|Born||November 25, 1944 (1944-11-25)
Washington, D.C., United States
|Occupation||Attorney, Author, Speechwriter, Actor, Voice Actor, Game Show Host|
|Spouce||Alexandra Denman (1968 - 1974; 1977 - present)|
Benjamin Jeremy Stein (born November 25, 1944) is an American actor, writer, conservative political and economic commentator, and attorney. He gained early success as a speechwriter for American presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford. Later he entered the entertainment field and became an actor, comedian, and Emmy Award-winning game show host. He is famous for his monotonous yet humorous voice in acting.
Stein has frequently written commentaries on economic, political, and social issues, along with financial advice to individual investors. He is the son of noted economist and writer Herbert Stein, who worked at the White House under President Nixon. His sister, Rachel, is also a writer.
Stein began his political career as a speechwriter and lawyer for President Richard Nixon, and later for President Gerald Ford. On May 3, 1976, Time magazine speculated on the possibility of Stein having actually been Deep Throat. Stein responded over the years by not only denying he was Deep Throat, but by going further and accusing journalist Bob Woodward of falsifying the famous secret source. In the May 14–21, 1998, edition of the Philadelphia City Paper Stein is quoted saying, "Oh, I don't think there was a Deep Throat. That was a fake. I think there were several different sources and some they just made up." After Mark Felt's identity as Deep Throat was revealed, Stein stated that Richard Nixon would have prevented the rise to power of the Khmer Rouge if he had not been forced to resign. For his actions leading to that resignation, Stein said:
"If there is such a thing as karma, if there is such a thing as justice in this life or the next, Mark Felt has bought himself the worst future of any man on this earth. And Bob Woodward is right behind him, with Ben Bradlee bringing up the rear. Out of their smug arrogance and contempt, they hatched the worst nightmare imaginable: genocide"
Some have called Stein a "Nixon apologist" due to his fervent defense of Nixon's legacy. As recently as 2005, in the American Spectator, Stein said:
"Can anyone even remember now what Nixon did that was so terrible? He ended the war in Vietnam, brought home the POW's, ended the war in the Mideast, opened relations with China, started the first nuclear weapons reduction treaty, saved Eretz Israel's life, started the Environmental Protection Administration. Does anyone remember what he did that was bad? Oh, now I remember. He lied. He was a politician who lied. How remarkable. He lied to protect his subordinates who were covering up a ridiculous burglary that no one to this date has any clue about its purpose. He lied so he could stay in office and keep his agenda of peace going. That was his crime. He was a peacemaker and he wanted to make a world where there was a generation of peace. And he succeeded.That is his legacy. He was a peacemaker. He was a lying, conniving, covering up peacemaker. He was not a lying, conniving drug addict like JFK, a lying, conniving war starter like LBJ, a lying, conniving seducer like Clinton—a lying, conniving peacemaker."
On June 24 , Stein received the Freedom of Expression Award at the Entertainment Merchants Association’s Home Entertainment Awards for "his outspoken economic and political beliefs."
Stein is a pro-life activist and was given a Pro-Life Award in 2003 by the National Right to Life Educational Trust Fund. In 2007, Stein chastised the police and the GOP leadership for their response to the Larry Craig scandal. Stein said that Craig's sexuality should not be an issue: "A party that believes in individual rights should be rallying to his defense, not making him walk the plank."
Though often labeled as a political and economic conservative, Stein has criticized the U.S. tax code for being too lenient on the wealthy. He has repeated the observation made by Warren Buffett, one of the richest individuals in the world (who pays mostly capital gains tax), that Buffett pays a lower overall tax rate than his secretaries (who pay income taxes). Stein has advocated increasing taxation on the wealthy.
Stein drew fire for a 2008 interview with Glenn Beck in which Stein compared US President Barack Obama's campaign rally at Invesco Field to Adolf Hitler's Nazi rallies at Nuremberg. The Economist called Stein's invocation of Nazism an intentional use of logical fallacy to distract from the campaign.