A Closer Look at What Happened to Pat Buchanan, Part 1

Pat Buchanan has not appeared on MSNBC since October, when he began promoting his book, Suicide of a Superpower: Will America Survive to 2025? He expressed concern about “the end of white America” and the shrinking of the “European and Christian core of our country.” In January 2012 MSNBC’s president Phil Griffin said, “The ideas he put forth aren’t really appropriate for national dialogue, much less the dialogue on MSNBC.”

Following his dismissal from MSNBC, Buchanan named what he regards as the provocateurs of his downfall (see “The New Blacklist”). Buchanan blames “an incessant clamor from the left,” itemizing the Black-advocacy group Color of Change, Media Matters, and an unnamed LGBT group. After them, at the end of the list, Buchanan adds, “On Nov. 2, Abe Foxman of the Anti-Defamation League, who has sought to have me censored for 22 years, piled on.” Likewise  Congressman Tom Tancredo: “MSNBC’s decision to dismiss Pat Buchanan shows the depths to which the mainstream media has caved to far-left pressure groups like the Southern Poverty Law Center, the National Council of La Raza, Color of Change and Media Matters. There can be no doubt that these smear operations were responsible for Buchanan’s dismissal.”

I disagree with this, the prevalent view. I argue that what many people think were the causes of Pat Buchanan’s dismissal probably were not. What really hurt Buchanan was probably not the horde of angry enemies circling the walls of MSNBC and blowing trumpets, not the ADL, not Media Matters, not even Color of Change or the LGBT group. While the public is disposed to equate making noise with exerting influence, the decision of an executive in an office need not have been influenced by any of that in the slightest. I suggest that the decision to fire Buchanan from MSNBC may have been based on a consideration that is relatively or even completely obscure to the general public.

One Year Ago

For comparison, to get a broader perspective on what might cause dismissal from a cable news channel, let’s look at the downfall of Glenn Beck from Fox News. Fox News has attracted a large following among White Americans by catering in a limited way to the racial attitudes of White viewers.

Fox News personalities will condemn illegal immigration and allude to non-White criminality, and complain about unfairness to White people. The proprietor of Fox News, Rupert Murdoch, who is a Zionist but apparently not particularly pro-White, says that he finds Fox News embarrassing.

The case of Glenn Beck shows that a great deal of Political Incorrectness can be committed by a popular entertainer on a Zionist media-outlet so long as he adheres consistently to the Zionist positions. Beck more or less follows the John Birch Society’s tradition of talking about Jewish conspiracy while strenuously denying that the discussion is about Jews. This is a difficult pose. The rhetorical contortions that Glenn Beck has used to make his positions seem politically correct have made him an easy target for Jewish satirist Jon Stewart. In January 2010 on ABC’s This Week, Fox News’ Roger Ailes defended Glenn Beck against Arianna Huffington’s inimical question about Beck’s “paranoid style” that compares Obama to Hitler and Stalin.

In 2009 the ADL called Glenn Beck the “fearmonger-in-chief,” who was “raising anxiety about and distrust towards the government.” In reaction to Obama’s quick and sharp denunciation of the behavior of police in arresting a Black university-professor, Glenn Beck called Barack Obama a “racist with a deep-seated hatred for White people” on a Fox News show.

Beck’s statement provoked a response from the NAACP and some negative comments from the panel on MSNBC’s Morning Joe. Color of Change, a kind of Negro anti-defamation league, got involved by putting pressure on Beck’s Fox News advertisers.

The people who approved of the cancellation of Beck’s Fox News show pretended that advertisers simply withdrew spontaneously. Media Matters, for example, made no mention of the role of organized pressure. By contrast the director of Color of Change, James Rucker, boasted that his group had gotten Beck’s show canceled. Although Color of Change had succeeded in forcing Beck to find new advertisers, was it really the agitation of this group that had gotten Beck fired? Color of Change had been making these efforts since 2009 and Beck was only removed in 2011.

Although Color of Change’s campaign created some inconvenience, it did not cause Fox News to cancel Beck’s highly rated show. Beck’s ratings in January 2011 had declined 30% from a year earlier but they were still quite good. His Fox News show at approximately 2.2 million viewers had a larger audience than all other news channels combined.

Beck also did not avoid the Jewish issue entirely.

In November 2010, Glenn Beck went on the warpath against George Soros. He identified Soros as the son of a Hungarian Jew and as a currency-manipulator and profiteer and funder of leftist causes, trying to bring a “new world order”: In his two-part exposé of Soros, called “The Puppet Master,” Beck said: “Along with currencies, Soros also collapses regimes. With his Open Society Fund … Soros has helped fund the Velvet Revolution in the Czech Republic, the Orange Revolution in the Ukraine, the Rose Revolution in Georgia. He also helped to engineer coups in Slovakia, Croatia, and Yugoslavia. So what is his target now? Us. America.”

Glenn Beck had a running feud with Jewish Funds for Justice during most of 2010, which culminated on 27 January 2011 when the organization posted a full-page advertisement in the Wall Street Journal (owned by Rupert Murdoch) bearing the names of 400 rabbis urging that Beck be punished for his statements

With his unambiguous advocacy of support for the State of Israel per se, Beck was even able to get away with offending significant numbers of Jews. Being widely perceived as something of an anti-Semite, from 2009 to 2011, did not get Beck fired from Fox News, so long as he did not run afoul of the Zionist agenda. By early 2011, Beck’s criticism of George Soros’ regime-changing activities expanded into criticism of the Zionists’ regime-changing plans for the Middle East. (On his radio show, also in early 2011, Beck likened Reform Judaism to Radical Islam, but he subsequently apologized.) At that point Beck suddenly got a stab in the back at Fox News.

William Kristol became a critic of Glenn Beck after Beck spoke disparagingly of the democratic uprising in Egypt which was a continuation of the Neoconservatives’ PNAC agenda:

When Glenn Beck rants about the caliphate taking over the Middle East from Morocco to the Philippines, and lists (invents?) the connections between caliphate-promoters and the American left, he brings to mind no one so much as Robert Welch and the John Birch Society. He’s marginalizing himself, just as his predecessors did back in the early 1960s. Nor is it a sign of health when other American conservatives are so fearful of a popular awakening that they side with the dictator against the democrats. [William Kristol, “Stand for Freedom,” The Weekly Standard, 14 February 2011]

Kristol’s complaint is that Beck has some real conservative tendencies, including distrust of democracy and fear of a leap into the unknown.  It is clear that these real conservative tendencies are inconvenient for Kristol’s agenda. What a thorn in the side Glenn Beck might have been for the overthrowers of Muammar Qaddaffi, if he’d still had his a highly rated daily show on Fox News. On 24 February 2011 Peter Wehner, a former “special assistant” in the Zionist-saturated George W. Bush administration, and an author published in all the leading neocon periodicals, wrote in Commentary that Glenn Beck was bad for the conservative movement:

One cannot watch him for any length of time without being struck by his affinity for conspiracies and for portraying himself as the great decoder of events. Political movements are not just wrong; they are infiltrated by a web of malevolent forces. Others see the shadows on the wall; Beck alone sees the men casting them. The danger when one paints the world in such conspiratorial terms is that it devalues the rational side of politics. It encourages a cast of mind that looks to expose enemies rather than to engage in arguments. [Peter Wehner, “The Most Disturbing Personality on Cable Television, Commentary, 24 February 2011]

Wehner forecast Beck’s imminent professional demise and advised conservatives to distance themselves from him. This same Peter Wehner, this famous advisor to all conservatives, recently drew attention to himself by declaring that Obama was preferable to Ron Paul — because of  how Ron Paul would affect the Zionist agenda in foreign policy. Canadian Jew David Frum, George W. Bush’s erstwhile speechwriter who invented the term “Axis of Evil,” also denounced Beck, as did others. It was not long after the phalanx of prominent neoconservatives came out against Glenn Beck that it was announced that his show on Fox News would soon be ending. Based on the timing of events, I would suggest that the real explanation of why Beck’s show was canceled is something that is rather obvious but little-discussed. Although all the public noise and criticism from Black and even leftist-Jewish organizations attracted public attention, this was not what got Glenn Beck fired from Fox News. When he lost advertisers, because he had very high ratings, he was able to get enough new ones to keep the show profitable. Glenn Beck was able to weather that storm for a long time: in some sense it probably even helped him, given the siege-mentality of the Fox News audience: these are people who expect to have enemies, and in their minds being attacked by the left is only a confirmation of being right. All of what most people think was the reason for Beck’s dismissal was really ineffectual. What killed the show was when neocon Jews, people influential at Fox News and with the owner Rupert Murdoch (who funded their PNAC), started to say Glenn Beck must go.

Buchanan’s Long-Standing Conflict with Zionism

The most long-standing vendetta that Buchanan mentions in “The New Blacklist” is that of the ADL. Twenty-two years ago (1990) Pat Buchanan blamed U.S. military intervention against Iraq on organized Zionist pressure. He said on The McLaughlin Group: “There are only two groups that are beating the drums for war in the Middle East: the Israeli Defense Ministry and its amen corner in the United States.” A few days later he named some members of that amen corner: A.M. Rosenthal, Richard Perle, Charles Krauthammer, and Henry Kissinger — all Jews.

Reaction came in the form of a column by A.M. Rosenthal in the New York Times accusing Buchanan of anti-Semitism and “blood libel.” Rosenthal declared that he had seen signs of Buchanan’s anti-Semitism previously but had only decided to speak publicly about it when Buchanan made his comment in opposition to the Zionist war. Thereafter Eric Breindel at the New York Post attacked Buchanan. Richard Cohen at the Washington Post called Buchanan insensitive. William F. Buckley. accused Buchanan of insensitivity but also accused Rosenthal of overreacting. Jacob Weisberg in the New Republic argued that “Buchanan’s entire world view is deeply disturbing . . . in a distinct sense, fascistic.” (The New York Post’s non-Jewish writer Scott McConnell denounced Buchanan at the time but later repented and aligned himself with Buchanan.)

What were the “signs of anti-Semitism” that Rosenthal had observed before 1990? In 1983 Buchanan began defending John Demjanjuk, arguing that it was a case of mistaken identity, By 1987 Buchanan had decided that there was no Ivan the Terrible at Treblinka. In 1990, he noted that diesel engines, supposedly the murder-weapon used at Treblinka, “do not emit enough carbon monoxide to kill anybody.” Buchanan expressed skepticism about the reliability of concentration-camp survivors, saying that they had “group fantasies of martyrdom and heroics” because of “Holocaust Survivor Syndrome.” This explains why Buchanan was skeptical of the testimonies against Arthur Rudolph and Karl Linnas. In recent years Buchanan has even written books expressing skepticism about the merits of the “good war” that destroyed National Socialism, obviously believing fundamentally that there had been exaggeration and distortion in the direction of validating the victors. Buchanan has also had the temerity to side with his own religion whenever it had conflicts with Jewish interests; e.g. he has expressed dissatisfaction with the fact that synagogues are more protected than Catholic cathedrals under “hate-crime” laws. The inventory of ways in which Buchanan has exhibited less than total reverence for Jewish sensitivities could be extended even quite a bit beyond that.

Buchanan responded to Rosenthal’s attack by writing (September 1990) that the word anti-Semitism was used “to frighten, intimidate, censor and silence; to cut off debate; to so smear men’s reputations that no one will listen to them again; to scar men so indelibly that no one will ever look at them again without saying, ‘Say, isn’t he an anti-Semite?'”  Buchanan remained unrepentant. “I don’t retract a single word,” he said to Time. “The reaction was simply hysterical and is localized to New York.” That too was interpreted as a reference to Jews.

Buchanan found his most steadfast defenders among his former adversaries on the left. On The McLaughlin Group Jack Germond said: “There’s not a scintilla of evidence in all I’ve known about Pat that he is anti-Semitic. . . . This is an attempt to say that if you disagree with Israel on a matter of policy you can be called-anti-Semitic.” Eleanor Clift even questioned whether Buchanan was anti-Israel: “You don’t have to be anti-Israeli to be opposed to war in the Middle East. I think Pat is an isolationist.”

In the Wall Street Journalof 25 October 1999 founding neocon Norman Podhoretz proclaimed Pat Buchanan an anti-Semite. He dismissed the fact that Buchanan had friends who were Jews as a traditional apology for anti-Semites.

Thus the pattern was established: the very Zionist “neocons” whose entry into the Republican Party Buchanan had promoted in the 1970s, and who had come to dominate what passes for conservatism, were now his bitterest enemies, while leftists, people who often object to war and the subjugation of brown-skinned people as a matter of reflex, became Buchanan’s allies, at least on question of Israel.

Once Buchanan became a critic of the Zionists, he never stopped. In 2010 Buchanan provided what amounts to a synopsis of why it is in the American interest to stop supporting this agenda, which he euphemistically calls “the American empire”:

Estimated combined budgets for the Pentagon, two wars, foreign aid to allies, 16 intelligence agencies, scores of thousands of contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan, and our new castle-embassies: $1 trillion a year. While this worldwide archipelago of bases may have been necessary when we confronted a Sino-Soviet bloc spanning Eurasia from the Elbe to East China Sea, armed with thousands of nuclear weapons and driven by imperial ambition and ideological hatred of us, that is history now. It is preposterous to argue that all these bases are essential to our security. [….] Liquidation of this empire should have begun with the end of the Cold War. Now it is being forced upon us by the deficit-debt crisis. [….] Republicans will fight new taxes. Democrats will fight to save social programs. Which leaves the American empire as the logical lead cow for the butcher’s knife. [Pat Buchanan, “Liquidating the Empire,” 23 February 2010]

Go to Part II.

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