Douglas MacKinnon

In his recent syndicated column entitled “Glimmers of Hope for the GOP,” Pat Buchanan missed the most important reason why Barack Obama was elected and why the Republican Party finds itself on the outside looking in.

Buchanan extols the virtues of a post-2008 election recap book co-authored by NBC News political director Chuck Todd. Buchanan should have disclosed in the body of the column that he is a highly paid contributor to MSNBC and that Chuck Todd is an on-air colleague and, presumably, a friend.

Anyone who watches left-leaning MSNBC knows that Buchanan brings a strong, principled, and much needed conservative voice to the ever increasing chorus of “Obama is the Messiah” that echoes throughout the hallways of the network and within the heads of most of the on-air talent. That said, his paid contributor status may have caused him to tap dance around the main reason for Obama’s victory in 2008: the massive assist given to the now President by an increasingly corrupt, unethical, and activist mainstream media. Of which MSNBC proudly played a leading role.

I just picked up Todd’s book, and nowhere in it could I find a reference to the unethical boost given to Obama by his network or the vast majority of the mainstream media. Nowhere in the book do I see an acknowledgement that basically the top 100 newspapers in our country, ABC News, CBS News, NBC News, MSNBC, CNN, CNBC, and even ESPN and The Weather Channel, lean far left. All of them, at one point or another, crossed that ethical line to support Barack Obama. As “one of the most lauded political journalists of our time,” as the promotional material for the book proclaims (and who exactly did that proclaiming?), you would think Mr. Todd would want to offer up an unvarnished analysis of precisely how bias by his network and others played a substantial role in the election of Mr. Obama.

In Buchanan’s column, he cites as one of the reasons for Obama’s victory (from Todd’s book) the “fact” that “an astonishing 75 percent of voters thought the country was headed in the wrong direction,” and that “only 27 percent of voters approved of Bush’s performance as of election day.” Gee, I wonder why?

Could it be the fact that the vast majority of Americans still get their “news” from the corrupt mainstream media and that for almost eight years that same media relentlessly attacked Bush, the Republican Party, conservatives and traditional values? (With Buchanan’s network leading the way.) Could that unprofessional and often orchestrated conduct have played any role in the low poll numbers of Bush and the GOP?

Just to save you the time and expense of getting and reading the unfortunately incomplete book that Buchanan references, Barack Obama won the 2008 presidential election for three reasons and three reasons only. First, because the economy seemingly imploded in mid-September of 2008 and John McCain (with a narrative strongly pushed by the media) looked like your grandfather trying to do advanced calculus by counting on his fingers and toes. Second, because the media not only softened the ground for Obama by pounding anything that looked Republican or conservative, but then went out of its way to act as Obama’s unofficial press secretary during the general election. And third, because hundreds of thousands of principled conservatives stayed home rather than vote for a man who had eagerly morphed into the mainstream media’s favorite Republican.

Pat Buchanan is an exceptional communicator and wordsmith. He knows that THE major obstacle the GOP has to overcome to win back the White House in 2012 is a biased media willing to tell any lie to ensure their liberal agenda is advanced. He knows that but chose not to say so in a column that pumps up an MSNBC colleague who is part of the foundation of that obstacle.

As director of communications for President Ronald Reagan, Pat Buchanan set the gold standard. He understands the role the media plays in undermining traditional values better than any. Just as he understands that a lie unchallenged is a lie believed.

It is for those reasons and more that I’m surprised and troubled that Buchanan and the “leadership” of the GOP will cite these bogus poll numbers as a rationale for the GOP demise without also explaining the unconscionable way they were obtained. In every sense of the word, when Buchanan and others trumpet these flawed poll numbers, they are pushing a falsehood.

Obama, Democrats and liberals understand the power of the media. Republican “leaders,” time and again, refuse to challenge the media out of fear that said media will go after them. Really? How much worse can it get?

The Democrats and liberals also understand the importance of hiring communicators who have actually succeeded in the real world of communications while most Republican presidential candidates hire vastly inexperienced press secretaries who have never accomplished a thing in the real world of communications. Sooner or later, that lack of talent will catch up with you. Experience does matter.

Experience matters and facts matter. Pat Buchanan understands that and knows better than to err by omission or pass off as “fact” that which is not. The far-left should get no unintended assists from us.


Douglas MacKinnon

Douglas MacKinnon is a former White House and Pentagon official and author of The Secessionist States of America. (Skyhorse Publishing, 2014)

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