Yes, MSNBC has booted Ed Schultz from its primetime lineup to the the penal colony that is the network's weekend schedule.
Now MSNBC wants to show you how popular Schultz is -- and what better way to do that than record the first weekend broadcast of "The Ed Show" before a live audience of rowdy liberals in Madison, Wisc., one of the most left-wing towns in the country. While MSNBC viewers will be none the wiser, everyone else will see through the ruse. (Audio clips after page break)
"The Ed Show" returns to MSNBC at 5 p.m. on Saturday, May 11, for the first time since mid-March, when Schultz's 8 p.m. show on weeknights was replaced by a show hosted by Chris Hayes. In effect, the two men switched schedules, with Hayes previously having hosted an MSNBC weekend show on Saturday and Sunday mornings.
Initially "The Ed Show" will run for one hour at 5 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays, then lengthen to two hours each day in the summer, according to MSNBC.
Schultz has touted the schedule change as his idea all along, but it had been rumored since last fall that MSNBC was considering whether to replace Schultz on weeknights.
On May 2, Schultz brought his "Voices of America" speaking tour to the Barrymore Theatre in Madison, Wisc., where his appearance was recorded for "The Ed Show" to air May 11.
Schultz is fond of describing these speaking gigs as "town hall" meetings -- for which attendees were charged $10 a ticket in Madison and $35 for a VIP reception.
Schultz appeared on stage at the Barrymore inanely bellowing Yes we can! Yes we can! Yes we can! For the next two hours he gushed about the glories of all things liberal and conservatism as inherently evil while chatting with guests John Nichols of The Nation magazine and Rep. Mark Pocan, Democrat of Wisconsin. Occasionally those in the audience got a chance to speak up, but not very often based on what was heard on Schultz's radio show Friday.
Closing up, Schultz told attendees what to expect when the The Ed Show" airs again. It will include "people," Schultz promised, "Americans from across America," telling their stories "and holding up signs. And holding up signs. And holding up signs. And holding up more signs. You're going to see some of that." Because few things better epitomize liberalism.
At one point in the show, while Schultz was busy claiming that Obamacare didn't go far enough and more health reform is needed, he implied his role on the left is that of the indispensible man, clearly unaware of Franklin's observation that the cemeteries are filled with such men (audio) --
The point in this is that someone needs to stand up, beyond Bernie Sanders (applause from audience), you know, somebody needs to stand up beyond Tammy Baldwin (more applause), somebody needs to stand up collectively and lead the charge that this is not right! That we're the only industrialized country in the world that accepts this as a potential scenario, that it's OK to have Americans live like this! It's wrong! It's wro-, why aren't we talking about health care? Because it affects the economy! It affects people's lives. It affects small businesses. And for some reason I just get this feeling that, OK, we did that, that's over with. No, there's another 30 million people out there that don't have it. And you know what? OK, the premiums are going to go up, for awhile, until we get better outcomes, until we get real competition in the market, until we get exchanges set up that are going to be fair to all people who don't have the corporate umbrella to protect them for a cheaper price. But most of all, we can make a conscious moral decision as a country that we're not going to bankrupt families anymore. I have to go back to TV! I have to go back! I have to go back! It's still there! And you gotta be there, God bless you for being there!
How urgent it is for Schultz to be that somebody who'll "stand up collectively" and talk to lots of people on television holding signs.