Todd Starnes

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Todd Starnes
Born (1967-10-28) October 28, 1967 (age 51)
OccupationColumnist, television and radio personality

Todd Starnes (born October 28, 1967) is an American conservative columnist, commentator, author and radio host. He has appeared on Fox and Friends and Hannity.[1] In June 2017, Starnes began hosting a syndicated talk radio show on Fox News Radio.[2]

Life and career[edit]

Starnes was born in Memphis, Tennessee. During the mid-1990s he studied communication at Lee University in Cleveland, Tennessee, where he was an editor of the college newspaper, The Clarion.[3]

He has been news director of a radio station in Sacramento, California[4] and a writer for the Baptist Press.[5] Starnes joined Fox News Channel in 2005 as a radio news anchor. In 2007 he was assigned to cover Barack Obama's presidential campaign and traveled as an embedded reporter in the final weeks of the 2008 election. During that time he also filled in on occasion as the radio network's White House correspondent. He reported from the 2008, 2012 and 2016 Republican and Democratic National Conventions. In 2011 Starnes was named the host of Fox News & Commentary.

Starnes became a featured Fox News columnist in 2011. His column is read online and through syndication.

In 2005 Starnes underwent surgery for a near-fatal heart valve condition exacerbated by obesity, the subject of his first book, They Popped My Hood and Found Gravy on the Dipstick (2009).[4][6] He has also published Dispatches From Bitter America (2011), God Less America (2014), and The Deplorables' Guide to Making America Great Again (2017).


Starnes' strongly conservative views, which he likes to air "to spice it up a little bit" to generate reader interest, have also generated controversy.[7]

Firing from Baptist Press[edit]

In 2003, when employed by the Baptist Press, Starnes was accused of falsifying quotes from an interview of then U.S. Secretary of Education Rod Paige.[8] The interview spawned national headlines and several members of Congress called on Paige to resign over comments on religion and the public schools.[9] Ultimately, the Baptist Press issued an apology noting "factual and contextual errors" made by Starnes and saying that he would "no longer will be employed to write for the Baptist Press".[10]

Public education and same-sex marriage[edit]

In 2012, Starnes said that the public school system was responsible for the increase in support for same-sex marriage, calling the public schools "indoctrination centers".[1]

Miss America[edit]

In 2013, Starnes criticized the Miss America pageant after Nina Davuluri became the first Indian American Miss America winner. Starnes called it the "Miss Politically Correct America".[11][12]

American Sniper[edit]

In 2015, he courted controversy for his response to the film American Sniper, stating of the main character: "Jesus would tell that God-fearing, red-blooded American sniper, ‘Well done, thou good and faithful servant.’ "[13][14]

Removal of historical Confederate monuments and statues[edit]

Starnes has referred to removing symbols of the old Confederacy from public places as "cultural cleansing".[15]

The Deplorables' Guide to Making America Great Again[edit]

In 2017 The Deplorables' Guide to Making America Great Again debuted on the USA Today, Publishers Weekly, and Conservative Book Club's best seller lists. The New York Times did not list the book as one of its top 10 non-fiction paperback books.[16][17][18]

Advocacy for violence against protesters[edit]

In 2018, Starnes wrote that female protesters who protested the Supreme Court confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh (who had been accused of sexually assault) were "screaming animals" who "should be tasered, handcuffed and dragged out of the building."[19]


  1. ^ a b Hibbard, Laura (May 16, 2012). "Todd Starnes, Fox News Radio Host, Blames Public Schools For Rise Of Same-Sex Marriage Support". The Huffington Post.
  2. ^
  3. ^ Kattie Parsons, "Todd Starnes to Visit Lee as Guest Lecturer", The Clarion, October 19, 2012.
  4. ^ a b Mimi Elliott, "Todd Starnes: Lose Weight or Die", Christian Broadcasting Network.
  5. ^ Staff (January 3, 2000). "Starnes to join Baptist Press as SBC service's staff writer". Retrieved 2017-09-15.
  6. ^ "Conversation: Todd Starnes", Evangel, Assemblies of God, August 16, 2009.
  7. ^ Weber, Joyanna (February 23, 2012). "Todd Starnes gives views on journalism and politics". Cleveland Daily Banner.
  8. ^ Merritt, Jonathan. "How One Fox News's Contributor Is Compromising the Network's Credibility". The Atlantic. Retrieved 2017-09-15.
  9. ^ Hagelin, Rebecca. "It's Not Freedom From Religion - Part 2". The Heritage Foundation. Retrieved 2017-09-15.
  10. ^ Cavanagh, Sean (2002-04-16). "Ed. Dept. Says Paige Remarks Mischaracterized - Education Week". Education Week (Web). Retrieved 2017-09-15.
  11. ^ Golgowski, Nina (September 16, 2013). "Miss America crowns first winner of Indian descent, and critics slam her as Arab terrorist". New York Daily News. Retrieved 2017-12-31.
  12. ^ Stuart, Tessa (September 16, 2013). "Fox Host Todd Starnes Outraged That Indian-American Nina Davuluri Won Miss America". The Village Voice. Retrieved 2017-12-31.
  13. ^ "War on film: Bleeding red and blue". The Economist. January 31, 2015. Retrieved 8 February 2015.
  14. ^ Thompson, Krissah (January 30, 2015). "Michelle Obama joins Bradley Cooper to praise 'American Sniper'". The Washington Post. Retrieved 8 February 2015.
  15. ^ Fang, Marina (June 24, 2015). "Some Republicans Compare Taking Down Confederate Symbols To ISIS Destroying Cultural Monuments". Huffington Post. Retrieved 25 June 2015.
  16. ^ "New York Times ignores Starnes' latest best-selling book 'Deplorables'". Fox News. February 22, 2017. Retrieved 2018-09-14.
  17. ^ Ha, By Thu-Huong (February 24, 2017). "A book about making America great again is a national bestseller—but not to the New York Times". Quartz. Retrieved 2018-09-14.
  18. ^ "FOX News laments absence of Todd Starnes' book 'Deplorables' on NYT best-seller list". AOL News. February 22, 2017. Retrieved 2018-09-14.
  19. ^ Lawler, Opheli Garcia. "Fox News Contributor Thinks Women Protesters Should Be Tasered". The Cut. Retrieved 2018-10-11.

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