Biting the Hand?

Wow…Joe Scarborough put out a statement on Pat Buchanan on Politico. It had to have been cleared by MSNBC otherwise he’d be in a peck of trouble right now. Given that it was cleared doesn’t lessen the impact of this “Bad call by my bosses” statement…

“Everyone at Morning Joe considers Pat Buchanan to be a friend and a member of the family. Even though we strongly disagree with the contents of Pat’s latest book, Mika and I believe those differences should have been debated in public. An open dialogue with Morning Joe regulars like Al Sharpton and Harold Ford, Jr. could have developed into an important debate on the future of race relations in America.

Because we believe that sunlight is the best disinfectant, Mika and I strongly disagree with this outcome. We understand that the parting was amicable. Still, we will miss Pat.”

Joe sums up my feelings pretty well. But I’ll go further. MSNBC, by its actions, has laid down a marker regarding interest group politicking and the ideological divide crossing the chasm into the newsroom. I have said this before and Brian Stelter all but said it yesterday; this decision has less to do with Buchanan and his views than it does with MSNBC and its hard left turn in primetime (and much to my consternation increasingly in daytime), and its not wanting to rock the liberal boat on which it sails and is increasingly becoming beholden to. Buchanan hasn’t changed. MSNBC has changed. And not for the better. If you sell your soul for ratings gold what do you have left when you look in the mirror?

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13 Responses to “Biting the Hand?”

  1. Amen Spud, amen.

  2. It’s nice to see Mika back Joe up. Buchanan’s views are often borderline offensive, but he rarely shared them on MSNBC, and they knew who he was going in. He was a great guest across the network, and is sorely missed. Nevertheless, I still contend he pushed his luck with the “White America” chapter in his latest book. This wouldn’t have happened without it.

  3. What ratings gold?

  4. The hope of gold is what’s driving them. As history teaches us, the result is usually “fools gold”.

  5. lonestar77 Says:

    The whole thing is unsurprising. The left hasn’t been interested in debate in my lifetime. Their tolerance only extends to those who agree with them. For fun, type your least favorite conservative into google and inevitably one of the top three choices will involve g@y.

  6. Saying MSNBC let go of Pat Buchanan because of ratings is way too simplistic. It’s more than that. It has to do with making a change and getting rid of someone who has been at the network since LITERALLY the very beginning.

    It’s not like he never got a chance to make himself heard or state his opinion. If it was really about ratings, and the network knew he was holding them back from getting more viewers, they would have got rid of him years ago.

    Let’s try and keep it in perspective: he has been at the network for more than a decade, his views are ridiculously prehistoric, and he comes up with political solutions that would take us back to the 50s and 60s.

    People can say all they want about “well, if they silence Buchanan for his remarks, why don’t they do the same with Al Sharpton?” Maybe because Buchanan was on a mainstream political outlet making his views heard on TV (and in books), and Sharpton was out giving speeches and doing marches with other African-Americans where he’s only seen/heard by a few thousand people.

    Plus, those remarks by Sharpton were made years ago, whereas majority of what Buchanan said recently was in a book he just released in 2011. At least when you write a book, you have a chance of editing it and revising your remarks, and he didn’t do that. He knew what he wrote and its on paper for everyone to see… and people will always look back to that to point out what they call “bigotry” or “racism”.

    P.S. I’ve always liked Pat, and that he avoided spewing the typical Republican talking points. He seemed like a very warm and likeable man. But, sometimes it’s just time to move on.

  7. Correction: “Saying MSNBC let go of Pat Buchanan because of ratings is way too simplistic.”

    I meant to say that ratings isn’t the ONLY reason… that’s a small part of it, and more about everything else I emphasized.

  8. The “recentness” of it was my original comment on the Buchanan/Sharpton dichotomy. Very few liberals know of The Rev’s ancient history, and I gaurantee you very few lib watchers of MSNBC were well acquainted with some of Pat’s more histrionic views. The “White America” chapter in his latest book broght them to the fore, and forced MSNBC’s hand. That’s the whole damn story, exactly as I explained it months ago. Try to pay attention, people.

  9. Huh? Did you say something?

  10. Eric Deggans @Deggans
    What bizarro media world do we have where Chris Matthews doesn’t mention Pat Buchanan’s racism but Sean Hannity does?

  11. ^Like most folks here I find “Hannity & Hannity” (hat tip to Al) to be mostly unwatcheable but to his credit he really drilled down to the key problem with Buchanan’s views.

    MSNBC could and should have done the same thing. But Griffin’s view is, I guess, that the questions or issue shouldn’t even be raised. Which is silly. How is not asking the question and exposing the views good for us? (And shouldn’t Griffin be asked specifically what views Buchanan has that warranted his dimissal? I’d like some details).

    When Griffin said he wasn’t interested in hiring journalists but interested instead in hiring personalities he wasn’t kidding.

    Hannity practiced some real journalism. And that’s probably the first time anyone ever accused him of that.

  12. Yeah, MSNBC should make sure to call Pat a racist on his way out the door. That would’ve gone over REAL well here. I swear, you guys talk like you have no memory of anything else you’ve ever said sometimes.

  13. I know Pat Buchanan was on Hannity last night but I didn’t see it. What did Sean say that inspired Eric Deggans’ tweet?

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