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Friday, May 21, 2010

P-G columnist takes on Pat Buchanan

Posted By on Fri, May 21, 2010 at 4:49 PM

Go get 'em, Samantha Bennett!

Courtesy of Media Matters, we learn that Bennett -- who contributes a regular column to the Post-Gazette -- is taking on Pat Buchanan over this column.

In that now-notorious piece, Buchanan expressed concern that if the Senate confirms Elena Kagan's appointment to the Supreme Court, the court will be packed with Jews and Papists:

If Kagan is confirmed, the Court will consist of three Jews and six Catholics (who represent not quite a fourth of the country), but not a single Protestant, though Protestants remain half the nation and our founding faith.

Finally -- somebody willing to speak out about the shameful exclusion of Protestants from public life. It's the last acceptable prejudice, I tell you!

Bennett's own column typically stays out of the partisan fray. But in addition to her P-G gig, Bennett  is president of the National Society of Newspaper Columnists. And in that capacity, she more or less takes the piss out of the Buchanan, telling Media Matters' Joe Strupp that

"Pat Buchanan used to be kind of the fringe guy. But he has been surpassed in that role. I guess he feels like he has to come up with something more outrageous and potentially offensive to stay in the spotlight and keep his position."

Buchanan, Bennett suggests, is trying to cling to the spotlight in "the theater of outrage. This has been our public discourse. It is who is shouting the loudest." Strupp adds such right-wing blather may be "hurting columnists as a whole," since as Bennett says, "[I]t can put more pressure on the rest of us to be more out there."

Actually, I wish that were more true. If you look at the Post-Gazette roster of columnists, for example, nobody comes anywhere CLOSE to being as bonkers as Jack Kelly, the Burghosphere's bete noir. That's too bad, in my book. But these days, an ultra-left perspective is about as hard to find on a newspaper editorial page as it is on the Supreme Court. 

In fact, THAT may be the last acceptable prejudice.

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