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MSNBC Boots Buchanan
Ironic, isn't it, how -- just when Patrick J. Buchanan's controversial 1992 prediction of a culture war has been proven prophetically accurate by the Obama Administration's assault on religious employers -- the Prophet Buchanan himself has been silenced and exiled from his last MSM outlet?
MSNBC's move against Pat Buchanan has been a long time coming. But, if you read the British press this morning, you can already see what's coming next in terms of ghetto-izing and then silencing religious conservatives. Note the succession.
First, they came for Salman Rushdie... Then they came for Don Imus...Then they came for the Catholic Church...Then they came for Pat Buchanan.
Today, for the first time, we have crossed a threshold: on one cable news channel, the task of ideological purification is done.
MSNBC's now a conservative-free zone. (Sorry, Joe Scarborough. You don't count.).
In his Friday column, Pat Buchanan announces that he and MSNBC have finally parted ways. MSNBC's move is no surprise. The wonder is that it took so long.
After ten years of appearances on Morning Joe, and other MSNBC outlets, Buchanan will no longer be the sole hard-right voice on a cable network which counts socialists, lesbians, race-baiters, militant feminists, the Reverend Al Sharpton (a category all his own) and other hard lefties in its ranks. Are they really going to just talk with each other?
And, by the way: shut up. You have your media and I have mine. See, Daniel Patrick Moynihan was wrong: you can have your own facts. Or, at least, your own cable news network.
Narrowcasting is officially here.
First the political parties split ideologically. Then the churches split, mostly over female and gay clergy, religious orthodoxy and homosexual unions. Now the media have split. Families are splitting too.
Reverend Wright's beliefs are defensible, but not those of Rick Santorum.
With regard to Pat Buchanan, however, there's actually a double-irony in his ejection from MSNBC and the MSM.
It's no secret Buchanan loves a good fight...or that he's served three Republican presidents and run for president himself several times...or that he's, shall we say, no friend to Israel and, in particular, of its Likud political party. No less a conservative than William F. Buckley himself famously refused to defend Buchanan against charges of anti-Semitism back in 1992.
Nevertheless, it's fair to say that Pat Buchanan, for twenty years, has done no more than advocate the social consensus (and way of life - see Charles J Murray's important new book, Coming Apart: the State of White America from 1960 - 2012, or his interview concerning same on Charlie Rose) which existed in this country in 1965. And, for this advocacy, Buchanan has for twenty years been routinely condemned as a racist, a white supremacist, a theocon, an anti-Semite, a woman-hater, a homophobe, an isolationist and a nativist Know Nothing.
Did I miss anything?
Here's the irony: it was none other than one Patrick J. Buchanan who -- long ago on a media planet far, far away -- helped commence the march away from the Big Three networks. He actually helped start something which led to cable news channels, talk radio and today's 24-hour news cycle. Buchanan was, you might say, one of the original talking heads.
In the late 1970's, Pat Buchanan and the late liberal columnist Tom Braden debuted a three-hour program called The Buchanan-Braden Program on a Washington, D.C., radio station. In the darkness of the Carter Years, Buchanan was truly the voice of one crying in the wilderness, writing conservative books and doing political commentary on NBC radio. He was thus, you might say, present at the creation of conservative talk radio.
CNN's Crossfire, which Buchanan debuted a few years later, was inspired by The Buchanan-Braden Program. Buchanan was later succeeded on Crossfire by the late conservative columnist, Robert Novak. So, in many ways, the people who banned Pat Buchanan this are the inheritors of something he helped create.
Of course, despite MSNBC's action, Patrick J. Buchanan has hardly been silenced. .
He continues as a regular on The McLaughlin Group. His speech-giving continues too. The book which led to Buchanan's present ban, Suicide of Superpower: Will America Exist in 2015 is on the best-seller list. And Buchanan's twice-weekly column, too, appears in Human Events, in American Conservative and on takimag.com, the on-line magazine.
Who knows? It may even appear occasionally in a newspaper near you.
No, probably not. He's "too controversial," don't you know. But, if you want to watch a cable news channel where there are no conservative viewpoints, contributors or commentators, where you get only one side of every issue, well, there's now a place for you: MSNBC.
And that means MSNBC -- and its audience -- will be the real losers.
No Don Imus. No Pat Buchanan. Just as Peter Hitchens experienced when his 2000 book, The Abolition of Britain, could only be published in the UK in highly-edited form, now in the U.S. certain traditional views may not be expressed everywhere.
As for me, I intend to go on reading Patrick J. Buchanan. Just as I intend to go on regularly disagreeing with him.
Isn't that what "the liberal imagination" and the life of the mind are all about?
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