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Taken off air by MSNBC, Pat Buchanan offers challenge to his critics

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Alex Pappas
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      Alex Pappas

      Alex Pappas is a Washington D.C.-based political reporter for The Daily Caller. He has also written for The Washington Examiner and the Mobile Press-Register. Pappas is a graduate of The University of the South in Sewanee, Tenn., where he was editor-in-chief of The Sewanee Purple. While in college, he did internships at NBC's Meet the Press and the White House. He grew up in Mobile, Ala., where he graduated from St. Paul's Episcopal School. He and his wife live on Capitol Hill.

Former MSNBC contributor Pat Buchanan said in an interview with The Daily Caller that he regrets the cable network took him off the air “but it’s over and you move on.”

“I’m much more concerned in the future about this idea of smearing and then stigmatizing and silencing and censoring and blacklisting people because of their opinions, because of their views,” he said by phone Sunday.

Buchanan said he worries that his termination by MSNBC last week shows how easy it is for liberals stigmatize a conservative they disagree with by calling them “a racist, an anti-Semite or a homophobe” without hard facts to back it up.

Buchanan offered a challenge to his critics, like the liberal media watchdog group Media Matters, which he says has tried to make him a toxic figure by saying his new book “Suicide of a Superpower” is offensive.

He said the groups haven’t backed up those assertions with credible examples of how the book is actually racist.

“Where are these statements?” he said. (RELATED: More on Pat Buchanan)

“Look I’ll be happy to redact or slice out any pages in the paperback if they’re that bad that the kids can’t see them,” he said. “The thing is they throw out an unsubstantiated charge and people act as if ergo, it’s automatically true. Nobody’s laid out chapter and verse to prove that this book is in any way what they say it is.”

Added Buchanan: “What I’d ask them is this: please give me the page, the paragraph or the sentence that deliberately disparages the race or religion of any individual or any group of individuals. It’s nowhere.”

He acknowledged that the Anti-Defamation League and other groups — in calling for his ouster from MSNBC — took issue with a passage in his new book where the decline in the Jewish population is discussed. But he argued the line isn’t insensitive.

“I said that the decline in the Jewish birth rate is from the collective decision of the Jewish folks themselves, which it is,” he said.

Buchanan said “what concerns me more than what happens to me” is that “you can really damage and cripple careers of young people who are really not well known” by using these tactics.

Other liberal organizations and websites that pressured MSNBC to cut its ties with Buchanan were Color of Change and the Daily Kos.

“They were all sort of screaming and hollering for weeks for me to be taken off the air and I was taken off right after the book came out,” he said.

Buchanan laughed about reports that Media Matters was celebrating his parting from the network with “a victory dance around the campfire.”

He said he barely heard of the organization until this incident.

“I simply didn’t know who these guys were,” he said.

Buchanan said he didn’t know liberal activist David Brock ran the group until his wife informed him this weekend.

“It did not loom large in my world,” he said of Media Matters.

Despite the way MSNBC treated him, Buchanan wouldn’t speak ill of his former employer. He also wouldn’t say if he thinks MSNBC caved to outside pressure in making their decision.

“I don’t want to get into ascribing motives,” he said. “People ought to talk to MSNBC.”

Buchanan expressed gratitude for the kind words of former MSNBC colleagues Chris Matthews and Joe Scarborough after it was announced he was leaving the network.

“I’ve had a tremendous amount of support,” he said, “not only from conservative folks.”

“What I don’t want to do is get in a fight with MSNBC because I have a lot of friends over there. It was a good ten years for me,” Buchanan said.

Asked what’s next post-MSNBC, Buchanan said, “I’m sort of liberated.”

“We’ve been doing some TV and some radio and things like that,” he said. “We’re doing fine. I’ve been on television a lot. And I’m free now to go on to any TV, radio show, any network.”

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