While folks in the media blame conservatives for violent rhetoric they dishonestly claim led to Saturday's massacre in Tucson, they continue to hypocritically ignore their own toxicity.
No finer or timely example occurred just three days before the shootings when Ed Schultz on the program bearing his name angrily said, "This is an ideological war. I say it on camera tonight here on MSNBC - I will fight these bastards every night at 6 o’clock" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
ED SCHULTZ: It’s all about taking down President Obama. They don’t want to create jobs. They’re not about that at all. And I’ll guarantee you, if you do see the numbers change, which I believe they will, you won’t hear Boehner or any of these new righties give one ounce of credit to the last Congress for fighting like hell for a jobs bill. This is an ideological war. I say it on camera tonight here on MSNBC - I will fight these bastards every night at 6 o’clock because I know what they’re up against. I know what they want to do. They want to take down American workers. They want to outsource jobs. They want to destroy the American dream. Concentrate the wealth to the top, and control minorities. That’s what they’re about.
About four minutes later, after interviewing Rep. Jim McDermott (D-Wa.), Schultz apologized:
SCHULTZ: It is going to be a very passionate fight, and I just, no I haven’t had anybody in my earpiece since I started tonight, and management’s not saying I’m over the top. I just referred to the Republicans as a term I probably shouldn’t have used, but, I know what, they just infuriate me. I don’t think they’re honest brokers. I think they’re out to destroy unions. I think they’re out to destroy the working folk of America. I think they have nothing on the table for middle-class, the middle-class Americans out there who haven’t had the breaks that the top two percent has had. So, if I offended some of you by that term I used a few moments ago, I apologize. Maybe I’ve had too much TV.
“There are times I tell him he goes over the top and that TV is different than radio,” [MSNBC President Phil] Griffin acknowledges. “A couple of times he’s crossed the line. I said, ‘Ed, you ran down the field 100 yards and you spiked the ball. Don’t spike the ball!’”
In reality, since Jared Lee Loughner opened fire on a crowd in Tucson, members of the media including most MSNBCers have been spiking the ball pointing fingers at conservatives for their supposedly hostile rhetoric.
Schultz himself did so throughout his program Monday mentioning Sarah Palin's name seventeen times.
If folks are really concerned with violent rhetoric on television, maybe they ought to begin with Ed Schultz, for there is likely no more consistently over the top and virulent commentator on any national network.