The inevitable question about radio blowhard and MSNBC action hero Ed Schultz -- is he dense or dishonest? That he's both is also a distinct possibility.
Schultz piously fulminated against Republican congressman Peter King of New York on his radio show yesterday for suggesting that public policy enacted in response to mob demands from the streets, as occurred during the '60s that liberals still consider so groovy, man, isn't such a great idea (audio clips after page break) --
SCHULTZ (audio): I am just terribly intrigued by this interview, this comment by Peter King, congressman from New York. He says we can't allow more coverage of Occupy Wall Street. What does he mean by that? We - can't - allow - more coverage. Does the congressman have an avenue to follow to curtail network coverage on this? What do you mean we can't allow, what does he mean by that? Is there a mechanism in place to make sure these that protests don't get covered? Does Peter King have a line to someone that is going to pull the plug? I mean, I'm, aren't you curious about that? I am. He says I remember what happened in the 1960s when the left wing took to the streets and somehow the media glorified them and it ended up shaping policy. We can't allow that to happen. What happened in the '60s? Oh yeah, I forgot. There was that civil rights thing that was going on. Do you know how racist this guy is to say that? He needs to clarify what he's talking about.
This was one of several times on his radio show Monday that Schultz vented about King's remarks, which were made on Laura Ingraham's radio show Oct. 7. Typically of Schultz, he did not play a clip of what King actually said at all during his radio show, nor did he cite the source he read from that quoted King.
In the following hour, Schultz weighed in further, this time with his producer James Holm --
SCHULTZ (audio): Holmy, I gotta ask you. Did, is there any strong-arming coming from Peter King's office about how they can't allow more coverage of the Occupy Wall Street? How do we take that?
HOLM: I tell you what, I know that he's very tight with our friends over at Fox News, he shows up there every day. They can turn their cameras off all they want. He can go to his friends at the Wall Street Journal and the New York Post and try to get them to turn their newspaper off. But I don't think it's going to happen. These guys that are saying that they, like, Chris Wallace and Peter King and Paul Ryan, who the hell do they think they are to tell us what and what we shouldn't cover? ...
SCHULTZ (audio): I just find this absolutely amazing. He says we can't allow more coverage of the Wall Street protest, of the Occupy Wall Street. What does he mean, we can't allow? How do you take that as a producer?
HOLM: Who's we? That's what I want to know. We can't allow. I'm not going to tell any member of Congress -- left, right, center, independent -- tell us what we can and cannot cover.
King says "we can't allow more coverage of the Wall Street protest," Schultz claims -- which wasn't at all what King said, as even the left-wing ThinkProgress blog of the Center for American Progress (a frequent Schultz source) acknowledged in its post on King. Its headline -- "Rep. Peter King (R-NY): Do Not Allow Any Legitimacy For Wall Street Protests, Or It Will Be Like 1960s Again."
ThinkProgress blogger Lee Fang also included audio of King's remarks, which Schultz couldn't bring himself to share with his radio audience.
Schultz changed course on that several hours later on "The Ed Show" last night, including audio of King's remarks in his criticism while also shifting the bulk of his rant against King to accuse him of, what else, racism. Schultz made the ludicrous claim that what King said was akin to Trent Lott's praise for Strom Thurmond at his birthday party in 2002, a claim suitably shredded by NewsBusters' Mark Finkelstein.