During his Fox Business special, Bad Speech which reaired on their sister network, Fox News this Saturday, John Stossel highlighted several incidences which he called "assaults on speech," the first of which was the firing of Pat Buchanan from MSNBC.
Apparently both Buchanan and Stossel are terribly upset with Van Jones' organization, Color of Change, for exercising their own free speech in protesting the kind of hatred Pat Buchanan had been peddling for ages now. Here's their petition which Stossel read part of to Buchanan:
Below is the message we'll send to MSNBC President Phil Griffin and NBC News President Steve Capus on your behalf. You can add a personal message using the box on the right.
I'm writing to demand that you fire Pat Buchanan immediately. Buchanan has a long and consistent history of peddling white supremacist ideology as legitimate political commentary, on your network and elsewhere. He recently went on a white supremacist radio show to promote his new book -- which argues that increasing racial diversity is a threat to this country and will mean the "End of White America."
Pat Buchanan has the right to express his views, but he's not entitled to a platform that lets him broadcast bigotry and hate to millions. If MSNBC and NBC want to be seen as trusted, mainstream sources of news and commentary, you need to fire Buchanan now.
Stossel only read the portion where they said he peddled white supremacist ideology and his response was to say he didn't know what that means. Stossel also read part of the list from this post by Think Progress: Why MSNBC Dumped Pat Buchanan: His 10 Most Outrageous Statements:
3. Claimed Jerry Sandusky’s atrocities are because of “Homosexual marriage.” Buchanan appeared on a right-wing radio show on November 15 to make some convoluted comparisons: “Let’s take this Penn State thing…these horrors, there’s an organization that marches in the gay pride parade in New York called—used to—called the North American Man Boy Love Association, which advocated voluntary sex along the lines of exactly what was going on at Penn State. Many of our political icons have marched in that parade right behind that NAMBLA float […] This is now, homosexual marriage is now the civil rights cause of the decade.”
Buchanan's response was to just start laughing and deny he made the statement. Stossel didn't bother to point out that the link goes to a Media Matters post with the audio of the interview, so people could go listen for themselves and hear what he said.
Stossel also asked Buchanan about this item on their list:
6. Claimed that all great nations punish the gays. In a Human Events column, Buchanan attacked California’s 9th Circuit Judge Vaughn Walker after his ruling of Proposition 8 as unconstitutional as a “judicial tyrant,” before going on to explain that “through history, all the great religions have condemned homosexuality and all the great nations have proscribed or punished it. None ever placed homosexual liaisons on the same plane as traditional marriage, which is the bedrock institution of any healthy society.
Buchanan's response was to deny he used the word "punished." And then he was asked about this statement:
7. Penned “The Affirmative Action Nobel.” That’s the title of Buchanan’s October 13, 2009 column on Townhall.com in which he claims that President Obama’s Nobel Prize was simply the result of affirmative action. And the column only got worse from there: “They have reinforced the impression that Obama is someone who is forever being given prizes — Ivy League scholarships, law review editorships, prime-time speaking slots at national conventions — he did not earn.”
Which earned him a round of applause from the audience and which Buchanan did not deny, but defended instead. All in all, it was a nice little rehab job for Buchanan by Stossel with this softball interview. The entire hour was basically one interview after the allowing right wing bigots and racists to play the victim card.