Radio listeners and cable viewers, rest assured -- Ed Schultz is on the side of the angels when it comes to integrity, he strenuously reminds us.
The liberal radio host and MSNBC action hero spent much of his radio show yesterday venting about the Shirley Sherrod uproar and denouncing Andrew Breitbart and Fox News for their alleged role in Sherrod's abrupt firing.
Here's a holier-than-thou Schultz proclaiming his own purity (click here for audio) --
SCHULTZ: What we have here is a manufactured story, cooked up and promoted by the right wing that work across the street, supplied by a hate merchant, Breitbart, and Hannity, sold as a racial hate story and clearly a White House that overreacted without all of the facts. It is so unlike President Barack Obama to act like this.
I got criticism all across the board. First of all, you gotta consider the source. I mean, if this doesn't exonerate all of you out there you have thought that Fox News twists things, I don't know what will, because they flat-out do. Agenda-driven news, I guess that's the cable world we live in. But I don't make stuff up. They do.
Having just claimed "I don't make stuff up," Schultz made this dubious claim two minutes later (audio here) --
SCHULTZ: She (Sherrod) is a first-class, all-American victim, no doubt about it. The tape was doctored.
"A first-class, all-American victim" -- Schultz actually says things like that. Schultz proceeded to describe his encounter with Breitbart that morning after Breitbart was interviewed at MSNBC studios in New York City (audio here) --
SCHULTZ: So when he got done with his interview I went up to him and he was walking out, I went up to him and I said, Andrew, Ed Schultz, you know, nice to meet you, shook his hand. I said I'd like to get you on the show. (Breitbart's response) Oh um, you know, I'm really really tired and I'm going back to LA. I'm working on this no sleep in 24 hours and, you know, can't do it today and what do you want to talk about? That's what he said to me. He said, what do you want to talk about? I said, well, people want to know if you doctored the tape and that's what I want to ask you. (Breitbart again) No, I didn't do that. No, she said it. I didn't do that. I said, fine, come on the air and say it. I said, how about tomorrow? (Breitbart) Well, maybe.
As pointed out today by Brian Maloney at The Radio Equalizer, Schultz's claim of "doctored" footage was too extreme even for his first guest yesterday, Media Matters president Eric Boehlert (audio here) --
SCHULTZ: I think what most Americans want a clean shot at here is the truth about this story. Was the tape doctored in your professional opinion?
BOEHLERT: No, I don't think it was doctored but I think it was completely taken out of context.
With Boehlert undermining his claim, Schultz embroidered it further, this time with Sean Hannity as the target. Here's Schultz reacting to live footage of yesterday's remarks about the Sherrod episode by White House press secretary Robert Gibbs (audio here) --
GIBBS: If we look back and decide what we want to learn out of this, I think it is, as I said, everybody involved made determinations without knowing all the facts and all the events.
SCHULTZ: Wait a minute, here's what happened! Everybody responded to what Fox News put on the air! That's what happened! It's that simple! They cook up a story, they manufacture it, they doctor the tape, they go down the road, they throw out, just throw it out there, make accusations, interview Newt Gingrich to throw more fuel on the fire, they praise Vilsack when Vilsack made a rush to judgment decision. Now he's going to call up Shirley Sherrod and apologize to her via the White House saying what the hell are you doing?! And it's people on both sides, Mr. Gibbs? No, no, no, no. No, no, no, no, no. No, no, no, no.
Left media did not make this up. This was all cooked up on Hannity, once again doctoring information which he is known for!
That last allegation alludes to video shown on the Hannity show last November, purportedly of an anti-ObamaCare rally but actually from a more crowded tea party gathering in the capital.
Hannity promptly acknowledged the error and said it was inadvertent. How about you, Ed -- is it in you to do the same?