Ed Schultz Lashes Out at Liberals for ‘Income Envy’

Radio and TV blowhard Ed Schultz decided to take a break from his normal act of ranting against Republicans today by raging against some fellow liberals who had the temerity to criticize him and other MSNBC hosts for declining to publicly take the side of union members in a dispute they're having with the cable channel's parent company, NBC Universal.

Schultz, whose shtick is that he is just a working stiff looking out for people like him, lashed out at a report from Salon.com which mentioned him: “I become the target because I’m living good. I become the target because I have a platform,” he said on his radio show Friday. “They’re just out to take somebody down who’s got something they don’t have.”

The hypocrisy is thick enough to cut with a knife. Apparently there is one way to get Ed Schultz to denounce the politics of envy and resentment. Whatever happened to standing up for the disadvantaged and shared sacrifice?

Schultz made those remarks in a segment in which he invited viewers to question him about the Salon allegations. According to the MSNBC host, he was being wrongfully accused because he did not respond to a reporter’s question.

"I’m not going to lower myself to people who just have got employment envy, income envy, exposure envy, platform envy," Schultz said, according to a Salon transcription of the show.

The loud-mouthed host claimed that Salon could not possibly know about all of his actions in the dispute. “I don’t advertise every meeting that I have. No one knows who I’ve met with. No one.”

In the same segment Schultz also attacked an internet columnist named David Sirota in a way that could not be construed as anything but “punching down.”

“It’s interesting that you have had class envy on me for years, that you’re never going to be as big as I am. That’s what you’re all about, Sirota.” He reiterated his opinion moments later, calling Sirota a “loser.”

All the bluster aside, Schultz did not respond to several key points in the article as Salon notes:

Without directly addressing the union-busting allegations Peacock Productions workers have leveled against NBC, Schultz’s response to a subsequent friendly caller appeared to reference the calls for him to weigh in. “Because someone may have a different view, or someone of authority may view things differently,” said Schultz, “doesn’t mean, because I have a position on something, that I’m going to be able to influence them, OK?” (The man had called to tell Schultz, “Your message and your concern for the working man, I have never seen you once deviate from that message.”)

Asked about Schultz’s response, WGA-E organizing director Justin Molito emailed, “I can understand the reluctance of any worker to speak out about important issues like the need for collective bargaining. However, thousand[s] of workers across America, and many at NBC in the Peacock campaign have decided that the risk of not speaking out are far greater.” Molito said he could not comment on whether any hosts other than Hayes had met with the union about the alleged intimidation campaign.

In the past, Schultz has shown no aversion at all to having wealthy people like himself do more to help those who are disadvantaged. In the recent debate over federal income taxes, the corporate team player said that it was a matter of “simple fairness” to ask for wealthy people to help their fellow men by paying more. In 2009, he claimed that Republicans “want to see you dead” because they opposed what would later become Obamacare, a law which Schultz favored because he believed it helped provide poor people with health insurance, a luxury they otherwise could not afford.

While Schultz seems reluctant to help union members within his own company, he sure is willing to take union member money and put it in his pocket. As NewsBusters reported last year, Schultz received nearly $200,000 from unions for speaking fees in 2011. He received $22,000 in 2008. In 2012 and 2013, the radio and television host collected over $250,000 in union payments.

In 2012, Schultz claimed that he donated the money he received in 2011 to the American Cancer Society. Politico reported that the group received only half of the money that Schultz was paid, however.

Matthew Sheffield
Matthew Sheffield
Matthew Sheffield, creator of NewsBusters and president of Dialog New Media, an internet marketing and design firm, left NewsBusters at the end of 2013