Yesterday, MSNBC announced that it had dropped Pat Buchanan as a political analyst based on the release of his newest book, Suicide of a Superpower: Will American Survive to 2025? “After 10 enjoyable years, I am departing, after an incessant clamor from the left that to permit me continued access to the microphones of MSNBC would be an outrage against decency, and dangerous,” Buchanan wrote at his rag of a magazine, The American Conservative.
What was wrong with the book, exactly? Its critics have labeled it racist, anti-Semitic, and homophobic. But what was in it? Buchanan writes that the decline of the American Jewish population was due to Jewish women having abortions (in the process subtly blaming Jews for the pro-abortion movement). He cites no evidence to support that proposition. He also suggests that Israel must make peace with Hamas or face demographic annihilation, a proposition without support itself. As far as race, Buchanan writes sentences like this one: “Nothing in the Constitution or federal law mandated social, racial, or gender equality.” Well, except for the 14thAmendment, of course, which does so with regard to racial equality. Or this unhinged paragraph regarding the era of segregation: “Back then, black and white lived apart, went to different schools and churches, played on different playgrounds, and went to different restaurants, bars, theaters, and soda fountains. But we shared a country and a culture. We were one nation. We were Americans.”
Everybody knows that Buchanan is a half-crazed racialist and anti-Semite. More importantly, everybody knew that when MSNBC hired Buchanan. Including MSNBC. MSNBC hired him in 2001. He’d already said that AIDS was “nature’s retribution for violating the laws of nature.” He’d already explained that the era of segregation was better because there “were no politics to polarize us then, to magnify every slight. The ‘negroes’ of Washington had their public schools, restaurants, bars, movie houses, playgrounds and churches; and we had ours.” He’d already attacked Jews by describing Washington D.C. as “Israeli-occupied territory” and expressing doubt about the use of diesel exhaust to murder Jews during the Holocaust.
So why exactly did MSNBC hire him? They hired him because he was a racialist, anti-Semitic, radical nut job. They wanted to caricature conservatives as Pat Buchanan types, despite the fact that Buchanan had been alienated from the Republican Party for years by the time they hired him.
So now MSNBC tries to take the moral high ground. Too little, too late. They shouldn’t have hired him; firing him now just shows how opportunistic they are. He finally became inconvenient to them. Too little, too late.