Opinion Brief

Did MSNBC fire Pat Buchanan?

The uber-conservative and MSNBC pundit hasn't been on air since publishing his incendiary new book — and may not be back at all

The pairing of pundit Pat Buchanan, one of the nation's most recognizable paleoconservatives, and liberal-leaning MSNBC has always been odd. And now the cable news channel has put Buchanan on indefinite leave. The apparent trigger: Buchanan's rabble-rousing viewpoints in his new book Suicide of a Superpower, which has chapters titled "The End of White America" and "The Death of Christian America." Since the book's release, the former GOP presidential candidate has appeared on the network just once, a promotional spot on Sean Hannity's program. "Because of the content of the book, I didn't think it should be part of the national dialogue," MSNBC President Phil Griffin has said, adding Saturday that there's still no decision on whether Buchanan will be allowed back on the network. Is Buchanan gone for good?

He's definitely out: MSNBC's statement is rather vague, says Frances Martel at Mediaite. Nonetheless, it should be read as a firing statement. It's hard to imagine that Griffin "would covertly take someone like Buchanan off the air, then question him publicly, and then welcome him back." The official position may be that "Buchanan's future is unclear," but when you read between the lines, it's rather obvious that he's through."Buchanan out indefinitely at MSNBC"

MSNBC would be insane to have him back: It's possible that MSNBC is waiting for the uproar over Buchanan's book to die down so they "can slip him back on air," says Randall Gross at Little Green Footballs. But, if so, that's just as "disgusting" as Buchanan's book, which is inexcusable hateful and incendiary in its campaign to defend the "theoretically threatened" white Christian culture. "Propagating a hater's viewpoints as news is actually a greater evil than Pat's books." "Is Pat Buchanan fired from MSNBC?"

This is a good move for MSNBC: Getting Buchanan off air is in MSNBC's best interest, says Doug Mataconis at Outside the Beltway. He was always a misfit presence on the network, given his ultra-conservative punditry and MSNBC's increasingly progressive leaning. But beyond that, Buchanan "didn't really bring anything interesting to the conversation, and didn't represent modern conservatism at all." In his absence, MSNBC has brought on The Daily Caller's Matt Lewis, conservative writer S.E. Cupp, and a host of pundits from National Review. "Say what you might about them, but each... is better than Pat Buchanan.""Pat Buchanan off MSNBC indefinitely"

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