Survivor group calls on MSNBC to respond to Buchanan forum

WASHINGTON (JTA) — A Holocaust survivors group wants the  Jewish community to press MSNBC for a response to a thread on Holocaust denial on Pat Buchanan’s website.

Menachem Rosensaft, vice president of the American Gathering of Jewish Holocaust Survivors and Their Descendants, is urging survivors and the Jewish community to contact MSNBC president Phil Griffin and ask why Buchanan, a paid commentator for the cable news network, has not been asked about the issue on air.

Until last week, Buchanan’s personal website, Buchanan.org, had included within its forum entitled "Disinformation, Deception and Other Tricks" a thread called "Discussion about ‘The Holocaust.’" The entire forum section of the website was taken down hours after an op-ed by Rosensaft in the New York Daily News pointed out its existence.

It is not clear if Buchanan knew about the existence of the Holocaust denial threat; it appears to have been started by a member of the website. An e-mail to the site administrator was not returned.

“One might have expected the disclosure of this forum to at least raise some eyebrows at MSNBC,” Rosensaft said, noting that the channel fired Don Imus two years ago for a racially insensitive remark. Sponsoring a Holocaust denial forum on one’s website "strikes me as no less offensive," he said, yet "not a single member of MSNBC’s management has deigned to publicly address" the issue.

Buchanan ran for the Republican candidacy for the presidency in 1992 and 1996 and ran as the Reform Party candidate in 2000. He has stirred controversy for claiming that Jews have outsize influence in American politics and for defending former Nazis stripped of their citizenship for lying about their past on immigration papers.

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