MSNBC’s Schultz Discovers FNC's Smith and Van Susteren are Not Conservatives

  Twice this week on the Ed Show, MSNBC host Ed Schultz has paid attention to FNC’s Shepard Smith for not approaching the Wisconsin labor union controversy from the right, and also added in FNC’s Greta Van Susteren on Thursday. On Wednesday, the MSNBC host began his regular "Takedown" segment:

Tonight, in the "Takedown" segment, how about Shepard Smith? I’ll tell you what, he's bucking the Fox News Republican agenda by actually telling the truth about what's happening in Wisconsin. But first, Bill O'Reilly made a big admission on his show last night while reading viewer mail about George Soros and fairness and Fox News.

After responding to a clip of Bill O’Reilly enumerating some of FNC’s hosts and calling them "fair," Schultz went after Fox and Friends co-host Brian Kilmeade for misreporting a poll on the public’s attitude toward the Wisconsin situation. After gloating over Kilmeade getting the poll results wrong, Schultz eventually admitted to MSNBC viewers that Kilmeade had, in fact, already corrected the mistake.

Schultz began: "This morning, Fox lived up to O’Reilly’s analysis today by mangling a poll on public opinion on union busting. We showed you the numbers last night. Nearly two-thirds of the country is against Wisconsin type union busting legislation. Sixty one percent don’t like the Wisconsin law; 33 percent are in favor. That’s not how Brian Kilmeade reported it."

After a soundbite of Kilmeade, Schultz continued: "Hold it right there. You don’t think a union person behind the scenes made a mistake on the graphic, do you? No, no way. They would have got it right. Later, Kilmeade, well, he came back on and corrected the record, to be fair."

The Ed Show host then moved on to his newfound admiration for Shepard Smith. Schultz: "Then this afternoon, Shepard Smith proved Bill O’Reilly correct once again by actually having the guts to report the facts of the Wisconsin story. It’s a political power grab by Republicans."

Then came a clip of an exchange between Smith and FNC’s liberal contributor Juan Williams. Smith observed, "Have you looked at the list of the top 10 donors to political campaigns in America, the top 10 highest? Seven of those 10 donate to Republicans," and soon added, "The other three that remain of those top 10, they all donate to Democrats, and they’re all unions. Bust the unions, it’s over. That’s the whole thing."

Smith continued, "Koch Brothers were organizing in the state. I’m not taking a side on this. I’m telling you what’s going on."

After Williams added, "Just by telling the facts here, you’re angering a lot of people," Smith responded, "Okay, let them get angry. Facts are troublesome creatures from time to time. But to pretend that this is about a fiscal crisis in the state of Wisconsin is malarkey."

On Thursday’s Ed Show, Schultz mentioned Smith again, and also brought Greta Van Susteren into the list of FNC hosts taking actions that meet with the MSNBC host’s approval:

ED SCHULTZ: If you’ve been watching the Ed Show lately, you may think something really strange is going on over at Fox News. You might be wondering if Rupert Murdoch’s news channel is trying to lean forward, if you kind of catch my drift. Last night, we showed you Shep Smith saying just in plain English what the budget bill in Wisconsin is all about, political opportunity.

SHEPARD SMITH, FNC: To pretend that this is about a fiscal crisis instead of Wisconsin is malarkey.

SCHULTZ: You got it, big guy. And earlier on the show, we showed you a clip of Greta Van Susteren giving Scott Walker a grilling over his "we thought about it" comments. Greta even gave a platform to a firefighter Mahlon Mitchell, who was leading a solidarity protest with his fellow firefighters.

Schultz then went back to bashing the more right-leaning hosts Sean Hannity, Andrew Napolitano and Glenn Beck, but, among his soundbites, also oddly added conservative commentator Michelle Malkin who appears regularly on the Hannity show as a guest and is not affiliated with FNC.

Below are transcripts of the relevant portions of the Wednesday, February 23, and Thursday, February 24, Ed Show on MSNBC:

#From the February 24 Ed Show:

ED SCHULTZ, BEFORE COMMERCIAL BREAK: Sanity from Shep Smith? A grilling from Greta? Fox News is finally on the side of the working man? Really, yes, Sean Hannity’s dream. "The Takedown" is next.

...

SCHULTZ: Welcome back to the Ed Show. Time for "The Takedown" tonight. If you’ve been watching the Ed Show lately, you may think something really strange is going on over at Fox News. You might be wondering if Rupert Murdoch’s news channel is trying to lean forward, if you kind of catch my drift. Last night, we showed you Shep Smith saying just in plain English what the budget bill in Wisconsin is all about, political opportunity.

SHEPARD SMITH, FNC: To pretend that this is about a fiscal crisis instead of Wisconsin is malarkey.

SCHULTZ: You got it, big guy. And earlier on the show, we showed you a clip of Greta Van Susteren giving Scott Walker a grilling over his "we thought about it" comments. Greta even gave a platform to a firefighter Mahlon Mitchell, who was leading a solidarity protest with his fellow firefighters. You may remember Mahlon talking about Rush Limbaugh on the Ed Show last week.

MAHLON MITCHELL, FIREFIGHTER: I personally would like to invite Rush down and I would even pay for his plane ticket with my hard-earned union money so he could come and see what’s going on here.

SCHULTZ: You know, Fox wasn’t even paying attention to this story before we started covering it, but now that they are paying attention, and now that the public polling shows more Americans opposed to Wisconsin’s union-busting bill, don’t you think it would make sense for Fox to get on the side of the working man the way they always have been? You might think that, but then you’d be wrong.

GLENN BECK, FNC: But it’s not the every day teacher that this story is really all about. It’s about the people looking to create chaos on the backs of the worker.

ANDREW NAPOLITANO, FNC: This is the second day in a row union temper tantrums have divided Wisconsin kids, deprived Wisconsin kids of their education.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: JFK must have had it all wrong. It’s really about what your country can do for you. That’s what the Wisconsin protesters think.

MICHELLE MALKIN, CONSERVATIVE COMMENTATOR: And I think it’s very interesting that we have the likes of Richard Trumka, the thug in chief at the AFL-CIO.

SCHULTZ: See, folks, as long as the desires of the middle class workers go against the interests of a billionaire like Rupert Murdoch, Fox News will always be the Fox you love to hate. Don’t take my word for it. Here’s Sean Hannity.

SEAN HANNITY, FNC: You could see a Nazi sign in that particular picture, with an Adolf Hitler mustache on Scott Walker. My question is, the Tea Party movement was accused of these things, but there was no evidence that they could bring to the table.

SCHULTZ: Dog gone it, I was really stumped by that today. So Sean wants evidence. He actually wants evidence. You know what? I think these photos, well, they’ll do the trick. There are those Tea Party folks that don’t exist, according to Sean Hannity. In his world, they’re the patriots. And labor protesters? Well, they’re the enemy. Just remember that the next time Fox News tells you that they’re looking out for the working class, no, don’t believe them. Thanks to Media Matters for some of those photos and clips. That’s "The Takedown."

#From the February 23 Ed Show:

ED SCHULTZ: Welcome back to the Ed Show. Tonight, in "The Takedown" segment, how about Shepard Smith. I’ll tell you what, he’s bucking the Fox News Republican agenda by actually telling the truth about what’s happening in Wisconsin. But first, Bill O’Reilly made a big admission on his show last night while reading viewer mail about George Soros and fairness and Fox News.

BILL O`REILLY, FNC: Robert Hoffman in Del Rey Beach, Florida. "To restore some balance, while it should be noted that while Soros believes Fox News is not fair, you believe it is. But you are unfair to dismiss his view as groundless." You know, I disagree, Robert. We’re fair on this broadcast. Shep Smith is fair. Bret Baier is fair. Greta Van Susteren is fair. Most of our dayside anchors are as well.

SCHULTZ: He didn’t say partisan. He said fair. And he left a few people off the list, didn’t he? O’Reilly is admitting that Beck, Hannity and Fox and Friends are unfair. This morning, Fox lived up to O’Reilly’s analysis today by mangling a poll on public opinion on union busting. We showed you the numbers last night. Nearly two-thirds of the country is against Wisconsin type union busting legislation. Sixty one percent don’t like the Wisconsin law; 33 percent are in favor. That’s not how Brian Kilmeade reported it.

BRIAN KILMEADE, FNC: Gallup, a relatively mainstream poll, has a differing view. Here’s the question that was posed: should you take away, will you favor or are you in disfavor of taking away collective bargaining when it comes to salaries for government workers? Sixty one percent in favor of taking away, 33 percent opposed.

SCHULTZ: Hold it right there. You don’t think a union person behind the scenes made a mistake on the graphic, do you? No, no way. They would have got it right. Later, Kilmeade, well, he came back on and corrected the record, to be fair. Then this afternoon, Shepard Smith proved Bill O’Reilly correct once again by actually having the guts to report the facts of the Wisconsin story. It’s a political power grab by Republicans.

SHEPARD SMITH, FNC: Have you looked at the list of the top 10 donors to political campaigns in America, the top 10 highest? Seven of those 10 donate to Republicans.

JUAN WILLIAMS, FNC: Correct.

SMITH: The other three that remain of those top 10-

WILLIAMS: Unions.

SMITH: They all donate to Democrats and they’re all unions.

WILLIAMS: Yes.

SMITH: Bust the unions, it’s over.

WILLIAMS: So you just told me the whole deal, buddy.

SMITH: That’s the whole thing. This started when? Started with the Koch Brothers, right?

WILLIAMS: Yep.

SMITH: Koch Brothers were organizing in the state. I’m not taking a side on this. I’m telling you what’s going on.

WILLIAMS: I’m glad you’re telling it. That’s exactly the story. Just by telling the facts here, you’re angering a lot of people.

SMITH: Okay, let them get angry. Facts are troublesome creatures from time to time. But to pretend that this is about a fiscal crisis in the state of Wisconsin is malarkey.

SCHULTZ: Angering a lot of people with the facts? Did Juan Williams and that dude look uncomfortable or what? Shep Smith, dude, like a voice in the wilderness telling the truth about the Wisconsin story. Even though it flies in the face of the Republican cheerleading from the rest of Fox News. Roger Ailes, you just got taken down by your own anchor.

Brad Wilmouth
Brad Wilmouth is a contributing blogger to NewsBusters