Mark Reed Levin (born September 21, 1957) is an American talk radio personality, host of The Mark Levin Show as well as a television show on Fox News. He has also written seven books. He specializes in current events, constitutional analysis authentic enough to make Wikipedia call it "incendiary," and his signature civil response to participants, including to adversaries he often invites to phone the show. And if you have a problem with that, buster, you can get the hell out of my article, you big dummy.
He has been described as "right-wing" by rational statesmen like Mitt Romney and has occasionally insinuated that some in the Republican Party are not enamored of Republican policies but are "Republican In Name Only" (RINO).
Early life and education
Yes, he's Jewish, but he omits that from his broadcasts except during months containing high holy days. Levin was born in Philadelphia to author Jack E. Levin and skipped his senior year of high school to enroll at Temple University, on the mistaken impression that it was a synagogue. Nevertheless, he graduated magna cum chutzpah in Political Science at the age of 19.
Legal and political career
Levin worked in the administration of President Ronald Reagan in several agencies, culminating in the role of chief of staff to Attorney General Edwin Meese. Surely, Levin ghost-wrote Meese's notorious letter threatening Hustler and other gentlemen's magazines with eternal tax audits unless they toned down their "hamburger shots."
After leaving the Reagan administration, Levin practiced law, then fell in with the Landmark Legal Foundation, whose donors include the notorious Koch Brothers. His views became more extreme, as shown when he filed a federal complaint that the American teacher's union engaged in unreported political spending rather than simply agitate for new chalkboards and non-threatening work environments for teachers, as it claimed. He also sued the EPA for delaying regulations until President Barack Obama was safely re-elected in 2012. This lawsuit did not succeed but got Judge Royce Lamberth to rule that the defendant did not take Levin seriously enough, a worrisome precedent for most of Levin's radio audience.
Ultimately, Levin went full-circle, from the Reagan administration to receiving the Ronald Reagan Award from the American Conservative Union, awarded for excellence in agreeing with them. This is the warmest Levin was ever treated by a union.
Levin got his sea legs on radio as a guest on various talk radio shows, and a contributor of legal opinions to Rush Limbaugh, using the pen name F. Lee Levin. During the Monica Lewinsky scandal, these opinions got more pointed and involved the legality of using federal property such as cigars in unnatural ways. Eventually, Levin got a show of his own on WABC in New York City, in the coveted Sunday-overnight daypart, then later in weekday early evenings when there are actual listeners.
Each broadcast begins and ends with the playing of patriotic music, like a typical Soviet broadcast day. In contrast to his off-key whistling to most of his bumper music, Levin remains reverently quiet during the Anthem. The show consists of a monologue on current events and policy occupying the first several hours. As evidence, Levin uses audio clips of American statesmen, whom he cuts off after about three seconds. Subsequent hours may be peppered with shouting matches when liberals phone in. A 2016 study of incendiary discourse on talk radio found that Levin scored highest at "outrage." The study found that Levin was outraged more than once per minute, the authors pointing out that government was still operating under a budget and there was nothing at all to be outraged about. This all was just before the election of Donald Trump, when the outrage was on the other foot. Levin supported Ted Cruz rather than Trump, but by the end of the Trump administration had become a veritable Trump acolyte. Rutgers professor Stephen Bronner finds Levin calls it "socialism" to describe any policy that strengthens the welfare state, which is just shocking. Am I right, Mr. Producer?
In 2016, Westwood One re-signed Levin to a ten-year contract extension, which will keep him around until your children have Ph.D. degrees and are driving taxicabs because of our crummy universities. In 2018, Levin was inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame, as every radio host does who is not cancelled after a station's consultants do a study showing he has a poor Q Rating or something.
The contract didn't preclude a little moonlighting, and Levin started a show on Fox News called Life, Linguini & Levin. The full-hour Sunday show was a chance for Levin to attract larger audiences and in-studio guests, and for Fox to indemnify itself from the Nevertrumpers in its newsroom (and its boardroom). The show pursued the claim that the Obama administration spied on Trump and that Kamala Harris was not qualified to be Vice President, That's right, I said it!
Levin has been known to take hundreds of thousands of dollars in supposed "advertising fees" from organizations established by the Koch Brothers and to boost the Tea Party movement. He denies that his opinions are driven by money, but his opinions sometimes change over time, as the fees surely do too, thus providing evidence that he engages in pay-to-play.
Continually haranguing his radio producer to express agreement with him may constitute a threatening work environment. Failing both of those, there may be other bases for the federal government to litigate against him. For example, Levin's shows constitute a monopoly over persons wishing to take in Levin's political opinions. Incidentally, any of these opinions, if repeated at San Francisco garden parties to "break the ice," will get you cut off from the open bar in a matter of — Shut up, you idiot! Why does he annoy me more than all the others?
Listen, my dog just died, so we're going to discuss him for the next two months.