Political Animal


February 17, 2012 11:54 AM Pat Buchanan As Victim

By Ed Kilgore

In addition to Foster Friess’ passive-aggressive “apology” for his “joke” about how the “gals” used to avoid unwanted pregnancy by keeping their knees together, the other big news in the world of Old White Male Reactionaries was Pat Buchanan’s self-pitying announcement that his contract with MSNBC has not been renewed. It seems the Jews and the Blacks and the Feminists and the Gays have denied the grizzled paleocon his accustomed perch on Basic Cable, though his claim that he has been “silenced” seems a bit strange coming from someone whose self-proclaimed martyrdom is getting maximum media coverage.

I’ve never quite understood the conceit whereby television networks are First Amendment Boxes that owe it to every crank to peddle his or her wares, or that any one “personality” should have a perpetual entitlement to visit us all in our homes four or five times a week. But before it gets out of hand, let’s definitely throw some cold water on Buchanan’s effort to make himself a living sacrifice for the poor persecuted conservatives of America. Here’s an apt comment from the conservative blog site Outside the Beltway:

Buchanan obviously refuses to take responsibility for his own rhetoric. In the end, though, I think the main reason he’s gone is because MSNBC has figured out something that most people who spend any time on the right have known for years. Put simply, Pat Buchanan has not represented the mainstream of political thought on the right for years, if ever. Leaving aside his idiotic comments on race and religion, the man is a xenophobic protectionist whose economic positions often seem more akin to Michael Moore than Milton Friedman. To the extent that the network was bringing him on as the “conservative voice,” they were failing miserably, because he really doesn’t represent modern conservatism in any respect. That’s why I don’t think anyone is really going to miss the guy.

Pat Buchanan has had regular access to major mainstream news media for close to four decades now. That should be enough for anybody, much less for a guy who often seemed determined to channel the disreputable ideologies of the pre-World-War II Right.

Ed Kilgore is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.


  • Tired Liberal on February 17, 2012 12:18 PM:

    I'm no constitutional scholar, but I don't recall anything in the Bill of Rights that mentions the right to be handsomely paid for spouting your opinions over the airwaves.

  • Ralph Kramden on February 17, 2012 12:27 PM:

    Any word from John McLaughlin why he still allows Buchanan to bloviate on "The McLaughlin Group"?

  • LAC on February 17, 2012 12:28 PM:

    Only in america could a nasty bigot like this last on the air as long as he did. I guess it was all the crinkly-eyed grinning he did. Just collect your last paycheck and sit on the porch eating your pudding, old man. I am sure that Stormfront will be knocking on your door soon enough for a weekly slot. Buh bye...

  • mmm on February 17, 2012 12:29 PM:

    Don't worry, Pat. Faux News is ready with a contract for you. After all, if Mark "Appalachian Tail" can be an analyst, so can you.

  • RL Alitheia on February 17, 2012 12:29 PM:

    While I vehemently oppose Pat Buchanan's views, I have struggled with whether or not I believe MSNBC made a good decision in firing him. While on one hand, MSNBC was giving him a platform to espouse his racist, misogynist, and xenophobic views, he was also serving as an example of the racism, misogyny, and xenophobia that undergirds the current iteration of the GOP. i don't know if he served better as an object lesson on MSNBC than he will as a martyr - slain by the evil forces of the left, the Jews, and the gays - in his almost certain role-to-come on Fox.

  • Robert on February 17, 2012 12:33 PM:

    Good riddance to Father Coughlin's speech writer.

  • Werewolf on February 17, 2012 12:44 PM:

    To be fair, Buchanan's "self-pitying announcement" probably sounded better in the original German. (Tip o'the hat to the late, lamented Molly Ivins.)

  • martin on February 17, 2012 12:45 PM:


    No, Pat did not serve well as an object lesson on MSNBC because NO ONE on MSNBC would point out what a racist, misogynist xenophope he is.

    If he was introduced on every show as "And not representing bigots all across America..." maybe he would serve a purpose.

    I heard on good authority that in person he's a really nice guy (for a bigot), which is probably why none of the MSNBC liberals would take him down on the air. Still, that is no excuse for letting him spout crap year after year.

  • exlibra on February 17, 2012 12:46 PM:

    [...] Pat Buchananís self-pitying announcement that his contract with MSNBC has not been renewed. -- Ed Kilgore

    I don't watch TV, so whatever I know about it tends to come from reading the lefty blogs and watching an occasional Colbert clip on my 'puter. From all I've heard, the fright wing considers MSNBC as the lefty equivalent of Faux Mews. If that's true... What was an upstanding patriot such as Buchanan doing at that flaming commie outpost in the first place?

  • martin on February 17, 2012 12:47 PM:

    accckkk, typo

    "And now, representing bigots all across America..."

  • zandru on February 17, 2012 12:47 PM:

    "the Jews and the Blacks and the Feminists and the Gays"

    So, Buchanan is saying that all these folks should have NO VOICE in determining what they watch on their pay teevies? It's the money, Pat - you're not bringing it in anymore.

  • T2 on February 17, 2012 12:55 PM:

    the fact that this hate-filled moron was allowed to remain on television after repeated racist remarks, most directed at the President of the United States, is more an indictment of Cable TV, and MSNBC in particular, than one sad old relic from the days of slavery. His last statement....blacklisted indeed...

  • Danp on February 17, 2012 1:05 PM:

    And another nattering nabob of negativism joins the silent majority.

  • Kathryn on February 17, 2012 1:13 PM:

    @Ralph Kramdon.....maybe they're bloviation buddies.

  • hells littlest angel on February 17, 2012 1:34 PM:

    Good riddance to that wretched turd of a man.

  • john sherman on February 17, 2012 1:36 PM:

    There was always something incongruent about a guy with no ideas post-dating 1915 appearing on a medium that is only 70 years old.

    He went from being a failed presidential candidate to being a failed everything else in three decades; let's hope Newt Gingrich follows the same arc only on a much shorter time table, say three months.

  • Sean Scallon on February 17, 2012 1:40 PM:

    "Hereís an apt comment from the conservative blog site Outside the Beltway"

    If you're going to use neocons to make observation about paleocons at least intelligence and the honesty to say so given you're only a few tweaks of your philosophies from having Bill Kristol or David Frum write for your website.

    To you the neocons are just opportunists, not opponents.

  • Mark D on February 17, 2012 1:57 PM:

    "he really doesnít represent modern conservatism in any respect."

    Except for his views on gays, Latinos, Muslims, African Americans, women, the social safety net, and love of white males having all the power.

    Other than those, however ...

  • RL Alitheia on February 17, 2012 1:59 PM:


    Just to be clear, I'm not saying that MSNBC made an object lesson out of him, I'm saying he served as an object lesson to viewers. (I know he was one to me, causing me to dig into the underbelly of vile rhetoric that has infected the so-called Conservative movement, from which I am a refugee.) On Fox, he'll serve as reinforcement to the caricaturization of "liberal machine smear victim" that the echo chamber on the right has worked hard to construct. He will reinforce the views of the spoon-fed, non-thinking viewers that tune into that network for propaganda. I agree that he was rarely challenged on MSNBC, though in his primary spot on MJ, he was closer to reflecting Scarborough's views than anyone else on the network, which gave him an implicit pass to spout the garbage he did. But going to Fox won't help lower his profile. He's a hero there. He'll serve as the "intellectual" elder statesman to that network. And that is a frightening thought.

  • boatboy_srq on February 17, 2012 2:14 PM:

    Good riddance. Nuff said.

    @mmm: I don't know whether that was a typo or not, but "Mark 'Appalachian Tail' Sanford" is now going in my inventory of political snarks, thanks to you. Too, too funny!

  • MsWinston on February 18, 2012 8:01 AM:

    I remember Pat stating on "Morning Joe" that then Supreme Court justice nominee Sotomayor was unsuited for the job because she "wasn't very bright." The implication was clear -- she wasn't qualified or bight because she was a Latina. I do not remember any of the "Morning Joe" gang challening the comment or the man who made it. Pat also wrote a book that put the blame for WWII on Churchill, with Hitler getting a bye...

  • j.r.williams on February 21, 2012 1:59 PM:

    Finally the ole bassturd has sunk to the bottom of the right wing biggoted racist cesspool.OOHHH my,Faux Nazi Media will be dragging the bottom of the cesspool for him adding him to the other pieces of feces they have on that channel.Thank you MSNBC for dumping his ole fossil arsed.I never liked this man from the days he was in politics dating back to the 80's. The man represents one class of Americans,the good ole rich white boys.He reminded me of an old southern slave owner from the 1800's with a buggy whip in one hand and a Bible in the other.Sadly that's the same thing we're see coming from the RepigliKKKon and Douche Bagger Party's today.Yep,a lot of people commenting here are right,the Faux Nazi Propoganda media will grab him up quickly.They love old racist boggoted aholes like him that can smile and lie at the same time.