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Charles Lester Kinsolving, known as Les Kinsolving (December 18, 1927 – December 4, 2018), was an American political talk radio host, previously heard on WCBM in Baltimore, Maryland. He is known for being the first White House correspondent to ask questions about the HIV/AIDS epidemic during the Reagan administration; he continued to ask questions about the disease even though press secretary Larry Speakes and some other correspondents made light of it; Speakes joked that Kinsolving had an "abiding interest in the disease" because he was "a fairy".[1][2][3][4] Kinsolving first asked questions about AIDS in 1982; President Reagan would not acknowledge the epidemic until 1985, by which time more than five thousand people had died from the disease.[5]

Charles Lester Kinsolving
Born(1927-12-18)December 18, 1927
DiedDecember 4, 2018(2018-12-04) (aged 90)


Life and careerEdit

Kinsolving was an outspoken opponent of gay rights organizations – "the sodomy lobby," as he referred to them – mainly because of his religious beliefs.[6] After a verbal altercation with White House Press Secretary Tony Snow on July 25, 2007, Kinsolving's publisher, Joseph Farah of WorldNetDaily, wrote a harshly-worded column characterizing Snow's comments as "...a rebuke, and a threat, and an attempt to control Les Kinsolving and WorldNetDaily's right to ask questions at the White House." Farah announced that Kinsolving would no longer be attending White House press briefings as a result.[7] WND later reported that after a "one-on-one conference" with Snow, Kinsolving agreed to return to the briefings.[8]

Kinsolving was also an actor, playing the same role in two films: Gettysburg and Gods and Generals. In those films, he portrayed Confederate General William Barksdale,[9] whom Kinsolving has described as his cousin.[10] A biography of Kinsolving, Gadfly, The Life and Times of Les Kinsolving – White House Watchdog, ISBN 978-1935071808, was written by his youngest daughter, Kathleen, and was released in 2010. Kinsolving died on December 4, 2018.[11]


Year Title Role Notes
1993 Gettysburg Brig. Gen. William Barksdale
2003 Gods and Generals (final film role)


  1. ^ Amira, Dan. "AIDS Was Hilarious to the Reagan White House, Press Corps". New York Magazine. Retrieved March 7, 2016.
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ Leon, Harmon. "Listen to the Reagan Administration Laughing at the AIDS Epidemic". Vice. Retrieved March 7, 2016.
  4. ^ Geidner, Chris. "13 Times The Reagan White House Press Briefing Erupted With Laughter Over AIDS". BuzzFeed. Retrieved March 7, 2016.
  5. ^ Lawson, Richard. "The Reagan Administration's Unearthed Response to the AIDS Crisis Is Chilling". Vanity Fair. Retrieved March 7, 2016.
  6. ^ Les Is More – The Long, Strange, and Maybe Even Meaningful Career of a Right-Wing Media Gadfly
  7. ^ WorldNetDaily: ENOUGH OF THE SNOW JOBS. July 25, 2007.
  9. ^ iMDB: Charles Lester Kinsolving.
  10. ^ WorldNetDaily: A DEEPLY RELIGIOUS MOVIE ABOUT WAR. February 11, 2003.
  11. ^ "WCBM 680". Retrieved 4 December 2018.

External linksEdit