A TV fixture was out of the lineup Sunday for the first time in 34 years, skipping work due to an illness. Deadline.com reports that John McLaughlin sat out Sunday’s installment of “The McLaughlin Group.”
The show opened with a written note from McLaughlin that read: “Dear friends of ‘The McLaughlin Group,’ Dr. McLaughlin here. 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!”
McLaughlin, 89, holds a Ph.D. from Columbia University. His weekly syndicated political commentary show, which airs on PBS stations and some CBS-owned stations, premiered in 1982.
On Sunday’s show, panelist Pat Buchanan opened the talk by saying: “This is our first time in 34 years that our distinguished leader Dr. McLaughlin is not in his chair and we miss him. But let’s get on with the show.”
Deadline notes: “McLaughlin’s voice, sounding raspy and slurred, was heard in a pre-taped voiceover introducing a segment on free trade.”
The nature of McLaughlin’s illness was not disclosed.