TVWeek, AP

Dead at 89: Political Commentator and TV Host Who Turned Punditry Into Combat

Aug 17, 2016  •  Post A Comment

A veteran political commentator and TV talk host who’s considered a founder of the “hollering heads” school of political discourse has died.

John McLaughlin died Tuesday morning, just days after missing an appearance on his Sunday morning program “The McLaughlin Group” for the first time in 34 years. The show’s Facebook page announced the death of McLaughlin at 89.

His cause of death was not announced, but McLaughlin had been treated for prostate cancer, which had recently spread, according to media reports.

“Since its debut in April 1982, the syndicated ‘The McLaughlin Group’ upended the soft-spoken and non-confrontational style of shows such as ‘Firing Line,’ ”Washington Week in Review’ and ‘Agronsky & Company’ with a raucous format that largely dispensed with politicians,” the AP reports. “It instead featured journalists quizzing, talking over and sometimes insulting each other.”

McLaughlin, who espoused the belief that informing the audience could still be entertaining, is quoted in the story saying: “The acquisition of knowledge need not be like listening to the Gregorian chant.”

The show’s format was widely copied, to the point where the show began billing itself as “The American Original” in recent years.

mclaughlin group

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