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Bozell & Graham: Learning from 'Life, Liberty & Levin'

Liberal journalists have spilled a whole lot of ink in the Trump era, boasting how they've suffered watching a week or so of Fox News programming to explore the strange informational terrain of the Trump voter. They pompously proclaim it's television for your crazy Uncle Frank, pushing conspiracy theories for dumb people while nurturing resentment toward the elites -- meaning, of course, them.

That nasty cartoon is rebutted by the new Fox News program "Life, Liberty & Levin," hosted by Mark Levin. It is more intellectual than anything produced on ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, or MSNBC. Nothing they have on air comes even close.  For an hour, at 10 p.m. Eastern on Sunday nights, Levin interviews one guest -- remember that? -- drilling deep to explore how the guest has worked to protect and preserve the principles of freedom. It's substance over sizzle. It serves to enlighten, not to entertain. It is serious programming, so the liberal critics have demeaned it as a "glacial slog."

It takes a nanosecond for Levin to go further than today's typically superficial television interview. He begins by reviewing his guest's biography, and viewers may learn a tidbit that immediately puts the guest's career in its proper perspective. Sen. Mike Lee, for example, is the son of former Solicitor General Rex Lee, and he gained his interest in politics by watching his father work in court. When interviewing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Levin told viewers that they graduated from the same high school in the Philadelphia area (at a different time), and that Netanyahu spent a year after college working at the same consulting firm as former Gov. Mitt Romney. With just those two introductory nuggets, Levin has transcended the claptrap one hears from the elites at CNN or MSNBC.

The series began with an interview of economics professor and columnist Walter Williams, a true icon in his field who we believe, like Thomas Sowell, has been insulted throughout his career (he's too much of a gentleman to say so himself) by so often being typecast by the media as an expert "black economist," as if that were a notable or limiting descriptor (take your pick). You doubt us? Google that term and you'll find his name. Google "economists" and you'll find a list of the top 54 economists, and he's not on it. Levin put him front and center, where he belongs. Here's a question and an answer you'll never find on the other networks: Levin asked, "Do you think liberty has the seeds of its own demise?" Williams responded by explaining how tyrants always welcome freedom of speech to get their foot in the door only to undermine others' freedom of speech.

The episode might remind older viewers of Milton Friedman interviews back in the '80s on his PBS series "Free to Choose." It will remind you of absolutely nothing on television today.

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