MSNBC's Ed Show: There's a Vast Right Wing Network Spreading Reagan's Ideas to Destroy Middle Class

The paranoid propaganda coming from MSNBC much like a rabid dog is starting to foam from your TV set.

On Monday, Ed Schultz brought on a reporter from Mother Jones to assist him in spreading nonsense about a "vast right wing network [that] is pumping money into states to defeat the wage earners of America and the middle class" with ideas "inspired by none other than Ronald Reagan himself" (video follows with transcript and commentary):

ED SCHULTZ, HOST: A vast right wing network is pumping money into states to defeat the wage earners of America and the middle class, just undermining the middle class. That is the plan. That is the reality and it is happening right now.Consume this. Remember this? It’s my favorite chart right here. As union membership decreases over the last 30 years, middle class income has gone downhill right with it. An assault on unions is an assault on the middle class. You can’t get away from that graph. It tells the story. Well, there’s a network of right wing think tanks dedicated to get the anti-worker policies codified right into law. It’s called the State Policy Network. That’s right. State Policy Network.

Let’s look at the map of the United States. Beautiful country. God bless America.

Yes, let's look at that map. As readers know, I've been making the case in recent weeks that MSNBC producers seem to be completely ignorant of what's being broadcast on their network given the number of mistakes and utter falsehoods in the programming. Here's another one:

Could someone tell me what "affilated" means? This chart was prominently displayed for a good percentage of the time during this almost six-minute segment, and no one noticed that "affiliated" was spelled wrong.

Now, spelling errors happen all the time in chyrons and in on-screen transcriptions. But this was a sub-headline in a chart to be used throughout a segment, and nobody on Schultz's cracker jack staff - including the holier-than-though, pompous host himself! - noticed.

Let's continue:

SCHULTZ: Let me tell you something -- how many states would you think have these think tanks with State Policy Network? Well, it’s in red. There it is. They have infrastructure to go after middle class, union jobs, middle class wages in every single state. They are funding these organizations all 50 states. And you want to know how many states have anti-worker legislation that has recently passed? Or is being pushed by Republicans in those states right now? Here it is. They’re in yellow.

Now, if they had more Republican governors and a little bit more money, they, of course, would be doing it in every state when it comes to legislation.
But I want you to take a close look at this -- Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, and Florida. Do you think they’re important for 2012? What they’re doing is laying the groundwork to take away the teeth of the middle class workers in this country when it comes to them having a voice, when it comes to them having the infrastructure, to go after collective bargaining and they have done that in these states.

Heck, in Michigan, they’re overtaking city councils that can’t run their budget and that’s all about power. In Ohio, Senate bill 5. In Indiana, Mitch Daniels, he is a wolf in sheep’s clothing and we all know about that dude down there in Florida, Mr. Scott. He’s never seen a worker he liked.

So, this is -- this is the concentration of what’s happening. The reporting on the State Policy Network comes from Andy Kroll of "Mother Jones" magazine.
Andy, great to have you with us tonight.

The State Policy Network a pretty clear mission, isn’t it. And just what they want to do. Just how are they doing it?

ANDY KROLL, MOTHER JONES: They have a network, a web of think tanks that are devoted to free market principles that were inspired by none other than Ronald Reagan himself, spread throughout the country. And their goal is to pass legislation that fits that conservative right wing free market ideology.

Heavens. There are think tanks all around America that are spreading "free market principles that were inspired by none other than Ronald Reagan himself." Readers are advised that earlier in this program, Schultz announced that his favorite Senator is the only avowed socialist member of Congress. But let's continue:

KROLL: As you and I both know unions have no place in that kind of mindset. And so, these think tanks have not just this year but for decades laid a ground work, have pushed legislators, have tried as hard as they can to knee-cap unions and knee-cap collective bargaining rights for organized labor which, as you said, is one way to knock out the middle class.

SCHULTZ: Well, how many of thieves laws that we’re seeing being proposed are actually coming from these think tanks directing elected officials, directing officials to go ahead and write the legislation this way and then coming back and filtering money into the campaigns? What about that?

KROLL: Well, the think tanks don’t give campaign contributions. That’s they’re 501c3 nonprofits, but what my reporting turned up was -- you know, other kinds of pressure. It comes in policy briefings. Some think tanks can lobby lawmakers. So, it’s not quite contributions but it’s similar.

But what we’ve seen over time is they just -- you know, they keep hammering away at state legislators, many of whom are part-time. They don’t quite know exactly what they need to be doing in the statehouses around the country, and these think tanks are putting information in front of them and pushing them hard to undercut organized labor. If you undercut organized labor, you’re undercutting the Democratic Party and the middle class.

SCHULTZ: But this also -- this also goes not only wage earners, but this goes for education. This goes for health care as well. Doesn’t it?

KROLL: Absolutely it does. Your charter schools are a huge platform for the think tanks. You know, health care, stripping away entitlement programs, getting rid of state-run programs, making it all vouchers and privatized. This is at the heart of these think tanks as modeled.

SCHULTZ: All right. And how much headway are they actually making? You know, look, Wisconsin has changed the way we look at the news when it comes to wage earners in this country. I mean, I think that we have seen a sea change on how we view things.

I mean, all politics is local. It’s -- there is not an election this year but this is when they really do the dirty work after the election. I mean, this is just a textbook classic example of how they operate.

But are they making headway? Are they making a difference? Is it getting harder for wage earners?

KROLL: Absolutely. With the wave of Republican lawmakers swept into office, last fall, the setting was there for these think tanks to go after the new Republicans to sway them, to influence them, to lobby them to pass these kinds of bills. That’s why we’re seeing dozens of collective bargaining bills out there today.

SCHULTZ: And so, I bet there are viewers out there tonight wondering do the liberals have anything like this cooking? I mean, there is MoveOn.org, there’s PCCC, there’s Democracy for America, Organizing for America, and all this stuff -- but they are not on this level, are they?

KROLL: Not at all. This is straight from the same conservative ideologues that founded the Heritage Foundation. This is coming straight from Reagan. The left doesn’t have an answer to this, but as we’re seeing, might be wise to.

"This is coming straight from Reagan."

Horrors! Think tanks are spreading ideas fostered and supported by one of America's most beloved presidents that won the Cold War while saving the nation from an economic malaise almost single-handedly ushering in decades of practically unprecedented prosperity.

But on MSNBC, where socialism is clearly the more revered philosophy, this man and his views are to be derided and shown to be a threat to the American people.

Is this really the message Comcast and General Electric want spread by one of their divisions?

Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard
Noel Sheppard, Associate Editor of NewsBusters, passed away in March of 2014.