MSNBC channels Joe McCarthy, blacklists Pat Buchanan

February 17, 2012

Pat Buchanan, the left's latest casualty of its New McCarthyism

It’s official. In a letter published on his page Pat Buchanan announced yesterday that “My days as a political analyst at MSNBC have come to an end.”

MSNBC has managed to bring back one of the worst chapters in American history by returning to the tactics of  the McCarthy era and the “blacklisting” of free and open exchange of differing opinion.

So as the Buchanan era ends, the new McCarthy era at MSNBC now begins.

Buchanan explains in the opening of his letter the beginning of the end:

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.

The calls for my firing began almost immediately with the Oct. 18 publication of “Suicide of a Superpower: Will America Survive to 2025?”

A group called Color of Change, whose mission statement says that it “exists to strengthen Black America’s political voice,” claimed that my book espouses a “white supremacist ideology.” Color of Change took particular umbrage at the title of Chapter 4, “The End of White America.”

Media Matters parroted the party line: He has blasphemed!

A Human Rights Campaign that bills itself as America’s leading voice for lesbians, bisexuals, gays and transgendered people said that Buchanan’s “extremist ideas are incredibly harmful to millions of LBGT people around the world.”

Their rage was triggered by a remark to NPR’s Diane Rehm — that I believe homosexual acts to be “unnatural and immoral.”

On Nov. 2, Abe Foxman of the Anti-Defamation League, who has sought to have me censored for 22 years, piled on.

“Buchanan has shown himself, time and again, to be a racist and an anti-Semite,” said Foxman. Buchanan “bemoans the destruction of white Christian America” and says America’s shrinking Jewish population is due to the “collective decision of Jews themselves.”

Well, yes, I do bemoan what Newsweek’s 2009 cover called “The Decline and Fall of Christian America” and editor Jon Meacham described as “The End of Christian America.” After all, I am a Christian.

And what else explains the shrinkage of the U.S. Jewish population by 6 percent in the 1990s and its projected decline by another 50 percent by 2050, if not the “collective decision of Jews themselves”?

Let error be tolerated, said Thomas Jefferson, “so long as reason is left free to combat it.” What Foxman and ADL are about in demanding that my voice be silenced is, in the Jeffersonian sense, intrinsically un-American.

Unfortunately for Buchanan, it now seems there’s no one left at MSNBC who even knows who Jefferson was, let alone understand the concept of free and open debate between opposing political views. Hence their hand-in-hand jump off the cliff with far left ideologues.

To one who has followed the increasing militancy of the left MSNBC’s action comes as no surprise.

It was only a matter of time before Pat Buchanan ran square into the wall of hate and intolerance being erected by groups like Color of Change and Media Matters and the politically correct brass of MSNBC.

When MSNBC gave the Tawana Brawley fraud, Al Sharpton, his own show and an hour of air time to spread his race baiting hate and intolerance it had finally admitted to the world it no longer cared about free and open debate, dissenting opinion, or critical thought of any kind other than the per-approved “politically correct” thought now mandated by the far left.

The wall of intolerance of opposing views being erected by groups such as Color of Change and Media Matters is as un-American as it gets and the assistance they get from the minion media in propagating their intolerance isn’t too far behind.

And as we have already seen these past couple of weeks regarding how an imaginary “right” to free contraception has been twisted into a women’s “health” crusade rather than the Constitutional issue it really is the left is no longer satisfied with debating the issues, they are out to destroy any and all thought and speech that doesn’t fall in line and support the approved liberal agenda.

Since it’s inception, political correctness has been a slow cancer spreading across the land. A word banned here, a phrase disavowed there, a commentator fired for this, forced to apologize for that. With each instance the cancer grows stronger, the intolerance spreads, until at last it metastasizes throughout the entire body politic.

MSNBC’s blacklisting of Buchanan shows the cancer is spreading at an alarming rate. The question before us all, is not to ponder whether Buchanan should or should not have been fired. (MSNBC is a public company operating in the private economy, and is fully within its economic rights to hire and fire staff as it sees fit.)

What every American not afflicted with the dwainbwain tumor should be pondering right now is that after the terrible stain that the McCarthy era left upon this nation’s history do we now sit idly by as a much more destructive force gains traction?

Or do we call it out for what it is: blatant censorship of dissenting opinion meant to silence opposing thought and put free speech on ice.

Oh sure, the supporters will say it was strictly a “business” decision. And yes, MSNBC can go whatever “direction” it wants. But the reason for the decision, the desire to please the far left and cater to the politically correct should give all pause.

Forget global warming, America has entered a new ice age.

An age where speech and thought must fit the pre-approved narrative, where political opinion must be of the “correct” kind, and where freedoms once sacred and revered, fought and died for, become frozen in time as an intolerant chill creeps across the land.

And the ultimate irony in MSNBC’s rush to one-sided thought is that the very network it loathes, Fox News, has just recently brought on Soros funded, lesbian activist Sally Kohn and decidedly liberal commentator Jehmu Greene.

So at the end of the day, which channel is REALLY providing the “fair and balanced” opinion?  Fox with divergent, open exchanges or MSNBC squashing the voice of dissent.  Only the village idiots won’t admit the truth that the rest of us already know.

Neimoller’s words should not be forgotten:

First they came for the communists,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a communist.

Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a Jew.

Then they came for me
and there was no one left to speak out for me.


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7 Responses to MSNBC channels Joe McCarthy, blacklists Pat Buchanan

  1. anson burlingame on February 17, 2012 at 11:36 am


    I stand behind the “right” of any company to hire and fire employees in accordance with the “whims” of leadership within a company as long as it complies with current laws against specified discrimmination.

    MSNBC has long been the “liberal” counter to Fox News. Why they ever chose Pat as a member of their organization is a question in my mind. Probably it was an attempt on their part to show “diversity” on the political front. Now they have obviously changed their minds in that regard, and have a “right” to do so in my view.

    Now look at today’s Globe with the story of Dems in Congress complaining that witnesses before a subcommittee on recent HC regs vs religion were “stacked” by GOP leaders on that subcommittee to show only the views of Churches and not secular supporters of the new regulations.

    In one case we are viewing that actions of a company and the other our own government. If elected political leaders try to “stack the deck” in witnesses before Congress on controversial issues, I find that much more egregious than the actions of a Media company to choose employees that only deliver the message desired by that company.

    McCarthy did HIS thing acting with the force of government, MSNBC did not. Is MSNBC biased. You bet they are in my view. But so is Fox, by and large at least during Prime time evening “entertainment”. But government has no say in any way how each company manipulates its “news”, actually opinion, not news as such.


  2. A Nonny Moose on February 17, 2012 at 5:15 pm

    I mostly agree with Anson on this one. MSNBC has the right to fire anyone they wish for any reason (unless, of course, that person has a contract specifically allowing them certain leeway). Buchanon is a lightning rod, and in many ways I think he brings this stuff on himself because he enjoys it so much.

    That being said, as with most things in life, just because one can do something doesn’t mean one should. I could get naked, coat myself in butter, and run down the street screaming “Obama is God!”, but that wouldn’t be a smart thing to do. I could go “take over” a park somewhere, sleeping in my LL Bean sleeping bag, wearing designer jeans, $200 sneakers, and playing on my $700 iPhone, all while decrying corporatism and capitalism, but that would just make me look like a clueless child who thinks I’m changing the world. I could tell the world I used to be a conservative, then swing wildly over to the far, far left, and start a poorly written blog that makes me look like a complete tool while telling the world (or at least all seven readers) how much smarter I am than they are, and banning people if they don’t agree with me on everything. But that would be stupid, and unfortunately unoriginal. Anyway, you get the idea. Just because you can doesn’t mean you should.

    So MSNBC had the right to fire Buchanon, but should they have? More importantly, should they have used the grounds they claim as a reason to do so? By buckling to the demands of fringe of the fringe of a fringe element, they end up making themselves look like intolerant assclowns (aka “heroes” to the left) and give Buchanon more fodder for his martyr routine. Heck, based on their abysmal ratings, if they really thought what he was saying was subversive and dangerous, their best course of action would have been to force him to stay on the air at that pitiful excuse for a network. After all, rather than making him a “martyr” for free speech and giving him a huge megaphone, the best way to silence him would be to stick him where very few people would have heard him. And honestly, what better way to guarantee that than to be on MSNBC? Actually, he might have had grounds to sue for cruel and unusual punishment had they done that, so never mind.

    So yeah, I do mostly agree with Anson. They had every right to make the decision they did with Buchanon. Of course, being model “progressives”, when presented with a decision, you can depend on the fact they’ll always pick the one path to “progress” down that is the single dumbest thing they can do, filled with unintended consequences that anyone but they could see coming from miles away. I would only have been surprised had they kept him on and defended his right to his opinions, making them actually as “tolerant” as the left loves to falsely claim they are.

  3. Geoff Caldwell on February 17, 2012 at 9:50 pm

    I agree with both of you that MSNBC absolutely had the “right” to fire him. My point is who pressured them to do it and what the left and political correctness is doing to chill free speech and open discussion of opposing ideas.
    Just like Dwain “banning” me for so long because he didn’t like my “tone” in one friggin comment.
    Same with what Van Jones and his Color of Change and the Media Matters bunch getting Buchanan fired over at MSNBC. It’s not that MSNBC doesn’t have every right to do it. It’s the caving into the far left and the silencing of speech for no other reason than it’s speech not agreed with. That’s about as “McCarthy” as it comes.
    But of course to the left, since the silencing furthers along the agenda the ends justifies the means and MSNBC is to be applauded for ridding itself of such intolerants as Buchanan. Yet they hire Sharpton the fraud, Schultz the mad man, and Maddow the well, no one’s quite sure yet what she is and put them out as “approved” opinionators.
    If it was just MSNBC and an isolated incident here or there it would be one thing, but there is an orchestrated effort by the radical left to silence conservative opinion and it’s becoming far too accepted as “normal” by far too many.
    But you won’t hear the dwainbwain’s say a word about that, just that Buchanan’s a bigot, blah, blah, blah all the while the rest of the stable is free to spout whatever hate and intolerance it wants because it’s the hate and intolerance of the left and we all know that’s the “correct” kind.

  4. Herb Van Fleet on February 18, 2012 at 4:39 pm


    I see you’re still going with the hyperbole. It’s quite a stretch to equate MSNBC’s firing of Pat Buchanan with the blacklisting during the era of McCarthyism; MSNBC being a private corporation that can hire and fire whoever it wants and couldn’t blacklist anyone if it had to, and McCarthy’s indictment and metaphoric conviction of anyone he thought was a dirty rotten commie spy.

    I like Buchanan. Sometimes he’ll wander too far away from the asylum, but he had humor and a brain full of history and politics that’s hard to find these days; someone who deserves to be heard. And don’t forget, MSNBC also fired Keith Olbermann. I liked him too, mainly for the humor and his “Worst Person” awards. As I recall, Olbermann left quietly and without all the venom that Buchanan now spews at his former employer.

    But I don’t condemn MSNBC. After all, they do have “Morning Joe” for you early risers. Joe Scarborough, with his co-hosts Mika Brzezinski and Willie Geist, could teach Fox News a thing or two about fair and balanced.

    Of course, none of the aforementioned commentators are even close to the level of Edward R. Murrow who, as everyone knows, almost singlehandedly turned Joe McCarthy into the sniveling alcoholic that he was. Murrow also knew that putting a news organization under the control of a for-profit company was anathema to the unfettered news reporting that the public deserved. In a speech to the Radio-Television News Directors Association in October 1958, Murrow said, in part:

    “For surely we shall pay for using this most powerful instrument of communication [TV] to insulate the citizenry from the hard and demanding realities which must be faced if we are to survive. I mean the word survive literally. If there were to be a competition in indifference, or perhaps in insulation from reality, then Nero and his fiddle, Chamberlain and his umbrella, could not find a place on an early afternoon sustaining show. If Hollywood were to run out of Indians, the program schedules would be mangled beyond all recognition. Then some courageous soul with a small budget might be able to do a documentary telling what, in fact, we have done–and are still doing–to the Indians in this country. But that would be unpleasant. And we must at all costs shield the sensitive citizens from anything that is unpleasant.”

    Can’t say it any better than that.


    • Geoff Caldwell on February 18, 2012 at 7:35 pm

      And supposedly all those Hollywood studios were “private” corporations who “should” have been able to hire and fire as they saw fit.
      BUT they couldn’t could they?
      Because of the chill put across the land by McCarthy their “private” hire/fire rights became mooted by the public “political correctness” of the day.
      Fast forward half a century and you have, Van Jones, Media Matters and the rest of the far left doing to MSNBC what McCarthy did to Hollywood.
      Of course one could argue that MSNBC is actually a willing participant in the silencing of opposing views but that still does not excuse them to caving into the McCarthy tactics against Buchanan.
      And as for the hyperbole? Get used to it. One man’s “hyperbole” is another’s call to action. I know what I’m doing, do you?

    • Geoff Caldwell on February 18, 2012 at 7:38 pm

      And sorry I forget to include. I am one of those “early risers” and catch the first part of Morning Joe pretty much every morning. It is hardly the scion of “analysis” you portray. While true, it’s better than the rest it’s been leaning farther and farther to the left over the past two years and becoming less and less a “Murrow” type “news” program.
      And that’s no hyperbole.

  5. Geoff Caldwell on February 22, 2012 at 7:01 pm

    It doesn’t have to be a government doing the silencing to make it McCarthyism. As for those “plenty of right-leaning voices on MSNBC” myself and my readers are anxious to see your list.
    The column is not about whether MSNBC had the “right” to hire/fire the Corner agrees with that. It is about the ultra left wing and the stifling of opposing views.
    That said, welcome to the Corner. All opinions no matter from what “corner” allowed and appreciated.


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