"For over two decades, the sharpest minds, the best sources, the hardest talk."
I don't think I'll offend anyone by saying that The McLaughlin Group
is the preemninent political talk show on American Public Television for the past thirty years.
ISSUE ONE: WHAT IS THE MCLAUGHLIN GROUP?
What are you? Thick? It's a fucking American institution. It's format hasn't ever changed. I doubt the set has. Certainly McLaughlin's clothing hasn't for as long as it's been on the air (roughly since before time began).
The show is simple: Four guests, two from the left and two from the right, meet with a moderator (the McLaughlin of the Group) for a half hour every week and bitch, yell, and complain about the goings on in American and world politics. It's great. It's everything TV should be. It is quite literally the Huell Howser
of debate shows.
Don't take my word for it, watch this clip:
By clip, I mean episode.
The show has been parodied and paid homage to for years. I'd like to say it's for a reason other than it's longevity, but I can't prove that, I can only feel it in my heart.
Who hear willfully remembers Watchmen? My favorite moment in the entire film* was in the beginning when the fake McLaughlin Group was on screen talking about Dr. Manhattan. It was also the most confusing, because why was there only two people on the show (besides McLaughlin) and could they not actually afford to get Pat Buchanan and Eleanor Clift?
ISSUE TWO: WHO IS (ARE?) THE MCLAUGHLIN GROUP?
I'm glad you asked. The McLaughlin Group
is a top-tier group of pundits assembled from the all over the East Coast. There's the moderate Democrat, there's the loud-mouth conservative, the hot chick, the knife expert, and Pat Buchanon. Not unlike Charlie's Angels
, the group rotates as its members more than likely find more profitable endeavors that week. Let's take a gander, shall we?
MORTIMER "MORT" ZUCKERMAN
Mort is the Canadian/Jewish Dad we wish we all had. His politics are a healthy mix of pragmatism and empathy Mort Zuckerman is the heart of the Group**. Besides being a self-made millionaire, he also writes for U.S. News & World Report and the New York Daily News. I hear that a lock of his hair can also keep you safe from the Grimace. All in all, he's a mensch.
In 2005 he invented Facebook.
Despite her last name, Monica is not a desipline of Magick and if you asked her what "Goetia" is, she'd probably tell you that was the lesbian she roomed with the first year of college. Monica is the youngest panelist of the Group and one of two females. She's also fairly obnoxious. Regardless of her politics (right, right, right), she reminds me too much of Anne Coulter for me to take her seriously. Or not want to hit her in the head with a pipe.
I mean, but, oh yeah, I'd fuck her. Mos' def.
Pat Buchanan has been called many things over the years. A fogey, a racist, a Republican, but like many conservative stalwarts that survived the Carter Era (like essayist and baseball fan George Will
) Pat Buchanan represents the best of Republican values, rallying against government spending (unless it involves guns and planes) and individual freedom and not the more recent crop of neo-Con crap like keeping fags out of space and worrying about the percentage of Jesus in our nation's strategic wine supplies.
He also ran for president or some shit.
Elanor Clift's skill set ranges from Democratic Party demogogery to wearing sneakers with a pant suit to having a voice that could deafen a seagull. If she was a 1970's sitcom character her catch phrase would be "EXCUSE ME!" If Pat Buchanan is Lawful Good, then Elanor Clift is Chaotic Evil. Or vice versa***. I don't get into politics. Not my forte.
Now that I think about it, if there's an undercurrent in the show it's that women have awful political opinions.
And, of course, last but not least--
AKA "Hannibal" AKA "Mr. T" AKA "The Chairman of the Board
" AKA "He Who Moderates" is the glue that holds together the gears of the Group. He's the man. At the age of 114 years young McLaughlin reigns in and regulates his board of speakers every week. In addition to moderating the Group of Four, he is also an oracle, predicting the future at the end of each week's installment.
McLaughlin is a shaman.
ISSUE THREE: DISCUSS
On a scale of one to ten-- one being a gnat's fart, ten being of metaphysical proportions-- what is your opinion of The McLaughlin Group
* This is normally where a joke about "When the credits rolled" would go, but even that was ruined by a cover of "Desolation Row." Seriously. Who gets it in their fucking mind to do a Bob Dylan cover for a superhero movie? At least have a retard in your movie before you start pulling that shit, Jesus.
**I know what you're all thinking. If he was actually in Captain Planet's crew of international lames, he'd probably be Earth, because fuck being Heart. What the fuck is that anyways? Don't answer that. I know one of you has an answer.
**Ah, jeese, now that I think about it, they're both basically Lawful characters, so maybe their alignment would be neutral? I don't know for sure because I never got into gay nerd crap like AD&D. I only care about real issues like McLaughlin's awesome Christmas/New Years get up