Ed Schultz Tangles With a Guest More Liberal Than Him, Spins Obama as 'on the Footsteps of Greatness'

MSNBC's Ed Schultz is so pro-Barack Obama that he wasn't the most liberal person on his Monday program. The Ed Show host hyperbolically praised the President as "on the footsteps of greatness" and tangled with a guest who refused to agree that Osama bin Laden was guilty.

Grit TV anchor Laura Flanders appeared on the program to out-liberal Shultz, arguing, "...You can say a lot of things about what happened Sunday night [with the killing of bin Laden]. You can say it was justified. But justice is not the word. It wasn't what we stand up for around the world and call justice."

An incredulous Schultz could only sputter, "Osama bin Laden wasn't guilty?...He wasn't guilty?" Flanders would simply emphasize, "As I said, you can call it justified."

Speaking of Obama's campaign pledge to get bin Laden, Schultz fawned, "There hasn't been a more accurate campaign promise to the American people in the history of the country."    

Earlier, the anchor complained to Flanders: "...I think [Obama] is on the footstep of greatness."

Schultz, who on Saturday won the Media Research Center's 2011 DisHonors Quote of the Year award, opted for Democratic talking points over pure liberalism . He snapped at Flanders, "But on this operation, where are the mistakes? There aren't any. There has not been one mistake by this President on this operation."

At one point, Flanders bizarrely complained, "Let's talk about the threats to our bridges and our roads and our trains, of infrastructure, failure to invest...We can't just send SEALS in to bust up the, the, uh, budget fight." These are the people MSNBC brings on as serious guests?

[H/T to @MattDeLuca]

A transcript of the May 09 segment follows: 


ED SCHULTZ: Let me bring in Laura Flanders, host of "Grit TV" and "Free Speech TV." What was that comment? Was that a shot to those who were saying oh, gosh we might have fallen off the moral high ground here? How did you take that?

LAURA FLANDERS, "GRIT TV": Ed, you know, I hate to break your rhythm here but this is one of those heads the president thinks needs examining.

SCHULTZ: Good, good. Tell me why.

FLANDERS: I'm one of those who says, you can say a lot of things about what happened Sunday night. You can say it was justified. But justice is not the word. It wasn't what we stand up for around the world and call justice.

SCHULTZ: Osama bin Laden wasn't guilty?

FLANDERS: Courts, convictions, charges, that's justice.

SCHULTZ: He wasn't guilty?

FLANDERS: You can say it was justified. It was justified to go into a sovereign nation and take out your man. Justice, it's not- it's maybe semantics, but I think it's more than that. I think we have been since 9/11 talking about distinguishing ourselves from other types of-- rules of law.

SCHULTZ: This was a military action. We're at war. This is a military action. They're going into a combat zone. This is a declared war by al Qaeda against the United States. Clearly he was guilty. There were arms on site. It's decision that was made.

FLANDERS: As I said, you can call it justified.

SCHULTZ: There is no room for Miranda rights. Is that what you want them to do?

FLANDERS: I want to have us stand up for the rule of law, Ed. And I think that you do too. And I think what we were looking at here is a situation where, according to the reports coming out today from "the Times" today, there was even a plan in place for standing up to Pakistani military, our allies, if they intervened. Now I think, you know, the President was- it was a very good performance on "60 Minutes" in many ways admitting he was nervous, the talk about the stress, the humanity, the concern about the families. All of that was important but I think we're looking at geopolitics here. You've already got people in Pakistan today talking about the resignation of the prime minister. You've got protests in the streets. We've got a serious geopolitical situation with respect to our relations with Pakistan. Our policies up until now, the policies that have worked have been collaboration, intelligence gathering, cooperation with the Pakistani officials.

The policies that are not working, I don't think, are the drone attacks that causing more civilian deaths, are alienating people, and have people in the streets thinking, where is our sovereignty? Where are our national boundaries?

SCHULTZ: No one is trying to hit civilians. No one is trying to hit civilians. In fact, it is very clear this administration did this raid knowing that they could have bombed the place out.

FLANDERS: Yeah.

SCHULTZ: But they didn't do that, because it was a consideration of civilians. So they chose this riskier method to do that. And it is true that the "New York Times" reporting tonight the fact that President Obama challenged his commanders, ten days before the raid, saying if they get in a shootout, do you have enough to get them out; they can fight their way out. But the President has been very clear saying, look, this clearly was a guilty man. He is a criminal. He killed Americans. This is justice.

FLANDERS: Let's move to what I would have loved to have heard. Right?

SCHULTZ: No. Not what you would have loved to heard, but what action would you have wanted? Would you have wanted the SEALS to put the cuffs on this guy and bring him back?

FLANDERS: I wanted to see that guy brought into court. I wanted to see him brought up on charges. I wanted to see him charged, convicted, put away. I want us to stand up for the rule of law. And I would have loved last night on 60 Minutes for the president to say- claim victory if you like, go for it. But say now is the time to reorient. Now is the time to redirect. We're going to bring troops out. We're going to commit to an international tribunal court.

SCHULTZ: Well, sure. He is trying to get troops out of Afghanistan. He's trying to get troops out of the region. And he's trying to defeat al Qaeda. There's no question they're still a big threat and there is a very rich environment grabbing all of these computers and also hard drives. What does -- does capturing bin Laden cement President Obama's legacy? I mean, I mean, I think he is on the footstep of greatness.

FLANDERS: I think he has made a huge step forward. And I think that with these documents that came out of the compound, you see a big concern about threats to our bridges and our roads and our trains. I think, great. Let's talk about the threats to our bridges and our roads and our trains, of infrastructure, failure to invest. What we need to be doing here- We can't just send SEALS in to bust up the, the, uh, budget fight. We have to actually now refocus here and talk about where our security sits at home. I know you agree with me.

SCHULTZ: I do agree with you on that. I also agree that President Obama could not have done a better job on any of this, across the board. Where are the mistakes?

FLANDERS: I want to see the commitment to withdrawing the troops. I want to see-

SCHULTZ: But on this operation, where are the mistakes? There aren't any. There has not been one mistake by this President on this operation.

FLANDERS: I would say that the communications foul ups immediately following the operation were a problem, that so much of the original story turned out not to be exactly true.

SCHULTZ: That is the fog of war.

FLANDERS: -that needs to be a whole lot better before it goes into this next election.

SCHULTZ: You're talking about communication.

FLANDERS: Yes.

SCHULTZ: You're not talking about the operation. But in the operation- and this man campaigned on the fact that if the Pakistani government was unable or unwilling, this was before the election, that he would go in and take out Osama bin Laden. There hasn't been a more accurate campaign promise to the American people in the history of the country.

FLANDERS: John Kerry said we would stand for bringing people to justice and taking a criminal justice approach to terrorism, as opposed to declaring war on the world. That was the Democratic Party position going into the last election. So, you know, we can say the end result is what the country wanted in lots of ways. Was it possible to do things differently? I think so. And I wish we could have stood up.

SCHULTZ: You're wrong, respectfully. Laura Flanders, good to have you with us tonight.

Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock is the senior news analyst for the Media Research Center and a contributing editor for NewsBusters.org