MSNBC's Ed Schultz Thinks You Hate America

I’ve have only watched one full episode (and dozens of clips of YouTube) of the inventively-named Ed Show on MSNBC, but it was enough to convince me that no one party, no one ideology, possesses a monopoly on reckless accusations of hating their country. During the Bush years, left-wing pundits were (rightly) quick to denounce those who impugned the patriotism of administration critics. To pick a citation at random, Mother Jones complained in 2002 that opponents of Bush’s foreign policy were the target of unfair attacks from White House hacks, who took to “calling them political opportunists and questioning their patriotism.” Take a spin around Google and you will find tens of thousands of similar complaints from left-leaning pundits, academics, and bloggers.

MSNBC’s loud, ginger-haired talker Ed Schultz looks like one of those oleaginous television preachers from the 1980s; the slicked back hair, slight Southern accent, extra chin swaying from side to side with every new outrage against God and the Republic. For Schultz, it’s all part of a thoroughly unconvincing shtick—the redneck liberal “from the heartland," a “former conservative” singularly obsessed with defending America’s embattled middle class. Indeed, his first book is called Straight Talk from the Heartland: Tough Talk, Common Sense, and Hope from a Former Conservative. In case you didn’t get it—he’s like Jim Hightower, but from North Dakota—the cover features Schultz in front of a microphone...photoshopped into a wheat field.

In Straight Talk, written in 2005, Schultz bemoans the influence of Bush-brand neoconservatism and, confronting arguments that administration critics were abrogating their patriotic duties, stressed that “All Americans want what is best for America!” It was the lowest form of debate, Schultz wrote: “Squelching debate by branding it un-American is dishonest, dangerous, and, in itself hateful.” (After appealing for a more rational debate, Schultz, on the very next page, compares Republican strategist Karl Rove to Nazi Luftwaffe boss Hermann Goering and Rush Limbaugh to Nazi propaganda minister Josef Goebbels.)

So let’s recap: Ed Schultz thinks that calling your ideological opponents un-American is dangerous and hateful. But the Bush administration is history and conservatives are now playing offense, baying for a liberal president’s blood. Little man, what now?

Last Friday, trapped in front of Schultz’s hour of bluster, I was told that the United States is currently being held hostage by “the anti-American obstructionists in the Republican Party.” One of those who had broken with the party of America-hating interlopers, said Schultz, was Ohio Senator George Voinovich: “Senator Voinovich, a lot of times on this program I just hammer the righties for not being American. Tonight, you are an American, sir.” Congratulations. You can pick up your passport at 30 Rock.

A brief excursion through recent MSNBC transcripts and it’s quickly revealed that Schultz—once a stolid opponent of the hyperbolic accusation—has developed something of an un-American accusation tick. Here he is on September 2: “So the president comes up with a jobs plan—let`s get access to capital to community banks. And what did the Republicans do? They said no. They are un-American.” Later in the same show, a Schultz guest denounced the scourge of free trade:

Guest: Michigan is being redlined. We can't get the capital. And they're expanding in China. Like I say, I mean, yes, they should go and make money where they can. But I tell you, this is an emerging market. Michigan is an emerging market. America is an emerging market…

Schultz: I think it's un-American.

There were other delights as well, for those with an excess of patience. Republicans, according to Schultz, will “hurt American families just to get the power.” And taking a brave stand against 99 percent of Earth’s professional economists, he told viewers that “There are no job-killing taxes. None!”

So for all of my lefty friends who tell me that Fox News is in a special class, that MSNBC is liberal but comparatively sober, I’m no longer buying it. From Keith Olbermann, who told Playboy that Fox News is “worse than al-Qaeda,” to Dylan Ratigan (Tea Partiers are holding signs expressing a desire “to kill blacks and Jews and women”), to Ed Schultz thundering that those who oppose massive deficit spending suffer from a paucity of patriotism, it’s time to acknowledge that venomous, dumb political discourse isn’t exclusive to those on the political right.

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  • Old Mexican||

    “So the president comes up with a jobs plan—let`s get access to capital to community banks. And what did the Republicans do? They said no. They are un-American.

    The other day I wanted to buy a bike, but had less money than the sticker price. The seller is un-American.

    See? I can come up with silly non-sequiturs just as well as Ed can.

  • Nihixul||

    I'd never heard of Dylan Ratigan before. After watching that clip, I hope I never hear of him again. That was beyond horrible.

  • von Laue||

    I can't believe that guy is only 37 years old. Go easy on the carbs there, buddy.

  • Brn||

    But Ratigan is a conservative (at least according to him: http://www.mediaite.com/online.....servative/). Actually, by MSNBC standards, maybe he is.

  • Latter Day Taint||

    "I’ve have only watched one full episode (and dozens of clips of YouTube) of the inventively-named Ed Show on MSNBC"

    Correction:

    the ED show

    It's right up there -- top left.

  • ||

    The ED Show.

    Educationally disadvantaged? Erectile dysfunctional?

    Enquiring minds want to know.

  • Yar||

    Emotionally Disturbed. (It's what the violent short bus kids are called in some states).

  • Bingo||

    I haven't heard of this guy but it sounds like he's perfect for the demographic that still watches cable television news (old, socially-conservative, entitlement mentality)

  • Old Mexican||

    You forgot: Masochist.

  • Bingo||

    *sigh* with election season around the corner I'll have to tune in for at least 1 evening...

  • Ted||

    Even more pathetic, the anti-trade guest is actually Virg Bernero, currently running for Governor in Michigan (I recognized the language style and googled the quote to confirm it was him).

  • ||

    Mr. Moynihan:
    This is news to you?
    "So for all of my lefty friends who tell me that Fox News is in a special class, that MSNBC is liberal but comparatively sober, I’m no longer buying it."

    You really need to get out more.

  • ||

    Beat me to it.

  • Apologetic California||

    Word

  • ||

    It feels good that both sides despise libertarians.

  • Bingo||

    We truly have all the right enemies.

  • ||

    my grandma is a hardcore lefty, and every day she watches Ed, Hardball, Olbermann, and Maddow at FULL FUCKING VOLUME.

    my biggest question is WHY these people get shows? Chris Matthews I can kind of understand because he used to work for Tip Oneill or something, but we have Ed- a failed Canadian Football player, Olbermann- a failed sports broadcaster, and Rachel Maddow- a Rhodes scholar... but what else?

    What sort of qualifications do these assholes have to sit there and YELL AT THE FUCKING CAMERA all day?

    oh also- Ed has serious anger issues
    http://gawker.com/5622805/ed-s.....king-place

  • ||

    Rumor is he fucked a sheep after that rant. He felt better afterward.

  • Spoonman.||

    My father-in-law does the same. MSNBC on all day, all the time, except when he's watching shitty cable porn. His wife has a separate room for watching TV.

  • Gary S||

    And sheepfucking?

  • ||

    he’s like Jim Hightower, but from North Dakota

    During a pledge drive, I called my local public radio station to ask them how much I had to give in order to never hear Jim Hightower on their station again. They actually thought it was a prank call.

  • Latter Day Taint||

    They used to run Hightower's colum in a now defunct little hippy online newspaper in my city. I used to eviscerate his column point-for-point in the comments section. Of course the little hippy editor would delete them as fast as he could.

    Odd that they went belly-up.

  • Pope Jimbo||

    I had to endure watching Ed do the sports on some NoDak TV station when I was growing up.

    One of the pleasures of moving off the edge of the prairie was escaping him. Now he has a national show? I guess the good news is that he probably had more viewers on that NoDak station than he does now.

  • ||

    You can legislate morality" - The screeching dingbat from Delaware, Christine O'Donnell.

    And that, my fellow prisoners, is all you need to know about the GOP's "small, non-intrusive government" ideology.

    And libertarians can cozy up to that..sure they can.they have no ideas or principles either.Libertarians are just the wackjob- cheapskate- crazy uncle of the republican party.

    True Conservative

    http://www.xtranormal.com/watch/7140347

  • Gary S||

    Yikes. Dude, Libertarians aren't tea partiers, OK?

  • Strawman||

    Stop abusing me spammer!

  • Colin||

    Well said, like usual.

  • ||

    Someone is going to have to call MSNBC to account for taking advantage of the mentally unstable. I don't see how MSNBC is doing anything but taking advantage of Shulz and Oberman's obvious mental instability in an exploitative attempt to get ratings. In a just world someone would get Ed and Keith some help instead of giving then TV shows.

  • ||

    Am I the only libertarian who thinks Fox News is much less crazy than MSNBC? Sure, O'Reilly has no respect for freedom, but Stossel is a regular guest at least and is allowed to finish a sentence without being called a racist for opposing 1/10th of the Civil Rights Act.

  • ||

    Other than O'Reilly who is more of an asshole than crazy, I don't see how you could call Fox crazy. They are more tabloid than anything else. They get dumb blonds with big tits and put them in short skirts on the morning show. And they talk about the latest top shelf white girl who was kidnapped or how Michelle Obama really isn't gardening. It is not high art. But it is not crazy either. But I really think that some of the people on MSNBC really are mentally unstable.

  • Greer||

    You didn't mention Hannity, maybe not as vociferous as some of the MSNBC people, but a fucking moron none the less.

  • ||

    But isn't he on the same show with some lefty? Isn't it Hannity and someone else? MSNB puts their nuts on unopposed.

  • Warty||

    Hannity dumped the rat-faced man some time ago, I think.

  • ||

    FOX News has some hard-news credibility during the day, but the "FOX and Friends" morning couch chat, and the two hours from O'Reilly through Hannity are worthless. Even so, FOX's knee-jerk Republican boosterism pales in comparison with MSNBC's wall-to-wall lefty nastiness. Whereas FOX has some skill at nuance, the hacks at MSNBC (Ratigan, Matthews, Schultz, Maddow) don't even try to hide their malice. Neither do their daytime bimbos. It's a foul place; far, far worse than FOX and CNN.

  • Fuck!||

    Meagan Kelly is no dumb blonde. She chews the hacks and spits them out if they try to filibuster or spew some bullshit out of thin air.

  • mj86||

    I remember the Bush years when libs complained that everyone questioned their patriotism. I don't remember anyone meaningful actually questioning their patriotism though. Instead it seemed to be their standard reaction to any criticism touching on foreign policy.

    For example, Bush to libs: Not exempting homeland security from union workplace rules will hamper its effectiveness.

    Libs to Bush: Don't question our patriotism!

  • alan||

    Frum, but he attacked the Right that opposed the war in an extremely obnoxious article in the National Review, and left alone. It was revenge for his being on the outside during the Kosovo matter. He put a lot of screaming from the top of his lungs supporting it, and it still was not popular with Conservatives.

    So, yeah, I saw far more lefties claim to be attack than actually being attacked.

  • alan||

    From the office of corrections

    and left alone

    and left the left alone.

    attack than actually being attacked.

    attacked

    I'm impatient, waiting on my dinner to be ready.

  • ||

    Are you kidding me? I doubt anyone came out and literally said, "liberals are not patriotic," but they were constantly accused of "blaming America" and "treason" (Ann Coulter wrote a gorram book by that name!).

  • Jeffersonian||

    To be fair, there were plenty on the Left that were openly cheering for insurgents in Iraq to kill our troops and urging our troops to kill their officers and desert. I'll go out on a limb and say that's seditious if not openly treasonous.

  • Fuck!||

    What was seditious if not openly treasonous was mainstream democrats calling Bush a liar day in and day out. Most egregious was the timing since Ayatollah Sistani had the vast majority of Shi'ites holding back on the civil war front in the face of Sunni and al Qaeda onslaught while Bush was promising them US soldiers were doing their best to protect them.

    Democrats did this knowing full well Bush the senior did actually lie to the Shi'ites after the first Gulf War and Saddam severely punished their asses for rising up as Bush called for. al Qaeda blew the Goldon Dome mosque and democrats finally got their civil war and we got Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid as leaders.

    al Qaeda and democrats were feeding off each other which is exactly why we need congress to declare wars and not seed authority to the President so they can claim he tricked and/or lied to them.

    FDR or Wilson would have thrown their democrat asses in prison faster than they could say Bush lied.

  • West Texas Boy||

    I think the point here is that what the right called treasonous and seditious, was in fact, by most standards, treasonous and seditious: code Pink, Move on, ANSWER, etc etc.

    Disagreeing with the effectiveness of new banking regulations and voting against them in the legislature, however, is not.

  • Woodrow||

    Saying someone blames America first is not the same as calling them unpatriotic. It simply means they tend to hold America to extremely high standards while holding the rest of the word to extremely low standards.

  • mj86||

    1. They do blame America for everything.

    2. How is accusing someone of blaming America for something the same as calling them unpatriotic?

    Ann, right. Forgot her.

    Liberals made an entire theme out of this, and you have Ann Counter.

  • Sugar Ray Bradbury||

    "venomous, dumb political discourse isn’t exclusive to those on the political right."

    No fucking shit.

    Amazing that for contributing to a magazine called "Reason" you're just now getting around to acknowledging that.

  • Warty||

    Well, it is 5...

  • aaron||

    Yeah, welcome to the '80s. The 1780s.

  • ||

    Jimmy Swaggart as a socialist? The End Times are just about here.

    And to think I didn't buy into all that 2012 crap...

  • Dage Weevil||

    UNAMERICAN RATFUCKERS!!!!!1!!!!

  • cynical||

    Well, you know the old saying: a liberal is an intelligent conservative who watched Hannity. A conservative is an intelligent liberal who watched Schultz.

  • ||

    Anyone ignorant enough to watch MSNBC doesn't deserve to be an American.

  • ||

    After msnbc cropped the video of that gun carrying racist Tea Party member who turned out to be black, nothing they do surprises me.

  • Mosquevite Sandwich||

    So, you thought your "lefty" friends might actually have an accurate assessment of the difference between "Faux" News (old) and MSNBC? MSNBC's total line up is like 5 Hannity's on crack. And Hannity is a fool. I couldn't stomach checking out the coverage on O'Donnell from MSNBC (couldn't resist the Scott Brown election). Those people are batshit. Hell, at least Fox, and mainly Fox Business, have some libertarians on their shows. I'd rather have to go to a mega church with Hannity than watch half an hour of that fat, retarded fuck Ed.

  • Joshua||

    This is one fat libertarian who wishes you would concentrate on the fatuousness of his position, rather than on his second chin.

    The fat people are worthless thing is overplayed and distracts from worthy criticism of this jackass.

    Apologies to all of the donkeys out there that I've just offended.

  • ||

    I recommend Dylan Ratigan's show to fellow libertarians. He's a pretty cool guy and he does exactly what members of the media are supposed to do. He's always skeptical of government; he's a dick to Republicans AND Democrats (look up the video of him verbally curb stomping Deborah Wasserman-Schultz); he respects all idealogies, including libertarianism.

  • ||

    ideologies*

  • ||

    Occasionally a liberal has an awakening,develops a brain and becomes a conservative. But a conservative does not turn into a liberal unless he has a stroke or a brain tumor or something weird happened.

  • Fuck!||

    The vitriol we see today is Clinton's fault. Clinton broke the longstanding and unwritten rule of gotcha.

    Say what you want about Nixon but check this out. When Nixon lost the election because dead people were voting for Kennedy from their graves he could have done what Al Gore did and created a Constitutional crisis. Same analogy applies with Nixon, impeachment and the gotcha game with Clinton.

    Clinton got disbarred in his home state whereas any of us would have been serving time yet Roger Clemons is facing a possible 30 year sentence for lying to a bunch of lying liars that lie all the time.

    Democrats deserve to be out of power for the 30 years Clemons is facing. I hope the Tea Party can pull it off.

  • ||

    It is not really about these circem-panera sideshows, not by a longshot. The Ed Show is just a "red" herring; the corporate takeover of the once-proud media corporations is nearly complete. We live in a corporatacracy. For example, I've just now seen this link to the information, it's all done by the Koch Brothers, here:
    http://nymag.com/daily/intel/2.....the_v.html

    WAKE UP PEOPLE. IT IS LIKE RUSSIA (the bad one) ALL OVER AGAIN. YEEAAAARRRRGHHH

  • ||

    WAKE UP PEOPLE. IT IS LIKE RUSSIA (the bad one)

    There's a good, wholesome Russia somewhere?

  • ||

    You are our hero Ed Schultz.
    I can't wait for the Rally on 10/2 in Washington DC.
    Thanks for everything and standing up to this ignorance and having the courage to speak out.

  • ||

    Read "Wild Swans - Three Daughters of China." See how propaganda is done.
    I hope it helps in the decision making process. Individuals must educate themselves on documented materials not opinions and commentaries.

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