Pat Buchanan Suspended from MSNBC for Racist Book, Possibly Indefinitely

In case you missed his frowning face, Pat Buchanan's been suspended from MSNBC since October—the same month his latest book, Suicide of a Superpower, was published with several white supremacist statements, including the absurd assertion that "white folks" built America. (Sounds like someone flunked 8th grade history class.) And after statements made by MSNBC Prez Phil Griffin on Sunday, he may not be coming back to the network because of it.

As the Huffington Post points out, the statements in Suicide of a Superpower are hardly the first times he's made such racist claims, so it's a little unclear why now was the time to get rid of him, as opposed to never hiring him in the first place. However, this time around Buchanan actually appeared on "The Political Cesspool," an expressly white supremacist radio show to promote his book. After that, he became the target of a petition from the Color of Change seeking his removal from the network. On Sunday, Griffin told the AP that he and Buchanan would soon meet to decide his future on the network, and that his suspension was based on "the content of the book. I didn’t think it should be part of the national dialogue, much less part of the dialogue on MSNBC.”

We think Eurweb's Dr. Boyce Watkins puts it best:

I’ve only met MSNBC President Phil Griffin one time.  He and I were on a panel together at the National Action Network Conference, hosted by Rev. Al Sharpton.  Griffin seems like a nice enough guy, and we haven’t spoken since.  But if we were to have another conversation, I’d ask him one simple question:  How in the holy hayell is a man like Pat Buchanan still on your payroll? [...]

Not only does MSNBC need to fire Pat Buchanan, they need to ask themselves why they didn’t get rid of him long ago.  Is it because so many millions of Americans think the way he does?  Is it because they simply don’t care what he says?  Or perhaps it’s the obvious – that disrespecting black people is at the bottom of the political priority list for most major organizations.

Hopefully MSNBC, which has been hiring better by people of color as of late (see: Melissa Harris-Perry, Rev. Al Sharpton, Alex Wagner), will do the right thing and give Buchanan the permanent boot. Go hereto read the rest of Dr. Watkins.

AlterNet / By Julianne Escobedo Shepherd

Posted at January 9, 2012, 3:55am

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