Bill O'Reilly Clashes With WashPost Writer on MSNBC's Ban of 'Extremist' Pat Buchanan

On The O'Reilly Factor on Thursday night, Bill O'Reilly took on MSNBC's apparent ban on their former contributor Pat Buchanan in obedience to left-wing lobbies like Color of Change, who wanted him removed form the airwaves. Cathy Areu, a contributor to The Washington Post Magazine, argued Buchanan was a "white extremist" and "white supremacist" who "absolutely" should be banned and fired.

O'Reilly shot back: "Okay, so if the litmus test is you fire extremists, MSNBC would have nobody on. Nobody on." Areu attempted to nudge O'Reilly about his friendly relationship with Rev. Al Sharpton. O'Reilly replied: "Wait, wait, so Pat Buchanan in an extremist, but Al Sharpton is not?"

Areu insisted "I don't think he's an extremist." Here's how the chat unfolded:

BILL O'REILLY: And in the "Impact Segment" tonight the very liberal MSNBC Network has taken Pat Buchanan off the air because of stuff he has written in a book called "Suicide of a Superpower". Mr. Buchanan believes that the decline of Christianity in America has led to a cultural collapse and the acceleration of minority immigration has damaged the political process. Here is what he said yesterday.

PAT BUCHANAN (WOR radio clip): We seem at war with one another. I think you've got huge numbers of folks, millions coming in every year from cultures and countries and civilizations that have never been assimilated. I think it could kill the United States of America.

O'REILLY: Joining us now from Washington, radio talk show host Sandy Rios and here in the studio Cathy Areu, an editor at The Washington Post Magazine. So I know you disagree with Mr. Buchanan. We'll get to that in a moment but I don't think he should have been taken off the
air at MSNBC because this isn't the first time he said this, he's been saying this for years. Right?

CATHY AREU: Right. Well, a lot of people were suspicious that he was a white supremacist, a white extremist and by writing this book now it's clear. So I think MSNBC –

O'REILLY: It's not clear to me. I read it, I don't think he's a white supremacist. I think that he's making a point that the melting pot, the "We are all one nation under God" is done and he believes that is weakening the nation. I don't think that he thinks that white people are better than black people or better than minorities. I didn't get that at all. So that's your opinion. You could think he is a white supremacist, you can think I'm a member of the Mickey Mouse Club. That's your opinion. But should MSNBC have taken the man off the air when he has said this stuff for years?

AREU: Well yes. But it was never so obvious. He hinted at it and it was kind of there. But by writing this book it's in black and white. It was written by -- I see it as a white extremist. And if I didn't know that he had written it, I would have thought that someone from the KKK had written it. Now you find out that this Pat Buchanan wrote this book –

O'REILLY: So you think that MSNBC is right to take him off the air.

AREU: He is an extremist. Yes.

O'REILLY: Should he get fired?

AREU: Absolutely. He's an extremist.

O'REILLY: Okay, so if the litmus test is you fire extremists.

AREU: Yes.

O'REILLY: MSNBC would have nobody on. Nobody on.

AREU: I don't agree with that. I think -- I think --

O'REILLY: They are not extremists over there?

AREU: I do not think so.

O'REILLY: Do you watch the network?

AREU: I do watch the network.

O'REILLY: Okay I mean --

AREU: I do -- Al Sharpton, people have said --

O'REILLY: Not an extremist?

AREU: I do not think he's an extremist.

O'REILLY: No?

AREU: No he's been here many times and I think that you all agree --

O'REILLY: So wait, so wait, wait, so Al Sharpton is not but Buchanan is.

AREU: You still have agreed many times on many topics.

O'REILLY: I agree -- I agree I'm trying to find common ground with everybody.

AREU: I don't think he's an extremist.

[Hat tip: Johnny Dollar's Place]

Earlier: Cathy Areu Tells O'Reilly That Sarah Palin is 'Larry the Cable Guy Minus the Class and Intelligence'

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis