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.