Yesterday was a sad day for political junkies with the news that John McLaughlin had passed away.
McLaughlin, a former Jesuit Priest and Nixon speechwriter, was best known for "The McLaughlin Group," a weekly round table that pioneered the fast-talking and combative format that today dominates TV talk.
Unlike many of its successors and imitators, the discussion on McLaughlin Group was both "high-spirited" and serious, and usually conducted with good humor.
The show also transcended the typical "left-right" political divide and even treated the libertarian point of view with respect years before Ron Paul's presidential campaigns made libertarianism a serious force in American politics.
This may have been because McLaughlin, as he once told a friend of mine, was a "closest libertarian."
In 2007 Mr. McLaughlin named Ron Paul the "person of the year."
Dr. Paul made the following statement on Mr. McLaughlin's passing:
Rest in Peace, John McLaughlin. A true gentleman who for more than two decades hosted one of the most interesting Washington insider programs. You will be missed.
Here is nice tribute penned by McLaughlin Group regular Eleanor Clift.
Here is one posed by former McLaughlin Group panelist Fred "the beattle" Barnes.