MSNBC announced Thursday that it was dropping longtime political analyst Pat Buchanan, following a bitter controversy over his book, Suicide of a Superpower: Will America Survive to 2025? The cable news channel had suspended Buchanan four months ago after critics said the book — with chapters such as "The End of White America" — was homophobic, anti-Semitic, and racist. Buchanan called the decision "an undeniable victory for the blacklisters" who lash out at anything challenging liberal orthodoxy. Did MSNBC make the right move, or was it wrong to silence Buchanan?
It's about time: MSNBC should have gotten rid of Buchanan a long time ago, Ari Rabin-Havt, executive vice president of liberal watchdog Media Matters for America, tells the Associated Press. "He's been making the same racially insensitive, anti-Semitic and homophobic statements for the past 50 years." This book "was not his first, nor his worst offense," but it's certainly more proof Buchanan does not deserve a public platform on any cable news channel.
"Conservative commentator Pat Buchanan dropped from MSNBC"
MSNBC should be ashamed: "I disagree with Pat Buchanan" on just about everything — from World War II to marriage equality to immigration, says Andrew Sullivan at The Daily Beast. He's a "sometimes outrageous... flame-thrower," but he's also an intellectually honest and decent man who has "thought carefully about his extreme out-of-the-mainstream views." Shame on MSNBC for trying to silence him, and taking "another step backward from real debate on cable 'news.'"
"The hounding of Pat Buchanan"
This is actually a win for conservatives: Buchanan wasn't a legitimate spokesman for the Right, says David Zurawick at the Baltimore Sun. He was a snarling troll that the increasingly liberal MSNBC presented "as the nasty, mean-spirited face of conservative values." Whenever he said something veering toward hate speech he "confirmed the worst stereotypes that liberals believed about the Right." Without him maybe MSNBC will focus on honest debate, instead of cynically airing propaganda.
"MSNBC drops Pat Buchanan — and that's good for cable TV, country"
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- What is driving the increasingly weird behavior of the polar jet stream?
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- How our botched understanding of 'science' ruins everything
- Christians have no moral rationale for spanking their children
- 6 things the happiest families all have in common
- The science of sex: 4 harsh truths about dating and mating
- Should you hope to die at 75? Absolutely not.
- Stop hating on cyclists
- Why America should team up with Bashar al-Assad's regime
Subscribe to the Week