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Back to Section One | Back to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, February 24, 2012 - Volume 40 Issue 08
Suicide of a pundit: MSNBC fires Pat Buchanan
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Suicide of a pundit: MSNBC fires Pat Buchanan

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

Paleoconservative pundit and former Nixon apparatchik Pat Buchanan was fired by MSNBC on February 16.

He had not appeared on an MSNBC program since October 2011, when his latest book, Suicide of a Superpower, appeared.

With chapters titled 'The End of White America' and 'The Death of Christian America,' the book was widely accused of repeating racist and anti-Semitic views.

'We have decided to part ways with Pat Buchanan,' MSNBC said in a statement on February 16. 'We wish him well.'

Elaborating on the statement, MSNBC President Phil Griffin told reporters that he considered Buchanan's views inappropriate.

'I don't think the ideas that [Buchanan] put forth [in his book] are appropriate for the national dialogue, much less on MSNBC.'

Buchanan was unrepentant. He had been 'blacklisted,' he claimed, appropriating a term from the McCarthy anti-Communist witch-hunts - which, by the way, he has always defended.

In a subsequent column that blogger Charles Johnson characterized as 'incredibly whiny,' Buchanan both defended his book and tacitly admitted all the charges against him.

'That homosexual acts are unnatural and immoral has been doctrine in the Catholic Church for 2,000 years,' he wrote. 'Is it now hate speech to restate traditional Catholic beliefs?

'Documented in the 488 pages and 1,500 footnotes of Suicide of a Superpower is my thesis that America is Balkanizing, breaking down along the lines of religion, race, ethnicity, culture, and ideology and that Western peoples are facing demographic death by century's end. Are such subjects taboo? Are they unfit for national debate?'

In a February 21 interview with Charlie Rose on CBS This Morning, Buchanan doubled down on his critique of multiculturalism.

'What I want you to understand, Charlie, what I want the folks to read that book and understand, is that Western civilization is in its Indian summer. It is on, in my judgment, pretty much its last legs, and I'm not sure it will survive this century,' Buchanan said.

'And what I'm warning about in our country is that the United States of America which is shifting to become a multi-cultural, multi-national, multi-ethic, multi-lingual country, there is nothing that's going to hold us together if we lose our common language, our common Christian, Judeo-Christian faith, our common moral consensus, which we are losing.'

Accusations of racism, anti-Semitism, homophobia, and an assortment of other irrational prejudices are nothing new for Buchanan.

'White folks built this country,' Buchanan told an incredulous Rachel Maddow in 2009.

'These are the folks whose jobs have been outsourced to China and Asia, who pay the price of affirmative action when their sons and daughters are pushed aside to make room for the [Supreme Court Justice] Sonia Sotomayors. These are the folks who want the borders secured and the illegals sent back.'

Even some of Buchanan's ideological allies declined to defend him. Fox News host Chris Wallace said Buchanan 'has said some very incendiary things about Israel, about Jews, about blacks, about other minorities.'

Wallace also rebutted Buchanan's claim that he was 'blacklisted.'

'I'm not saying that I am particularly fond of these groups either,' Wallace said on The Mike Gallagher Show, 'but, you know, you don't have a right to be on MSNBC or Fox or any of these places & [it's] the prerogative of the - of the management and a group that is offended by your comments has the right to complain about it.'

'I don't think they blacklisted him.'

Buchanan first rose to fame in the Nixon White House, coining the term 'silent majority' for his boss, and helping to craft Nixon's notorious Southern Strategy, using the accumulated resentments of white working-class Southerners to recapture a majority for the Republican party.

He also worked as White House communications director for Ronald Reagan from 1985 to 1987. In that capacity he organized Reagan's visit to a Nazi cemetery in Bitburg, Germany.

Buchanan ran for the Republican presidential nomination in 1992 and 1996, and ran on the Reform Party ticket in the 2000 presidential election.

Between his White House gigs, Buchanan worked as a media pundit, first for NBC, then CNN and MSNBC. He continues to appear on The McLaughlin Group talk show.

Like Buchanan, John McLaughlin is a conservative Catholic.

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