Ed Schultz Insists GM and Chrysler Never Went Through Bankruptcy

Ed Schultz believes you can change history by repeatedly claiming it didn't happen.

An example of this derangement could be heard on Schultz's radio show Wednesday when he insisted that General Motors and Chrysler did not file for bankruptcy. (audio clips after page break)

Which, come to think of it, is a bankrupt claim in and of itself.

Schultz made this bizarre assertion in response to Mitt Romney saying President Obama largely followed his advice on rescuing the auto industry (audio) --

SCHULTZ: He is a flat-out liar!

GOOFY SIDEKICK JAMES HOLM: Yes.

SCHULTZ: He is a liar! You can't deny the op-ed that he wrote in the New York Times, "Let Detroit Go Bankrupt". Managed bankruptcy and that's what they did, the hell they, what do you mean, managed bankruptcy?! The American taxpayer wrote a check to an industry that went back and knocked off the corporate jets, knocked off the wages and the health care and the pension for the United Auto Workers, and reset the table, reset the marketing focus, reset the focus on what they were going to make and put on the market. And where the hell are they now?! This could have never been done under Mitt Romney.

HOLM: That sound, that sound of him saying I des-, do we have that sound? I love that soundbite. ...

ROMNEY: I pushed the idea of a managed bankruptcy and finally when that was done ...

SCHULTZ (maniacally): WHOA! WHOA! WHOA! Whoa! Whoa! Whoa! What do you mean, finally when that was done? It was not done. It was not done. It was not done. They (pause) reprioritized within the framework of what they had.

HOLM (dutifully): That's right.

SCHULTZ: That's what they did! He can call it a slick Bain term. He's so Bain (excruciating mimicry of Carly Simon's "He's So Vain").

Once more, with feeling ... It was not done! Again, for auld lang syne -- Wasn't done, darn it!  Ed taking his meds? Clearly not done!

Except these bankruptcies obviously did occur and were major news when they did. I'll refresh Schultz's selective memory with a few inconvenient links --

"Chrysler Files for Bankruptcy Protection," MSNBC (ring a bell, Ed?)

"Chrysler Files for Bankruptcy," CNN

"Chrysler Files to Seek Bankruptcy Protection," NY Times

These are the top three of 1.3 million links for the Google search "Chrysler Files for Bankruptcy."  Another 1.6 million hits come back for "GM Files for Bankruptcy."

In fact, no less squalid an authority than Schultz himself was talking about these bankruptcies, go figure, when they were happening. Here's a clip from Schultz's radio show on June 1, 2009, the day of GM's filing (audio) --

The big news at this hour, the president just spoke moments ago how General Motors, uh, is, they're filing I guess you could say, just like Chrysler filed. And the president is presenting this as a job savior program and a manufacturing saving maneuver for America. I'm all for it but here's the bottom line. They're going to throw a total of $30 billion into this whole thing to keep GM alive and you and I, the taxpayers, are going to own 60 percent of what's happening. Hey! We now have the majority of General Motors, you and I do.  And what's interesting about this is that whoever's running GM, they pretty much get to do whatever they want to do because the president is a little bit nervous that there'll be too many conservatives out there that are going to be claiming that this is socialism. And the president just said in his remarks just moments ago, he's just finished talking as GM files for bankruptcy, he says that there's not going to be any micro-managing. I mean, he didn't use that word micro-managing, but he said when plants are going to get shut down or big decisions are going to be made, it's going to be made by those who are running the company.

The following day, Schultz came across as breezily cavalier about a specific aspect of GM's bankruptcy, the sale of its Hummer division to a buyer in China (audio) --

Get a load of this, the Chinese are going to buy Hummer. (manically guffaws) Give us about five years, we'll all be driving Hummers that get like about 80 miles to the gallon. (laughs again as Americans lose jobs)

The next caller to Schultz's radio show nailed him on this, leading to an epic Schultz meltdown. After bellowing at the caller and hanging up on him, Schultz ended the rant by saying this -- "It is a sad day in America that the day after you and I and everybody else are divulged with this, just inundated with GM, $30 billion, bankruptcy, bailout, everything else, here comes China buying Hummer!"

Hold on a sec, did Schultz say "bankruptcy?" Clearly what he meant to say was, uh, reprioritization within the existing framework.

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