DULLES, Va. — Phil Griffin, president of MSNBC, has yet to explain why Pat Buchanan was forced out after 10-years at the network. It can’t be a lack of qualification. He’s been a respected journalist, radio and television commentator, presidential speech writer, best-selling author, and candidate for President.
It can’t be his work habits. Pat has a loyal following, sharp analysis, garners ratings, and by all accounts, plays well with others. So what is really going on?
According to Griffin, the topics Buchanan addresses in his most recent book, Suicide of a Superpower, “aren’t really appropriate for national dialogue, much less the dialogue on MSNBC.” Huh?
Buchanan was a founding member of “Crossfire” and “The McLaughlin Group” – two of the longest-running political talk shows on television. He has been at the intersection of government, politics and journalism for the past fifty years. To suddenly declare him unfit for participation in the national dialogue is a curious move.
Griffin’s explanation begs the question: has he been listening to the national dialogue recently? Suicide of a Superpower deals with race, religion, culture, demographics, immigration, ethnicity and politics – topics he has now declared verboten. If these are not fodder for a cable news outlet, what is? Griffin must be in merger talks with the Weather Channel, as that is the only safe topic left.
Griffin was lobbied to fire Buchanan by professional complainers who seek to stigmatize or censor those who challenge liberal orthodoxy. It’s a growth industry with Christians and conservatives the preferred targets. In Buchanan’s case, a group called Color of Change tried to pin on him the Scarlett ‘R’. They pointed to a chapter in his book entitled, The End of White America, and called it — and him — racist. They failed, however, to provide evidence that it is. Buchanan asked his critics to identify any passage in the book that impugns the character of a group or individual. His challenge was not accepted.
After Buchanan cleaned out his office, the Supreme Court announced it would reconsider a controversial 2003 case dealing with affirmative action in college admissions. The Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal ran front page, above the fold stories about it – proving Buchanan’s thesis that such issues are newsworthy and far from settled in American society. But if Mr. Griffin is to be believed, the topic is off limits and Al Sharpton will take an oath of silence on it.
Truth be told, what Mr. Griffin and Color of Change really object to is the point of view Buchanan brings to the debate. Liberalism does not tolerate dissent. Censors on the Left – and there are plenty – are trying to silence those with arguments and opinions that are rooted in truth, tradition, conservative principles, and a Judeo-Christian perspective. To them, these are dangerous things because if Americans are allowed to hear a fair debate, liberalism loses.
The more infamous examples of Leftist censorship include Governor Robert Casey being banned from his Party’s national convention in 1992 because of his pro-life views, and NFL great Reggie White being denied a contract with CBS Sports because he spoke of homosexuality in terms of sin.
Media figures have been targeted by the high priests of political correctness. NPR fired commentator Juan Williams for expressing feelings of concern about people attired in Muslim garb on planes. ABC News was pressured to drop Tea Party activist Andrew Breitbart from its election night coverage in 2010 because liberals just don’t like him. Bill Bennett, Lou Dobbs and Glenn Beck have all been attacked, their livelihoods threatened, and their advertisers harassed.
Then there are those that cling a little too much to their guns and religion. In 2010, Tony Perkins, a former Marine and head of the Family Research Council, had his invitation to speak at a military prayer luncheon overturned because he disagrees with the decision to allow homosexuals to openly serve in the Armed Forces. Last month, decorated General Jerry Boykin, a committed Christian, and a man who helped to make the U.S. Special Forces the envy of the world, was blacklisted by the Council on American-Islamic Relations and denied an opportunity to address the Cadets at West Point.
Self-appointed censors are attacking America’s First Freedom – the freedom of speech – when it is exercised by conservatives and traditionalists. Their goal is to taint all conservatives as unfit for the national dialogue. Their tactics are fear and intimidation. Their mindset is craven and repugnant. In times of disagreement, men of character and confidence have always said, “Let’s talk it out. Tell me what you have to say.”