Speaking of the troll under the bridge ...

Tell me again why MSNBC keeps Pat Buchanan on payroll?

Think Progress catches Buchanan smearing Sonia Sotomayor:

BUCHANAN: Well I, again in that Saturday piece, she went to Princeton. She graduated first in her class it said. But she herself said she read, basically classic children's books to read and learn the language and she read basic English grammars and she got help from tutors. I think that, I mean if you're, frankly if you're in college and you're working on Pinocchio or on the troll under the bridge, I don't think that's college work.

Buchanan was referring to this New York Times article:

Judge Sotomayor is not known to have identified herself as a beneficiary of affirmative action, but she has described her academic struggles as a new student at Princeton from a Roman Catholic school in the Bronx — one of about 20 Hispanics on a campus with more than 2,000 students.

She spent summers reading children's classics she had missed in a Spanish-speaking home and “re-teaching” herself to write “proper English” by reading elementary grammar books. Only with the outside help of a professor who served as her mentor did she catch up academically, ultimately graduating at the top of her class.

It's clear from the article that Sotomayor was not, as Buchanan claims, reading Pinocchio as her Princeton coursework, but rather in an effort to sharpen her English. As Think Progress notes, Buchanan has previously stressed the importance of learning English:

Buchanan has long claimed that Hispanic immigrants are resistant to learning English and has said that it would be easier for them to "assimilate" if they did so. When writing about Mexican immigrants in 2006, Buchanan said that in contrast to Italian immigrants, “millions of Mexicans are determined to retain their language and loyalty to Mexico." Similarly, he has also said that "the road to culture is language" and “they want to keep their Spanish language.”

But it turns out that if Hispanic immigrants* do make an effort to strengthen their English language skills, Buchanan will make fun of them and lie about their academic accomplishments. Kind of makes you wonder whether his comments about language have ever been sincere, or if they were merely a fig leaf meant to hide his real problem with Hispanics, doesn't it?

Pat Buchanan's track record is clear: He's a bigot. He doesn't think women or minorities are the equal of white men like Pat Buchanan and Richard Nixon. He has made that plain over the past 40 years. And yet he continues to be employed by MSNBC -- and you never hear a word of complaint or criticism about it from other journalists, because Pat Buchanan is a respected member of The Village.

* Sotomayor isn't an immigrant, but the situations are pretty directly analogous for these purposes.