Now they've really gone and done it as far as Ed Schultz is concerned.
Speaking with Schultz on his radio show Thursday, Schultz's producer James Holm described plans by members of the Westboro Baptist Church of Topeka, Kan., notorious for their protests outside funerals of American soldiers killed in Afghanistan and Iraq, to stage a similar protest during the funeral of Elizabeth Edwards.
The discussion between Schultz and Holm was preceded by Schultz gushing about Rev. Al Sharpton meeting with FCC officials in a thinly veiled attempt to censor Limbaugh for racial insensitivity. First, Schultz played a clip of Sharpton's remarks, not citing where they were stated, while Schultz brays his approval (link here for audio) --
SHARPTON: We are, as I have informed you, going to Washington next week to meet with FCC. We're also going to unveil a petition that we're going to challenge members of Congress and the Senate to sign onto and release on National Action Network's website who signs on, who doesn't or who ducks. Because it's very important for federal officials to take a position, not necessarily just on Limbaugh, but on whether or not they agree that anything whether you're doing it explicitly or implicitly against people based on race or gender should be allowed on federally regulated airwaves. I think we have to press those that have made Senate votes condemning people in the past and have demagogued on this. Now it comes down to an area that government can be called upon and we want them on the record.
SCHULTZ: All right! Reverend Al Sharpton, he will not back down, I love it! Let me tell you something, folks. This could be the biggest pain in the ass the Drugster's (Schultz's insipid nickname for Limbaugh) ever had. You're going to have members of Congress who are going to have a petition put in front of them on what can be said on regulated airwaves. I mean, are terrestrial radio stations just like the Internet? Hell no! Are they just like satellite radio? No! And you just can't get a radio station. You have to operate in the public's interest. Is it in the public's interest to allow this hate talk, this racist talk that Limbaugh and some of these other righty talkers do? It's a discussion that we have to have in 2011. And I admire Reverend Al Sharpton for having the guts to do this.
It's something that I think has been talked about for a long time, but the way that he is going at it is going to make this country think about what you listen to in the car and what you're subjected to. Should black people, should minorities in this country be subjected to racist talk over radio stations that are regulated by the federal government?! I think that's a helluva point! And no one has ever gone down this road the way Sharpton is. The FCC doesn't want to get into content, I get all that. But wait a minute. This goes beyond freedom of speech. And that's the conversation that has to be had.
OK, just like this is offensive to minorities to have some of the stuff that Limbaugh's pulled over the years, what about this group that is now going after Elizabeth Edwards's funeral? This is unbelievable. Holmy, come on in here. This group that has gone around to funerals of service men and women who have been killed in battle, killed overseas, and they've shown up at funerals. They know no boundaries. What's the latest?
HOLM: The Westboro Baptist Church, like you said, the ones that go around the country and put up the signs that says (sic) 'God hates fags' at soldiers' funerals. They've been in the news lately. Now they've really upped the ante. Usually we don't talk about this, but this can't go un-, unchallenged. They're going to protest the funeral of Elizabeth Edwards.
Westboro Baptist protests at soldiers' funerals -- shrug. Westboro Baptist protest at Elizabeth Edwards's funeral -- have they no decency?!