The McLaughlin Group
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|The McLaughlin Group|
The McLaughlin Group title screen
|Created by||John McLaughlin|
|Country of origin||United States|
|Running time||30 minutes|
|Distributor||WTTW National Productions|
|Original network||Broadcast syndication, primarily to public television|
|Original release||January 1, 1982 – Present|
The McLaughlin Group is a syndicated half-hour weekly public affairs television program in the United States, where a group of five pundits discuss current political issues in a round table format. It has been broadcast since 1982, and currently airs on CBS New York and PBS Nationwide. Previous underwriters included Pfizer, the New York Stock Exchange, and GE (the longest-serving).
The general format for the show consists of a moderator, John McLaughlin, along with four commentators, usually Pat Buchanan, Eleanor Clift, Tom Rogan, Clarence Page, and Mort Zuckerman. The identity of the regular panelists has varied over the years.
A typical episode covers three or four issues. The first is introduced by McLaughlin, beginning with, "Issue one..." which is explained by him, usually in a prerecorded video segment accompanied by his voice-over. He then proposes a question for the panelists, starting with Buchanan (if present). The conversation is usually sedate at the beginning of the program, but as opposing viewpoints emerge there is more verbal rough-housing, good-natured gamesmanship and occasionally very loud crosstalk as panelists attempt to out-yell the others, all of which are the show's trademarks.
Two episodes at the turn of the calendar year are reserved for “The McLaughlin Group Year-End Awards.” Each panelist announces his or her choice for each category such as “Biggest Winner of 2008,” ”Best Politician,” “Most Boring,” “Turncoat of the Year,” “Enough Already,” “Most Underrated,” etc., followed by McLaughlin’s choice. During the second of these special episodes, the participants dress in formal eveningwear.
In popular culture
McLaughlin’s style has been parodied by many comedians and other commentators, most notably Dana Carvey of Saturday Night Live McLaughlin made a cameo on one of Carvey’s parody sketches. The program has also been included in a few major films, including Dave, Murder at 1600 and Independence Day. In the movie Watchmen, the group is portrayed discussing the nature of Dr. Manhattan.
Journalists James Fallows and ex-McLaughlin panelist Jack Germond have opined that the show glories too much in sensationalism and simplification, to the detriment of serious journalism. Ronald Reagan, while in office as U.S. president, once referred to McLaughlin and his group as taking the format of a Sunday morning television roundtable and turning it into "a political version of Animal House."
In the US, the show is carried on numerous public broadcasting stations, and as of May 2007 a small number of CBS-affiliated stations. Most stations carry the program on weekends, but there are a few, like WGBH in Boston, Kentucky Educational Television stations across The Bluegrass State, Mississippi ETV in Jackson, PBS channel 8 KUHT in Houston, and PBS channel 3 KBTC in Tacoma that run it on Friday evenings. Internationally, the show is carried on several satellite channels, such as Voice of America TV and was on the London-based CNBC Europe. It is also carried by CTV in Christchurch, New Zealand, and by Triangle TV in Auckland, New Zealand.
From the program's start until May 2008, the program originated from WRC-TV, the NBC-owned station in Washington, D.C. Since then, the show is produced at WUSA-TV, the TEGNA-owned CBS affiliate for Washington, D.C.
Regular McLaughlin panelists
- Current normally weekly
- Pat Buchanan: political commentator and author
- Eleanor Clift: contributor, MSNBC and The Daily Beast
- Clarence Page: columnist, The Chicago Tribune
- Tom Rogan columnist, National Review
- Appearing every several months
- Paul Glastris: editor, Washington Monthly
- Mort Zuckerman: owner, New York Daily News and U.S. News & World Report
- David Rennie: columnist, The Economist
- Former regular panelists
Tony Blankley, Lawrence O'Donnell, Michael Barone, Jack Germond, Rich Lowry, Robert Novak, Morton Kondracke, Fred Barnes, Chris Matthews, Al Hunt, Mark Shields, Michael Kinsley, Monica Crowley, Katty Kay, Susan Ferrechio, Tim Carney
- "AT LUNCH WITH: The McLaughlin Group; Just Another Talk Show? Wronnnggg! - New York Times". Nytimes.com. 1992-12-16. Retrieved 2012-02-10.
- Watchmen: Dr. Manhattan, Meet Dr. Hollywood
- "Why America Hates the Press". Frontline. Oct 22, 1996. Retrieved Aug 20, 2012.
- "Remarks at a Reception for the McLaughlin Group". Reagan.utexas.edu. 1985-10-29. Retrieved 2012-02-10.
- "The McLaughlin Group". Mclaughlin.com. Retrieved 2012-02-10.
- "News Headlines". Cnbc.com. Retrieved 2012-02-10.
- 'The McLaughlin Group' Moving to WUSA and WCBS Beginning May 4th