This was shocking, until I realized how many years had flown under the radar. Conservative political pundit John McLaughlin, the former Jesuit priest and Nixon speechwriter who hosted a show on PBS for decades, passed away Tuesday at the age of 89.
From CNN Money: Last week, McLaughlin missed his show because he was “under the weather,” he said in a statement. It marked the first time in 34 years he had failed to host his show. The news of his death was announced in a post on the show’s Facebook page. … “Now he has said bye-bye for the last time, to rejoin his beloved dog, Oliver, in heaven. He will always be remembered.”
Mr. McLaughlin entered the Jesuit Order at the age of 20 and has been in the public eye since 1970, when he ran for a U.S. Senate seat in Rhode Island, losing to incumbent John Pastore. After that came speechwriting and a column for The National Review. In 1982, he became a pioneer of talking-head television by launching “The McLaughlin Group,” usually featuring two conservatives and two liberals with himself in the middle.
His loud and forceful style of conducting the show made him fodder for satirists, notably Dana Carvey of “Saturday Night Live.” McLaughlin himself appeared on SNL as the Grim Reaper during a Carvey sketch. He also appeared in several movies and other TV ventures.
He would not mind me mentioning other notable celebrities who died on Aug. 16 – Babe Ruth, Elvis, Bela Lugosi and Margaret Mitchell. R.I.P.