Syndicated columnist, blogger, author and political pundit, Michelle (Maglalang) Malkin consistently identifies with conservatives on every issue from abortion to the War on Terror. Her blog, MichelleMalkin.com iss an enormously popular site, and her regular appearances as a political commentator on FOX News have made her a well-known celebrity. In 2009, she released Culture of Corruption: Obama and His Team of Tax Cheats, Crooks, and Cronies, an indictment of the policies of the president and his administration. She publishes bi-weekly for a variety of national publications and weekly for Jewish World Review.
Malkin was born in Philadelphia on Oct. 20, 1970 to legal Filippino immigrants Apolo and Rafaela Maglalang, who had arrived in the U.S. with an employer-sponsored visa earlier in the year. Her father, a doctor-in-training at the time, finished school and moved the family to South Jersey, in the town of Abescon, where he and his wife, a schoolteacher, raised their daughter as a Catholic in a Reagan-Republican household. After graduating from Holy Spirit Catholic High School in 1988, Malkin, by then an accomplished classical pianist, attended Oberlin College in Ohio, a school well-known for its music program.
Early Political Activism:
Malkin quickly realized she wasn't going to "cut it" as a concert pianist, so she switched her major to English and got a job writing for a conservative independent campus newspaper run by a Jewish student named Jesse Malkin, who would go on to become her husband in 1993. The paper soon became part of a conglomerate of college newspapers funded by the neoconservative Institute for Educational Affairs and co-founded by Irving Kristol. Malkin's first run-in with the vitriolic liberal establishment came after she published an article critical of Oberlin's affirmative action program.
After graduation, she interned briefly for NBC, then moved to Los Angeles, where she worked from 1992 to 1994 as an editorial writer and weekly columnist with the Los Angeles Daily News. In 1995, she became an editorial board member at the Seattle Times, where she continued to write editorials and weekly columns. In 1999, Malkin and her family moved to Maryland, where her husband began a lucrative job as a consultant for the RAND Corporation, and she became a journalism fellow at the libertarian Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI), a Washington think-tank advocating free-market public policy.
Rise to Prominence:
Free from the traditional newsroom constraints, Malkin worked from home and sharpened her combative and ostentatious style. After 9/11, she became an outspoken voice for conservatives, releasing her first book, Invasion: How America Still Welcomes Terrorists, Criminals, and Other Foreign Menaces to Our Shores, which became a New York Times bestseller on Nov. 17, 2002. In 2004, she launched the political blog bearing her name, and in 2006, she co-founded the conservative site, Hot Air. By 2007, Malkin's weekly column appeared in roughly 150 newspapers across the country.
UC Santa Cruz Controversy:
Twoweeks before Hot Air went live in April 2006, Malkin became embroiled in a blog war (not her first) with the radically liberal group, Students Against War. Malkin was so outraged that the group had successfully petitioned officials at University of California at Santa Cruz to force military recruiters from a job fair that she published the contact information from their press release on her site (just names, e-mails and phone numbers). The students responded by posting Malkin's home address, complete with a map, directions and pictures, on their site, which forced Malkin and her family to move.
Dispute with AP Over Iraq War Coverage:
In early 2007, Malkin became agitated by what she saw as highly biased coverage of the Iraq war from the Associated Press. After a series of particularly damning articles ran, alleging that four mosques were destoyed and 13 Sunnis had been burned alive by Shiite militiamen, Malkin flew to Baghdad verify the facts. While Malkin's allegations that Hussein didn't exist ultimately didn't jibe with Hussein's version -- and subsequently the AP's -- of the story. She discovered that all four of the mosques still standing and that no one had been lit on fire.
Perhaps Malkin's most consistently controversial position, and the one that is most often seized upon by liberal bloggers, is her view on immigration. Many believe Malkin is hypocritical when she lambastes the 14th Amendment, which permits the children of visitors to the U.S. to become American citizens. Her problem, however, isn't with the children of legal aliens who are moving toward citizenship. She believes that the children of tourists, temporary residents and illegals shouldn't be permitted to gain automatic citizenship.