MSNBC’s Schultz Ludicrously Compares Federal Deregulation of Business to Bangladesh Tragedy

MSNBC’s Ed Schultz will take any and every opportunity to bash Tea Party conservatives, even if it means exploiting a terrible tragedy to do so. The bombastic host did just that on Sunday, using the recent factory collapse in Bangladesh to blast Republicans for supporting the removal of burdensome regulations on American businesses.

Schultz introduced his segment with scenes from the horrible incident, huffing:

Here's what happens when we don't have good federal regulations for workers in this country. This is what deregulation looks like in Bangladesh.

After introducing guest Scott Prouty, the man behind the media-hyped “47 percent” video, Schultz lobbed a softball to the liberal activist:

Wouldn't it be a disaster if it [regulation of businesses] was turned over to the states? States would be able to do whatever they want with workers. Is that a bridge too far to think about, that maybe we would become somewhat of a Bangladesh and there would be so many conditions that are unsafe in America? Would it go that far?

Prouty, of course, was content to voice his agreement to such extreme, alarmist rhetoric:

I think it does. I think Bangladesh –  it seems like it's a world away, but for me it's a perfect example of what happens when corporations don't have some oversight, when workers don't have the ability to bargain collectively. You know, corporations time and time again, they show that they will take the short cuts in regards to safety, they're willing to pay near-starvation wages if they can get away with it.

We all know of Schultz’s ardent support for big government, but it seems a stretch to compare working conditions in the United States to those of a third-world country like Bangladesh. But the MSNBC host is never one to avoid hyperbole.

Good ol’ Ed also misreported the death toll, claiming that “at least 11,027 low-wage workers died when their factory collapsed in April.” Well, that figure was quite a ways off; the actual death toll was 1,127. That’s not to marginalize the tragedy – but Schultz does have a history of getting the numbers wrong.

Now, it’s likely that Schultz just misread the number. But he didn’t correct himself on the show, even after guest Scott Prouty accurately reported the death toll. And to our knowledge, Schultz hasn’t corrected himself as of yet.

See the relevant transcript below:


MSNBC
The Ed Show
06/02/13
5:53 p.m. Eastern

ED SCHULTZ: Best of all, Cruz sponsored an amendment to kill federal labor regulations. Senator Cruz wants to turn labor regulations over to the states and kill federal oversight all together. Here's what happens when we don't have good federal regulations for workers in this country. This is what deregulation looks like in Bangladesh. At least 11,027 low-wage workers died when their factory collapsed in April in Bangladesh. Employers get to build unsafe sweat shops – terribly unsafe environment to work in without a damn government regulation. Joining me now is the man who made the words ‘47 percent’ famous. Scott Prouty, good to have you with us tonight. I know you're going to Bangladesh. We'll talk about that in a moment. But I want to know your thoughts, what if Senator Cruz's world was reality? And he gets his way on workers' issues? What would it do?

SCOTT PROUTY: You know, thanks for having me, Ed. The last couple months, I've had the privilege of traveling around the country and I've met with hundreds of steel workers all over from California to Wisconsin to Philly. And when I say steel workers – they make paper, they make plastics, they make chemicals, glass and rubber. These people are red, white and blue Americans. They're regular guys and women and they’re really the backbone of American manufacturing. And the thing that I've seen from meeting them is I think they want – what they want is fair wages and they want safe working conditions. And at the end of decades of service, I think they hope to retire with dignity. And I don't think that's too much to ask for and it's hard to imagine why it's a priority right now to go after people like them.

SCHULTZ: Wouldn't it be a disaster if it was turned over to the states? States would be able to do whatever they want with workers. Is that a bridge too far to think about, that maybe we would become somewhat of a Bangladesh and there would be so many conditions that are unsafe in America? Would it go that far?

PROUTY: I think it does. I think Bangladesh –  it seems like it's a world away, but for me it's a perfect example of what happens when corporations don't have some oversight, when workers don't have the ability to bargain collectively. You know, corporations time and time again, they show that they will take the short cuts in regards to safety, they're willing to pay near-starvation wages if they can get away with it. Bangladesh is really a perfect example of that.

SCHULTZ: Why are you going there?

PROUTY: I'm heading over next week with Charlie Kernaghan [and] the Institute of Global Labor and Human Rights. There's a lot of people you mentioned – over 1,000 people were killed, the injuries are absolutely horrific. Crushing injuries. And those people, their lives are basically over. There's orphans, there's people that don't have anything left. And so we're shooting to go over and just help out in any way we can and try to provide some comfort for them.

SCHULTZ: Keep up the fight, Scott. We can't let it get to a state level, that is the bottom line. Scott Prouty, thanks so much.