Buchanan gets pass from MSNBC


Menachem Rosensaft is wondering where the outrage is at MSNBC. After his article last week pointing out a discussion forum for Holocaust denial on Pat Buchanan’s personal Web site, and the subsequent removal of those forums without comment from the site hours later, today he has a piece in the Huffington Post noting that no one has asked Buchanan about this during his regular appearances on the news network:

If Fox News’ Sean Hannity or Bill O’Reilly had sponsored a similar forum, Keith Olbermann and Chris Matthews would have been all over them. If Buchanan had been a CNN or Fox News fixture rather than an MSNBC pundit, Olbermann would most certainly have excoriated Buchanan as the "worst person in the world." So the question to Messrs Matthews and Olbermann has to be, how can you justify giving Buchanan a pass?

Since Buchanan’s Holocaust denial forum became public, I have watched him on three popular MSNBC programs: Morning Joe, Hardball with Chris Matthews, and Andrea Mitchell Reports. Neither Joe Scarborough nor Mika Brzezinski, the co-hosts of Morning Joe, asked Buchanan to explain why he provided a platform for Holocaust deniers. Matthews did not ask Buchanan whether he approved of or agreed with the Holocaust denying screeds that were posted on Buchanan.org. Andrea Mitchell did not ask Buchanan how and why the Holocaust denial forum was so suddenly removed from his website.

Matthews would never have remained silent in the face of slurs directed at Irish-Americans, or Scarborough at Southern conservative Christians, or Brzezinski at Polish Catholics, or Mitchell at women. Holocaust denial by definition is toxic, and Buchanan’s MSNBC colleagues have an obligation to confront him on their shows with the vitriol he allowed to be disseminated under his auspices. …

Patrick Buchanan has no greater credibility or respectability than David Duke, the former Imperial Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, or Louis Farrakhan, the grotesquely anti-Semitic leader of the Nation of Islam. If, however, MSNBC’s executives insist on retaining him as a fixture on their news channel, he must be clearly identified as an enabler of Holocaust deniers and a defender of Nazi war criminals whenever he appears on the air.

Recommended from JTA