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MSNBC’s Pat Buchanan Reacts Furiously to Calls for Firing

By Leah Nelson on October 26, 2011 - 4:03 pm, Posted in Extremist Propaganda, White Nationalism

Pat Buchanan and his extremist allies are up in arms over liberal media watchdog groups’ recently launched campaign to get him fired from his news analyst position at MSNBC.

Following Buchanan’s Saturday appearance on James Edwards’ racist radio program “Political Cesspool,” to promote his new book, Suicide of a Superpower, Color of Change and Media Matters for America initiated a call for MSNBC to terminate Buchanan’s position. (Full disclosure: Color of Change was co-founded by James Rucker, a member of the board at the Southern Poverty Law Center, which publishes this blog.)

Said Color of Change in a letter that doubled as a petition: “For years, Pat Buchanan has passed off white supremacist ideology as legitimate mainstream political commentary. And MSNBC continues to pay him and give him a platform on national TV to do it. Buchanan has just published a book which says that increasing racial diversity is a threat to this country and will mean the ‘End of White America.’ This weekend, to promote his book, he went on a white supremacist radio show whose host has said things like ‘MLK’s dream is our nightmare,’ and ‘interracial sex is white genocide.’ Buchanan has the right to express his views, but he’s not entitled to a platform that lets him broadcast bigotry and hate to millions. If MSNBC wants to be seen as a trusted, mainstream source of news and commentary, it needs to fire Buchanan now.”

Media Matters said much the same: “For too long, your network has ignored Buchanan’s bigotry. But, enough is enough. MSNBC has the power to send a message — that it will not tolerate bigotry by its employees, on its airwaves or off.”

That letter, which also doubles as a petition, closed by suggesting MSNBC executives review documentation (here and here) detailing Buchanan’s history of bigoted comments, and asking that they “Please … take the necessary steps to ensure that MSNBC stops supporting Buchanan’s bigotry.”

Some on the extreme right are incensed by the watchdogs’ campaign.

Judson Phillips, founder of Tea Party Nation (one of the Tea Party movement’s most extreme factions) – has leaped to Buchanan’s defense. In a blog post yesterday, Phillips – who claims not to be a Buchanan fan – wrote: “The racist in this story is the group, the Color of Change. … MSNBC does have some conservative voices. Pat Buchanan is one of them. … [T]he left wing racist nuts at the Color of Change want that to end.” And the Council of Conservative Citizens (CCC), a white supremacist hate group that has called blacks a “retrograde species of humanity,” also expressed strong support for Buchanan and Edwards.

Buchanan obviously takes the watchdog groups’ calls for his termination seriously. In an angry message posted this morning on his Suicide of a Superpower blog, he accused the two groups of “attempting to gag” him. “Using charged racist language, gross misinterpretations, out of context quotes, and sugar-coated anti-Catholic sentiments, Media Matters has written 16 vile posts in the past 12 days in an orchestrated campaign of hate and bigotry,” he wrote.

Yes, you read that right. According to Buchanan (or whoever writes for him at Suicide of a Superpower’s official blog), he is victim. He said as much yesterday during an interview with NPR’s Diane Rehm (listen here), who noted that the Anti-Defamation League has described Political Cesspool as anti-Semitic and white supremacist, and asked if he regretted his Saturday appearance on the show.

Buchanan went on the attack.

“I think there’s an awful lot of smearing being done by the Anti-Defamation League [ADL], frankly, over the years of individuals who simply disagree maybe with U.S. policy towards Israel, and a lot of name calling,” he said. “Am I supposed to vet all the people on these shows and get the list from [ADL National Director] Abe Foxman on what shows I can go on to?”

No, Buchanan doesn’t need Foxman’s help to understand Edwards’ sympathies — after all, he’s appeared on “Political Cesspool” twice before, and has been called on it each time. Edwards also worked for Buchanan’s 2000 presidential campaign.

Moreover, the ADL is hardly the only group to have called out Edwards for bigotry. The radio host’s history of anti-Semitism and white supremacism has been well documented by plenty of organizations, including the Southern Poverty Law Center.

In fact, it’s amply documented by Edwards himself. Buchanan need only have glanced at “Political Cesspool’s” website to see the young white supremacist’s boast that in a single 30-day span, he had hosted such extreme-right luminaries as:

  • Kevin MacDonald, an anti-Semitic and racist California State University professor who says Jews are genetically impelled to undermine the majority populations of the societies they live in;
  • Mark Weber, head of the Institute for Historical Review, an outfit devoted entirely to Holocaust denial that is also a sponsor of “Political Cesspool.”
  • Ex-Klansman David Duke, a repeat “Cesspool” guest who once fantasized about having Buchanan as his running mate for U.S. president.
  • Virginia Abernethy, a former professor at Vanderbilt Medical School and self-described “white separatist.” Abernethy is on the board of the American Third Position, a hate group whose founder has sought the deportation of every American with an “ascertainable trace of Negro blood.”
  • Jerome Corsi, chief propagandist of “birtherism” and the anti-Kerry “Swift Boat “ campaign.
  • Anti-immigrant essayist Frosty Wooldridge, who says, among other things, that Muslims, blacks, and immigrants destroyed Detroit
  • Peter Brimelow, founder of the white nationalist website VDARE, which is a gathering place for racists, anti-Semites, and nativists to exchange ideas and foment hatred and resentment of non-whites.

Buchanan told Rehm he’d “heard things” about “Political Cesspool,” but defended his appearance by saying he’d done his due diligence by listening to audio clips of the show in advance. Edwards, Buchanan said, “was very interested in the race issue, but … I wouldn’t be on a program if somebody started calling racial or ethnic names. Or I rather might be on it, but I’d say that’s the last time we’re going on that one,” he said.

Edwards, to be sure, does seem to make a point of keeping himself away from the lowest dregs of the extreme right. The “Cesspool” host is a rising star of the white nationalist movement because he’s articulate and equally at ease in a television studio, behind a radio microphone, or standing in front of a crowd. Edwards carefully avoids using crudely derogatory language. Though he allies himself with hate group leaders who call black people “niggers,” he doesn’t drop the N-bomb himself. Instead he speaks in the more or less polished code of a suit-and-tie racist, calling blacks “heathen savages,” “subhumans,” and “black animals,” exclusively in the context of discussing violent black-on-white crime.

None of this makes him any less racist. But Buchanan’s avoidance of crude terms doesn’t negate his extremism either. The veteran culture warrior is no mere “paleoconservative” — he is an open white nationalist who thinks minorities, immigrants, and non-Christians are undermining America. He has defended the conclusions, though not the methods, of Norwegian anti-Muslim terrorist Anders Breivik, and backs up the theses of his most recent book with material from a bevy of racist, anti-Semitic and extreme-right sources. They include H.A. Scott Trask, who has called intermarriage “racial suicide;” VDARE’s Peter Brimelow; Thomas E. Woods, a sometimes-member of the theocratic and neo-Confederate League of the South; and others like them. In his 2002 book, Buchanan cited an op-ed by the late William Pierce, founder and leader of the National Alliance, which until Pierce’s death was the most dangerous and best organized neo-Nazi organization in America. The National Alliance was explicitly genocidal in its ideology, and Pierce’s novel, The Turner Diaries, was the inspiration for Timothy McVeigh’s 1995 bombing of the federal building in Oklahoma City and many other acts of terror.

In an E-mail yesterday, Hatewatch asked MSNBC for comment on Buchanan in light of the calls for his firing. A media relations spokesperson responded this morning, saying via E-mail, “We don’t have a comment at this time.”

Edwards, for his part, is thrilled by all the attention. “On Saturday night, we were rejoined on the air by Pat Buchanan for an interview that has caused the liberal media to go absolutely berserk. If you listen closely you can probably hear their howls, as we are currently under a vicious and hateful attack from the supposed advocates of ‘tolerance’ and ‘diversity,’” he crowed yesterday in an E-mail to supporters. “In fact, my cordial conversation with Pat has now become one of the top political news stories in America.”

  • Jonas Rand

    Above, it is mentioned that Buchanan is “unique” amongst commentators. That is almost surely true, in that he is probably the only pundit on a mainstream American TV network who propagated white nationalist propaganda. It goes beyond banal expressions of advocacy for “western civilization” and into the realm of blatant racism (or at least race-based nationalism). Buchanan believes, for example, that “superior” civilizations were always dominated by a single “race” (whatever that could mean). Also, he believes that, to make the US better, “whites” should dominate, which would in practice result in some sort of discriminatory racial stratification. This would mean a system rather like Apartheid South Africa (which Buchanan was against placing sanctions on), where non-”white” citizens are rendered second-, third- or fourth-class ones.

  • Ruslan Amirkhanov

    “buchanan is a breath of fresh air because he is unique…”

    So were Ed Gein, Hitler, and John Wayne Gacey.

    “the only mainstream conservative in the popular media who gives a damn about whether or not Western civilization lives or dies.”

    Please define “Western civilization”. And he is far from the only right wing blowhard whining about the death of Western civilization. In fact, right wing blowhards were whining about that as far back as the late 19th century. Maybe “Western civilization”, whatever it is, is stronger than they think.

    “He is a traditionalist.”

    He may call himself that, but many “traditions” these people speak of didn’t exist, or were negative.

    “And he is not anti-black. There were many black leaders and thinkers before 1960 who were concerned about the uplift of the black race in America who did not see mandatory desegregation and federal government paternalism as the answers to their problems.”

    So you support segregation and you think that blacks live off the government(strange, seeing as how whites still receive the bulk of welfare dollars, and that’s not including subsidies and special tax breaks).

  • why is the left so intolerant?

    buchanan is a breath of fresh air because he is unique…the only mainstream conservative in the popular media who gives a damn about whether or not Western civilization lives or dies. He is a traditionalist. And he is not anti-black. There were many black leaders and thinkers before 1960 who were concerned about the uplift of the black race in America who did not see mandatory desegregation and federal government paternalism as the answers to their problems. zora neale hurston was an example of a proud black woman who had no use whatsoever for the civil rights establishment that sought all of the progressive reforms that came to pass which have in many ways contributed to the decline of black America, not its uplift. People like Hurston and Booker T. Washington and even Marcus Garvey in some ways would have been sympathetic to Buchanan. Ezola Foster, Buchanan’s running mate in 2000, is a black woman who holds many of the same views as Hurston and Washington and other proud blacks from the pre-Civil Rights era.

  • Ruslan Amirkhanov

    “I see no evidence that Buchanan is bigoted towards INDIVIDUALS of another race.”

    Odd, since racism is usually about judging groups of people, not individuals. Perhaps you aren’t really looking.

    “He nominated after all a black woman to be his running mate in 2000.”

    A move which delivered his supporters over to the GOP, as it turns out,

    ” Nor is he particularly hostile towards race-based groups that seek the advancement of their race.”

    You miss the point of those groups. They seek “advancement” to equality, not a superior position.

    ” In fact, he probably see their efforts as natural, and only wants whites to be able to explicitely pursue policies their own racial self-interest as well.”

    Judging by all statistics, “whites” are advancing their “racial interests” quite well. Compared to Kurds in Turkey or Palestinians.

    “What he is sceptical about is the idea that forcing racial groups to interact together in every sphere of life, with no regard to the preferences of the groups concerned, and with coercive governmental policies designed to enforce equality of outcome amongst the different groups, is a path that will lead to unity, harmony and national greatness.”

    Please cite some examples of what you say here. Also it seems like you are saying he endorses segregation.

    “True, but why are you so intolerant of these views that you seek to prevent other people from hearing them? It is not like he is not being CHALLENGED when he expresses his viewpoint on MSNBC.”

    If I were allowed on MSNBC, I would bury Pat Buchanan in a debate. But I am not allowed on networks like that, because my views are far outside what is tolerated in the American media by any side. The media gives Pat and others far more freedom of speech than most of us.

    “Personally, I wish he was on Fox News instead. His role on MSNBC is to shock liberals, who are too closed minded for most part to even consider his viewpoints. Fox News however is watched by conservatives who MIGHT just hear what he says and begin to question the neocon kool-aid they are being given daily.”

    Unlikely. Conservatives are famous for being able to hold conflicting views without noticing.

  • sekon

    @Philemon

    How is Buchanan like a breath of fresh air? It stinks of hatred and passively promotes violence. Its as putrid as hate has ever been. He mixes truth with lies and opines as if he is speaking factually. I have no idea what you consider fresh air, but I think whatever you’re smelling is attracting flies.

  • sekon

    I find it funny how people want to defend hate speech by saying that hate mongers like Pat Buchanan deserve to speak because their speech is protected under the second amendment. Rwanda is know for genocide. Its hatred was flared by hate speech. This country has a long history of racial violance directed at people of color. The mass hatred has continually been fed large servings of hate speech. People who share the same hatred as him will defend his speech. They will use various angles such as the emotional appeal, intellectual approach, or some legal basis to defend and promote him. Perhaps, if they were the target of his hate rants and his mindless minion, their support of him would likely disappear in the blink of an eye.

  • why is left so intolerant?

    “Patrick J. Buchanan does not like you. He dislikes you because you are different.”

    I see no evidence that Buchanan is bigoted towards INDIVIDUALS of another race. He nominated after all a black woman to be his running mate in 2000. Nor is he particularly hostile towards race-based groups that seek the advancement of their race. In fact, he probably see their efforts as natural, and only wants whites to be able to explicitely pursue policies their own racial self-interest as well. What he is sceptical about is the idea that forcing racial groups to interact together in every sphere of life, with no regard to the preferences of the groups concerned, and with coercive governmental policies designed to enforce equality of outcome amongst the different groups, is a path that will lead to unity, harmony and national greatness.

    “First Amendment…nor does it forbid the viewers of that network — or any other group of citizens — from asking the network to drop him over his long history of racist pronouncements.”

    True, but why are you so intolerant of these views that you seek to prevent other people from hearing them? It is not like he is not being CHALLENGED when he expresses his viewpoint on MSNBC.

    Personally, I wish he was on Fox News instead. His role on MSNBC is to shock liberals, who are too closed minded for most part to even consider his viewpoints. Fox News however is watched by conservatives who MIGHT just hear what he says and begin to question the neocon kool-aid they are being given daily.

  • http://www.twitter.com/AronL Aron

    Walterhett,

    I’ll be honest in saying you’re the first commenter to surpass Ruslan in quality of prose.

    That was a truly brilliant piece of analysis, and if you don’t mind, I may pass it on to a few friends. Very impressive.

    Thank you

  • walterrhett

    Pat Buchanan’s eurocentric views often slide over into white supremacy rhetoric. Especially when he capriciously assigns race to history’s success and failure and projects it as a value onto future advance and decline. As wrongheaded as his views are—they are based on sweeping, unfounded but familiar generalizations, glaring omissions, deliberately overlooked details and an ignorance of specifics that is arrogance supreme–Buchanan is guilty of deeper crimes. Buchanan misses entirely the rice production done by Africans which made southern rice planters the world’s wealthiest economic class in the 18th century. That African cultivated rice, saved northern Europe from famine, revitalized Sweden, and established a singular prosperity in Cowes, England, and paid for the legal educations of many of the founding fathers, including South Carolina’s Charles Pinckney whose ghost draft of a constitution became a template for Jefferson and Madison.

    Today, American Express, Xerox. Merck (yes), and Aetna are headed by African-Americans. Tell them they are leading the nation into decline.

    But Buchanan’s greatest threat is not his wild assertions (mostly recycled from 18th century English parliament debates, Klan warnings of the decline of America and the rhetoric of US senators like SC’s Cotton Ed Smith in the 1920s and NC’s Jesse Helms more recently), or his role as an apologist for white people. It’s not his network and media platform. His greatest danger is as a distraction, the opposite of Athena’s apples, but for the same purpose. His role is to focus the public vision away from the GOP’s drive for unfettered, unchecked power. He appeals to the old order, while blinding everyone to his own irrelevancy. Buchanan is a modern Falstaff, vain, bombastic, cowardly, trading fear for courage. In every situation and action that he engages, Buchanan subverts the right order and stands for absolutist rule, feudal economics, and military virtues. He is ready to use other people as a means for his own ends. He steals old, re-cycled ideas. He and other pundits have lost their ambition of critical discovery.

    They never reference the amazing growth of Brasil and its rise as a world economic leader in markets and moving 31 million of impoverished masses into middle class in the last decade. They ignore the means are no longer about the old ends. Buchanan is what one Shakespearean scholar described as a “stage butt.” Take much of what he says as a jest and remember ideologically he is a thief.

  • Ruslan Amirkhanov

    Edward, compared to Buchanan, Howard Stern is a national treasure. Pat Buchanan is a bitter angry old man who appeals to bitter angry middle-aged men.

  • Edward Peterson

    I have just finished reading Pat Buchanan’s book, “Suicide of a Superpower.” I highly recommend it to all. He is certainly one of the great treasures of this nation.

  • Philemon

    Pat Buchanan is like a breath of fresh air. Thanks, Pat!

  • Leah Nelson

    juepucta said,

    ON OCTOBER 28TH, 2011 AT 12:30 AM
    Hate speech is not protected speech.

    @jeupucta, as several people in this thread have correctly pointed out, the United States does not have laws limiting (or even defining) “hate speech.” That’s why, for instance, Holocaust denier David Irving can be prosecuted in Europe, where there are hate speech laws, but not in America, where there aren’t.

    These constitutional protections apply equally to everyone, and are part of the makings of a vibrant democracy. They’re the reason, for instance, that LGBT organizations and La Raza and other groups reviled by the extreme right can stage rallies and events to express their views, just as organizations designated by the SPLC as hate groups can express theirs.

  • 6 degrees

    juepucta said,

    “Hate speech is not protected speech.”

    Of course it is! As it must be. Otherwise the debate changes from policy and facts to whether or not something can be considered “hate” speech. And with that, freedom of speech is destroyed.

    How do you not know this?

  • Bsr

    This is horribly insensitive, Pat Buchanan lost relatives in concentration camps as well, his Uncle fell out of a guard tower.

  • A.D.M.

    PBN, Buchanan has a history of making claims that the U.S. should be more white or mostly white.

  • A.D.M.

    This is funny. I’ll start with James Lewis. Give examples of the ADL and SPLC are anti-white. Put your money where your mouth is. If not, be quiet.

    Dick Lancaster, you make assumptions that people in different regions get along with based on their regional dwelling or ideology. How do you know? Did you talk to these individuals? I don’t know if they get along with each other because it’s all based on the individual, so I won’t assume they all get along because of regional dwelling or ideology. As for your other diatribe, I cannot speak for others, but if funinsnow likes Pat Buchanan, I don’t care. If he or she identifies as an American only, I don’t care. My comment was a response to something else funinsnow typed and the lack of knowledge he or she has about India and the amount slaughters that occured there both during British colonialism and after independence among others. And your take on the CBC and James Edwards is asinine.

    Also, if you read the article, there are only two organizations calling for MSNBC to fire Buchanan: Media Matters for America and Color of Change. SPLC is not on that list.