Unsurprisingly, Pat Buchanan took to Hardball to defend Rush Limbaugh in the wake of Limbaugh's abrupt firing -- as Limbaugh put it this afternoon -- from his ownership bid for the St. Louis Rams. Buchanan predictably failed to grasp that Limbaugh was not entitled to be an owner of an NFL team and it was his own partners who ran him off. Instead, Buchanan claimed that Limbaugh was the victim of "blacklisting" "just like they used to do out in Hollywood to communists."
But where he really showed his true colors was when he made this statement about Limbaugh's previous firing from ESPN:
He was wrong about McNabb. McNabb had a great season that year. So he made a wrong statement.
So according to Buchanan, Limbaugh was fired because his analysis of McNabb was faulty because McNabb actually had a great season that year...
Here's what Limbaugh said of McNabb on Sunday NFL Countdown in September 2003:
Sorry to say this, I don't think he's been that good from the get-go ... I think what we've had here is a little social concern in the NFL. The media has been very desirous that a black quarterback do well. There is a little hope invested in McNabb, and he got a lot of credit for the performance of this team that he didn't deserve. The defense carried this team.
Buchanan fails to grasp that Limbaugh's analysis actually had nothing to do with whether or not McNabb had a great season. Limbaugh's point was that the media wanted a black quarterback to succeed and gave him undue credit. Limbaugh needlessly saw the situation of the Eagles through a racial prism, as he does with much of his social and political commentary.
It is a prism Buchanan himself often uses and which should have gotten him fired from MSNBC long ago.
During his defense of Limbaugh on Hardball, Buchanan used the opportunity to defend another radio host who was fired for his racially charged comments -- Don Imus. During a back and forth with Rev. Al Sharpton in which Sharpton said no one was calling for Limbaugh to be fired, Buchanan suddenly yelled at Sharpton: "What did you say about Don Imus? Didn't you say he ought to be taken off the air?" After Sharpton stated that they asked sponsors not to underwrite his show, Buchanan stated:
Look, you ran a campaign to get this guy dropped off the air for two words at 6:15 in the morning.
Buchanan was presumably referring to the words "nappy-headed hos." (Imus' partner producer Bernard McGuirk called them "hard-core hos" and "Jigaboos.")
Of course, those two words are a lot more than two words. Imus was fired because of what was behind those words, what they represented. And Buchanan completely ignores the context in which those words came, as well as Imus' long history of bigoted remarks.
Buchanan has long defended Imus, claiming among other things that "the court of elite opinion," which was "pandering to the mob, lynched him. Yet, for all his sins, he was a better man than the lot of them rejoicing at the foot of the cottonwood tree."
Great analogy, Pat.
Buchanan's latest defense of Rush Limbaugh is no different than his defense of Don Imus -- and ultimately, it is a defense of Pat Buchanan.