Pat Buchanan Smacks Down Bill Press: 'You’ve Got to Get Beyond Being a Fringe Talk Show Host'

January 15th, 2011 1:04 PM

During an impromptu reunion of CNN's "Crossfire" Friday, Pat Buchanan told his old sparring partner Bill Press, "You’ve got to get beyond being a fringe talk show host."

In the middle of a very heated debate on MSNBC's "The Ed Show," Buchanan strongly cautioned the host and his liberal guest, "I think this last week, there’s been a climate of hatred built up against [Sarah Palin] who did nothing and I tell you, if she does run for president of the United States, I pray to the lord she’s given secret service protection from day one" (video follows with transcript and commentary):

ED SCHULTZ, HOST: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW. The "Battleground" story tonight, I guess you could say, Sarah Palin is doubling down. She has no regrets, she’s not apologizing. And she’s not going to back down from what she said. Palin set off a firestorm of controversy this week releasing her now infamous video where she never apologized, played the victim, and outraged a lot of people by using the term, blood libel. Today, "The Daily Beast" reports that she signed on to be the keynote speaker on the program convention in Nevada after the shooting tragedy in Arizona.

A lot of folks aren’t going to like that but the righties are gunning up, I guess you could say. She’s also scheduled to do her first live interview with Sean Hannity on the republican FOX News Channel Monday night. She’s not backing down. I think we’ve got that, and she still has her sights set on 2012 and I think she’s had a pretty tough week but let’s see what these guys think.

Bill Press, nationally syndicated radio talk show host and Pat Buchanan, former presidential candidate and MSNBC political analyst. Gentlemen, great to have you with us tonight.


SCHULTZ: Pat, I almost had to get out the external defibrillator here in the office. My wife is a nurse because I heard you say earlier this week, you think Sarah Palin is a victim. Do you believe that, Pat?

PAT BUCHANAN, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: I think that for the last week, she’s been a victim, Ed, in one the saddest smears that I’ve seen in a long, long time. From the very moment, they picked up those wounded and dead at that incident, she’s been charged with moral complicity in a crime which she had no responsibility whatsoever. It is been day and night. Day and night. Until finally, the president of the United States went out there and did a magnificent job I think in Arizona and said, put a stop to it, incivility is not responsible for this tragedy and let’s not uses it as what means to start up the wars, one against another again.

Nicely stated by Buchanan. Now watch Press's pathetic response.

PRESS: Hey, Ed, look, if Sarah Palin’s a victim, I’m an astronaut. Let me tell you something the victims are lying on the ground outside of the Safeway last Saturday in Tucson. Sarah Palin is a political figure, she’s a person who has used a lot of inflammatory rhetoric, nobody starting with you, Ed, me, not the president, nobody blamed her for what happened in Tucson, but they did say that she’s one of the ones who’s used a lot of gun-filled rhetoric including putting out that map with the crosshairs, she’s called it bull’s eyes and telling people to reload. You know it would had been so easy for Sarah Palin just to say, as I thought you said, Pat, all of a sudden, think about her language and maybe not use that gun- filled imagery anymore. Instead she whined and she called people, accused them of blood libel, it’s disgusting and I think her political career is over.

BUCHANAN: Well, you’ve thought a lot of people’s political careers are over, Bill and they won 63 seats in the house last fall. President of the United States, Barack Obama said 19 -- what was it 2008 when the Republicans bring a knife to a fight, we’re going to bring a gun. That’s over the top rhetoric. It had nothing to do with what happened out there in Arizona. And neither did Sarah Palin. You talk about her whining, she’s come out tough. She’s not only defended herself but she’s gone on the attack and that’s why you folks are out here talking about her tonight.

PRESS: But that’s the problem, Pat. She went on the attack. Thank you for saying that. That’s exactly what she did. That’s not what they.


PRESS: Wait a minute, let me finish, please. That’s not what the American people wanted to hear.

BUCHANAN: How do you know what the American people want?

Great question, especially given recent polling data finding a small percentage of Americans believe the media was right for blaming this tragedy on heated political rhetoric.

Not surprisingly, facts weren't interfering with Press's view of things:

PRESS: Because, because, Pat, you look at the response to that memorial service where the president hit absolutely the right tone. Sarah Palin is tone deaf, at some point she’s got to go beyond being a fringe candidate, Pat. She had a chance. She missed it. She blew it. She’s done.

BUCHANAN: Look, you’ve got to get beyond being a fringe talk show host, Bill. Here’s what happened.


PRESS: You’re a fringe TV talker. Come on, Pat, you can’t -- why can’t -- can you get away from the personal attacks?

SCHULTZ: All right. Let’s go back to this, gentlemen, let’s go back to this.

BUCHANAN: All right. Let me go back to the basic point.

SCHULTZ: Pat, you bring up the point about what the president said. The president ought to apologize for that. He said it was the wrong use of words, he shouldn’t have done it. Sarah Palin’s apologized for nothing and I have to ask you, is it appropriate to put these crosshairs up and granted the Democrats have done it in the past but in the environment that we’re in right now, doesn’t this deserve you know, maybe I shouldn’t have done that? She can’t even bring herself to do that, Pat.

BUCHANAN: Well, look, she’s got nothing to apologize for because she did nothing wrong.


BUCHANAN: Going forward, Ed, going forward, because of this, the Democrats showing the bull’s eyes on the stage, the crosshairs in the states, that goes out. But, Ed, look, why are you talking.

SCHULTZ: How about blood libel? Is that going forward, Pat? Let’s play this sound bite, here it is right here.



SARAH PALIN,FORMER ALASKA GOVERNOR: Especially within hours of a tragedy unfolding, journalists and pundits should not manufacture a blood libel that serves only to incite the very hatred and violence that they purport to condemn. That is reprehensible.


SCHULTZ: Pat, was that appropriate?

BUCHANAN: It is appropriate. I’ll tell you what, when Alan Grayson says, Republicans want you to die quickly -- that is a smear.

SCHULTZ: I’m not talking about Grayson. I’m talking about Sarah Palin, was that appropriate?

BUCHANAN: She’s got the same right to use that phrase as Alan Dershowitz did.


BUCHANAN: As Andrew Sullivan did. As Michael Barone did. As Ann Coulter did.

SCHULTZ: Ann Coulter, there’s a source for you.

PRESS: Oh, boy, oh, boy, oh, boy.

BUCHANAN: You know, let me tell you this. You know, Ed, look, you talk about a climate of hate. Now I think this last week, there’s been a climate of hatred built up against this woman who did nothing and I tell you, if she does run for president of the United States, I pray to the lord she’s given secret service protection from day one.

Great point, especially given reports on Wednesday that Palin is now receiving an unprecedented number of death threats:


SCHULTZ: I tell you what, I hope that she has all of the protection in the world. Go ahead, Bill. I’ll give you -- go ahead.

PRESS: Just let me get in here, look, all people said is that among with a lot of other people, Sarah Palin used an imagery that was inappropriate. It would had been so easy for her to say, you know what, I didn’t intend any harm to anybody and I know she didn’t. I don’t accuse her of that.

BUCHANAN: Why you’ve been talking about her for a week for?

PRESS: But she could have said.

BUCHANAN: She came out and did a tape.

PRESS: Hey, Pat, hey, Pat, hey, Pat. I know this is cross fire but give me a shot. Listen, she could have said that was inappropriate. I wouldn’t use that language again, that’s all people wanted to hear and then move on, instead she missed that opportunity, Pat. The president saw the opportunity. And I really think that she made a fatal mistake in terms of her political career, just like going to this gun show, Pat. She’s already got that crowd. What’s that going to get her? Nothing but more inflammatory rhetoric.

BUCHANAN: The last person -- Sarah Palin is a national sensation. The second-most beloved woman in America after respected after Hillary Clinton. She’s got great success on the circuit. Eighteen of the 20 districts.

PRESS: Fine.

BUCHANAN: She targeted. She won those races. She doesn’t need your advice, Bill.

SCHULTZ: OK, all right, Pat.


PRESS: Let her stay on FOX News, Pat.

SCHULTZ: Did she have a good week? Did she use proper judgment in using blood libel? That will not politically come back to haunt her in your opinion, yes or no?

BUCHANAN: Ed, you decide in your own way whether things come back to haunt her. You guys have been working this line and working this thing continually.

SCHULTZ: I didn’t release the tape, Pat, she did. I didn’t release the tape, she did.

BUCHANAN: She released that tape five days after this smear campaign began and I think she had every right to do so.

SCHULTZ: The right to use blood libel.

BUCHANAN: She has the first amendment right just like do you, Ed.

SCHULTZ: Go ahead, Bill.

PRESS: Shame on you, Pat. You know what that word means, that word has no place in American politics whether she knew what it meant or not, it’s stunningly.

SCHULTZ: Buchanan and Press, great to have you guys with us tonight. Gentlemen, time-out. Thanks so much.

BUCHANAN: Alan Dershowitz say, it was fine to use it.

PRESS: Who cares about Alan Dershowitz? We’re talking about Sarah Palin. We’re talking about Sarah Palin, Pat.

SCHULTZ: All right. We have to go. Thanks. Pat Buchanan and Bill Press, you guys are great.

Yeah, you are talking about Sarah Palin, Bill. Seems like that's all you liberal media members want to talk about.

Makes you wonder why more people don't want the former Alaska governor to become president just to show up all the so-called journalists that have been tearing her limb from limb since August 2008.

Exit question: will liberal media members like Press and Schultz ever admit they were wrong for immediately tying Palin to this awful event, or will they continue pointing their fingers despite the evidence?

(H/T Right Scoop)