Pat Buchanan Will Have To Find Another Enabler

MSNBC has given Pat Buchanan the left foot of fellowship, finally.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind Mr. Buchanan appearing on MSNBC as a guest, as a spokesman for the reactionaries in our society, where he can be properly confronted.  But he shouldn’t be paid by a reputable network, particularly one that is trying to attract rational, reality-based viewers.  My guess is he will end up on Fox “News,” where he will feel right at home with a commentator who feels comfortable enough on god-awful “Fox and Friends” to tell a black congresswoman to “step away from the crack pipe.”

Buchanan’s affection for a white-dominated culture is obviously shared by a lot of American whites. His belief that diversity is not a strength but a weakness is also popular among a narrower swath of folks with pale faces.  His conviction that homosexual acts are “unnatural and immoral” is standard stuff for evangelicals, fundamentalists, and conservative Catholics.

But most people, I believe, prefer to see sponsored the idea that our country is, in the words of none other than Ronald Reagan,

the one spot on earth where we have the brotherhood of man.

Fittingly, Buchanan’s commentary on the dismissal was defiant, calling some of his critics’ demands “un-American” and referring to them as “blacklisters” and “thought police.”  He also accused them of “demanding that my voice be silenced,” and seeking “systematically to silence and censor dissent.”

That’s kind of odd, since nobody I know of is demanding that he be silenced at all—he certainly remains free to write and speak all he wants, as well as sign a contract with Fox or even CNN.  The point is a news network is not obligated to pay him to promote views that are not only increasingly disdainful of an evolving America, but grossly offensive to a large number of Americans.

So, is anyone trying to “silence” him? No. But compensating him for espousing such views has become unseemly, much like it would be unseemly to compensate someone for, say, arguing that American women should remain barefoot and pregnant.  As outrageous as that sounds, it is no more outrageous than many of Buchanan’s views on our diverse culture.

Finally, I don’t know any employer in America that is duty-bound to keep paying a person no matter what he says or does.  MSNBC is a commercial enterprise.  And if a large number of its viewers no longer want the network to subsidize Buchanan’s reactionary message, it is making at the very least a business decision.

But I, for one, would like to see him back as an occasional guest, where the MSNBC host would not feel obligated to pretend that his views were in the mainstream, or politely ignore some of his most outrageous assertions.  That way his views could be aggressively challenged, without the blessing of a paycheck.

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13 Comments

  1. ansonburlingame

     /  February 17, 2012

    Duane,

    Simply stated, I agree with this blog. NO company should be required to hire or retain an individual that does not support the intended views or “direction” of that company. The only limitiations on such are imbedded in current anti-discrimination laws which are not in any way applicable to this case, that I can see.

    I am much more concerned with the article in today’s Globe, wherein Dems were complaining about a “stacked deck” of witnesses before a Congressional subcommittee in regards to the recent uproar between government and religion. BOTH sides should be able to testify, EQUALLY in such disputes.

    Using the force of government to restrict such debate in the halls of government is WRONG. That concerns me alot more than PB’s firing, which was fine with me and legal in all respects as far as I can tell, as well.

    Anson

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    • I am surprised with your reaction, which I welcome.

      And Darrell Issa’s phony hearing yesterday was a disgrace. It has always been part of congressional decorum to allow the opposition at least one witness. He refused to allow Sandra Fluke to testify about her friend who lost an ovary because of ovarian cysts that developed due to her inability to afford birth control pills (which she used to control them). Her employer was none other than Catholic Georgetown University, which does not insure birth control for any reason.

      Sickening.

      Duane

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      Reply
  2. You are one of the few commentators who can accurately distinguish between a conservative and a reactionary. Now we need to get through to the mainstream media, so that the Tea Party can be called out for what they are.

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    • Victor,

      Many people do get the two mixed up. In fact, Corey Robin has published a collection of his essays that attempt to make the argument that all conservatives–including Edmund Burke–are really reactionaries. I don’t necessarily agree with that blanket assessment, but I will say that in my opinion nearly all the loud-mouthed conservatives you hear today are reactionaries to some degree or another. (I think folks like David Brooks and David Frum and Andrew Sullivan represent a kind of conservatism that is definitely distinguishable from reactionaryism, which is why they are subject to heated criticism from the rest of what passes for conservatives today.)

      And the Tea Party, to the extent it has a consistent philosophical doctrine, is definitely a reactionary force. Just look at its de facto leaders, Sarah Palin and Rush Limbaugh, for instance.

      Duane

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  3. ansonburlingame

     /  February 17, 2012

    Victor,

    Tread carefully in such an attempt to “call out the Tea Party for what they are”. I don’t think even the Tea Party has figured that one out, yet.

    That is where Nancy Pelosi and others made a big mistake. They saw some signs at early Tea Party rallies and used them to brand the entire gathering of people as being in lock step with the “hate” signs. Big mistake on her part and others.

    That is a big reason why I , as a conservative, have not ranted and raved over OWS “mobs”. If OWS gets rid of the “riff-raff” as the Tea Party began to control the “Nazis”, well who knows what might come out of it all. OWS, Tea Party, GOP, Dems, Libertarians are all vieing for attention today on a broader scale than I have seen in a long time

    I believe that is the case because we the people are very angry and confused as welll with how things are going in America, today. That anger and confusion has the potential to do far more harm to America than ANY foreign threat today, in my view. Lincoln felt that way as well way back when..

    Anson

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  4. So to paraphrase Mitt Romney: you like firing people!!

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    • Touché!

      But more accurately, I don’t like hiring people with Iron Age views, which means subsidizing those views. He can still publish his books, write his columns, and even go on television and defend his ideas, but I don’t think they should be promoted by a network ostensibly operating to promote the public good.

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    • ansonburlingame

       /  February 17, 2012

      When someone in authority has to fire people, it means to me that somewhere in the chain of events the fired person had not been properly trained or supervised in his job, maybe. That can be a failure in leadership.

      So no, I don’t like firing people nor does Romney, in my view. But he will protect the right to do so for sure. It’s sort of like the “Texas Defense” Some people just need “killin or ‘firin”

      AB

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  5. I was a little surprised when Pat Buchanan was the guest on the Diane Rehm Show. October 2011. But I guess that’s just being fair and balanced.

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    • Me, too. I wrote about that back in October, about the time Pat’s troubles with MSNBC began. Amazing stuff, even for Pat, whom I once sent money to for his presidential run! That’s why this is a Blog of Repentance!

      Duane

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  6. To be fair, I thought the firing people thing was overblow and taken out of context.

    The paraphrase was not to be taken very seriously.

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    • ansonburlingame

       /  February 18, 2012

      Bruce,

      The same can be said for most political sound bites, no matter which side utters them.

      AB

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