John McLaughlin Dead: Facts on ‘Mr. T of TV Journalism’
Television talk show host John McLaughlin, 89, died on Tuesday at his home on Tuesday.Advertisement
He hosted ‘The McLaughlin Group,’ a weekly public affairs round-table series for 34 years and died within two days of missing the first episode of the show in more than three decades.
“As a former Jesuit priest, teacher, pundit and news host, John touched many lives,” the show’s producers said in a statement posted on Facebook. “For 34 years, ‘The McLaughlin Group’ informed millions of Americans. Now he has said bye bye for the last time, to rejoin his beloved dog, Oliver, in heaven. He will always be remembered.”
On Sunday the show began with a note from John McLaughlin explaining his absence and apologised for his weaker voice.
“Dear friends of The McLaughlin Group, Dr. McLaughlin here,” the note read, as quoted by Daily News. “As the panel’s recent absences attest, I am under the weather. The final issue of this episode has my voice, but please forgive me for its weaker than usual quality. Yet my spirit is strong and my dedication to this show remains absolute!”
Below are facts on the “Mr. T of TV Journalism:”
The half-an-hour popular talk show that debated the headlines of the week was started in 1982. The show which aired on PBS and a few CBS stations featured four other panellists and was moderated by McLaughlin from the middle. He was known for his straight forwards ways of addressing an issue and when he disagreed with a statement he would dismiss it with a loud “wrong.”
In 1984, the interview series ‘One on One’ was launched by John McLaughlin and it also started airing on public TV channels.
A Ph.D from Columbia University, McLaughlin was a native of Rhode Island and had a keen interest in media despite entering priesthood as a Jesuit. According to “Hot Air: All Talk, All the Time,” a book by Howard Kurtz, McLaughlin edited a Jesuit magazine and was the host of local TV specials that dealt with issues such as women entering the workplace and so on, the Variety reported.
He also ran an unsuccessful bid for the Senate as a Republican in 1970. Later he served as a special assistant and speechwriter for President Richard Nixon and President Gerald Ford.