On NBC's Today, David Gregory provided Pat Buchanan a forum to discuss Buchanan's newly released book, which includes a claim that the United States must keep "Americans of European descent" from becoming the "minority" in order to "survive."
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On the August 22 edition of NBC's Today, guest host and NBC News chief White House correspondent David Gregory interviewed MSNBC political analyst and former presidential candidate Pat Buchanan, providing Buchanan a forum to discuss his newly released book, State of Emergency: The Third World Invasion and Conquest of America (Thomas Dunne Books). As the weblog Think Progress has noted, Buchanan's book is filled with controversial statements about the threat of immigration, including a claim that the United States must keep "Americans of European descent" from becoming the "minority" in order to "survive." But rather than challenging Buchanan on the contents of his book, Gregory allowed Buchanan to repeat his theories that President Bush's immigration policy "will lose the American Southwest to Mexico linguistically, ethnically, [and] culturally" and "that [the southwest] part of America is moving back to Mexico, from whom we took it in 1848." As Media Matters for America has documented, Today similarly hosted right-wing pundit Ann Coulter when her book, Godless: The Church of Liberalism (Crown Forum), was released on June 6, providing Coulter with a forum to defend her book's claim that she had "never seen people enjoying their husbands' deaths" as much as the widows of victims of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
As Think Progress noted, in his book, Buchanan also criticized The Washington Times for "summarily fir[ing]" columnist Sam Francis, now deceased, for claiming that, in Buchanan's words, "Western civilization was superior and that only Europeans could have created it." In reference to Francis's claim that race is "the Great Taboo," Buchanan wrote that "to submit to the Great Taboo is like not telling one's doctor of a recurring pain that could kill you."
Buchanan also wrote the following:
- "This [immigration] is an invasion, the greatest invasion in history." [p. 5]
- "We are witnessing how nations perish. We are entered upon the final act of our civilization. The last scene is the deconstruction of the nations. The penultimate scene, now well underway, is the invasion unresisted." [p. 6]
- "Chicano chauvinists and Mexican agents have made clear their intent to take back through demography and culture what their ancestors lost through war." [p. 12]
- "[W]e are in the midst of a savage culture war in which traditionalist values have been losing ground for two generations." [p. 28]
- "The first imperative is an immediate moratorium on all immigration, such as the one we imposed from 1924 to 1965. ... But even with a moratorium, success is not assured." [p. 250-251]
Gregory did not ask Buchanan about any of these statements.
Gregory's interview with Buchanan came one day after Buchanan's appearance on the August 21 edition of MSNBC's Imus in the Morning, as Think Progress also recently noted. During that appearance, Buchanan said: "I think that the Mexican government has a direct program basically to push its poor, unemployed, and uneducated into the United States for a variety of purposes," adding that the "reconquista ... is well underway." As Media Matters has noted, reconquista is a term associated with El Plan Espiritual de Aztlán, the founding document of the Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlan (Chicano Student Movement of Aztlan, or MEChA), a group with affiliates at numerous college campuses and several high schools that claims to work toward "improving the social and political situation of the Chicano/Latino community." Critics claim that El Plan Espiritual de Aztlán outlines a plan of recapturing the southwestern United States for Mexico. But Aztlan and reconquista are concepts promoted by "white supremacists and neo-Nazis" more than by Mexicans or Mexican-American, according to a March 30 column by Alex Koppelman, a columnist for Drexel University's biweekly online magazine, Dragonfire.
Additionally, Gregory failed to challenge Buchanan's claim that Bush's immigration policy "is economic treason against the American worker." In fact, one of the nation's largest unions has come out in support of the immigration policy endorsed by the Bush administration and passed by the Senate on May 25. The Service Employees International Union (SEIU), which represents 1.8 million workers, believes that "[e]veryone who works hard in America should have the opportunity for a good job with a paycheck that supports a family, affordable health care and a secure retirement, as well as full participation in our communities." And while John Sweeney, the president of the American Federation of Labor - Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO), has said that the Senate bill was insufficient, in that it "creates deep divisions within immigrant communities and leaves millions of immigrants in the shadows," the AFL-CIO's opinion was based on support for "a broad legalization program that makes no distinction based on country of origin and that allows undocumented workers and their families who have been working hard, paying taxes and contributing to their communities the opportunity to adjust to permanent legal resident status."
From the August 22 edition of NBC's Today:
GREGORY: Let me turn to your book on immigration, it's called State of Emergency. You call immigration to this country, particularly from Latin America, "the greatest invasion in human history." Do you mean that literally?
BUCHANAN: Thirty-six million people have crossed into the United States in the last 30 years. There are more illegal aliens in this country right now, David, than all the English, and the Irish and the Jewish folks who ever came to America. Six million people were stopped on the border in Bush's term. One in 12 had a criminal record. When I was in Reagan's White House, there were 3 million illegal aliens; there are now 12 million. I'll tell you, if he doesn't get this border under control, the president's legacy will not only be Iraq; he will lose the American Southwest to Mexico linguistically, ethnically, culturally -- not politically and militarily -- but that -- that is -- that part of America is moving back to Mexico, from whom we took it in 1848.
GREGORY: The president and others who support his immigration policy say, "Look, immigrants are coming to America, particularly from Mexico -- A, because there is a big neon sign saying, 'Come here, we need your labor,' and also because they're doing jobs Americans won't do." Are they wrong about that?
BUCHANAN: They are doing jobs Americans won't do? Let me tell you, David, I was a union guy in the 1960s. If you brought in people and hired folks to do jobs an American couldn't do at that pay, they were called scabs; they were called strike-breakers. The president of the United States is going to give corporations the power to offer jobs for five and 10 bucks an hour Americans can't take, and if Americans don't take them, to go in and bring what are de facto scabs and strike-breakers. This is economic treason against the American worker. I am astonished the unions put up with it. I'm astonished the Democrats put up with it. What Mr. Bush is doing -- if Mr. Bush --
GREGORY: You are saying that the president's policy amounts to economic treason?
BUCHANAN: I'm saying the immigration policy of both parties -- [Sen. John] McCain [R-AZ], [Sen. Edward M.] Kennedy [D-MA], Bush, [National Council of] La Raza -- amounts to economic treason, and I tell you, against the American worker. And I think the vast majority of American workers believe that. Where are the unions? What happened to solidarity with workers?
GREGORY: All right, we're going to have to leave it there. This debate is obviously going to continue. Pat Buchanan, thanks as always.
BUCHANAN: My pleasure, David.