School of Law.[6] Levin worked for Texas Instruments after law school.[4] He is Jewish.[7]

Beginning in 1981, Levin served as an adviser to several members of President Ronald Reagan's cabinet, eventually becoming the associate director of presidential personnel and ultimately chief of staff to Attorney General Edwin Meese; Levin also served as deputy assistant secretary for elementary and secondary education at the U.S. Department of Education, and deputy solicitor of the U.S. Department of the Interior.[8]

He practiced law in the private sector and is president of Landmark Legal Foundation, a public interest law firm founded in 1976 with offices in Kansas City, Missouri and Leesburg, Virginia.[9][10][11]

Levin has participated in Freedom Concerts, an annual benefit concert to aid families of fallen soldiers, and uses his radio program to promote aid to military families.[12] Levin is also involved with Troopathon, a charity that sends care packages to soldiers serving overseas.[13]

In 2001 the American Conservative Union awarded Levin its Ronald Reagan Award.[14] He was awarded the inaugural Citizens United Andrew Breitbart Defender of the First Amendment Award at CPAC in 2014.[15]

Radio broadcasting[edit]

Levin speaks at the 2011 Defending the American Dream Conference hosted by Americans for Prosperity.

Levin began his broadcasting career as a guest on conservative talk radio programs. For many years, he was a frequent contributor of legal opinions to The Rush Limbaugh Show, where Limbaugh referred to him on-air as "F. Lee Levin", a tongue-in-cheek reference to the defense attorney F. Lee Bailey. He was also a contributor to The Sean Hannity Show and eventually got a radio slot of his own on WABC, initially on Sundays beginning in 2002, then in the timeslot following Sean Hannity in 2003. Cumulus Media Networks began syndicating The Mark Levin Show nationally in 2006.

Levin is known for his frequent use of the pejorative "moron" and "puke" for people he opposes.[16][17][18] Hannity has nicknamed Mark Levin "The Great One".[19] Levin and Hannity remain frequent contributors to each other's programs. He is a leading conservative commentator, ranked 4–6 position nationally among talk radio programs, with a minimum of 7.75 million total weekly listenership according to Talkers Magazine.[20]

On February 11, 2016, Levin signed a "lifetime" (nine-year) contract extension with Westwood One, which will take his show to 2025, its 19th year.[21]

Writer[edit]

Men In Black[edit]

Levin authored the 2005 book Men In Black: How The Supreme Court Is Destroying America (ISBN 9780895260505), in which he advanced his thesis that activist judges on the Supreme Court (from all parts of the political spectrum) have "legislated from the bench". In a review of Men in Black, Commentary magazine's Dan Seligman wrote that Levin asks readers "to identify with 'originalists' who look to the text of the Constitution and the intent of its framers, and to reject the 'activists' who construe the Constitution broadly and are more concerned with getting to their own 'desired outcomes'".[22] In her review of Men in Black, the Slate magazine's legal correspondent and journalist Dahlia Lithwick, a self-described liberal,[23] wrote that "no serious scholar of the court or the Constitution, on the ideological left or right, is going to waste their time engaging Levin's arguments once they've read this book".[24]

Rescuing Sprite: A Dog Lover's Story of Joy and Anguish[edit]

Rescuing Sprite: A Dog Lover's Story of Joy and Anguish (ISBN 9781416559139) is a non-fiction work written by Levin in 2007 about his experience of rescuing a dog named Sprite from a local animal shelter.[25]

Liberty and Tyranny[edit]

Liberty and Tyranny: A Conservative Manifesto (ISBN 9781416562856) was released on March 24, 2009, and became a #1 New York Times best seller for eleven of twelve weeks,[26] as well as No. 1 on Nielsen's BookScan.[27] It came in at No. 2 on Amazon.com's list of bestselling books of 2009.[28] The book includes discussion of a variety of issues that, according to Levin, need to be addressed in the United States. In Liberty and Tyranny Levin repudiates the use of the term "progressive" to describe "modern Liberals" and instead argues a proper term should be "Statist". Liberty and Tyranny has sold over one million copies according to Threshold Editions, the book's publisher.[29] Former federal prosecutor and fellow National Review Online author Andrew C. McCarthy wrote of Liberty and Tyranny in The New Criterion: "Levin offers not so much a defense as a plan of attack" against "America's Leftist ascendancy".[30] Other reviewers critiqued the book as "analysis utterly useless in understanding more than half of the American political landscape" while charging "Levin resorts to the same old misinformation to sell his brand of conservatism".[31][32]

Ameritopia[edit]

Ameritopia: The Unmaking of America (ISBN 9781439173244) was released January 17, 2012. In Ameritopia, Levin discusses the origins and development of both the modern day conservative and liberal political philosophies, the latter of which he refers to as "statist", through the works of some of the leading figures in American history.[33][34] Included are commentaries on works by Plato, Sir Thomas More, Thomas Hobbes, Karl Marx, John Locke, Charles de Montesquieu and Alexis de Tocqueville.[35]

Jeffrey Lord, writing in the conservative American Spectator, called it "historical X-ray vision in book form".[36] Praise for the book came from PJ Media who reported, "That Levin wrote this book now demonstrates not only his passion for the United States, but his awareness that he is a statesman defending natural law at a pivotal moment in human history."[37]

On the other hand, The Atlantic's review criticized the book's argument that statism is based on utopianism,[38] and a review by Professor Carlin Romano in the Chronicle of Higher Education called the book "disastrously bad from beginning to end".[39]

The Liberty Amendments[edit]

The Liberty Amendments: Restoring the American Republic (ISBN 9781451606270), a book that suggests eleven new Constitutional amendments, was released on August 13, 2013. The book debuted at #1 on The New York Times Best Seller list in all three categories for which it qualified.[40] Hans A. von Spakovsky of National Review called the book "required reading for conservative bloggers".[41] Ana Marie Cox, writing in The Guardian, said the book "contains some radical notions about a complete overhaul of the US constitution, but to debate the specifics of their merits is to ignore the larger insanity of the project" while noting "the ludicrousness of his specific 'fixes' and the near-impossibility of achieving them".[42] In the Washington Times, Tenth Amendment Center Executive Director Michael Lotfi criticized Levin's idea as "the bullet to a loaded revolver pointed at the Constitution". Also in the Times, Richard Rahn wrote "If "The Liberty Amendments" can help foster a national debate about which corrective actions, including constitutional amendments, are needed to increase liberty and prosperity, Mr. Levin will have performed a great national service".[43] Hoover Institution fellow David Davenport wrote in Forbes that Levin's book used "weak arguments".[44][45] Also in Forbes, Ralph Benko credited Levin with "notably and nobly proposing to change the rules of modern politics and governance".[46]

Plunder and Deceit[edit]

Plunder and Deceit: Big Government's Exploitation of Young People and the Future (ISBN 9781451606331), was released on August 4, 2015.[47] As of September 23, 2015, Plunder and Deceit has been Number 1 on the New York Times Nonfiction Bestseller List for five weeks.

Rediscovering Americanism[edit]

Levin's upcoming book Rediscovering Americanism: And the Tyranny of Progressivism (ISBN 9781476773087), is scheduled to be released on July 4, 2017.

Support for candidates[edit]

Levin and Ted Cruz at the 2017 CPAC conference

In March 2016, Levin endorsed Ted Cruz for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination.[48] After Donald Trump was nominated, in September 2016, Levin stated on this radio program that he would vote for Donald Trump in the general election, following his declaration earlier that year that he was in the "Never Trump" camp.[49] He qualified his support by stating that, "I take no responsibility for the dumb things he says or the dumb things his surrogates say."[50]

Levin is known for harshly criticizing Republicans – including Lindsey Graham, John McCain, and Mitch McConnell – with whom he disagrees on constitutional conservatism.[51]

Views on political issues[edit]

Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act[edit]

In March 2017, Levin alleged that the Obama administration had used "police state" surveillance tactics against the Donald Trump campaign during the 2016 presidential election. The Associated Press said that Levin "voiced without evidence the idea that Obama had wiretapped Trump Tower". Levin protested the AP report vigorously, demanding a retraction and an apology on the grounds that his sources for the statement included The New York Times and other newspapers.[52] His statement was reprinted by Breitbart News and were reportedly the basis of the Trump Tower wiretapping allegations by President Trump.[51]

The Guardian writer Jason Wilson said used information about Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court warrants from outlets like The New York Times, The Guardian, and The Washington Post. The Guardian confirmed that they previously reported that in the summer of 2016 the FBI had sought a warrant from the FISA court in order to investigate four members of Trump's team who were suspected of having irregular contacts with Russian officials, but the FISA court turned down the application.[51][53] Heat Street reported in November 2016 that in October the FISA court had granted the FBI a warrant to investigate possible contacts between Russian banks and Trump's associates.[51][53]

Obamacare[edit]

In 2009, Levin described as "absolutely right" the statement by Sarah Palin that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) includes death panels to decide whether elderly people or sick children were worthy of medical care.[54][55] In 2011, a caller to Levin's show, claiming to be a neurosurgeon, said that the Department of Health and Human Services had issued a document saying that people over age 70 would not be allowed to receive medical treatments. Levin said to the caller, "so Sarah Palin was right." The call was later revealed to be a hoax.[56][57][58]

Levin stated in 2013 that "the Muslim Brotherhood has infiltrated our government" and called President Obama a Muslim Brotherhood "sympathizer".[59][60] In 2015, Levin said that Obama had imposed “martial law” on the United States through his immigration, health care and law enforcement policies.[61]

In February 2015, Levin stated that President Obama of “seeking to destroy Israel” because "Obama has an affinity for Islam far more than Christianity or Judaism."

In May 2017, Levin said that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was engaged in "blackmail" against Israel, by withholding the movement of the United States Embassy to Jerusalem as a bargaining chip against Israel, an allegation repeated on Levin's website Conservative Review.[62][63]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "RELEASE: Mark Levin Tapped as Editor-in-Chief of Conservative Review". Conservative Review. Retrieved January 7, 2016. 
  2. ^ Jack E. Levin. "Jack E. Levin | Official Publisher Page". Authors.simonandschuster.com. Retrieved January 6, 2014. 
  3. ^ "Cheltenham alumni website". Cheltenhamalumni.org. Retrieved March 31, 2012. 
  4. ^ a b c Carey, Art (July 16, 2009). "Looking at liberty and tyranny: Author and radio host Mark Levin offers a conservative view.". Philadelphia Inquirer. Archived from the original on July 18, 2009. Retrieved January 24, 2012. 
  5. ^ "Mark R. Levin". National Review Online. Retrieved April 5, 2016. 
  6. ^ Jeffrey, Terence P.; Ryskind, Allan H. (October 2, 2006). "Mark Levin Takes Talk Radio by Storm". Human Events. Retrieved February 1, 2012. 
  7. ^ Topaz, Jonathan (July 16, 2014). Levin: Stewart not funny on Israel. Politico. Retrieved: November 7, 2015.
  8. ^ "Mark R. Levin". National Review. Retrieved February 14, 2016. 
  9. ^ Limbaugh, Rush (November 16, 2007). "Mark Levin In-Studio on "Rescuing Sprite"". The Rush Limbaugh Show. Retrieved January 24, 2012. 
  10. ^ Levin, Rescuing Sprite, p. 9.
  11. ^ "Contact Us". Landmark Legal Foundation. Retrieved February 14, 2016. 
  12. ^ "Montgomery Gentry loves country and sings for "Freedom"". New York Daily News. September 11, 2007. Retrieved December 4, 2009. 
  13. ^ "Troopathon Homepage". Move America Forward. Retrieved December 4, 2009. 
  14. ^ "Ronald Reagan Award Presented to Landmark's President Mark Levin". Landmark Legal Foundation. Retrieved December 4, 2009. 
  15. ^ "Mark Levin Accepts Andrew Breitbart First Amendment Award from Citizens United at CPAC". Breitbart. 
  16. ^ Alasdair Denvil. "5 Kinds of Political Name-Calling We Should Recognize This Election Cycle". The Blaze. 
  17. ^ "Mark Levin Rips "Deranged Moron" Chris Matthews: "This Is One Sick S.O.B." - Video - RealClearPolitics". 
  18. ^ "Mark Levin: Boehner Is A Moron". 
  19. ^ Freedlander, David (October 19, 2013). "Radio’s Mark Levin Might Be the Most Powerful Conservative You Never Heard Of". The Daily Beast. Retrieved March 5, 2014. Hannity discovered him then, too, and stuck him with the nickname "The Great One," which is now used by Palin and nearly everyone who talks about him. 
  20. ^ "The Top Talk Radio Audiences, February 2014". Talkers Magazine. Talk Media Inc. Archived from the original on September 24, 2011. Retrieved March 5, 2014. 
  21. ^ "Westwood One Announces Lifetime Extension for gThe Mark Levin Show". February 11, 2016. 
  22. ^ Seligman, Dan (June 5, 2005). "Men in Black by Mark R. Levin". Commentary Magazine. Retrieved March 5, 2014. 
  23. ^ Lithwick, Dahlia (26 May 2016). "Fellow Liberals, Let’s Stop Doing These Things". Retrieved 20 June 2017 – via Slate. 
  24. ^ Lithwick, Dahlia. "The Limbaugh Code: The New York Times best seller no one is talking about." Slate, April 1, 2005.
  25. ^ Lopez, Kathryn Jean (November 5, 2007). "Man's Best Friend". National Review. Retrieved November 6, 2015. 
  26. ^ Schuessler, Jennifer (June 21, 2009). "Hardcover Nonfiction". The New York Times. 
  27. ^ Nielsens Bookscan Liberty and Tyranny, April 9, 2009
  28. ^ "Customers' Bestsellers: Top 100 Books". Amazon.com. 2009. Retrieved March 31, 2012. 
  29. ^ Vivian, Jordan (September 15, 2009). "Liberty and Tyranny Sells a Million". Human Events. Retrieved September 21, 2009. 
  30. ^ McCarthy, Andrew (May 2009). "The Work of Generations". New Criterion. Retrieved October 8, 2009. 
  31. ^ The Daily Dish. "Tilting at Statists". The Atlantic. 
  32. ^ "Liberty and Tyranny -- And Misinformation". The Huffington Post. June 14, 2009. 
  33. ^ "The Tyranny of Utopia" (PDF). 
  34. ^ "Mark Levin on ‘Ameritopia:’ ‘We Now Live in a Post-Constitutional Country’". 
  35. ^ "Why Mainstream Media Ignores Conservative Bestsellers". The Atlantic. Retrieved April 12, 2013. 
  36. ^ "Ameritopia Explodes Into 2012 Campaign". The American Spectator. 
  37. ^ "Ameritopia". 
  38. ^ "Why Mainstream Media Ignores Conservative Bestsellers". The Atlantic. Retrieved September 17, 2015. 
  39. ^ "'Ameritopia': How Dumb Can Political Philosophy Get?". Chronicle. Retrieved April 12, 2013. 
  40. ^ Smith, Kyle (September 1, 2013). "Why are major media outlets ignoring bestselling writer Mark R. Levin?". New York Post. Retrieved March 24, 2014. 
  41. ^ Hans A. von Spakovsky Archive Latest RSS Send (September 4, 2013). "Amendments for Liberty | National Review Online". Nationalreview.com. Retrieved January 6, 2014. 
  42. ^ Ana Marie Cox. "1776 and all that: the mysterious appeal of Mark Levin's originalist fantasy". the Guardian. 
  43. ^ Rahn, Richard (August 27, 2013). "RAHN: Should the Constitution be amended?". Washington Times. Retrieved March 25, 2014. 
  44. ^ "Mark Levin is wrong: A lawless gov't, not the Constitution, needs nullified | Washington Times Communities". Communities.washingtontimes.com. December 27, 2013. Retrieved January 6, 2014. 
  45. ^ Davenport, David. "Mark Levin Makes A Strong Conservative Case With Weak Constitutional Arguments". Forbes. Retrieved January 6, 2014. 
  46. ^ Benko, Ralph (August 19, 2013). "Mark Levin's Game Changer: Using The Constitution To Arrest Federal Drift". Forbes. Retrieved March 25, 2014. 
  47. ^ Walters, Ian (August 5, 2015). "BOOK REVIEW: ‘Plunder and Deceit’". The Washington Times. Retrieved August 10, 2015. 
  48. ^ "Mark Levin endorses Ted Cruz for president". The Washington Times. 
  49. ^ "Mark Levin Will Vote for Trump After Previous 'Never Trump' Declaration". Fox News. September 7, 2016. 
  50. ^ "Mark Levin: 'I'm gonna wind up voting for Donald Trump'". 
  51. ^ a b c d Wilson, Jason (March 7, 2017). "Mark Levin: the talkshow host behind the baseless Obama wiretap rumor". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved March 8, 2017. 
  52. ^ Ernst, Douglas (March 13, 2017). "Mark Levin rips AP on Trump story: ‘You persist in your false reporting’". The Washington Times. Retrieved March 22, 2017. 
  53. ^ a b Borger, Julian (January 11, 2017). "John McCain passes dossier alleging secret Trump-Russia contacts to FBI". The Guardian. Retrieved March 8, 2017. 
  54. ^ "Mark Levin to Palin: "You're absolutely right about" "death panels"". November 18, 2009. 
  55. ^ "False ‘Death Panel’ Rumor Has Some Familiar Roots". The New York Times. August 14, 2009. 
  56. ^ "Neurological 'Death Panels'? - FactCheck.org". January 5, 2012. 
  57. ^ "Obamacare No Neurosurgery for Patients Over 70". September 7, 2012. 
  58. ^ "Mark Levin Hoax Caller's "Death Panel" Lie Sets Off Right-Wing Echo Chamber". January 10, 2012. 
  59. ^ Suebsaeng, Asawin (January 30, 2017). "Mark Levin, Who Compared Obamacare Fans to Nazis, Is Behind Trump’s Obama-Wiretap Meltdown". The Daily Beast. 
  60. ^ "Mark Levin Explodes: ‘The Muslim Brotherhood Has Infiltrated Our Gov’t — It’s Called Barack Obama’". www.mediaite.com. 
  61. ^ "Mark Levin has warned before of Obama’s ‘silent coup.’ Now he has a follower in the Oval Office.". Washington Post. Retrieved 2017-03-09. 
  62. ^ "Levin: Has the swamp changed Trump’s mind on Israel?". Conservative Review. 
  63. ^ "Tillerson blackmails Israel, uses embassy move as bargaining chip". Conservative Review. 

External links[edit]