In Rare Glimmer of Sanity, MSNBC Shelves Ed Schultz's Aptly Named 'Psycho Talk'

Not to worry, Ed Schultz told his radio listeners on Jan. 11 -- the bellicose "Psycho Talk" segment of his MSNBC program would remain on the show.

Here's a clip of Schultz claiming that in the wake of the Tucson shooting, with liberals blaming an amorphous "climate of hate" for triggering the bloodshed, "Psycho Talk" would endure (audio) --

Let me just start it right out today, I am not toning it down. Because according to the conservatives, what Sarah Palin did and what Michele Bachmann says, that didn't have anything to do with what happened on Saturday, right? You know, this may be the biggest lie that Fox News has ever told. Roger Ailes says the network will tone down fiery rhetoric. And they defend Sarah Palin. Sarah Palin's now the victim, did you know that? Well, isn't her silence deafening? Why is Sarah Palin so silent? Is she feeling guilty these days? Why is it that she kept those crosshairs up there for months on end until the shooting? No guilt there at all, is there? Folks, let me tell you something, I'm making this announcement right away. We are not changing "The Ed Show" on MSNBC. As long as they open their mouths over there on the right, we will continue to have the segment called "Psycho Talk," because that's exactly what it is. And as soon as they say that they're not going to vote to repeal health care, then I'll make some changes.

 

More along the same lines from Schultz several minutes later (audio) --

And it is a fact that the Democratic Party had a targeted map with targets and they've used that before. This has been the political discourse in this country for a long, long time. Last night on "The Ed Show" on MSNBC, I said that the fault of this horrific event in Tucson was that of the shooter. That's it. But now we spin off into the blame game about the rhetoric. And now there's announcements on a morning show on MSNBC that we have to tone it down. No one has told me to tone anything down. No one's, I have not gotten a directive from the president of MSNBC. I have not gotten a directive from anybody associated with this radio show. So, today I'm announcing, it's still Ed!

What a difference a few weeks can make. Here's Schultz on his radio show today, peevishly responding to a listener's email about the absence of "Psycho Talk" on "The Ed Show" after it was moved from 6 to 10 p.m. Eastern following Keith Olbermann's don't-let-the-door-hit-you departure from MSNBC (audio) --

Dan from Milton, Wisc., wants to know if I abandoned "Psycho Talk" now that your show has been moved to 10 o'clock, I miss it. Dan, so do I. But you see, I come to work every day and if you have the Ed cam on, you'll see that I come to work every day because I have it on right now, I have a tag around my neck. This tag, this card, allows me to get into the building and work. I work for somebody. I don't call all the shots. But the decision has been made that "Psycho Talk" was better at six o'clock and not at 10 o'clock. Now look, there's probably people in positions that are a helluva lot smarter than I am and have decided that that's what the way it's going to be. So, that's what's happening.

Schultz claims MSNBC decided that "Psycho Talk" played better at 6 than it does at 10 p.m., when its prime-time audience consists mainly of grownups who've had plenty of time to digest their dinner. Still, I can't help wonder if that's what Schultz was told to save face. If it's any consolation to him, I know of at least one conservative who preferred "The Ed Show" in its earlier time slot. My NewsBuster colleague Ken Shepherd tweeted on Jan. 25, "In a weird way I miss @edshow being at 6 p.m. Perfect just-punched-out-of-work time slot for his angry blue collar liberal shtick."

Let me see if I have this straight -- liberals demanded more civility in media after they blamed a "climate of hate" for inciting a deranged gunman in Tucson. This was followed in short order by Olbermann discontinuing his "Worst Persons in the World" two-minute hate, Olbermann abruptly leaving MSNBNC, and MSNBC putting "Psycho Talk" under sedation.

In other words, the only media casualties in the post-Tucson era of civility, at least to date, are Olbermann and "Psycho Talk."

Let me be the first to blame Sarah Palin.

Jack Coleman
Jack Coleman
Ex-liberal from People's Republic of Massachusetts