Buchanan grapples with Press on TV again

By Joe Kovacs

Two of America’s best known preachers of conservatism and liberalism – Pat Buchanan and Bill Press – will return to television this summer in a head-to-head, two-hour political talk show.

Starting July 15, the former co-hosts of CNN’s “Crossfire” will be reunited on MSNBC to anchor a yet-to-be-named weekday program from 2 to 4 p.m. Eastern time.

“I’m really excited,” Press told WorldNetDaily. “I love working with Pat – he’s the best debater you can have to be up against.”

Bill Press

Press, who calls himself “an unabashed liberal,” was let go from “Crossfire” March 29 when CNN reworked its debate program. The network replaced him with Democratic party analysts James Carville and Paul Begala, to square off against Robert Novak and Tucker Carlson.

“I think they turned it into a ‘Gong Show’ and I think that’s sad,” said Press. “I had a good six years there. Whatever they do with it now, that’s their problem.”

He recently authored a book analyzing how issues are presented in the media, entitled “Spin This!” and is working on a new one called “Naked Claim: Exposing the myth about liberal bias in the media.”

Pat Buchanan

Pat Buchanan calls himself a “founding father” of “Crossfire” since the show debuted in 1982. He has been on and off the program when he took breaks to work for President Ronald Reagan, and himself to run for the presidency in the Republican and Reform parties.

He recently wrote the best-selling book “The Death of the West,” and along with his twice-weekly column on WorldNetDaily, is now working on a new book about the war on terrorism, and a new magazine called American Conservative coming this September.

“I’m a traditionalist and a conservative American-firster,” Buchanan said of himself. “[Press] is an effective, determined, flaming liberal!” he added with a laugh.

Being at opposite ends of the political spectrum, the two commentators rarely agree, especially when it comes to the so-called liberal bias in the mainstream media.

Without hesitation, Buchanan says the Big Media – in which he includes ABC, CBS, NBC, The Washington Post and The New York Times – is liberal.

“The populist media – the Internet, talk radio, cable and op-ed pages – is where conservatives have a fighting chance,” said Buchanan. “That’s where the market comes into play.”

Not surprisingly, Press “totally disagrees,” saying there are actually few liberal voices being heard today.

“The myth of the liberal media is just that – pure myth,” Press said. “Brokaw, Jennings and Rather deliver the news as it is. You get it straight down the middle.”

He exempted the Fox News Channel from his list, claiming Fox is tilted to the right.

Last fall, former CBS newsman Bernard Goldberg, a self-proclaimed liberal, reignited the debate when he published his book “Bias,” purporting that television news coverage in America is clearly slanted to the left.

“It’s not at all unusual to hear on the news a description of right-wing Christians, right-wing politicians, right-wing radio talk-show hosts, right-wing Miami Cubans,” Goldberg lamented at the time. “The only time you hear the word left-wing is if they’re talking about part of an airplane. … They don’t even think there’s a liberal or left-wing position.”

Both Buchanan and Press are hoping their new show will provide a boost to MSNBC’s viewership, which trails both Fox News and CNN in the ratings.

Buchanan says that can be done with quality content, providing a forum for getting out ideas.

“We’re not gonna spend all summer discussing if [flight attendant] Anne Marie Smith doesn’t want to spend the night at a congressman’s house,” he said.

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“Coloring the News” – How crusading for diversity corrupts American journalism