Mona Charen

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Mona Charen
Mona Charen by Gage Skidmore.jpg
Mona Elaine Charen

(1957-02-25) February 25, 1957 (age 65)
EducationColumbia University (BA)
George Washington University (JD)
OccupationColumnist, writer, political commentator, journalist
Spouse(s)Robert Parker

Mona Charen Parker[1][2] (/ˈʃɛərən/; born February 25, 1957)[3] is a columnist, journalist, political commentator, and writer in the United States. She has written three books: Useful Idiots: How Liberals Got it Wrong in the Cold War and Still Blame America First (2003), Do-Gooders: How Liberals Hurt Those They Claim to Help (and the Rest of Us) (2005), both New York Times bestsellers,[4][5] and Sex Matters: How Modern Feminism Lost Touch with Science, Love, and Common Sense (2018). She was also a weekly panelist on CNN's Capital Gang until it was canceled. A political conservative,[6] she often writes about foreign policy, terrorism, politics, poverty, family structure, public morality, and culture. She is also known for her generally pro-Israel views.[7]

Early life and education[edit]

Charen was born in New York City and raised in Livingston, New Jersey, where she went to school with fellow journalist Ruth Marcus, starting "in fourth grade."[8] She is Jewish.[9] She received her B.A. degree with honors from Barnard College of Columbia University in 1979 and a J.D. degree from George Washington University Law School in 1984.


Charen in Paris in 2010

Charen wrote for National Review magazine, where she was an editorial assistant starting in 1979. Later she joined the staff of First Lady Nancy Reagan as a speechwriter.[10] She then worked on President Ronald Reagan's staff, in the White House Office of Public Liaison and in the Office of Communications.

Charen served as Jack Kemp's speechwriter in his unsuccessful 1988 presidential bid. She launched her syndicated column in 1987.[11] It is syndicated by Creators Syndicate and has been featured in more than 200 papers, including the Boston Globe, Baltimore Sun, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and Washington Times.[12]

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,[13] 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 was canceled.

Her columns have also appeared online at National Review Online,, and the e-zine Jewish World Review.

In 2010, Charen won the Eric Breindel Journalism Award.[14] Currently, she appears regularly on John Batchelor's radio show.

In June 2014, she became a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center.[15]

In February 2018 she was invited to participate in a CPAC panel discussion. Her comments, which elicited boos and jeers from the audience, included the following:

I am disappointed in people on our side for being hypocrites about sexual harassers and abusers of women, who are in our party, who are sitting in the White House, who brag about their extramarital affairs, who brag about mistreating women—and because he happens to have an 'R' after his name we look the other way ... This is a party that endorsed Roy Moore for the Senate in the state of Alabama even though he was a credibly accused child molester. You cannot claim that you stand for women and put up with that ... Speaking of bad guys, there was quite an interesting person who was on this stage the other day. Her name is Marion Le Pen. Now, why was she here? Why was she here? She's a young, no-longer-in-office politician from France. I think the only reason she was here is because she's named Le Pen. And the Le Pen name is a disgrace. Her grandfather is a racist and a Nazi. She claims that she stands for him. And the fact that CPAC invited her is a disgrace.[16]

Charen subsequently wrote a New York Times op-ed entitled "I'm Glad I Got Booed at CPAC".[17]

Charen is also currently Policy Editor of The Bulwark website and host of the Beg to Differ podcast there.[18]

Personal life[edit]

Charen is married to Robert P. Parker, a Washington, D.C. lawyer. They have three sons.[19]


External video
video icon Booknotes interview with Charen on Useful Idiots, March 30, 2003, C-SPAN
video icon Presentation by Charen on Useful Idiots, April 9, 2003, C-SPAN
video icon Presentation by Charen on Do-Gooders, March 17, 2005, C-SPAN
video icon Q&A interview with Charen on Sex Matters, July 1, 2018, C-SPAN
video icon Presentation by Charen on Sex Matters, July 10, 2018, C-SPAN
video icon Washington Journal interview with Charen on Sex Matters, July 22, 2018, C-SPAN
video icon Washington Journal interview with Charen on Sex Matters, December 28, 2018, C-SPAN
  • Useful Idiots: How Liberals Got It Wrong in the Cold War and Still Blame America First. Regnery Publishing. 2003. ISBN 0-89526-139-1.
  • Do-Gooders: How Liberals Hurt Those They Claim to Help (and the Rest of Us). Sentinel. 2005. ISBN 1-59523-003-3.
  • Sex Matters: How Modern Feminism Lost Touch With Science, Love and Common Sense. 2018. ISBN 9780451498397.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Mona and Jay and Impeachment and More". Ricochet.
  2. ^ "Barnard Graduate" (PDF). West Essex Tribune. July 26, 1979. p. 2/2.
  3. ^ "Charen, Mona 1957- |".
  4. ^ "Best Sellers: April 6, 2003". The New York Times. Retrieved February 26, 2018.
  5. ^ "Best sellers: January 23, 2005". The New York Times. Retrieved February 26, 2018.
  6. ^ "Former Allies Torment Gingrich", Katharine Q. Seelye, The New York Times, March 8, 1997
  7. ^ "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
  8. ^ 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."
  9. ^ Charen, Mona Charen (March 2, 2004). "Hating the Jews". As a Jew, I can unhesitatingly declare that the world would be a better place if it contained more believing Christians.
  10. ^ "Prentice-Hall biography". Archived from the original on September 27, 2011.
  11. ^ "About Mona Charen, author of an opinion column that is syndicated by Creators Syndicate".
  12. ^ Creators Syndicate. Mona Charen Retrieved January 23, 2009.
  13. ^ For Charen's version of the event and subsequent fallout, see "Prince of Darkness" by Mona Charen, National Review, July 25, 2007
  14. ^ "Columnist Charen Wins Eric Breindel Award" Wall Street Journal, June 7, 2010
  15. ^ "EPPC Flash: EPPC Welcomes Mona Charen as Senior Fellow". Ethics & Public Policy Center.
  16. ^ Alberta, Tim (February 25, 2018). "Trump's Takeover of Conservatism Is Complete and Total". Politico. Retrieved February 25, 2018.
  17. ^ Charen, Mona (February 25, 2018). "I'm Glad I Got Booed at CPAC". The New York Times. Retrieved February 25, 2018.
  18. ^ "Mona Charen, Author at the Bulwark".
  19. ^ Mona Charen biographical data from the NNDB database

External links[edit]