Lion of the Blogosphere

John McLaughlin dead at 89

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

August 16, 2016 at 9:28 pm

Posted in Television

45 Responses

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  1. issue One: I’ve watched this show on and off for years. I think it was the first real political discussion show where people of differing political positions would argue with each other and was probably the precursor to cable news panel shows.

    Issue Two: I watched last week’s episode and noticed that McLaughlin was not on the show; first time ever as Pat Buchanan noted in the opening.

    Issue Three: Is the show over? Will another host replace McLaughlin? I nominate Pat Buchanan. He’s been on the show almost as long as McLaughlin was.

    Bye Bye!

    Mike Street Station

    August 16, 2016 at 9:42 pm

    • I haven’t watched the McLaughlin group in years and years.

      Lion of the Blogosphere

      August 17, 2016 at 12:34 am

      • Indeed! In fact I am shocked to hear it is still on tv. I thought it ended many years ago.

        August 17, 2016 at 7:39 am

    • According to Wikipedia McLaughlin’s show didn’t start airing until the 1980s. Didn’t William Buckley’s “Firing Line” have pretty much the same format back in the ’60s?

      These shows are only relevant in an age of ideology, when viewers think that having the better argument matters in how elections are decided.


      August 17, 2016 at 12:43 am

    • I watched the most recent episode after hearing about his death and even thought he didn’t appear in the studio he still did the voiceovers introducing each segment and he sounded like he had just had a stroke.


      August 17, 2016 at 12:44 am

    • I still watched it in its podcast delivery form. It was still great fun and had the same sharpness but without the meanspiritedness of the Comedy Central political shows.

      Exit question: Which political luminaries attend the funeral? Will Eleanor thrown herself across the casket?


      Lion of the Turambar

      August 17, 2016 at 8:08 am

      • So what they are doing on the podcast feed is replaying old shows.

        This week was from 1985 when Reagan was just diagnosed with cancer.

        Its amazing how much fun this show is when there no stake (we already know the country survived). Bob Novak was very anti-Don Regan in a way that seems quaint today.

        Panel was Novak, Kondracke, Fred Barnes and Jacko Germond and was very lively and funny. And the old ads were fun (for electricity (!)). Way better than today’s shouting heads shows- this was a great rewatch.

        Lion of the Turambar

        August 27, 2016 at 2:45 pm

    • Will another host replace McLaughlin?

      I didn’t know he had lived this long until his death was announced.

      The Undiscovered Jew

      August 17, 2016 at 8:12 pm

      • he’s another example of “it’s who you know”.

        according to wikipedia anyway.

        he knew pat buchanan. his whole career followed from that.

        Trumpocalypse Now

        August 18, 2016 at 1:11 am

  2. Thanks for reminding me of this one! Don’t forget about the Sinatra Group:

    Zombie Paul Krugman

    August 16, 2016 at 9:57 pm

  3. Oh, for the days of liberals like Mort Kondracke. I’m fairly sure he never compared a gay marriage opponent to Hitler.

    tiny blades

    August 16, 2016 at 10:02 pm

  4. That show was actually scripted. They performed on the road sometimes. (If memory serves.)


    August 16, 2016 at 10:34 pm

  5. Death. That’s metaphysical certitude. Rest in peace.

    August 16, 2016 at 11:20 pm

  6. Trump literally went DemsRRrealracist (the title of a wonderful now defunct twitter parody account satirizing establishment conservatives).


    August 17, 2016 at 12:43 am

    • It’s not defunct; he changed his handle to Onmessageforher and started posting from the viewpoint of a fictional, satirical Hillary PR team. If you scroll back far enough, you can still see all the old Demsrrealracist tweets.


      August 17, 2016 at 12:23 pm

      • I knew that Onemssageforher was the same guy I didn’t know that it was basically the same account and that if you scrolled back you got the old tweets.

        The point is that Trump gave a speech dedicated to talking about how Democrats are the real racists.


        August 17, 2016 at 2:15 pm

      • Yes, disappointing. One can only hope he’s being shrewd, and figuring it will get him more support from mainstream Republicans without hurting his support from his base.


        August 17, 2016 at 7:15 pm

      • “One can only hope he’s being shrewd, and figuring it will get him more support from mainstream Republicans without hurting his support from his base.”

        Yeah I would guess that Republicans are the real audience for that message.

        Mike Street Station

        August 17, 2016 at 10:07 pm

  7. Things are changing in the Trump campaign.


    August 17, 2016 at 4:43 am

    • “Even if you reject all polls besides the self-selecting online ones showing Trump ahead, consider this: “The pro-Hillary Clinton super-PAC Priorities USA is suspending TV advertising in Virginia, Colorado, and Pennsylvania until at least the end of September.” Now, maybe this is a giant head-fake on the part of the Democratic super-PAC, one of the all-time epic exercises in reverse psychology. But Occam’s Razor would suggest they’re seeing the same thing the public polls are showing – that Hillary’s lead in Virginia and Colorado and Pennsylvania is now comfortable and there’s not much need to spend money in those states anymore.

      Lion of the Turambar

      August 17, 2016 at 8:12 am

    • Garr

      August 17, 2016 at 11:57 am

    • I was hoping from the beginning that he’d come out against affirmative action (and even nepotism, foolish me) right after he came out against immigration. Now he’s just full on generic republican racism against blacks is the worst thing in the world and nothing is more racist against blacks than not fawning over rich people and large corporations.


      August 17, 2016 at 2:18 pm

      • “[According to the new Trump] … nothing is more racist against blacks than not fawning over rich people and large corporations” — where’s that in the transcript, though? I don’t see it.


        August 17, 2016 at 4:12 pm

      • Trump pulling the trigger on general election TV ads this Friday in FL, OH, PA

        And Virginia. On Sept 1st his ads go nationwide.

        His last two speeches were good, focused, and feisty. He’s finding his footing. Combined with the ad campaign, if he stays on target like this he should be statistically tied in at least all of those states by Labor Day.

        The Undiscovered Jew

        August 17, 2016 at 8:11 pm

      • That’s three speeches now. Three teleprompted speeches in a row! The Bannon thing looks like a huge fake-out. The media says he’s going to go nuts now but he’s doing the exact opposite.


        August 19, 2016 at 5:04 am

  8. Pat Buchanan also had that “Crossfire” show where he was the counterfoil to George Stephanopolous on the left.

    Politics has gotten much more emotional now with the lefties going full screech. I don’t know if TV programs like that can continue much longer.


    August 17, 2016 at 8:50 am

    • Crossfire debuted on CNN in 1981 with Tom Braden (on the left) and Pat Buchanan (on the right). In the the mid-80s the hosts were changed with Michael Kinsley (liberal) and Robert Novak (conservative).

      The TV series “Eight Is Enough” was based on Braden’s autobiography. Braden also served in the CIA.

      Lawrence Auster appeared on Crossfire to discuss “The Path to National Suicide.” Unfortunately I’ve never seen the episode.

      Lewis Medlock

      August 17, 2016 at 11:49 am

      • They brought Crossfire back at some point with Van Jones, Newt Ginrich, SE Cupp and others but the ratings were dismal and it completely tanked.


        August 17, 2016 at 2:36 pm

      • His old co-host, Bob Novak, died years ago.

        The Undiscovered Jew

        August 17, 2016 at 8:11 pm

      • After being hounded to his death by the fake outrage over the non-outing of Valerie Plame that was done by Hillary supporter Armitage.

        But that was the most important issue for the country in 2006/2007.

        Lion of the Turambar

        August 18, 2016 at 12:23 pm

      • After being hounded to his death by the fake outrage over the non-outing of Valerie Plame that was done by Hillary supporter Armitage.

        I remember that scandal. I even recall those articles where Fitzgerald was portrayed as the next ”Eliot Ness”.

        Patrick Fitzgerald and James Comey should have both been deported without trial to a Siberian labor camp for wasting the nation’s time with that CIA desk jockey bimbo, Plame.

        The Undiscovered Jew

        August 20, 2016 at 11:02 am

  9. as far as i could tell it was just like all the other politics chat shows.

    to wit, the issues were never debated. it was just sportscenter for people with slightly higher IQs…”the horse race”.

    Trumpocalypse Now

    August 17, 2016 at 4:11 pm

  10. the guy was married and divorced twice and had no kids. and he was a former jesuit.

    hmmm. maybe he died from AIDS. 😉

    Trumpocalypse Now

    August 17, 2016 at 4:13 pm

  11. John McLaughlin kept his mind sharp and stayed active and engaged with the world until the very end. Not many people do that.

    His death saddens me for a lot of reasons.

    We all want to believe that we can keep going like he did. The adults of my youth are disappearing fast, and those still with us (public figures and personal relations) are old now, not just “seasoned” but elderly. It’s a universal experience, but that doesn’t make it any less sobering.

    I am also saddened by how quaint the McLaughlin Group seems today, not to mention CNN’s defunct Crossfire. Those shows represented the belief (of informed people) that honest debate, and reasoned argument, and sincerely held principles (and a grasp of factual information) lie behind the workings of our government.


    August 17, 2016 at 4:38 pm

  12. Roissy has a post quoting Lion favorite Scott Adams, who in turn mentions Robert Cialdini working for Clinton as a kind-of-game-changer. According to Roissy this “imperils” the Trump campaign.

    Can we get off this persuasion-as-magic bullshit? It’s been long-predicted that Trump would be the worst candidate in the general election. A commenter over at CH said the only reason the “gay mulatto” defeated the Republican the last time around was because Romney is beta-male cuck. Incumbency, demographics in the Electoral College, George W. Bush as one of the worst presidents in history… all relatively meaningless. And what if Clinton wins by an even larger margin than Obama v. Romney, despite the fact Americans dislike having the same party in power for three terms? Despite the fact Trump is a bonfide alpha shitlord?

    Others are saying she’s going to short-circuit in the debates against the master shitlord. It’s like they forget she’s been in dozens of debates and testified before the Benghazi committee for more than ten hours. Right when I think they’re about to breakthrough epistemic closure (even with a lame attempt to explain WHY Clinton will win), the explanation just reinforces the underlying ignorance. Neither Trump nor Cialdini possesses a silver bullet. This naive understanding of elections overestimates the power of personality, and underestimates the power of organization.


    August 17, 2016 at 5:38 pm

    • It’s like they forget she’s been in dozens of debates and testified before the Benghazi committee for more than ten hours.

      That was a few years ago; a long time when one is over 65 and is prone to severe seizures to the point where she’s losing balance at rallies and needs to have anti-seizure medication carried at all times by her Secret Service personnel.

      The Undiscovered Jew

      August 17, 2016 at 8:17 pm

      • She debated Bernie less than half a year ago. She did OK. The Democratic debates bored the heck out of me so I wasn’t paying attention to anything she said.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        August 17, 2016 at 9:41 pm

      • She will do fine at the debates. I used to hang out in an old folks home. Those people could go after each other all day long, they loved it. The triumph they felt at condescendingly telling other people that the other people were not as good as they were was like meat and bread to them. It was funny and sad at the same time, or sad and funny at the same time. (Maybe I am making this up but, after all, what does it really matter?)

        howitzer daniel

        August 18, 2016 at 12:44 am

  13. OT, but interesting…

    interesting regarding class and regarding the heritability of IQ.

    a yale law grad has written a book Hillbilly Elegy

    of course maybe it’s all a lie…but this guy did grow up in s ohio, and his parents had “immigrated” from eastern ky, the other side of the ohio river.

    i’m sure yale law has lots of affirmative action admits, by race and some by class or personal “overcoming adversity” stories…

    but i’m also sure that yale law doesn’t admit any stupid people.

    Trumpocalypse Now

    August 17, 2016 at 7:27 pm

    • but the more interesting thing is that despite the facts about trump’s supporters…even when they are reported by the elite media

      the promotion of this book and the book White Trash are part of an obvious pattern.

      these books are promoted precisely because elite media think trump’s supporters are “white trash”/”white working class”/”trailer trash”/etc.

      never mind that greenwich, CT went overwhelmingly for trump.

      elite media are a HUGE problem. in an ideal world they’d get the blokhin treatment. and i mean that babe.

      and they are NOT leftists. not even close.

      they are EXTREMELY classist. pretensions to “leftism” are solely a means to maintain their status and exclude those who might take it from them.

      they’re evil. pure evil.

      for them “right and wrong” are “more status and less status”, and…

      they cannot tell the difference.


      they simply lack the ability to make such a distinction and can never acquire it.

      Trumpocalypse Now

      August 17, 2016 at 8:39 pm

  14. You might be interested in this interview with Scott Adams.


    August 18, 2016 at 1:46 pm

  15. Saying Goodbye to John McLaughlin, TV’s Original Tough Political Talker

    Eleanor Clift
    08.16.16 6:20 PM ET

    McLaughlin was 89 years old, and the cause of death was prostate cancer that was diagnosed some time ago and that had spread. The last show he presided over was taped the Friday after the Republican Convention, and it was clear to viewers that his health was declining.

    We panelists could see he wasn’t well, but I attributed it to “just” age. Not that aging is insignificant, but John did not disclose that he was ill, and we didn’t dwell on it.

    MEH 0910

    August 22, 2016 at 2:53 pm

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