Pat Buchanan Out At MSNBC
Pat Buchanan, the former Reagan and Nixon speechwriter and Presidential candidate who made a career out of saying things that were controversial to say the very least, will no longer serve the role of token conservative on MSNBC:
Pat Buchanan, a prominent conservative commentator for MSNBC for the last decade, is departing the channel, he said Thursday. In an essay, he cited “an incessant clamor from the left” as the reason for his departure.
A spokesman for the cable news channel said, “After 10 years, we’ve parted ways with Pat Buchanan. We wish him well.”
The circumstances of Mr. Buchanan’s departure are unclear, but he has not appeared on the channel since October, when he began promoting his book, “Suicide of a Superpower: Will America Survive to 2025?” The book conveyed Mr. Buchanan’s concerns about the effects of demographic changes in the United States, including what he called “the end of white America” and the shrinking of the “European and Christian core of our country.”
A number of statements in the book were seized upon by liberal groups, who pressured MSNBC to either sanction or fire Mr. Buchanan. In his essay Thursday on the Web site of The American Conservative, a magazine he co-founded, Mr. Buchanan cited Abraham H. Foxman of the Anti-Defamation League, an influential Jewish organization, and wrote, “What Foxman and A.D.L. are about in demanding that my voice be silenced is, in the Jeffersonian sense, intrinsically un-American.”
“Consider what it is these people are saying,” Mr. Buchanan continued. “They are saying that a respected publisher, St. Martin’s, colluded with me to produce a racist, homophobic, anti-Semitic book, and CNN, Fox News, C-SPAN, Fox Business News, and the 150 radio shows on which I appeared failed to detect its evil and helped to promote a moral atrocity.”
Of course, this book isn’t the first controversial thing that Pat Buchanan has said or done. He made headlines in the late 80s and 90s when he came to the defense of a Chicago-area immigrant who turned out to have been a Nazi Concentration Camp guard who had committed numerous war crimes. At the very least, it was clear that the man had lied on his immigration papers about his Nazi past, which was grounds for deportation itself. And yet Buchanan defended him. After many years, that man, John Demjanjuk, was convicted in a German Court as an accessory to the murder of over 27,000 Jews and other camp prisoners. Pat Buchanan, on the other hand, remains unrepentant about the matter. Buchanan also once said that Hitler was “misunderstood,” that Poland should have surrendered to Germany rather than fighting in 1939, and that the United States should have fought on the same side as Germany against the Soviets in World War II.When Elena Kagan was appointed to the Supreme Court, Buchanan said in an on-air comment on MSNBC that there were “too many Jews” on the Supreme Court already (not counting Kagan, there were two at the time). How he managed to go this long is baffling, and can probably only be explained by his ties to the Washington “old boys” network, of which he’s been a part since the Nixon years.
For his part, Buchanan has taken to his syndicated column:
In the 10 years I have been at MSNBC, the network has taken heat for what I have written, and faithfully honored our contract.
Yet my four-months’ absence from MSNBC and now my departure represent an undeniable victory for the blacklisters.
The modus operandi of these thought police at Color of Change and ADL is to brand as racists and anti-Semites any writer who dares to venture outside the narrow corral in which they seek to confine debate.
All the while prattling about their love of dissent and devotion to the First Amendment, they seek systematically to silence and censor dissent.
Without a hearing, they smear and stigmatize as racist, homophobic or anti-Semitic any who contradict what George Orwell once called their “smelly little orthodoxies.” They then demand that the heretic recant, grovel, apologize, and pledge to go forth and sin no more.
Defy them, and they will go after the network where you work, the newspapers that carry your column, the conventions that invite you to speak. If all else fails, they go after the advertisers.
I know these blacklisters. They operate behind closed doors, with phone calls, mailed threats and off-the-record meetings. They work in the dark because, as Al Smith said, nothing un-American can live in the sunlight.
Buchanan obviously refuses to take responsibility for his own rhetoric. In the end, though, I think the main reason he’s gone is because MSNBC has figured out something that most people who spend any time on the right have known for years. Put simply, Pat Buchanan has not represented the mainstream of political thought on the right for years, if ever. Leaving aside his idiotic comments on race and religion, the man is a xenophobic protectionist whose economic positions often seem more akin to Michael Moore than Milton Friedman. To the extent that the network was bringing him on as the “conservative voice,” they were failing miserably, because he really doesn’t represent modern conservatism in any respect. That’s why I don’t think anyone is really going to miss the guy.