Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Windy Weather

Ed Schultz drives me nuts. And now he's really done it.

NEW YORK — Left-leaning Ed Schultz has been suspended from msnbc cable television for referring to radio talk show host Laura Ingraham as a "right-wing slut" and "talk slut" on his syndicated radio show Tuesday.

In a statement released Wednesday, the cable channel said: "Msnbc management met with Ed Schultz this afternoon and accepted his offer to take one week of unpaid leave for the remarks he made yesterday on his radio program. Ed will address these remarks on his show tonight, and immediately following begin his leave. Remarks of this nature are unacceptable and will not be tolerated."

More here.

Let me be clear. I am a liberal/progressive. I am pro-choice, a believer in universal health care, and a supporter of gay marriage. There are very few moments in which I find agreement with the current public persona of America's conservative wing.

But this guy Schultz is a huge wind bag.

He bothers me in the same way Glenn Beck or Bill O'Reilly does. He espouses his thoughts and beliefs with such absolution and inflexibility, there is no room for humility or thoughtful discourse. Anyone who agrees with him is a genius, all opposed are raving lunatics and deserve nothing but a place on the gallows.

Last October, Jon Stewart's "Rally to Restore Sanity" was, for me at least, one of the most important political and cultural events of the modern era. Along with his colleague Stephen Colbert, they set about deflating the bubble of divisive and manipulative media coverage that skews the public's perspective of political processes. However, we liberals tend to think Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert only belong to us, and any criticism they make of the political climate only involves those who oppose our views.


Colbert and Stewart recognize that the real problem is not Republican vs. Democrat, but rather the lack of honorable, reasonable, thoughtful debate and discussion between Republicans and Democrats. The immediacy of today's information-hungry society has transformed politics into the rhetorical version of World Wrestling Entertainment. Sound bites and talking points dominate the public's attention, not insightful and inspiring conversation or commentary. So people like Schultz, O'Reilly, and Hannity feed the noise rather than work to silence it. They're all the same dude.

If MSNBC wants a progressive commentator that knows when he's gone too far and doesn't take himself too seriously, there's this guy named Keith they should check out. Oh, wait...


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