Mona Charen

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Mona Charen
Mona Charen 1986.jpg
Born 1957 (age 58–59)
New York City, New York, U.S.
Alma mater George Washington University Law School
Occupation Columnist, writer, political commentator, journalist
Spouse(s) Robert P. Parker
Children 3

Mona Charen is an American columnist and political analyst, and the author of two books, Useful Idiots: How Liberals Got it Wrong in the Cold War and Still Blame America First (2003) and Do-Gooders: How Liberals Hurt Those They Claim to Help (and the Rest of Us) (2005). She was also a weekly panelist on CNN's Capital Gang until its cancellation. Her political stance is conservative.[1] Charen usually writes about foreign policy, terrorism, politics, and culture. She regularly writes about her Jewish faith[2] and is also known for her generally pro-Israel views.[3] On ecological issues, Charen often writes skeptically about environmentalists, who, she argues, often "may not know what they're talking about".[4]

Life and career[edit]

Charen, born in 1957 in New York City, was raised in Livingston, New Jersey, where she went to school with fellow journalist Ruth Marcus starting in fourth grade.[5] She received her B.A. from Barnard College in 1979 and a J.D. from The George Washington University Law School in 1984. She wrote a column for National Review magazine, where she was an editorial assistant. Later she joined the staff of First Lady Nancy Reagan as a speechwriter.[6] She then worked on President Reagan's staff, in the White House Office of Public Liaison and in the Office of Communications.

Charen served as Jack Kemp's speechwriter during his unsuccessful 1988 presidential bid. She launched her syndicated column in 1987[7] It is syndicated by Creators Syndicate and is featured in more than 200 papers, including the Boston Globe, Baltimore Sun, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and The Washington Times.[8]

Charen was a regular weekly commentator on CNN's The Capital Gang, which appeared on Saturdays. Following an on-air heated exchange with fellow panelist Al Hunt,[9] after which the two of them did not appear on the same panel for several weeks, Charen switched to Capital Gang Sunday when that program was launched, appearing until the program's cancellation.

Her columns also appear online at National Review Online, and the e-zine Jewish World Review. Charen has spoken out in disagreement with former Capital Gang co-host Robert Novak regarding her tenure on the show and the reason for her departure. This caused a heated editorial exchange between her and Novak.[9]

In 2001, when Charen worked for the Hudson Institute, she supported the dismissal of her research assistant, investigative journalist Evan Gahr after he called Christian Right leader Paul Weyrich "a demented anti-Semite" for saying that "Christ was crucified by the Jews."[10] When Charen informed Gahr of his dismissal, which social critic Stanley Crouch likened to a "purge," she told Gahr that "I sincerely hope that you will take this opportunity to seek psychological or psychiatric help."[10]

In 2010, Charen won the Eric Breindel Journalism Award.[11] Currently, and she appears regularly on John Batchelor's radio show.

She and Jay Nordlinger host a regular podcast on In addition to current events and public policy, they often discuss their mutual appreciation for classical music.

In June 2014, Charen became a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center.[12]

Charen is married to Robert P. Parker, a Washington, D.C. lawyer. They have three sons: Jonathan, David, and Benjamin.[13]


  • Do-Gooders: How Liberals Hurt Those They Claim to Help (and the Rest of Us). Sentinel. 2005. ISBN 1-59523-003-3. 
  • Useful Idiots: How Liberals Got It Wrong in the Cold War and Still Blame America First. Regnery Publishing. 2003. ISBN 0-89526-139-1. 


  1. ^ "Former Allies Torment Gingrich", Katharine Q. Seelye, The New York Times, March 8, 1997
  2. ^ "Rosh Hashanah" by Mona Charen, at, September 14, 2007
  3. ^ "Will Israel solve our problem?" January 20, 2006; "Did Israel Drive Out the Arabs 60 Years Ago?" May 9, 2008; "Israel's Enemies Within" January 7, 2011 – in the Jewish World Review
  4. ^ "Environmentalists: Hands Off My Dishes!" at, July 11, 2011
  5. ^ Mona Charen and Ruth Marcus, C-SPAN Q&A (television), July 9, 2006. Accessed November 30, 2014. "BRIAN LAMB, C-SPAN: Ruth Marcus, can you remember the first time you met Mona Charen? RUTH MARCUS, AUTHOR: I can’t remember the first time but I can remember many other times in the middle there because we were – we both started in Livingston, New Jersey in fourth grade."
  6. ^ Prentice-Hall biography
  7. ^ "About Mona Charen, author of an opinion column that is syndicated by Creators Syndicate.". 
  8. ^ Creators Syndicate. Mona Charen Retrieved January 23, 2009.
  9. ^ a b For Charen's version of the event and subsequent fall out, see "Prince of Darkness" by Mona Charen, National Review, July 25, 2007
  10. ^ a b
  11. ^ "Columnist Charen Wins Eric Breindel Award" Wall Street Journal, June 7, 2010
  12. ^ "EPPC Flash: EPPC Welcomes Mona Charen as Senior Fellow". Ethics & Public Policy Center. 
  13. ^ Mona Charen biographical data from the NNDB database

External links[edit]