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Ron Radosh

Why MSNBC Can’t Stand Pat Buchanan

February 18th, 2012 - 12:05 pm

And this is the man, Buchanan, who some take as a serious analyst whose views we must consider as well thought out and rational. As Hitch put it so well, Buchanan’s views “stink,” as does the book he wrote.

As for Buchanan’s notion that he has been blacklisted? This is rather ridiculous. MSNBC, a private corporate entity, fired him — which is their right. So who are those blacklisting him? Knowing Buchanan, and since he particularly names Abe Foxman and the Anti-Defamation League, he is again implying that the blacklisters are, of course, the Jews. Remember, this is the man who once said at the time of the first Iraq war that the “amen corner” and their lobby was responsible for Bush 41 going to war at the time of Iraq’s attack on Kuwait.

Here is Buchanan’s defense of himself:

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.

Well, if there are any “smelly little orthodoxies” George Orwell would have despised, it would have been those he would have gone to war with via his pen after reading Pat Buchanan. Indeed, were Christopher Hitchens still with us, he more than anyone else would have been infuriated beyond belief that Pat Buchanan would dare invoke the name of George Orwell in his own defense. Orwell, after all, was a proud socialist and an opponent of all totalitarianism, including the kind for which Buchanan has so long acted as apologist.

But Buchanan writes: “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.” Does he really think MSNBC fired him because of Abe Foxman and Color of Change?

As Alana Goodman points out, one reason MSNBC hired Buchanan is rather obvious: “The left still wishes all conservatives were as easy to demonize as Pat Buchanan.” He is a rather easy target, and to have him on a left-wing channel as the most prominent spokesman for the Right, they can use him as bait to trash other conservatives.

There is one problem with that, however. Rarely was Buchanan used to comment on the topics that would get him off on the subjects mentioned in this article. Indeed, on his regular Morning Joe appearances, he usually made astute political comments of a rather bland and non-partisan nature; i.e., was a particular candidate too far away from the mainstream to gain currency in his campaign, and so forth. Only once, when he was on the same day as Dan Senor, did I see him lose it. The discussion turned to foreign policy — Senor’s forte — and Buchanan uttered “Your people got us into the Iraq war,” to which Senor replied, as I recall, “Are you referring to Dick Cheney, Condoleezza Rice, George W. Bush, Colin Powell and Donald Rumsfeld?”

Buchanan did not reply.

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