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As Ratings Sink for TV Show, Ed Schultz Gets Shrill

Updated with addendum, 2:30 p.m. Sunday --

All men lead lives of quiet desperation, according to Thoreau. Suffice it to say the observation would not remain among Thoreau's best known unless there was truth attached.

Then there are men like Ed Schultz, exuding blustery angst from every pore and hardly aware of it.

With news last month that he would host a cable television show on MSNBC, Schultz reacted like he was walking on air, and deservedly so. MSNBC's dorm-room politics aside, not everybody gets a platform like this to express his or her views. Anyone given such an opportunity can be justifiably proud and Schultz came across that way.

But as ratings have plunged for Schultz's television show -- described by Brian Maloney at The Radio Equalizer -- Schultz has become toxic.

What follows are three excerpts from his radio show on Tuesday, the day Maloney published the post linked above. Schultz launched into an extended rant about former Vice President Dick Cheney's criticism of President Obama in an April 21 interview with Fox New's Sean Hannity, and spent the show discussing little else.

Here's the first clip, which can be heard by following this link --

I must be wrong. I think the country is sick of Dick Cheney. And I think because there is a psycho, right-wing network out there called Fox News that constantly gives this guy a platform, constantly allows him to put the conservatives on the offensive and the Obama administration on the defensive, some common sense has to come into this at one time or another. Let me just officially say that this is a fact -- Dick Cheney is an all-American nobody. He has no power.

Schultz trumpets as "fact" that Cheney is an "all-American nobody" based on Cheney having "no power" (aside from that to raise Schultz's blood pressure dangerously high).

In making such a claim, Schultz reveals more about his psyche than he offers in coherent criticism. The former liberal writing this remembers enough of his erstwhile politics to recall when Democrats claimed to exist for the purpose of helping those with "no power" -- as opposed to their current raison d'etre, which is accumulating power for its own sake.  

Schultz also accuses Cheney of putting "the Obama administration on the defensive." Wasn't it Eleanor Roosevelt who said "you cannot be made to feel inferior without your consent"?

Another example of Cheney's malevolent ability to unhinge Schultz (click here for audio) --

Cheney is nothing but a selfish pig. And for him to do what he's doing to the elected president of the United States goes beyond the pale, to use one of his favorite sayings. It is official -- Dick Cheney wants this country to get hit. He wants another terrorist attack for political gain. They want to bury liberals the same way they want to bury the terrorists. They want complete global control is what they want. Control of oil, control of resources, control of the economy, the list goes on and on, the control of the school systems, everything! That's what they want.

And the only way that you can get any of that is if you have conflict. And since we're not in a war, we have to set the table for a war. And the way you set the table for a war is to vilify the leader of the free world, which is the president of the United States, the commander in chief, who has already made an executive decision on how to deal with pirates and terrorists on the open seas. They have to hit back. 

"And since we're not in a war ..." Psst, Ed, we're in two, remember? Our 170,000 troops toiling in Iraq and Afghanistan sure as hell do. Try to keep their sacrifices in mind, won't you?

 "They want to bury liberals the same way they want to bury the terrorists," Schultz complains of Republicans and/or conservatives. Unlike liberals like Schultz who are focused more on burying Republicans than in sullying themselves by killing terrorists. Hence the fervor for show trials of Bush-era hooligans who prevented another terrorist onslaught. This simply cannot go unpunished.

Anyone else notice how Schultz's assertion about power allegedly gained only through conflict could be used to describe how Democrats began undermining Bush shortly after the invasion of Iraq, starting with Howard Dean branding himself the anti-war candidate?

As if Schultz hadn't raised enough eyebrows among psychotherapists in his audience, he climbed even further over the top in flogging Cheney and Republicans (here for audio) --

You see, they hate Social Security. They hate Medicare. It's own your own retirement, own your own Medicare, own your own health care, own your own education, because this is just the best way to do it. They're not American. They are not American. But I guess my question to our wonderful listeners here on the Ed show today is, is Dick Cheney relevant? Yes or no?! And tell me why. So is this the way it's going to be, that the Darth Vader, he's going to come out and stick his head out from that hole he lives in, about every 60 days and do another interview to capture the news cycle for another 24 hours and we've got conflict conversation in the country again?

The guy's a loser! He shot somebody in the face! He doesn't know what the hell he's doing! He's a turncoat, on the American people! Dick Cheney wants you to get hit again for political gain, that's what he wants. I'm convinced of that.

Sentiments once expected of Times Square denizens clad in sandwich board, now routine at MSNBC.

Addendum: Regarding my last paragraph, I should have written, " ... now routine on Schultz's radio show and at MSNBC." While my criticism was of Schultz's remarks on his radio show, in at least one instance, that of Cheney allegedly wanting another terrorist attack, I heard Schultz make the same assertion last week on his MSNBC show -- Jack Coleman)