Sunday, 2 May 2010

Pat Buchanan Live on C-Span - A Chance for Jews to Debate

Extreme right-wing political analyst and former U.S. presidential candidate Pat Buchanan is slated to appear live on the C-Span cable television network “Book TV" program on Sunday and will be taking calls. Buchanan has a history of attacking Jews and Israel; C-Span has a history of broadcasting shows in which such attacks are allowed.

Buchanan, 72, was a senior adviser to presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford, and he was White House Director of Communications for President Ronald Reagan. The extreme right-wing conservative ran twice for the Republican presidential nomination in 1992 and 1996; undeterred when both attempts failed, he ran again as the Reform party's presidential candidate in 2000.

Buchanan currently is continuing to champion accused Nazi war criminal John Demjanjuk, now on trial in Munich as the feared Nazi guard “Ivan the Terrible,” for participating in the murders of 27,900 Jews at the Sobibor concentration camp. C-Span's blurb on the program said Buchanan would “discuss the evolution of conservative ideology and the current political climate in the nation.”

Buchanan wields a lot of influence; he is currently a political commentator on the MSNBC cable network, on the Morning Joe show, and is a founding member of The McLaughlin Group program as well. Between 1982 to 1999, he was also a regular on CNN's Crossfire and The Capital Gang, where Buchanan became instantly recognizable to an entirely new generation of TV news viewers. A prolific writer, he co-founded The American Conservative magazine, launched a foundation named The American Cause, and has also authored 10 books, including “Churchill, Hitler and The Unnecessary War,” “State of Emergency,” and “Day of Reckoning.”.

Last September, MSNBC decided to remove his opinion column from its website following an incident in which Buchanan marked the 70th anniversary of the German invasion of Poland by saying Britain should not have declared war on Germany. In the piece, entitled, “Did Hitler Want War?” Buchanan said Poland, as well as other countries, should have been held responsible for the invasion and later escalations of World War II. He claimed that Hitler's goal was not world conquest, but rather, world peace.

Outraged Jewish groups, among them the National Jewish Democratic Council led by David A. Harris, wrote to the network demanding that the column be removed. The network complied, noting in a statement that although Buchanan was a “contributor” to the network, “his syndicated column does not speak for the network or represent the views of MSNBC.”

Conservative movement leader William Buckley repudiated Buchanan – who referred to Congress as “Israeli-occupied territory” -- in the pages of the National Review for his anti-Semitic comments during the first Gulf War in 1991. Buckley's 40,000-word essay, “In search of anti-Semitism,” written on December 30, 1991, (p.20) is still today considered a classic that is studied by students of political analysis.

C-Span: Focus for Bias

C-Span, owned by the National Cable Satellite Corporation, was originally created to air around-the-clock coverage of government proceedings and public affairs programming. The network owns and operates three television channels, one radio station and several websites and provide streaming media as well as archived programs.

That having been said, several of the programs – particularly Washington Journal, Book TV, Q&A, and Afterwords – have been accused of bias.

One example occurred in January, when a caller on a C-Span interview program Washington Journal complained about “all these Jews” having “way too much power” in America and pushing the U.S. into wars with the Muslim world. The caller found his comments echoed and expanded upon by studio guest Michael Scheuer, former director of a CIA unit assigned to track down international Al Qaeda terror leader Osama bin Laden. Scheuer opined that American soldiers were dying in Iraq for the sake of Israeli citizens.

He claimed that any debate of American support for Israel is squelched in the public arena by groups like AIPAC, which he said have the ability through funding and politics to “make sure that people lose their jobs or are otherwise hurt if they dare to criticize Israel.” The solution, said Scheuer, was to “persuade” Islamic terrorists who threaten America to “focus their anger” on Israel and on oppressive Middle Eastern regimes.

Activism Can Create Change: Call In to the Program!
Activists note that it is important for Jewish and other pro-Israel viewers to call in to the C-Span program while Buchanan is on the air and express their views. Standing up for Jewish rights and for the State of Israel in a pro-active manner can create change, Jewish groups emphasize.

One example of this is an incident that took place just a week ago, at the Dan Hotel in Herzliya, where a couple visiting from out of town was handed their bill in an envelope bearing a map of Israel that omitted the Golan Heights as well as Sinai, and had marked Judea, Samaria and Gaza as separate from the rest of the country.

The couple immediately contacted Arutz Sheva and strongly urged the matter be publicized. An article was immediately posted about the incident, and the hotel chain quickly responded with an explanation and an apology – and the matter was promptly corrected.

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