Share on Google Plus Share on Twitter Share on Facebook 1 Share on LinkedIn Share on PInterest Share on Fark! Share on Reddit Share on StumbleUpon Tell A Friend 6 (7 Shares)  
Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite View Favorites View Stats   1 comment

General News

Downgrading Ed Schultz

By (about the author)     Permalink       (Page 1 of 1 pages)
Related Topic(s): ; , Add Tags Add to My Group(s)

Must Read 1   Supported 1   Valuable 1  
View Ratings | Rate It

Ed Schultz is telling everyone that it was his idea to be reassigned from his prime-time 8 p.m. show during the week on MSNBC to a two-hour time slot late Saturday and Sunday. After announcing the change last Wednesday night, Schultz said he's happy about it, because he'll now have the time to do more in-depth stories, which he couldn't do before.

Maybe he really means it. But I'm not sure.

I'm skeptical because of the timing of the change, which will see Chris Hayes take over the 8 p.m weeknight slot as of Monday and be pitted against Bill O'Reilly of FOX and Anderson Cooper of CNN. Schultz had been getting increasingly agitated over the possibility that President Obama and the Democrats may be caving in to the GOP and allow cuts in social safety net programs like Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. The actions would be part of a "grand bargain" for reducing the deficit.

One week before the new scheduling was announced, Schultz said he had always supported Obama but was now wavering. The night before he announced his change, Schultz said "President Obama may really be the president that starts undoing the New Deal."

Ouch. That line had to go over very badly with the White House and senior Democrats. It's quite possible that the White House called to complain, and put pressure on the pro-Democratic network to push Schultz aside.

Such pressure, if it took place, together with the likely dismay network management already felt over Schultz' relentless and passionate defense of unions and "The Big Three" -- which so many in the business community want to cut back -- may have been the reason for removing Schultz in the middle of the week. No transition period -- just boom, you're now at a different time slot.

Obviously, this scenario is just speculation. I have no proof to back it up. But what happened with Schultz sure looks like a demotion of another outspoken liberal by MSNBC. Recall that this is the same network that in the past found reasons for removing progressives Keith Olbermann and Cenk Uygur.

Some media analysts maintained the switch came about simply because MSNBC wanted to make a "tone change" at 8 p.m.  With his populist approach, Schultz may have been seen as out of step with other network commentators who are more intellectual and wonkish, such as Chris Hayes, Rachel Maddow and Lawrence O'Donnell. The suggestion is that the network thinks it can do better with this kind of style, particularly in terms of reaching a younger demographic.

I don't want to indirectly bad-mouth Chris Hayes. From what I've seen of him when he's filled in at night or on his "Up with Chris Hayes" show early Saturday and Sunday, he's not too bad: bright, thoughtful, and seemingly progressive (although one media analysis labeled him "right of center"). Even if he turns out consistently progressive, however, I doubt he will show the kind of fire Schultz did in defending the safety net and the interests of labor.

Remember Schultz' on-the-scene reporting in Wisconsin two years ago with union protesters fighting Gov. Scott Walker? Those shows were memorable and unique in mainstream TV journalism.

The sidelining of Ed Schultz couldn't come at a worse time. Progressives are fighting a bitter struggle against Republicans, big business interests and now Obama, to hold the social compact together. To win the battle, they need as many strong voices in the media as they can get.

Reginald Johnson is a free-lance writer in Bridgeport, CT. His blog on regional and national issues can be found at

Reginald Johnson is a free-lance writer based in Bridgeport, Ct. His work has appeared in The New York Times, BBC-Online, the Connecticut Post, his web magazine, The Pequonnock, and Reading Between the Lines, a web magazine affiliated with the (more...)

Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon

Go To Commenting

The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Writers Guidelines

Contact Author Contact Editor View Authors' Articles
Related Topic(s): ; , Add Tags

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Downgrading Ed Schultz

WBAI in Crisis

Demanding Action on Fukushima

Fukushima --- A Global Threat

Demanding Justice for Michael Brown

Media on Ukraine: What Happened to Journalism?


The time limit for entering new comments on this article has expired.

This limit can be removed. Our paid membership program is designed to give you many benefits, such as removing this time limit. To learn more, please click here.

Comments: Expand   Shrink   Hide  
1 people are discussing this page, with 1 comments
To view all comments:
Expand Comments
(Or you can set your preferences to show all comments, always)

  Progressives are taking a hit with the side... by Reginald Johnson on Tuesday, Mar 19, 2013 at 11:52:09 AM