Does Ed Schultz ever actually watch the cable network that employs him?
While complaining about crimes against humanity by conservatives in media, Schultz on his radio show this week depicted MSNBC as the principled epitome of accuracy and balance. (audio clip after page break)
We were talking about how we view the media and what-not and he says, you know, we all have our tribes. And that may be true, but I don't have my own set of facts. And I don't make stuff up. And he respectfully accepted that 'cause I don't. Because I have a boss that won't accept that. You have to operate in the arena of facts.
While Schultz did not specifically refer to MSNBC, which airs his weeknight bloviation "The Ed Show," it is clear that he is from the context of his remarks. When it comes to his syndicated radio program, launched by Schultz in 2004 five years before he was hired by MSNBC, Schultz essentially runs the show. He does, however, often refer to MSNBC president Phil Griffin as his boss.
As often the case with Schultz, he labors under the delusion that anything he wants to be true is imbued with this quality by dint of nothing more than Schultz asserting it, the more strenuously the better.
What makes his claim all the more laughable is that Schultz's stint at MSNBC began with him forcefully denying -- within a week of his television show's first broadcast on MSNBC -- that he might be hired by the network.
Apparently his colleague Rachel Maddow missed the in-house missive about MSNBC's vaunted purity, as it was just last week that she claimed, while complaining about Senate Republicans filibustering Chuck Hagel's nomination for defense secretary, that this "has never happened before, not ever! Not one of the 44 presidents our country has had has ever been blocked by a minority in the Senate from choosing someone for his cabinet. ... This has never happened before, to anyone, ever!"
Had Maddow stop hyperventilating long enough to take a ride on the Google machine, she would have learned that, go figure, she was making it up. Her claim was true only if one ignored previously filibustered cabinet nominations made by presidents Obama, Bush 43, Clinton and Reagan.
Earlier this month, MSNBC daytime host Alex Wagner trotted out the threadbare left-wing lie that the GOP-led House last February held "all-male hearings" on birth control when in fact two women were among the witnesses who testified.
In another egregious example of MSNBC passing off fiction as truth, anchor Thomas Roberts last month asserted that a GOP state lawmaker in New Mexico filed a bill "that would force rape victims to carry their babies to term and their babies would be used as evidence during a court trial. ... Under the bill, a rape victim who had an abortion would be thrown in jail for tampering with evidence." As NewsBuster Jeffrey Meyer points out, "what the bill actually would do is make it a crime for a rapist to pressure his victim into undergoing an abortion." Still, it's a sign of hope when anyone at MSNBC refers to unborn children as "babies."
About the same time Roberts was busy making it up, secure in the knowledge that MSNBC management would shrug its indifference, fellow fantasist Maddow was similarly engaged. While anchoring MSNBC's Tiger Beat-inspired coverage of Obama's second inaugural, Maddow made the dubious claim that not a single protest was planned against Dear Leader and his benevolent genius. Turns out there were five groups that pulled permits to protest in Washington that day, a given for inaugurations dating to the groovy '60s.
These are recent examples of MSNBC substituting its preferred version of reality for the actual thing. Travel back in time a bit and what you'll find is arguably worse. Two prominent examples come to mind -- MSNBC's deceitful editing of footage from a tea party rally in 2009 to hide the fact that a gun-toting attendee was black, since this clashes with the network party line of tea partiers consisting solely of angry armed white guys.
No compilation of MSNBC exercises in fiction is complete, however, without Maddow's obscene character assassination of GOP congressman Steve Stockman when she claimed Stockman "received advance notice" of the Oklahoma City bombing, the insinuation being that Stockman did nothing to stop the attack. Maddow responded to the uproar that ensured with what Reason blogger Armin Rosin aptly labeled "the most sanctimonious non-apology of the week," Maddow saying she'd made a "misstatement" based on an "editing error." (foiled again, cursed editors!)
Give the woman credit for hastily running what passes for a correction, no doubt after a costly session with MSNBC lawyers elaborating on libel law. After claiming earlier in the year that Rush Limbaugh wanted Martin Luther King Jr.'s assassin to be awarded the Medal of Honor, Maddow waited four months before apologizing for the despicable smear.