Well, we managed to get Pat Buchanan off the air on MSNBC, but that didn't stop him from rearing his ugly head on PBS over the weekend to sing the praises of one Charles Murray, along with host John McLaughlin and The National Review's Rich Lowry.
John McLaughlin opened the second segment of the show bemoaning the decline of marriage in the United States along with the number of children who are born out of wedlock.
For a little refresher on just who Charles Murray is, I'll just refer back to David Brooks singing his praises earlier this month on Charlie Rose's show which I posted here -- David Brooks: The Villagers' Mr. 'Common Sense Center'.
As was linked and quoted in that post, Charles Pierce took apart Brooks' op-ed preceding that interview in his article here -- Our Mr. Brooks Finds Another Very Important Thinker. Rich Lowry in the clip above failed to mention the entire title of Murray's book just as Brooks did, which is as Pierce noted Coming Apart: The State of White America, 1960-2010. Somehow that whole "state of white America" portion of the title didn't seem to be very relevant to either of them. Imagine that?
As Media Matters documented before Buchanan finally got the boot from MSNBC, and as Buchanan mentioned in the clip above, Buchanan cited Murray's work in his recent book -- Pat Buchanan Won't Disavow Idea That Minorities Have Inferior Genes:
In his new book Suicide of a Superpower, Buchanan cites The Atlantic article and the work of Charles Murray, who co-wrote The Bell Curve with Herrnstein. The Bell Curve argues that there's racial differences in intelligence. Buchanan wrote in his book.
It seems trying to mainstream Murray's ideas are nothing new for our corporate media or for The McLaughlin Group in particular. From FAIR back in Feb. 1995 -- Racism Resurgent - How Media Let The Bell Curve's Pseudo-Science Define the Agenda on Race:
When the New Republic devoted almost an entire issue (10/31/94) to a debate with the authors of The Bell Curve, editor Andrew Sullivan justified the decision by writing, "The notion that there might be resilient ethnic differences in intelligence is not, we believe, an inherently racist belief."
In fact, the idea that some races are inherently inferior to others is the definition of racism. What the New Republic was saying--along with other media outlets that prominently and respectfully considered the thesis of Charles Murray and the late Richard Herrnstein's book--is that racism is a respectable intellectual position, and has a legitimate place in the national debate on race. [...]
While Murray and Herrnstein were generally characterized as sober social scientists, their critics were sometimes identified with censorious political correctness: "Both Murray and Herrnstein have been called racists," wrote Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen (10/18/94). "Their findings, though, have been accepted by most others in their field, and it would be wrong--both intellectually and politically--to suppress them." Proclaimed Newsweek's Geoffrey Cowley (10/24/94): "As the shouting begins, it's worth noting that the science behind The Bell Curve is overwhelmingly mainstream."
Murray himself doesn't think that the research they relied on was so mainstream. "Some of the things we read to do this work, we literally hide when we're on planes and trains," Murray told the New York Times Magazine (10/9/94).
Pioneers of Eugenics
As well they might. Nearly all the research that Murray and Herrnstein relied on for their central claims about race and IQ was funded by the Pioneer Fund, described by the London Sunday Telegraph (3/12/89) as a "neo-Nazi organization closely integrated with the far right in American politics." The fund's mission is to promote eugenics, a philosophy that maintains that "genetically unfit" individuals or races are a threat to society.
The Pioneer Fund was set up in 1937 by Wickliffe Draper, a millionaire who advocated sending blacks back to Africa. The foundation's charter set forth the group's missions as "racial betterment" and aid for people "deemed to be descended primarily from white persons who settled in the original 13 states prior to the adoption of the Constitution of the United States." (In 1985, after Pioneer Fund grant recipients began receiving political heat, the charter was slightly amended to play down the race angle--GQ, 11/94.)
The fund's first president, Harry Laughlin, was an influential advocate of sterilization for those he considered genetically unfit. In successfully advocating laws that would restrict immigrants from Southern and Eastern Europe, Laughlin testified before Congress that 83 percent of Jewish immigrants were innately feeble-minded (Rolling Stone, 10/20/94). Another founder, Frederick Osborn, described Nazi Germany's sterilization law as "a most exciting experiment" (Discovery Journal, 7/9/94).
The fund's current president, Harry Weyher, denounces the Supreme Court decision that desegregated schools, saying, "All Brown did was wreck the school system" (GQ, 11/94). The fund's treasurer, John Trevor, formerly served as treasurer for the crypto-fascist Coalition of Patriotic Societies, when it called in 1962 for the release of Nazi war criminals and praised South Africa's "well-reasoned racial policies" (Rolling Stone, 10/20/94).
One of the Pioneer Fund's largest current grantees is Roger Pearson, an activist and publisher who has been associated with international fascist currents. Pearson has written: "If a nation with a more advanced, more specialized or in any way superior set of genes mingles with, instead of exterminating, an inferior tribe, then it commits racial suicide" (Russ Bellant, Old Nazis, the New Right and the Republican Party). [...]
For Their Own Ends
Many pundits carefully distanced themselves from the book, then made use of its claims to push their own ideological ends. In a New Republic column (10/31/94), Mickey Kaus argues against a genetic basis for IQ differences, saying, "There are obvious policies that might change the black 'environment' and therefore black IQ scores." But what's his example of such a program? "Abolition of cash welfare," he suggests.
The McLaughlin Group (10/21/94) featured a whole parade of this sort of pseudo-critic: While no one wanted to embrace wholeheartedly Murray and Herrnstein's genetic determinism, almost all were happy to make use of the conclusion The Bell Curve draws from the eugenic argument: that the poor and non-white are getting what they deserve.
Thus Pat Buchanan declared: "I think a lot of the data are indisputable.... It does shoot a hole straight through the heart of egalitarian socialism which tried to create equality of result by coercive government programs."
And Michael Barone: "The implication of their argument is, if they're right, that we really should not engage in a lot of government social engineering to create equal outcomes and so forth. They'd have to throw all the Chinese out of the Higher Math Department."
Morton Kondracke found this message: "It does undermine the case, John, for racial quotas, which is the form of discrimination in our society."
Clarence Page, the token liberal on the panel, described Murray as a personal friend, and gave a lukewarm critique: "It's got some good data, but it's Murray's conclusions that he doesn't prove."
It was left to John McLaughlin, of all people, to say the obvious about The Bell Curve: "It is largely pseudo-scientific and it is singularly unhelpful."
And from The Roosevelt Institute here's more on Murray's latest book they were touting in the segment above as well -- Blame Marriage Rates on the Family Values of the 1%:
Charles Murray is at it again. He burst onto the national scene in the ’80s, announcing that he knew why the African-American non-marital birth rate had risen so dramatically: the government made them do it. He explained that welfare and a host of other liberal sins had weakened the moral fiber of the poor, producing disaster. It would take free market discipline to instill the right values once again. Now Murray is back with a new book and a long article in the Wall Street Journal attempting to explain income inequality among whites. His claim: working class whites have lost ground because they have abandoned a commitment to marriage, religion, and hard work. In his world, unemployment is high because those on the losing end of today’s economy refuse to work, non-marital births occur because of a lack of emphasis on marriage, and the upper class can assist only by expressing its disapproval and “preaching what it practices” — presumably investments in Ivy League education, parent-subsidized internships, and marriage between two investment bankers at 32.
In this new work, Murray says no five-point plan can change things. What he doesn’t tell you is how little his last five-point plan accomplished. Murray’s past work helped spark the movement that led to the abolition of welfare “as we know it” in 1996. And the welfare mothers who were able to get and hold jobs — in no small part due to government subsidized health benefits and day care — were in fact better off. But Murray claims no credit because throughout the twenty-year attack on welfare (and the steady erosion of benefits that went with it) marriage rates continued to decline.
Murray-like prescriptions — even when they are right that the behavior of the working class is a problem — have always failed. The simple fact is that prosperity and equality improve behavior more than privation or preaching. Consider the Irish potato famine. The potato blight wiped out the principal source of food for Catholic Ireland while leaving the cattle and wheat of Protestant Ireland (the 1% of their day) unaffected. The British responded with soup kitchens — for six months. Then, Murray-like editorial cartoons in London started to depict the English taxpayer with drunken Irishmen on their backs. The editorials complained that soup kitchens encouraged idleness and worse — too many Irish births. The English brought back market discipline (and upper class disapproval of Catholic behavior) and their solution worked: the Irish population fell by a quarter in the next several years, due in roughly equal parts to death and emigration. But no Englishman heralded the improved moral qualities of Irish Catholics. The improvement in the reputation of the Irish took jobs and equal community membership, factors the Irish never found under British rule.
Murray can’t tell you what really caused the class divide in marriage because the class-based changes in families he laments closely track the class warfare of the 1%.
More there so read the rest but that takes us to the segment above from this weekend's The McLaughlin Group. I'd love for anyone to explain to me why Pat Buchanan is still on the air, or John McLaughlin and Rich Lowry for that matter. They've unfortunately been trying to make someone with white nationalists ties that pay for his books to be published acceptable to the mainstream for some time now.
MCLAUGHLIN: Issue two... brides no more! Wedding ceremonies, bridal music, smiling couples... fugheddaboudit! Today more and more Americans are shunning marriage. The percentage of American adults married today is 51 percent, so says Pew Research Center. That's the lowest rate of married adults ever recorded in any earlier Pew polls. And it doesn't stop there. Those Americans who do marry are waiting longer before they say “I do.”
In 2010 the marriage rate for Americans aged 25-34 was 44 percent. Fifty years ago, 1960, 82 percent were married. So why is marriage becoming increasingly passe? Item, divorce. The divorce rate in America has long been 50 percent. One out of two marriages fail. Item, economy. Today Americans wait until they have a firm financial footing like graduating from college, on a payroll, before walking down the aisle. Item, no stigma. Americans today are less likely to turn up their noses on those who live alone or cohabit. […]
Now hold on D'Vera. The number of children born out of wedlock, has gone up. There's a troubling correlation. More unmarried people, having more children out of wedlock. Today the percentage of Americans born out of wedlock is, get this, 40 percent.
Question, does it strike you as ironic that just as the heterosexual interest in marriage is apparently on the wane, gay and lesbian interest in marriage is waxing prophetic? Rich?
Lowry: Yes, in irony. And when they say that marriage died, they'll put it on the heterosexuals, who've done a very good job of destroying it as an institution. 1970 you had about 10 percent illegitimacy rate, now it's 40, 42 percent. And another thing people miss, particularly eroding among the middle and the working class. If you look at marriage rates among the upper class, they're basically the same as what it was in 1960. It's eroding in the middle and in the working class which adds the economic pressure, is creating a real crisis in the working class.
MCLAUGHLIN: You know who supports you on that?
LOWRY: Who's that?
MCLAUGHLIN: Charles Murray. Who is Charles Murray?
LOWRY: He is a scholar at AEI and he just wrote a book called Coming Apart, about the very class division which is not just economic, it's social and cultural.
MCLAUGHLIN: He makes the same point you just made. You think you should notify him of that? That without knowing it you made the same point, which is some kind of corroboration. (crosstalk)
BUCHANAN: It is, John it's a triumph of the counter-culture. That's right. Among working class white folks, the illegitimacy rate is way over 40 percent, among Hispanics, all Hispanics it's 51. Among African Americans, it's 71 percent. Among the poor it is pandemic. The values of the counter-culture with regard to family and marriage and divorce and premarital sex, all of these things, are triumphing, frankly into the culture and into society and we're seeing the consequences of it now. Some of us feel it means coming apart... (crosstalk)
MCLAUGHLIN: I want to ask Par a question. Do you think the state should be involved in marriages? Why do we have the requirement of registration is needed, for the state?
BUCHANAN: I think the Judeo-Christian idea of a family and children is of enormous benefit to the entire society and it conforms that society on the basis of its values, and it did. Unfortunately the values are changing. There's no doubt about it. In California, of course they defeated gay marriage out there, but legislatures are passing them.
MCLAUGHLIN: On the abstract level, is there any reason why marriage should be related to the state and you would have to sign a book if you want a license to get married?
BUCHANAN: Children, their various rights involved, the married couples, there's also children involved, obligations and duties, so yes.
MCLAUGHLIN: You want the state to be involved in how the children are reared?
BUCHANAN: No, I want... there's obligations to protect the children. You can't do certain things.
MCLAUGHLIN: You mean there could be a tax responsibility to take care of a child if the child is born out of wedlock?
BUCHANAN: If society has agreed they're going to be educated better, you can do it by homeschooling.
MCLAUGHLIN: Can't religious institutions carry that problem?
BUCHANAN: Unfortunately not.
MCLAUGHLIN: Why have the state involved at all? (crosstalk) You don't need the state involved in a marriage. It's a private contract between a spouse and...
BUCHANAN: That's true if we were a Judeo-Christian country like we used to be. Yes.
MCLAUGHLIN: Where are we now? An atheist country?
BUCHANAN: We're a secular/Christian country and increasingly secular.
MCLAUGHLIN: Are you doing anything about it?
BUCHANAN: I just wrote a book and it got me in trouble.