Lionel (radio personality)

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Lionel with open mouth smile, exclaim pointing up, vlogging from home in front of his Emmy and book on a bookshelf and a frame caricature of Lionel at a talk radio station - a screen grab @15m00s from his YouTube video z7rUS5HngMI - Lionel Nation 'Anthony Weiner Send the Sick Perv to Prison' (2016-09-22)
Lionel in 2016, vlogging from home in front of his Emmy and book
Born Michael William Lebron
(1958-08-26) August 26, 1958 (age 63)
Tampa, Florida, United States
Residence Manhattan, New York, United States
Nationality American
Education University of South Florida Stetson University College of Law
Occupation Trial lawyer
Legal analyst
Media analyst
Radio host
Employer The Lebron Firm
Known for American radio & television personality
Spouse(s) Lynn Shaw (producer) [1]
Awards 2015 Emmy Award for Writer: Commentary/Editorial
Website Lionel Media, Official Website, Lionel Media, on Twitter, Lionel Nation, on YouTube
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Michael William Lebron (born August 26, 1958), popularly known as Lionel, is a trial lawyer; nationally syndicated American radio and television personality; media, political, and legal analyst; actor; author; stand-up comedian; bluegrass musician; motivational speaker; lecturer and voice actor.

In 2018, he became notable for his promotion of the alleged Deep State insider and informant known as QAnon, and his purported exposure of serious crimes and other misdeeds by the government establishment.[2]

In June 2019 he tweeted support for Rudy Giuliani's bid for New York Mayor.[3]


Born in Tampa, Florida, he attended Jesuit High School where he was voted Class Wit. After graduating magna cum laude from the University of South Florida in 1980, where he was a member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity, Lionel worked as a District Aide for Florida United States Senator Richard "Dick" Stone and in his unsuccessful campaign for reelection. Lionel graduated from the Stetson University College of Law, and as trial lawyer worked as both prosecutor for the Hillsborough County Florida State Attorney's Office (13th Judicial Circuit), and a criminal defense trial lawyer thereafter. He is admitted to practice law in Florida, New Jersey and New York as well before the U.S. Supreme Court.[citation needed]

He began his radio career hosting a show at WFLA 970 AM in his hometown of Tampa from 1988 to 1993.[citation needed] The Lionel Show debuted in Tampa, Florida, on weekends on 970 WFLA in October 1988. For years, Lionel had been a frequent caller to local shows, eventually becoming a "chronic", which is industry vernacular for frequent callers. He was noted for using various aliases and personas to get on the air. His most enduring moniker, "Lionel", alludes to Francis Lionel "Lion" Delbuchi, the character played by Al Pacino in the movie Scarecrow.[citation needed]

When WPLP (WFLA's rival station across Tampa Bay) offered Lionel a talk show, he declined, due to WPLP's rather meager offer—and his trepidations about how a radio show would affect his law career. In October 1988, WFLA management gave him an irresistible offer to move behind the microphone as a Sunday afternoon radio host. In January 1989, his show moved to middays (9 a.m. to 12 p.m.), Monday through Friday. Seven months later, he took the afternoon drive slot, where his lively mix of current events and dry humor proved to be a ratings success. In 1993, he was hired away by WABC 770 AM, a major talk radio station in New York City when a former ABC network president, Jim Arcara, heard Lionel's show while vacationing in Florida and lured him to the Big Apple. Lionel manned the morning drive slot on New York's heritage WABC 770 AM in early 1994. He set ratings records for WABC as its morning-drive host during the mid-1990s[citation needed]. For a time, Lionel did both morning drive and afternoon drive for a period immediately following talk radio legend Bob Grant's departure from WABC.[citation needed]

Lionel's book cover 'Everyone's Crazy Except You And Me... And I'm Not So Sure About You'
Lionel's 2010 book cover Everyone's Crazy Except You And Me... And I'm Not So Sure About You

In the late 1990s, toward the end of his tenure at WABC, Lionel also hosted the CourtTV law show Snap Judgment. He also provided daily updates on WCBS 880 AM during the Clinton impeachment process. In 2000, he began his national radio show, The Lionel Show, originally syndicated by Premiere Radio Networks through 2001. His show was then syndicated by independent Rex Broadcasting until 2003, when it was picked up locally and nationally syndicated by the WOR Radio Network in New York City. It was broadcast six days a week (9 p.m. to midnight ET weekdays, and 5 to 8 p.m. ET Saturdays). In 2000 and 2001, in addition to his radio work, Lionel was a morning host on an Internet-based talk radio site, until 2001.[citation needed]

Talkers Magazine included Lionel In their list of Talkers Frontier Fifty and the "HEAVIEST HUNDRED: The 100 Most Important Radio Talk Show Hosts in America" at number 23, and estimated the show's audience at 1.75 million unique listeners per week.[4] The magazine described him as "a uniquely witty and intellectual personality" and "defying categorization".[5]

He released a comedy album titled You Don't Look Like You Sound in 1996, and fronts a bluegrass band called Lock 'n' Load.

Lionel wrote a book, "Everyone's Crazy Except You and Me...And I'm Not So Sure About You: America's Favorite Contrarian Cuts Loose". It was published by Hyperion and was released on August 5, 2008. On March 22, 2010, Lionel began a nightly commentary[6] on New York's WPIX Channel 11 and was a regular contributor to the morning and late night newscasts, as well as the station's legal analyst. He then launched on June 23, 2010, containing podcasts, audio, video, essays as well as his YouTube channel "Lionel Nation." In August 2012, Lionel began hosting the morning show on The New IQ 106.9 in Philadelphia. In 2015, Lionel began regularly appearing on RT and RT America as a legal and media analyst.[citation needed]

In 2015 Lionel won a commentary/editorial writing New York Emmy Award.[7]

Lionel with open mouth smile in front of green screen with open welcoming large hands close to camera - a screen grab @5m50s from his YouTube video QhHJXVSNHzM - Lionel Nation 'Lionel on Radio New Zealand Diagnosing Hillary Clinton' (2016-10-05)
Lionel in 2016

Lionel has appeared on Court TV, PBS, Tribune Media, C-SPAN, CBS, ABC, NY1, BBC, Bloomberg TV, MSNBC, Fox News, CNN, CNBC, Newsmax TV, HuffPost Live, RT America, RT International, Arise America, Food Network, CrossTalk, The Alex Jones Show, Stone Cold Truth, Air America, Coast to Coast AM, SiriusXM, Cumulus, iHeartMedia, France's Canal+, Radio New Zealand, Rossiya 24, Radio Belgrade, Radio Sputnick, NTV and 92nd Street Y.

Lionel also appears in the 2016 fourth season of the Netflix television series House of Cards.


Originally espousing a largely libertarian political philosophy, Lionel describes himself as a political atheist.[YT 1][YT 2] He personally eschews such labels and repeatedly criticizes those who hold opinions simply out of allegiance to a word like “conservative” or “liberal”. He repeatedly professes the notion that the left–right paradigm is but an illusion.

He opposes the death penalty on the grounds that the justice system is far too unreliable to be entrusted with that power,[citation needed] and favors decriminalization of drug use and possession as well as prostitution, gambling and victimless offenses.[citation needed] He long supported gay and “intragender” marriage and strongly opposed the Iraq War since around 2004.[citation needed] He asks callers to take the Lionel Challenge: Try explicating or describing a political philosophy or point without using a label. Some, he contends, find it impossible.[citation needed]

Lionel appears as a political commentator and news decoder, legal analyst, renaissance lawyer and (out)spoken word artist around the country. He performs with his trio named “Lock 'n' Load.” Lionel is a voice actor[YT 3] sought-after emcee and speaker and provides lecture series around the country.[citation needed]

Newsweek described Lionel as “[a]n intellectual known for his irreverent political and social humor.”[citation needed]

Famed record producer Jerry Wexler describes Lionel thus: “He wears the mantle of Lenny Bruce, with Lenny's own tropisms: The Oblique, The Irreverent, The Tangential, The Concupiscent, The Polymorphous Perverse, The Arcane, The Numinous. And yet Lionel brings to the table his own savory: A love of the mother tongue and a gonzo vocabulary that puts his logo on all his works, whether talk-show hosting, standup-comic spritzing, or hanging out — with himself a minor art form.”[citation needed]

The Lebron Firm

In 2015 The Lebron Firm was launched with headquarters in New York. Described as a "renaissance law firm" dedicated to the representation of plaintiffs in civil actions, including auto accident, medical and professional negligence, products liability and civil rights violations including police misconduct and wrongful conviction.

Presidential meeting

In August 2018, Lebron met with President Donald Trump at the White House. Lebron stated that the two did not talk about the claimed leaks and insider information by QAnon that Lebron helps promote, but that "we all know he knows about it."[8]

The Lionel argot and assorted miscellany

A caricature of Lionel by a fan, none other than User:JasonCarswell.
  • Barstool Diplomacy: The type of diplomacy advocated by those who endorse the use of overwhelming military force, not excepting nuclear weapons, as the first move. A ham-handed and bellicose approach to any world event where critical analysis and strategy prove problematic.[citation needed]
  • The monkey's dead, the show's over ... Sue ya!: Lionel's end-of-show catch phrase, used since the early 1990s. "Sue ya" is a reference to his former profession. "The monkey's dead, the show's over" was originally spoken by a defeated political candidate in Tampa when asked for an election-night comment about his failed campaign (this phrase is an inversion of a quotation from the Tennessee Williams play Orpheus Descending.) Lionel saw the quote in the next day's newspaper and has used it since.[citation needed]
  • Comment as you see fit!: Lionel's signature valedictory following his television, YouTube,[YT 6] and audio commentaries and analyses.
  • Lionel became a vegan.[YT 7]
  • The myth of the left–right paradigm. Inspired by the works of Professor Carroll Quigley,[9] it speaks to the myth that real choice exists between and among political parties.[YT 8]
  • Lionel's Law is a rule he coined that says, "The law always lags behind technology."[YT 9] Lionel is alarmed by society distracted by immediate novelty without future consideration of rapidly developing and unregulated technologies (iPhones, drones, robots, bio-signatures, artificial intelligence) with profound potential for Orwellian deep state cyber-surveillance abuse.
  • Lionel's Rules
    • "We have the attention span of a gnat."[YT 10] With the perpetual onslaught of current events combined with the distractions of social media and the bombardments of manipulations from advertisers to politicians we are unable to retain anything for long.
  • Lionel On Cinema Law
    • As a lawyer, Lionel says that My Cousin Vinny, comedy and drama aside, technically features some of the most realistic court scenes in movie history because it clearly explains parts of the process.[YT 11][citation needed]

Attributed quotes

Lionel frequently uses famous and infamous quotes to illustrate, summarize, and hammer the point including:

  • "Give a man a reputation as an early riser and he can sleep till noon."[YT 12] — misattributed to Mark Twain,[WQ 1] originally from James Howell[WQ 2] as "He that hath once got the fame of an early riser, may sleep till noon."[10]
  • "History would be a wonderful thing, if only it were true."[YT 13] — Leo Tolstoy[WQ 3] (unsourced attribution as of 2016-08-18)
    • "History is a myth that people agree to believe."[YT 14] — Napoléon Bonaparte, aka Napoleon I of France (originally, "What then is, generally speaking, the truth of history? A fable agreed upon."[WQ 4])
    • "History is written by the winners."[YT 15] — misattributed to Churchill or Bismarck, originally from George Orwell[WQ 5]
      • "For my part, I consider that it will be found much better by all Parties to leave the past to history, especially as I propose to write that history." — Winston Churchill
        This quote may be the basis for a statement often attributed to Churchill : History will be kind to me. For I intend to write it.[WQ 6]
      • "Concerning the blunders which had been made in our foreign policy public opinion is, as a rule, first enlightened when it is in a position to look back upon the history of a generation, and the Achivi qui plectuntur are not always immediately contemporary with the mistaken actions." — Otto von Bismarck[WQ 7]
      • "History is almost always written by the victors and conquerors and gives their viewpoint; or, at any rate, the victors' version is given prominence and holds the field." — Jawaharlal Nehru[11]
  • "I'm not a conspiracy theorist — I'm a conspiracy analyst."[YT 17] — Gore Vidal[WQ 10]
    • "There will come a day where it is an article of faith to be an American to say that there are no conspiracy theories."[YT 17] — Gore Vidal (originally, "Post-9/11, the American media were filled with pre-emptory denunciations of unpatriotic 'conspiracy theorists', who not only are always with us but are usually easy for the media to discredit since it is an article of faith that there are no conspiracies in American life."[12])
    • "Conspiracy theory has become a code word for the unspeakable truth."[YT 17] — Gore Vidal (originally,"Apparently, 'conspiracy stuff' is now shorthand for unspeakable truth."[12])
  • "When the facts change, I change my opinion."[YT 19] — John Maynard Keynes (originally, "When my information changes, I alter my conclusions. What do you do, sir?"[WQ 13])
  • "You only take flak when you're over the target."[YT 21] (alternatively "If you're not catching flak, you're not over the target." or "You know you're over the target when you're catching flak.")  — (unsourced attribution as of 2016-12-07)


  1. "Catching Up With Lionel". Talkers Magazine. March 2014. Retrieved 2016-11-16.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. Justin Wise (Aug 24, 2018)
  4. "The Top Talk Radio Audiences"
  5. "2009 Talker's 250, Featuring the Heavy Hundred". Talkers Magazine. February 2009. Retrieved 2009-03-21.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. Lionel bio at the WPIX website
  7. PDF — New York Chapter Of The National Academy Of Television Arts And Sciences Announces Results Of The 58th Annual New York Emmy Awards, May 2, 2015 — listed 3rd from bottom, Writer: Commentary/Editorial — Lionel, September 25, 2013. (WPIX-TV).
  8. The Daily Beast (Aug 24, 2018)
  10. Howell, James. "Epistolae Ho-Elianae". Google Books. 1655 Edition. Retrieved 20 September 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. Nehru, Jawaharlal (1946). The Discovery of India ((reprint edition) ed.). first paragraph of chapter 7. |access-date= requires |url= (help)CS1 maint: location (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. 12.0 12.1 "The Enemy Within". The Observer (London). 2002-10-27. Retrieved 2016-08-31. Italic or bold markup not allowed in: |publisher= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

WQ Wikiquote references

  1. 1.0 1.1 "Wikiquote — Mark Twain".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "Wikiquote — James Howell".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "Wikiquote — Leo Tolstoy".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "Wikiquote — Napoleon I of France".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. "Wikiquote — George Orwell".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. "Wikiquote — Winston Churchill".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. "Wikiquote — Otto von Bismarck".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. "Wikiquote — Emma Goldman".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. "Wikiquote — Philip Berrigan".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. "Wikiquote — Gore Vidal".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. "Wikiquote — Claud Cockburn".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. "Wikiquote — John Pilger".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  13. "Wikiquote — John Maynard Keynes".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  14. "Wikiquote — Arthur Conan Doyle".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  15. "Wikiquote — Sherlock Holmes".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  16. "Wikiquote — Daniel Patrick Moynihan".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

YT YouTube references

  1. "Lionel On Trial for Anarchist Thought Crimes". YouTube. James Corbett (journalist) and Lionel on The Corbett Report and Lionel Nation. 2015-05-14. Retrieved 2016-08-17.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "We're Anarchists!". YouTube. Lionel Nation. 2015-05-10. Retrieved 2016-08-17.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "The Voices of Lionel". YouTube. Lionel Nation. 2014-09-06. Retrieved 2016-08-18.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles> from 0m00s to 2m55s
  4. "Gypsy Kings — Nina Morena". YouTube. Daman Chadha. Retrieved 2016-08-21.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. "Manu Dibango — Soul Makossa". YouTube. M-YAMI. Retrieved 2016-08-21.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. "Lionel Nation YouTube Channel". YouTube. Lionel Nation. Retrieved 2016-08-15.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. See for example:
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  11. discussed on The Opie Show on YouTube, in one of these episodes: (2017-01-11) (2016-11-11) (2015-01-27) (2014-12-05) (2014-12-04)
  12. See for example:
  13. See for example:
  14. See for example:
  15. See for example:
  16. See for example:
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 See for example:
  18. See for example:
  19. See for example:
  20. See for example:
  21. See for example:
  22. See for example:

External links