Paleoconservative nutcase Pat Buchanan has been cashiered at MSNBC after 10 years with the mostly liberal cable news channel, and now he’s WHINING that his dismissal amounts to blacklisting.
That’s pure nonsense. It betrays either Buchanan’s shocking ignorance of the true meaning of blacklisting, or his hope that most of his admirers are that ignorant.
Never mind why MSNBC canned Buchanan. That’s their business. And never mind all the outrageous stuff Buchanan has said and written over the years. None of that really matters in the argument I’m making here.
My focus is confined to the blacklist issue.
And I’ll start with this passage from Wikipedia:
The Hollywood blacklist — as the broader entertainment industry blacklist is generally known — was the mid-2oth-century list of screenwriters, actors, directors, musicians and other U.S. entertainment professionals who were denied employment in the field because of their political beliefs or associations, real or suspected. Artists were barred from work on the basis of their alleged membership in or sympathy toward the American Communist Party, involvement in liberal or humanitarian political causes that enforcers of the blacklist associated with communism, and/or refusal to assist investigations into Communist Party activities; some were blacklisted merely because their names came up at the wrong place and time. Even during the period of its strictest enforcement, the late 1940s through the late 1950s, the blacklist was rarely made explicit and verifiable, but it caused direct damage to the careers of scores of American artists, often made betrayal of friendship (not to mention principle) the price for a livelihood, and promoted ideological censorship across the entire industry.
Nothing even remotely like this has happened to Pat Buchanan, nor is it likely to. He simply got fired from his gig as a token right-winger on a lefty network. Big deal. Stuff like that happens all the time. If a large enough segment of the viewing audience doesn’t like you, for whatever reason, you’ll inevitably be shown to the door. That, as they say, is show business.
But there’s no secretive (or even semi-secretive) campaign aimed at keeping Buchanan from employment in the field of political punditry. There are plenty of conservative outlets presumably willing to pay coin of the realm for his opinions. Fox News, for example, might be able to find a slot for his talents. And he’s still got his syndicated newspaper column.
No, there will be no need to hold any tag days for Pat Buchanan. He’s not going to end up selling apples on the street or panhandling in subway stations.
The day that Pat Buchanan can’t find work anywhere and is flat broke is the day he’ll have the right to declare himself a victim of blacklisting. Until then, his phony claim of victimization is an insult to the memory of the people who suffered real hardships in the days of McCarthyism and the Red Scare.