Was MSNBC Right to Fire Pat Buchanan?
News broke this morning that MSNBC had officially dropped political commentator Pat Buchanan. The staunch conservative worked with the network for ten years, but recently he was best known for sparring with the network’s more liberal commentators like Rachel Maddow.
MSNBC suspended Buchanan four months ago, following the release of his newest book Suicide of a Superpower. The book contains chapters titled “The End of White America” and “The Death of Christian America.” Many critics accused the book of being racist, anti-Semitic and homophobic. Buchanan denied these charges, but MSNBC President Phil Griffin said that he didn’t think the comments in Buchanan’s book “should be part of the national dialogue, much less part of the dialogue on MSNBC.”
Before moving to MSNBC, Buchanan was the on-and-off host of CNN’s “Crossfire.” He also ran twice for the Republican presidential nomination. Buchanan has been accused many times before of making racist, homophobic and anti-Semitic comments. For an example, listen to this debate about race he had with Rachel Maddow in 2009.
Buchanan is, of course, unhappy with the network’s decision. He claims that he has been targeted by advocacy groups like Color of Change and the Anti-Defamation League. Buchanan feels that he is being unfairly punished for exercising his right to free speech.
So, was MSNBC’s decision to fire him justified?
It’s true that Pat Buchanan has a right to freedom of speech. He can say whatever he wants, even if those things are insensitive or hurtful. And that is a very important freedom, even if he uses it in an unfortunate way.
But MSNBC has a right to control the type of image they project, and who represents their network. By firing Pat Buchanan, MSNBC isn’t telling him he can’t say insensitive things. They’re not violating his right to free speech. They’re saying that they don’t want to be associated with those statements. And I think that’s perfectly justified.
Pat Buchanan’s book has people upset, and rightfully so. Anyone who complains about “the end of white America” and the shrinking of the “European and Christian core of our country” is seriously backward. I don’t blame MSNBC for letting him go – would you want people to think that you endorsed those kind of comments?
Tell us what YOU think – did MSNBC make the right decision?
Garnet is a student at Columbia University in New York City. She is “that person” who starts dancing at a party when everyone else is standing around, and if there were a Facebook stalking Olympics, she would be a gold medalist. She also loves cheesy 90s music, and almost died of happiness when Vanilla Ice retweeted her. Once. Follow her on Twitter @garnethenderson.