Liberal radio talk-show host Ed Schultz was catapulted to fame when he was given a front row seat at Barack Obama’s first presidential press conference. Apparently sensing a star in the making, and a person in favor with the White House, MSNBC hired Schultz for the
56 p.m. slot (opposite Glenn BeckBrett Baier). Not turning out so well.
Initial viewership figures haven’t provided reason to cheer, at least not yet. Debuting on Monday to an average audience of 247,000 in the 25-54 demographic and 725,000 overall, by Wednesday that figure had dropped to 119,000 and 406,000, respectively.
Though MSNBC’s ratings are down across the board, there appears to be little buzz about the addition of Schultz. In an attempt to fix the situation, NBC suits plugged Schultz into Keith Olbermann’s slot Thursday, hoping the one-day airing would salvage the new program.
But it is far worse. NewsBusters has uncovered a blatant, and apparently undisclosed, conflict of interest:
Ed Schultz debuted on MSNBC during the 5 p.m. slot on April 6 with a flashy new set. And although the liberal radio host’s “The ED Show” is in its infancy, it has one apparent theme – it’s very pro-organized labor.
Leo Gerard, president of the United Steelworkers, was even Schultz’s first guest. On his second show on April 7, Schultz’s opening “OpEd” segment was firmly for the employee Free Choice Act, also known as card check. And, on his third show on April 8, he invited Mary Beth Maxwell, executive director of the pro-union, pro-card check American Rights at Work organization.
However, there’s one detail Schultz hasn’t revealed to his audience – a potential conflict of interest. As recently as 2008, Schultz received more than $20,000 from three separate AFL-CIO affiliated labor unions.
I can’t wait for this Keith Olbermann rant (facial contortions and all):
How dare you, Sir, debase and defile this great television network with your putrid stink infested conduct. You, Sir, are a pathetic boil on the MSNBC rear end, Sir. Have you no honor, Sir?
And there is something worse still then the gaping whole in your ethics, Sir, and that is your piss poor ratings. The documented proofs of the last few days reveal the monstrous fraud you have perpetrated in the name of patriotism, a concept which you have twisted for your own personal gain. Have you no shame, Sir?
Have the courage to resign Sir, and don’t let the door hit your pathetic derrieire on the way out, Sir. You must step down if not for your tattered reputation, then to avoid the embarrassment of being fired, Sir.
We have handed a blank check to a man, drawn against our limited budget and shrinking audience. We have drawn a blank check to a man who may now declare “I did not have relations with that union.”
Who has left this hole in our ethics and in our prime time lineup, Sir? We have not forgotten, Mr. Schultz, you have.
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