Pat Buchanan Off MSNBC Indefinitely

One of the odder pundit/cable network pairings in recent years has been the continued presence of Pat Buchanan on MSNBC. Given some of Buchanan’s more outrageous views, including things like the recent book where he said that Poland should have surrendered to the Nazis rather than forcing them to invade in 1939, or his comments last year that there were too many Jews on the Supreme Court, not to mention his involvement in controversial causes like the case of former Nazi guard John Demjanjuk, many conservatives smelled conspiracy. Buchanan was on MSNBC, they asserted, because they wanted to present the most outrageous, offensive person they could find as representative of conservatism. My first response to that has always been that Buchanan really isn’t much more offensive than some of the most popular hosts of Fox News Channel, or the King of conservative talk radio Rush Limbaugh. The more likely reason that Buchanan has been given such a wide audience, I think, is because he’s been around Washington forever, everybody knows him and, despite his views, a lot of them seem to like him. It was just another version of the Old Boys Network.

Recently, though, Buchanan’s been missing from the air. Frankly, I hadn’t really noticed it because Buchanan is one of those people I tend to tune out if he happens to come on while I have the television on in the background. There was some speculation that he had been out because he’d had surgery late last year. It turns out, though, that he’s been kept off the air for another reason:

MSNBC’s top executive said Saturday that he hasn’t decided whether conservative commentator and author Pat Buchanan will be allowed back on the network.

Buchanan, a former GOP presidential candidate and a paid MSNBC contributor, hasn’t been on the network since the publication of his book “Suicide of a Superpower” last October. The book has chapters titled “The End of White America” and “The Death of Christian America” and its author argues that the United States is in the “Indian summer of our civilization.”

“When Pat was on his book tour, because of the content of the book, I didn’t think it should be part of the national dialogue much less part of the dialogue on MSNBC,” said MSNBC President Phil Griffin. The minority advocacy group Color of Change has circulated a petition urging MSNBC to fire Buchanan.

Buchanan did appear for an interview about his book in October on Fox News Channel’s “Hannity,” where host Sean Hannity said, “welcome out of exile.”

Griffin would not discuss the length of Buchanan’s contract with MSNBC or whether it would be renewed.

The conservative firebrand has seemed increasingly out of place on a network that has emphasized a liberal viewpoint on many of its programs in recent years. Last August, Buchanan went on “Morning Joe” to explain that he wasn’t trying to slur President Barack Obama by referring to him as “your boy” during an on-air discussion with talk show host Al Sharpton.

There is a certain amount of irony in MSNBC keeping Buchanan off the air for his intermediary views, while giving an hour long show to a man whose entire career is based on stoking racial resentment, even when it involves helping to make up crimes that did not happen and accusing innocent men of things they didn’t do. That said, I can’t say I’m sad to see Buchanan go. He didn’t really bring anything interesting to the conversation, and he did not represent modern conservatism at all. Recently, we’ve seen MSNBC bring on pundits like Matt Lewis, S.E. Cupp, and a host of people from National Review. Say what you might about them, but each one of them is better than Pat Buchanan.

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Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook


  1. You can dislike Buchanan, but no way that a intellectual lightweight like SE Cupp is better than him.

  2. James in LA says:

    @André Kenji de Sousa: “like SE Cupp ”

    She never looks like she believes a single thing she says. She is set-candy. I am astonished it took this long to unload Pat. But these ways are dying and not being replaced. MSNBC has decided not to blow on those ancient embers any longer.

  3. Not a fan of any of the big three networks but good riddance to this cold war relic. Now if networks would stop giving air time to his liberal counterparts Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson, if it wasn’t for race and immigration these three scumbags would be very irrelevant. Even though I’m sure out somewhere there are younger versions of Buchanan, Sharpton and Jackson waiting for their time in the spotlight to quote “continue the fight”

    Thankfully most people could give a rats ass about race and see it as nothing but a social construct. Granted there are still small groups of pathetic paleocons with their racial nationalism bullshit and loser race baiting liberals who always try to stroke the flames.

  4. OzarkHillbilly says:

    He didn’t really bring anything interesting to the conversation, and he did not represent modern conservatism at all.

    You mean he wasn’t crazy enough?

  5. Neil Hudelson says:

    Couldn’t have happened to a nice guy…

  6. michael reynolds says:

    Buchanan is great on TV. And as a loud-mouthed, intolerant xenophobe, Islamophobe and bigot he absolutely represents the modern GOP.

  7. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Cynical in New York:

    Thankfully most people could give a rats ass about race and see it as nothing but a social construct.


  8. Kylopod says:

    I agree that hate-mongers like Limbaugh aren’t essentially any better than Buchanan, and there’s a strong overlap in some of their rhetoric (particularly about affirmative action), but Buchanan’s bigotry has always tended to be at least a notch more explicit. Limbaugh rails against reverse racism and hate-the-whitey, but at the end of the day he still frames his views (unconvincingly) as a call for greater colorblindness, whereas Buchanan talks more openly about advancing the white race. It’s a subtle distinction, but it lies at the core of how most of the mainstream right rationalizes its attacks on minorities, unlike Buchanan who seems utterly indifferent to those devices.

  9. Mario Mirarchi says:

    You’re right that Pat was kept on because he’s part of the old Washington media crowd. It is more likely that Pat owes his demise to the fact that he’s 73 years old and really doesn’t fit in with the young hipsters MSNBC has been promoting.

    As for S.E Cupp, she never really panned out as the new conservative “it” girl. Didn’t she sign on with Glenn Beck?

  10. MBunge says:

    “He didn’t really bring anything interesting to the conversation”

    It’s gotten to the point where you really can’t defend Pat on the subject of race, but he still is a more interesting pundit than 99% of the right wing lightweights out there. And when he’s not playing the role of designated Republican defender, Pat can present a hardheaded, nationalistic approach to economic and foreign policy that is sorely needed in our discourse.


  11. bill says:

    msnbc always has been a far far righi network. they can say & promote anything , !!!! but heven forebid , any opossien . , gets suppressed, what commist rag!!!!!!!!!!!

  12. Linton says:


    Pat was far more interesting than most pundits on any of the news networks. Very off base on the race issue and any number of other things, but still very knowledgeable. I remember him giving analysis of Obama’s acceptance speech at the Democratic Convention that was insightful and non-partisan.

  13. Don says:

    Anyone engaging in white advocacy, however attenuated, won’t be appearing in the MSM absent some extraordinary background, like Buchanan’s. Folks like Jared Taylor, Peter Brimelow and the now-deceased Sam Francis were either fired, kept at bay or allowed only very small platforms. Yet I wonder if America’s changing demographics don’t argue FOR, rather than AGAINST, white advocacy as a recognized position in American politics and commentary. Certainly, every other demographic has a deep bench of full-throated, unapologetic racial advocates. Now that whites are at the doorstep of minority-hood, why not them, too?