Elder, Larry (A.) 1952-
ELDER, Larry (A.) 1952-
Laurence A. Elder and Associates, founder, 1980—; Public Broadcasting System affiliate, Cleveland, OH, host of Fabric (monthly program) and Larry Elder Show (weekly talk show); KABC Radio, Los Angeles, CA, host of The Larry Elder Show, 1994—; Moral Court (television show), host. Regularly appears as a commentator on national news networks such as CNN, MSNBC, and Fox News Channel. Worked as a lawyer at a large law firm in Cleveland, OH.
Marconi Award nomination, National Association of Broadcasters, 2002.
The Ten Things You Can't Say in America, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 2000.
Showdown: Confronting Bias, Lies, and the Special Interests That Divide America, St. Martin's (New York, NY), 2002.
Contributor to journals, including Miami Herald, Tampa Tribune, Chicago Tribune and Akron Beacon Journal.
Larry Elder is a nationally syndicated radio talk-show host known for his controversial views on political and social issues. His broadcasting career began when Elder was a guest on Los Angeles-based KABC Radio in 1992. The station management liked what they heard and offered Elder a job. In 1994 Elder began his talk show with KABC and within a year his show was moved to the afternoon drive slot, where he has been a ratings leader since. In addition to contributing numerous articles to major newspapers, Elder has written two books about issues facing African Americans.
In The Ten Things You Can't Say in America Elder takes on ten different political beliefs that Americans, he claims, are afraid to admit. He argues, for example, that blacks are more racist than whites, that there is no glass ceiling, that America is losing the war on drugs, that Republicans are no different than Democrats, and more. Dartmouth Review contributor Stella Baer commented, "His pellucid prose, witty sarcasm, and brave ratiocinations make The Ten Things You Can't Say in America engaging and informative." In U.S. News and World Report John Leo gave Elder "full credit for courage and candor," pointing out that, despite intense criticism from the "academic and media establishments," his views actually "seem close to those of many black Americans." A Publishers Weekly reviewer described the book as a "bluntly candid manifesto," adding that, despite prescriptions that may be considered "simplistic," the book is refreshingly honest and direct.
Explaining the background for his thinking in a Reason interview, Elder noted that his own father, who worked three jobs while attending night school to complete his high-school equivalency certificate, was his most important role model. His father voted Republican, but his mother was a liberal Democrat. "Over the dinner table, I would hear both sides," he said. "I think Republicans and Democrats essentially have to very simple philosophies. Republicans believe hard work wins. Democrats believe the system is rigged." Asked about affirmative action, which he has criticized, Elder responded that "America owes a debt to black people" that was never paid. Instead, he explained, America used affirmative action to compensate blacks. Though this was historically necessary, the practice has major flaws. "I am prepared to admit that I benefited from affirmative action," he added. "I am not prepared to admit that I would have been jobless, homeless, and illiterate had affirmative action not been in effect."
Elder again courts controversy in Showdown: Confronting Bias, Lies, and the Special Interests That Divide America. In this book he voices his opinion that the September 11th attacks happened because the government was too busy with domestic issues to concentrate adequately on national defense. He criticizes programs intended to combat such problems as sexism and racism, and argues for less government intervention in private affairs. "Many readers will agree with some points on government intrusion, but only readers with similar political views will appreciate his arguments," concluded Booklist contributor Vanessa Bush. A Publishers Weekly contributor, warning that the book is "not for the timid and weak of mind," found Elder's voice "refreshing" despite the controversy of his views.
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, August, 2000, Ray Olson, review of The Ten Things You Can't Say in America, p. 2085; October 15, 2002, Vanessa Bush, review of Showdown: Confronting Bias, Lies, and the Special Interests That Divide America, p. 367.
Insight on the News, January 1, 2001, Julia Duin, review of The Ten Things You Can't Say in America, p. 27.
Publishers Weekly, July 24, 2000, review of The Ten Things You Can't Say in America, p. 76; September 9, 2002, review of Showdown, p. 57.
Reason, April, 1996, Nick Gillespie, Steve Kurtz, "Elder Statesman," p. 44; May, 2001, Steve Kurtz, "Inside Outsiders: Three Media Mavericks Come to Term with Success," p. 62.
U.S. News & World Report, October 16, 2000, Mike Tharp, "This Elder Gets Respect," p. 16; January 15, 2001, John Leo, "The Black Dissent," p. 11.
Capitalism online,http://capmag.com/ (January 22, 2003), "About Larry Elder."
Dartmouth Review online,http://www.dartreview.com/ (January 22, 2003), Stella Baer, review of The Ten Things You Can't Say in America.
Jefferson Review online,http://www.jeffersonreview.com/ (January 22, 2003), Mark Webster, review of The Ten Things You Can't Say in America.
Larry Elder Web site,http://www.larryelder.com/ (January 22, 2003), "About the Sage."