At the start of each hour of his weekday radio broadcast, Ed Schultz touts his show as "where America comes to talk." Provided, of course, that you agree with Schultz. Otherwise, it's where Schultz comes to bail.
Nine times in less than three months, and twice in the last week, Schultz has abruptly hung up on callers who don't share his politics. And in the most recent example of this, on April 5, Schultz cited a patently bogus reason for why he did so. (audio)
CALLER: You know, you asked the question earlier about, can the president spend money? No, he's already spent enough money as it is. And ...
SCHULTZ: No, that's not it, it's not whether he's spent enough money or not. He - cannot - spend - money. Not a dime. Thank you, Leonard.
Followed by Schultz saying this to the next caller, who asked Schultz not to hang up on him (more audio clips after page break) --
CALLER: Hey Ed, I'd like to talk to you without you hanging up on me. So, if we could just, listen to me for just a minute ...
SCHULTZ: Well, it depends on what you say! (laughs)
CALLER: OK, well ...
SCHULTZ: If you're going to attack me I'm ain't going to listen to that crap! I didn't come to work to get attacked!
Did I miss something here -- where was Schultz "attacked"? Not only is the attack he alleges non-existent, the preceding caller didn't even criticize Schultz. All that he did was not share Schultz's opinion, which the thin-skinned Schultz construes as assaultive.
A day earlier, Schultz got into an argument with a caller over the Prosser-Kloppenburg race for Wisconsin Supreme Court and hung up on the caller immediately after she pointed out that average compensation for teachers in Milwaukee exceeds $100,000 (audio) --
SCHULTZ: You're saying that this person (Kloppenburg) is not qualified because she's never been a judge before. OK, people are going to have to make that determination. But I do believe that you have to be an attorney before you can be a judge. Uh, so, she has that. Just I'm sure like this guy who's Posner (sic) has, was, appointed to a judgeship ...
SCHULTZ: Prosser, he was, got to a judgeship before without being a judge before. So saying that someone hasn't been there before doesn't mean that they can't do the job.
CALLER: Twelve years experience ...
SCHULTZ: So what?! It doesn't matter! He's on the wrong side of the issue and the people are going to have to determine this. He is for this right-wing governor. And I don't know how you can call him mainstream!
CALLER: First of all, he has had some 800 rulings and they're not criticizing him on his rulings.They're digging up dirt on a case from 33 years ago where apparently he did not prosecute a sex ...
SCHULTZ: Where is he going to come down on, on the ...
CALLER: ... a sex abuser ...
SCHULTZ: ... wait a minute, I don't care about any of that. This is about middle-class families. This is about teachers.
CALLER: Teachers make $100,000 a year with benefits in Milwaukee.
SCHULTZ: No, they don't make $100,000, now you're lying, goodbye! You're lying, you're lying, don't tell me that. I was in Wisconsin, I know what those teachers make, Charlotte, OK?
Hate to break the news to you, Ed -- OK, not really -- but what Charlotte told you is correct. Surely you've learned by now that salary and total compensation are not synonymous.
Schultz appears to go in streaks when it comes to hanging up on callers, having done it twice on consecutive days in the last week after going the entire month of March without doing so. Between Jan. 19 and Feb. 28, however, he did this seven times.
Here he is, for example, on Feb. 28 hanging up on a caller who criticized Democrats in Wisconsin state senate for fleeing from the state to prevent a vote on Gov. Scott Walker's proposal to curtail collective bargaining by public employees. (audio) "I just can't deal with that," Schultz said after ending the call. Yes, clearly not.
A week earlier, on Feb. 21, Schultz pulled the rug out from a caller after he pointed out that a married couple who work as teachers and had appeared on "The Ed Show" receive $137,000 total annual compensation from the state. (audio)
On Feb. 17, Schultz cut off a caller only seconds into the call, after he asked if Schultz would describe pro-union protesters in Wisconsin as "hatemongers" for carrying signs depicting Gov. Walker as Hitler. Schultz's response bordered on the bizarre -- "See you later, Dennis. I don't have time for numbskulls on my show. We're moving this country forward. You people are the child left behind." (audio) ("Dennis in South Carolina" apparently also talked with Schultz on April 5, as previously described).
On Jan. 27, Schultz abruptly hung up on a caller after the caller alluded to MSNBC firing Keith Olbermann. (audio)
Even an argument over football on Jan. 24 ended with Schultz hanging up on the caller -- even though Schultz had said earlier in the conversation that he disagreed with the caller, "but I respect your opinion." (audio)
On Jan. 21, a caller alleging widespread abuse of Social Security disability compensation, extending to members of his own family, spoke for less than a minute before Schultz hung up. (audio)
Same thing happened Jan. 19 after Schultz argued with a caller over Obamacare. Considering the person said he had worked in health insurance, it was only a matter of time before Schultz ended the conversation before it became all too obvious the caller was better informed. (audio)
"Where America Comes to Talk" -- provided that Schultz is in the mood.