CNN Host Castigates 'Another Conservative' Ed Schultz for Sexism

Railing against radio hosts demeaning women, CNN's Ashleigh Banfield called liberal radio host Ed Schultz a "conservative," implying that conservative talking heads are the ones acting sexist and degrading women. Banfield, on CNN Monday morning, directed her ire at conservatives while not once hitting liberals for vile verbiage.

"I was called a slut by Michael Savage, a conservative radio talk show host. Laura Ingram has been called a slut by another conservative, Ed Schultz, on MSNBC," Banfield ranted. "Cut it out! It's not appropriate. It's disgusting," she railed against conservative radio hosts in light of Rush Limbaugh calling Georgetown Law student Sandra Fluke a "slut" last week.

The liberal CNN host never once used the term "liberal" to describe a media figure from the left who has spewed vicious rhetoric at conservative women – and such instances have been plenty.

Liberal comedian Bill Maher has used obscene words before to smear Sarah Palin. Joy Behar, a liberal co-host of ABC's "The View," trashed GOP senate candidate Christine O'Donnell as a "witch who doesn't masturbate" and called another GOP candidate Sharron Angle a "b****" who will "go to hell."

MSNBC's Keith Olbermann used this lovely phrase to describe conservative writer Michelle Malkin: a "mashed-up bag of meat with lipstick on it."

"I mean, come on! What does it take? What year is this, Limbaugh? Shut your cake hole, please," Banfield ranted on-air. "Woop, woop. Okay. So, I think I've said my peace on this one. Boy, was that opinionated?" she added at the finish.

A transcript of the segment, which aired on March 5 on Early Start at 5:41 a.m. EST, is as follows:

ASHLEIGH BANFIELD: So, did you hear the one about Rush Limbaugh?

ZORAIDA SAMBOLIN: Oh, my goodness.

BANFIELD: Should I keep it clean?

(Laughter)

SAMBOLIN: You should.

BANFIELD: Here's the deal. I can't keep it clean, because I cannot report on the story without saying something that probably shouldn't be said on TV, slut. That is what Rush Limbaugh deemed appropriate when referring to an adversary in an argument, in a debate, over contraception and whether it should be covered.

And the advertisers who spend money on his show are dropping like flies, folks, even after he decided to put out an apology days later. It all had to do with Sandra Fluke. She appeared on Capitol Hill. She talked about coverage and contraception, and he said she's a slut for doing so.

SAMBOLIN: Seven sponsors have now pulled business from Rush Limbaugh's radio show in response to his three-day rant against Georgetown Fluke because she wants insurance companies to cover contraception. As you said, here's just some of what Limbaugh said.

(...)

SAMBOLIN: So, Limbaugh released a written apology over the weekend saying in part, "My choice of words was not the best."

BANFIELD: Really? Not the best? Really.

SAMBOLIN: No, listen to this, "In an attempt to be humorous – "

BANFIELD: Oh, funny, funny.

SAMBOLIN: – "I created a national stir. I sincerely apologize to Miss Fluke for the insulting word choices."

BANFIELD: Yeah. There was a whole bunch of stuff in the middle of that apology that had a big but where he said I still think this is the argument I want to make, which is fine, Rush Limbaugh. Make your argument. You can agree or disagree on contraception. That's not the issue here, my friend. The issue is, you cannot call women you disagree with sluts or prostitutes.

I was called a slut by Michael Savage, a conservative radio talk show host. Laura Ingram has been called a slut by another conservative, Ed Schultz, on MSNBC. By the way, I was also called a slut on MSNBC, and it ends now. Cut it out! It's not appropriate. It's disgusting.

SAMBOLIN: A lot of people are wondering if this will be, you know, a demise – the demise of Rush Limbaugh, and a lot of folks saying, you know what, this wasn't a funny moment, right?

BANFIELD: Not funny at all.

SAMBOLIN: How could you possibly call this funny? I think that's what catches me more. And losing the sponsors. Ron Paul said the only reason that he apologized is because he's losing sponsors. And he's down to seven sponsors that he has lost. And I want to read the statement from one of them, because this is why one of the sponsors actually walked away, Carbonite CEO, David Friend.

He says, "no one with daughters the age of Sandra Fluke, and I have two, could possibly abide the insult and abuse heaped upon this courageous and well-intentioned young lady. Mr. Limbaugh with his highly personal attacks on her overstepped any reasonable bounds of decency." This is kind of the way that, you know, you affect change, right?

BANFIELD: Yeah.

SAMBOLIN: Lose your sponsors.

BANFIELD: And it's just – it's unbelievable what these men think they can get away with. Please, are you kidding me? I was called a slut because I was doing coverage in the Middle East. And apparently, Michael Savage didn't like giving the voice to some of the Arab instigators in the Middle East, and that made me a slut. I mean, come on! What does it take? What year is this, Limbaugh? Shut your cake hole, please.

SAMBOLIN: Losing sponsors.

BANFIELD: Yeah..

SAMBOLIN: Perhaps, that will be it.

BANFIELD: Woop, woop. Okay. So, I think I've said my peace on this one. Boy, was that opinionated?

Matt Hadro
Matt Hadro
Matt Hadro was a News Analyst for the Media Research Center's News Analysis Division from 2010 through early 2014