Thursday, October 11, 2007

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Laurence Allen "Larry" Elder (born April 27, 1952 in Los Angeles, California) aka "the Sage from South Central" is an American libertarian-minded Republican (he has sometimes referred to his views as "conservatarian") radio and former TV talk show host and author whose The Larry Elder Show is heard on talk radio 790 KABC in Los Angeles, California, after following an unsuccessful syndication on ABC Radio Networks. The show broadcasts live from 3-6 p.m. (Pacific Time), Monday through Friday. Elder has been on 790 KABC since 1994. Although Elder describes himself as a libertarian, he is a registered independent and has been for over two decades. The Libertarian Party, in Elder's view, differs in ways from the libertarian philosophy which has roots in the Whig and Republican parties. Melding the two, he sometimes refers to himself as a "Republitarian".

While he was a lawyer in Cleveland in the late 1980s, Elder began to host a topic-oriented television show on PBS affiliate WVIZ produced by Dennis Goulden. "I auditioned for and got a television show on PBS, which I hosted for six years. I can't say I had a plan. I literally picked up the phone and talked my way into getting this audition on PBS and they hired me. They just happened to be looking for a cohost." which lasted until Elder moved back to Los Angeles in 1994. Between 2000-2001, Elder hosted the television show, Moral Court, distributed by Warner Brothers Television. In September 2003 he began the television version of The Larry Elder Show, which was dropped on April 12, 2005 due to low ratings. Elder was profiled by 60 Minutes and 20/20 and served as replacement for Geraldo Rivera on CNBC's Rivera Live while Rivera was on vacation. He was a host of the PBS program National Desk, including the segment, "Redefining Racism: Fresh Voices From Black America," for which he won an AEGIS Award of Excellence, a Telly award, and an Emerald City Gold Award of Excellence. Elder also won a Los Angeles Area Emmy Award in 2000 for his KCAL-TV News Special, Making Waves - LAUSD. He has played himself on the sitcoms Spin City and The Hughleys. Elder's newspaper and online column is carried by Investor's Business Daily, World Net Daily,, Jewish World Review and David Horowitz's Front Page Magazine and The Atlasphere.
In the last hour of his show on Fridays, Elder has a contest called "The Eagle-Eared Elderado Exam", in which callers have to get all four soundbites from the recent week correctly. Winners have a choice of getting one of two books The Ten Things You Can't Say in America, Showdown: Confronting Bias, Lies, and the Special Interests that Divide America, or his DVD, Michael & Me. Elder jokes that he charges postage to the winners who are members of the Democratic Party.
After "The Eagle-Eared Elderado Exam", Elder's mother, Viola, used to be on the show. Elder described her as "The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court," and called her "toots" and "Your Honor." He also had her guess the soundbites from "The Eagle-Eared Elderado Exam". Currently, he ends his Friday program with an audio clip of him wishing his late mother love (and her response), as a tribute of sorts.
Besides "The Eagle-Eared Elderado Exam," Larry has another contest called "The Mystery Guest" which callers guess a person that Larry has.
Elder was one of the rotating talk hosts auditioning for the slot vacated by the now-cancelled Imus in the Morning on MSNBC. His audition was on May 7 and 8, and Elder was said to be openly pursuing the permanent position (Orange County Register). However, the job went to Joe Scarborough instead.

Elder's mother, Viola, died on June 12, 2006 at the age of 81. His father is Randolph (Randy), who is still living at age 91. Elder has one older brother named Kirk. Elder is divorced.

Among Elder's political views are support for free trade and school choice. He opposes the income tax and supports replacing it with the FairTax, a national retail sales tax. He is also a firm opponent of the war on drugs.
Although he is not an Objectivist, he says that Atlas Shrugged, written by novelist Ayn Rand, is one of his favorite books.
He has called himself a "libertarian with a small 'l'" to signify his break from the national Libertarian Party concerning the "march to war" with Iraq in 2003. Whereas the Libertarians widely oppose international intervention with Iraq (for they oppose unnecessary foreign entanglements), Elder was a vocal proponent of the invasion and occupation.

Because of his opposition to affirmative action and other liberal approaches to problems regarding race, some African Americans have accused Elder of being "anti-Black." When a group called Talking Drum Community Forum tried to force Elder off the air, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and David Horowitz came to his defense. A piece of hate mail Elder showed to John Stossel in his on-air interview said, "You are not good enough to kiss the ass of a dead rat."
He has ridiculed African American elected officials such as Maxine Waters, whom he calls "Kerosene Maxine", blaming her in part for the 1992 Los Angeles riots.
He coined the phrase "victocrat" -- a sarcastic play on the idea of the "politics of victimhood" and the Democratic Party, which he blames for its perpetuation. Although his supporters claim it's legitimately used against people (poor/rich) who try to play the system (or use "political correctness" to get their way or silence opposition), his detractors claim that it's often used in an attempt to suppress historically oppressed groups' right to speak out against inequality.
He is accused of being a "Chicken Hawk" by his detractors, in reference to his untiring support of the Iraq War. Elder is a Vietnam era draft dodger, by his own admission, having received student deferments to avoid military service; however, it must also be noted that the vast majority of libertarians oppose conscription on the grounds that it does not allow individuals the freedom to choose whether or not to serve their nation for the sake of its preservation.

Larry Elder Books

Redefining Racism: Fresh Voices from Black America—"Probes the deep chasm between black and white Americans and the increasing hostility towards whites felt by a vast number of African-Americans"
Title IX And Women In Sports: What's Wrong With This Picture? Whidbey Island Films
Michael & Me (2005)

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