updated 4/2/2010 9:28:08 AM ET 2010-04-02T13:28:08

Guest: Robert Greenwald, Ron Christie, Michael Brune, Laura Flanders, Michael Medved, Sam Stein, Stephanie Miller

ED SCHULTZ, HOST:  Good evening, Americans, and welcome to THE ED SHOW

from Minneapolis tonight.

These stories are hitting my hot buttons tonight. Fox News, well, they‘re lying again.  And even Toby Keith has called them out for it. 

Well, it‘s all centered around Sarah Palin‘s new big show.  “Outfoxed”

director Robert Greenwald will join me in just a moment to talk about all the lies. 

Environmental activists are not real happy with President Obama‘s

decision to allow more offshore drilling.  I‘ll talk to the executive

director of the Sierra Club about all of that coming up in the program. 

One in 10 Americans, that‘s the number.  That‘s how many people are

out of work in this country.  But on Wall Street, hedge fund managers have

had a record year and are raking in billions of dollars.  We‘ll give you

the details at the bottom of the hour. 

But first, this is the story that has me fired up tonight—or should

I say I told you so?  Now, this could be the biggest April Fools‘ joke

ever, maybe of all time.  Right?

Sarah Palin is debuting a Fox show called “Real American Stories.”  It

happens tonight. 

One problem, though, it‘s not real. 

Fox News is trying to pull another fast one over the eyes of the

American people.  They will stop at absolutely nothing.  They fabricated,

let‘s see, numbers of crowds in the past, misrepresented video.  And, of

course, they have bullet-pointed misinformation on health care one time

after another.  But let me tell you, this one really takes the cake. 

One of the most visible people on this planet right now, whether you

like it or not, is Sarah Palin.  So they give her this TV show.  But then

they find a way to twist the truth about the content of the show. 

Here it is. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ANNOUNCER:  Thursday, they are ordinary Americans who have led

extraordinary lives.  Sarah Palin profiles these real Americans who have

given back, given all, and have never given up. 

Plus, their famous faces.  Now hear the real story behind their

incredible lives. 

Thursday, don‘t miss “Real American Stories” hosted by Sarah Palin.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  I‘ll tell you, really nice looking commercial, but there‘s a

problem in all of this.  Country music star Toby Keith and rapper LL Cool

J, they were never interviewed for the show. 

Toby Keith‘s representative, Elaine Schock, told “The New York Times,”

“Toby‘s talked to Fox a number of times, and I had no idea that this was

going to be on Sarah Palin‘s special.  Fox has never contacted me before on

this, not when they were putting this together.  Not at all.  I have no

idea what they‘re using.” 

Toby Keith wasn‘t the only star who didn‘t get interviewed for the

show on Fox.  LL Cool J tweeted, “Fox lifted an old interview I gave in

2008 to someone else and are misrepresenting to the public in order to

promote Sarah Palin‘s show.” 

Wow. 

Well, Fox head of programming, Bill Shine, responded to Cool J, also

known as Todd Smith.  He says, “‘Real American Stories‘ features uplifting

tales about overcoming adversity, and we believe Mr. Smith‘s interview fits

that criteria.  However, as it appears that Mr. Smith does not want to be

associated with a program that could serve as an inspiration to others, we

are cutting his interview from the special and wish him the best with his

fledging acting career.”

Aren‘t they good folks over there? 

Bottom line here, folks, is Fox News, they lie.  They do it because

they know their audience will believe it. 

They have one strategy—play to the gullible folks of America.  You

know, all of the shows do it over there.  Beck makes money scaring people

about socialism.  And, of course, “Mr. Intellectual Honesty,” Sean Hannity

has spent the last 14 months lying about virtually every aspect of the

health care bill. 

Sarah Palin, I‘ll tell you what—she is going to fit in right at

home over there with this new show.  Huh?  She‘s lied about death panels

and Obama palling around with terrorists.  She‘s never been big on details,

has she?  But she didn‘t even care enough to interview people, yes, for her

own first show. 

Now, this show goes right to the heart of what Fox News and Sarah

Palin are all about—just throw it out there.  No matter if it‘s right or

wrong, remember, Palin always has a reality show coming out.  She has no

idea what reality is.

Yet, in the midst of all of this fabrication about Sarah Palin, Bill

O‘Reilly is saying that we hire bad people here at MSNBC?  You know, it‘s

interesting that this show is coming out now, because I‘ve been on this

program for exactly a year.  This is my week‘s anniversary.  Some righties

thought I wouldn‘t last six weeks.

Well, I lasted 12 months, and I‘m happy about that.  I hope I can do

it again. 

If I had come on the air a year ago and told the liberal audience who

was happy that I was getting a TV show that, you know, I‘m going to

interview this person and this person, and then show the videotape of all

of that, what do you think the right wing would have done to me?  Do you

think they‘d have had some fun with that? 

Tell me what you think in our telephone survey tonight, folks.  The

number to dial is 1-877-ED-MSNBC. 

My question tonight, it‘s a holiday favorite.  Do you think Fox News

ever deliberately misleads its viewers? 

Press 1 for yes, press 2 for no, and I‘ll bring you the results later

on in the program. 

Joining me now is Robert Greenwald of Brave New Films.  His 2004

documentary, “Outfoxed,” was one of the first to expose the network across

the street from 30 Rock from what they‘re all about. 

Mr. Greenwald, great to have you with us tonight. 

ROBERT GREENWALD, FILMMAKER:  Thank you, Ed.

SCHULTZ:  Does it surprise you they kind of didn‘t tell the truth on

what really was happening behind the scenes? 

(LAUGHTER)

GREENWALD:  Well, first of all, happy anniversary, Ed. 

SCHULTZ:  Thank you. 

GREENWALD:  Well, they make up fake news, so why shouldn‘t they make

up fake interviews?  It seems fairly consistent with what they‘ve done and

what we know they do over and over again.  You know, and they‘re calling it

“Real American Stories,” and my subtitle is “From the network that really

knows how to make up stories.” 

I think we should all poke fun at them mercilessly.  The serious point

behind all of this, Ed, is the fact that they lie and distort about

everything from health care to Obama‘s religion, et cetera, et cetera, and

it‘s had very serious repercussions. 

SCHULTZ:  Well, I have to tell you, when I first saw the promo, I

thought, gosh, Toby Keith, that‘s kind of cool.  You know, I mean, he‘s a

big star.  This is going to play right to the middle class working folk of

America. 

And then to find out that there was no face-to-face, it makes me

wonder, Mr. Greenwald, how many other times does Fox do this with their

programs? 

GREENWALD:  Well, that‘s a good question.  And we should be starting

to ask that and ask them, do they not have the money to do real interviews,

or is that so much like real journalism, they don‘t even know how to do

that? 

(LAUGHTER)

SCHULTZ:  What was the most flagrant thing you‘ve ever seen that

network do when you were putting together the documentary that you put

together back in 2004? 

GREENWALD:  Oh, Ed, we don‘t have four or five hours.  The list is so

long. 

I mean, it‘s really outrageous.  One of the most outrageous things I

remember from the documentary—and then there were also all the Fox

attacks we did—was there was a celebration of Reagan‘s birthday at the

Reagan Library, and the crowds weren‘t big enough, so they went out and

brought in additional people to fill up the room, which I thought was

interesting. 

But then, we have to remember, again, on the serious side, it was them

who took a hold of the swiftboating, stayed with it and forced it into a

story.  They do something very interesting. 

When they get on something, they stay with it and stay with it and

will not let go until the rest of the media pick it up.  And that‘s where

they‘re really dangerous.  It‘s not just to their audience, it‘s that they

have, in the past, have affected other media. 

SCHULTZ:  Mr. Greenwald, good to have you with us. 

GREENWALD:  Thank you, Ed.

SCHULTZ:  Thanks for your time tonight.  I just had to reaffirm that I

wasn‘t the only one. 

GREENWALD:  Definitely not. 

SCHULTZ:  Good to have you with us.

Sarah Palin is in the news for another reason.  She is the latest to

pile on the National Republican Committee.  It seems the RNC has been using

Palin‘s name to promote a series of upcoming fund-raisers, except Palin is

not attending the fund-raisers, so she wants her name taken off the

invitations. 

Now, hold it right there.  She wants absolute accuracy when it comes

to the RNC and raising money.  But with the TV show, eh, we‘ll kind of let

it go a little bit. 

Now, here‘s even more bad news for the RNC.  Oh, they‘ve got another

sex problem. 

The Republican National Committee inadvertently sent a fund-raising

mail piece earlier this month with a return number that leads to a phone

sex line.  The number connected callers wit “hot, horny girls, students,

housewives, and working girls from all over the country.”

Now, Doug Heye, the RNC‘s communications director, said that, oh, the

mail piece was produced by Birch Monford (ph), a direct mail firm that

they‘ve used numerous times at the RNC.  Now, according to Heye, the firm

will not be used for the foreseeable future. 

This might be enough to push my next guest one millimeter closer to

calling for Michael Steele, the chairman of the RNC, to step down. 

Joining me now is former Bush/Cheney aide, Republican strategist, Ron

Christie. 

Ron, if we‘re playing slow-pitch softball right now, my man, I am just

serving you up the biggest, fattest softball for you to hit out of the

park. 

Ron, how can the Republicans continue to mumble, stumble, fumble

throughout life the way it‘s going? 

RON CHRISTIE, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST:  Well, I think the Republican

Party itself is very strong, and we‘re very poised and positioned to do

well in November.  But I‘m going to answer your question directly, Ed. 

I am not happy about the leadership that we have seen out of the

Republican National Committee in the last 16 to 18 months.  I‘m not happy

about it. 

I‘m not happy about the amount of money that‘s been spent.  I‘m not

happy about the gaffes that have been committed by the chairman.  I‘m not

happy about this West Hollywood strip club thing. 

The leadership starts at the top, and I think that Chairman Michael

Steele is on a very short leash, he has a very, very narrow opportunity to

show that he can raise the money, that he can be a strong leader for the

party.  Otherwise, I think perhaps the clock in the back of his head in his

office might be ticking. 

SCHULTZ:  OK.  So you‘re not ready to throw him under the bus right

now.  You think that Michael Steele can navigate through this, calm the

waters, and be a successful chairman and a head of the party, and get the

money in to help the Republicans win seats?  You think that he can recover

from all of this? 

CHRISTIE:  I hope he can.  Michael‘s been a friend of mine for over 15

years.  He had a strong record as the lieutenant governor of Maryland. 

He‘s a very good guy.  He has the ability to connect with people

unlike many of the previous chairman that we have had.  Although, these

gaffes are not good for the party.  We need to be talking about why we can

beat the Democrats on a number of issues.  We do not need to be talking

about Michael Steele right now. 

SCHULTZ:  All right.  Well, the—it‘s all starting to unravel. 

I mean, last night, you had Tony Perkins from the Family Research

Council.  He put out this statement: “I‘ve hinted at this before, but now

I‘m saying it.  Don‘t give money to the RNC.”

“If you want to put money into the political process, I encourage you

do so.  Give directly to candidates who you know reflect your values.  This

latest incident is another indication to me the RNC is completely tone deaf

to the values and concerns of a large number of people who they are seeking

financial support from.”

Now, this is a real strong conservative group that has got roots and

has got followers and has got believers.  And when they say line up, they

line up. 

For these folks to be peeling off the leadership of Michael Steele,

you know how this can happen, Ron.  I mean, this can be an avalanche. 

Why doesn‘t somebody step right up to Michael Steele publicly and say,

buddy, you have got to go for the good of the order?  Are they afraid to do

that because he‘s an African-American, he‘s the first ever African-American

leader of the Republican Party?  I mean, there has got to be some reason

why, with all of this that‘s happening around the party, that somebody

won‘t stand up and say it‘s time to cut on and move. 

CHRISTIE:  Well, I certainly don‘t think his race has anything to do

with it.  Republicans, unlike Democrats, Democrats seem to like to enjoy

getting the circular firing squad and opening fire.  Republicans don‘t like

criticizing their leadership, they don‘t like criticizing the party. 

We want to do everything that we can to support the party.  But I will

say this, Ed—and I‘ve been very clear on your show, and I will say it

again—I think he is on a very, very short leash. 

He needs to have a very strong March fund-raising report.  He needs to

go out and continue to raise money and to continue to galvanize the party. 

But if he can‘t do it, I think that we need to have somebody who can. 

And I will make this assurance to you.  When that millimeter, should it get

that close, Ed, I will come here and we will have that discussion. 

But I do not want him to fail.  I want him to be successful.  Just for

the same reason that there were those who said that they wanted President

Obama to fail, I don‘t want the president to fail, I don‘t want my chairman

to fail, I don‘t want my party to fail.  We just need to stop these gaffes

and have stronger leadership at the RNC. 

SCHULTZ:  Ron Christie, always a pleasure. 

CHRISTIE:  Happy anniversary, my friend. 

SCHULTZ:  Appreciate your honesty on the program.

Well, thank you.  And thanks for being on the program the last year. 

And I‘m sure we‘ll be able to do it again. 

CHRISTIE:  Look forward to it. 

SCHULTZ:  Thank you.

Coming up, Hannity has figured out one hell of a way to get people to

clap for him—by calling them Timothy McVeigh wannabes?  Wow.

And when it comes to offshore drilling, President Obama seems damned

if he does, damned if he doesn‘t.  Righties are warning each other not to

take the bait. 

And environmentalists feel betrayed.  One of them will sound off in

just a moment.

All that, plus a Minnesota Twin pops a foul at his mother.

And Stephanie Miller is here for an April Fools‘ Day edition of “Club

Ed.”

You‘re watching THE ED SHOW on MSNBC.  Stay with us. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ:  Welcome back to THE ED SHOW from Minneapolis tonight. 

President Obama said the environmentalists would disagree with his

decision on offshore drilling.  He couldn‘t have been any more correct on

any issue.

The Sierra Club says drilling could hurt the coastal economies that

depend on tourism.  It would drive down gas prices.  All it‘s going to do

is help big oil make a big dollar.  But the president‘s decision could be

part of a bigger game plan if it helps get Republican votes for the climate

change bill that‘s been stalled in the Senate, along with a bunch of other

bills. 

For more, let me bring in Michael Brune, who is the executive director

of the Sierra Club. 

Mr. Brune, good to have you with us tonight. 

I want you to talk about the decision the president made.  Did it

catch the Sierra Club and environmentalists off guard, or did you think

that he was going to go in this direction? 

MICHAEL BRUNE, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, SIERRA CLUB:  Well, we thought it

might be coming, Ed.  We certainly were paying attention in the State of

the Union speech, where he talked about the need—or the perceived need

to open up more areas for oil drilling.  It doesn‘t mean we weren‘t

surprised, and it certainly doesn‘t mean we weren‘t disappointed. 

SCHULTZ:  OK.

Does this mean that you would maybe take your support away from the

president?  I mean, how big of an issue is this for your environmental

group?  I mean, there‘s nothing bigger than drilling for oil, is there? 

BRUNE:  It‘s a huge issue.  But let me put it into context. 

The Sierra Club supports President Obama.  We think that, by and

large, he‘s doing and outstanding job.  We have some disagreements, but we

think he‘s doing a good job. 

To be clear, yesterday‘s news was a huge disappointment.  We simply

don‘t need to be sacrificing our beaches, our coastal economies, the

tourism industry, marine life for what represents a drop in the bucket in

the world oil market. 

At the same time, today—

SCHULTZ:  How is this going to affect the tourism along the coast,

when these rigs are going to be—well, first of all, they‘re years away. 

And secondly, they‘re going to be 50 miles offshore, nobody is going to be

seeing them.  You can‘t see it from the coastline. 

How is that going to affect tourism? 

BRUNE:  Well, you‘ve got to remember that in the oil spill up in

Prince Valdez (sic) -- the Valdez oil spill from 20 years ago, the oil

actually traveled almost 500 miles.  So, if there‘s a spill, when there‘s a

spill off the Atlantic coast, you can bet that the oil is going to be

washing up on shore, and it could travel as far north as Massachusetts or

as far south as Florida. 

So, we just think that this is not a good investment in our energy

future.  And if we‘re going to be building the clean energy economy of

tomorrow, we shouldn‘t be subsidizing the oil industry today. 

SCHULTZ:  Why do you think President Obama did it?  He didn‘t campaign

on it.  In fact, this is the contrast.  I mean, this is just the opposite

of what he was talking about on the campaign trail. 

BRUNE:  Yes.  You‘ll have to ask the White House why they‘re doing

this.  We think it‘s a big mistake. 

We don‘t think there will be any votes that will be coming, any extra

votes that will be coming as part of climate change legislation.  And it

only undermines what we support about the administration in their long-

term, broad objective to promote clean energy.  This is—it‘s one step

back even as the administration is trying to run forward. 

SCHULTZ:  And finally, Mr. Brune, executive director of the Sierra

Club, you said there will be a spill.  How do you know? 

The technology has advanced tremendously in the last five years when

it comes to their techniques of being able to go down and get the resource. 

How do you know there‘s going to be a spill? 

BRUNE:  Because there are all the time.  Even under the Bush

administration, the Interior Department estimated that there will be at

least one major spill every year for the next 40 years.  Accidents happen. 

There was a state-of-the-art facility in Australia just last year. 

The state-of-the-art facilities that spilled almost seven million gallons

of oil last year.  We just can‘t guarantee that there will not be a single

accident for the life of these facilities. 

What we can guarantee is that you don‘t hear about windmill spills, or

you don‘t hear about solar energy spills.  You don‘t hear about major toxic

releases associated with renewable energy. 

What we do know is that investments in clean energy produce more jobs,

they cut pollution, and they give us greater energy security.  So moving

towards a continued reliance on fossil fuels, on dirty energy like offshore

oil drilling, is just—it‘s a mistake.  And we don‘t support the

president‘s move. 

SCHULTZ:  Michael Brune of the Sierra Club.

Appreciate your time tonight.  But I‘m taking notice, whereas you

disagree with the president, you‘re not willing to pull support over this,

which I think is a big point in all of this. 

Michael, good to have you with us tonight.  Thanks so much.

Coming up, Senator Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas‘ latest television

commercial tells us a couple of things.  She‘s full of it, number one. 

And, two, she has got to brush up on the smooth jazz. 

It lands her in the zone.  That‘s next.  Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ:  And in “Psycho Talk” tonight, well, we have a psycho

campaign commercial courtesy of Senator Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas. 

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  When Senator Blanche Lincoln, our U.S. senator,

helped President Obama pass health care reform, the Tea Party and insurance

companies attacked her, but she didn‘t back down.  And despite all the

attacks, Blanche Lincoln hung tough and made it happen, fighting for

Arkansas‘ families. 

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  And that‘s what I like about Blanche Lincoln. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  And that‘s where our president, Barack Obama,

stands with our U.S. senator.  She helped pass health care reform. 

(END AUDIO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  All right.  Let‘s hold it right there. 

She helped pass health care reform?  She made it happen? 

Folks, not only did Blanche Lincoln not make health care happen, she

fought it tooth and nail.  She threatened to join the Republican filibuster

if the bill included a public option. 

Let‘s listen some more.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Blanche Lincoln is not just talking about it,

she‘s working, supporting the Senate‘s plan to expand health care access to

nearly a half-million Arkansans and 30 million Americans.  She even cast

one of the Senate‘s deciding votes. 

(END AUDIO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  OK.  She voted for the original Senate bill.  But that was

back in December.  The ad conveniently leaves out the part where Lincoln

voted against—let me say that again—she voted against the fix-it bill

to improve the legislation. 

One more clip here.

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Blanche Lincoln wants to lower the cost of health

care for low-income children and expectant mothers.  She boldly took a

stand against insurance companies that want to drop coverage for you just

because you‘re sick. 

(END AUDIO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  Wow, wow, wow.  Blanche Lincoln, she didn‘t take a stand

against the insurance companies.  She played right into the hands by taking

a stand against the public option. 

And she raked in a heck of a lot of campaign cash from big insurance

and other health related companies.  In fact, between January and September

of last year, she took in over a $500,000 from these folks. 

Senator Lincoln‘s ad is a complete distortion of reality.  Forone of

the biggest health care reform obstructionist is in the Democratic Party to

say she helped President Obama, I‘m sorry, that is “Psycho Talk.”  

Coming up, all right, now you folks have got to leave me alone here. 

I‘ve been getting a ton of e-mail and response because I suggested that the

Congress should balance out the act when it comes to political talk radio

in America.  I‘ll go head-to-head with a conservative talker in this in

just a moment. 

Plus, it started out as a beautiful day to take mom out to the

ballpark.  Well, too bad this Minnesota Twin nearly took out his mom with a

foul ball. 

I‘ll show you that in the “Playbook.”  Ouch. 

And Sean Hannity just lost his mind at the Reagan Library.  Stephanie

Miller will break it down for us in “Club Ed.”

You‘re watching THE ED SHOW on MSNBC.  Stay with us. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ:  Welcome back to THE ED SHOW in Minneapolis.  How is the

economy doing?  Well, it depends on what street you live on.  Over on Wall

Street, banks and investment companies, they‘re flush.  In part because

they were just shored up big time with the bailout money. 

But over on Main Street, the job market is showing only a modest

improvement.  We have to be honest about that.  The March unemployment

report is coming out tomorrow.  It‘s expected to show a net job creation

for the second time since the recession started.  But Treasury Secretary

Tim Geithner says it will be a while before the job market bounces back. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TIM GEITHNER, TREASURY SECRETARY:  The unemployment rate is still

terribly high, and it‘s going to stay unacceptably high for a long period

of time.  It is going to take a long time to bring it down, just because of

the damage caused by the recession. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  But while Main Street is feeling the damage caused by the

recession, hedge funds had a record year, with several managers raking in

billions of dollars.  NBC‘s Lisa Myers has the details. 

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

LISA MYERS, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over):  they are the whales

of Wall Street.  Hedge fund managers operate with few rules, and handle

investments for the super rich.  While 2009 was a tough year for millions

of Americans, “AR Magazine” reports that the recession was over early for

hedge fund managers, who had a record year. 

(on camera):  Get this, the top 25 managers made over 25 billion

dollars, profits driven, at least in part, by the government‘s bailout of

big banks. 

MICHELLE CELARIER, “ABSOLUTE RETURN MAGAZINE”:  They saw that the

government was not going to let most of these big banks fail, and they went

and bought the stocks at very low levels.  Those stocks just continued to

go up all year long. 

MYERS (voice-over):  At the top of the heap, David Tepper, who earned

a staggering four billion dollars. 

CELARIER:  Tepper was the bravest of the hedge fund managers.  He was

willing to go in at the bottom and say, I don‘t think Armageddon is around

the corner. 

MYERS:  Tepper is not your stereotypical master of the universe.  He

has lived in this New Jersey home for 20 years, and appears to have no

vacation homes.  He says he plans to spend less time in the office this

year. 

CELARIER:  He likes to call himself a typical middle class guy that

makes billions of dollars. 

MYERS:  Also in the top five, George Soros, ranked the 35th richest

man is in the world at 3.3 billion dollars, James Simons, a mathematician,

2.5 billion, John Paulson, 2.3 billion, which makes the 41 million dollars

he paid for this estate in the Hamptons a couple years ago seem like chump

change. 

At number five, Steven Cohen, 1.4 billion dollars. 

CELARIER:  He is the quintessential living large hedge fund manager,

with his mansion in Greenwich, his amazing art collection. 

MYERS:  A 35,00 square foot mansion, with an indoor pool, outdoor ice

rink and an extra garage for the Zamboni.  Not long ago, Cohen got

permission to expand the house, in part to add to his dressing room.  As

for his art, Cohen recently snapped up an early version of Jasper John‘s

signature flag painting for an estimated 110 million dollars. 

Conspicuous consumption in a banner year for the heavy-weights of Wall

Street. 

Lisa Myers, NBC News, Washington.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SCHULTZ:  For more, let me bring in Laura Flanders, author of “Blue

Grit” and host of “Grit TV.”  Laura, you are exactly you are perfect

interview for this tonight because you tell it like it is.  You are a

strong liberal.  What does this look like to Main Street?  And how do

people put rhyme and reason to this? 

LAURA FLANDERS, GRIT TV:  I don‘t know.  If only it wasn‘t so sad, you

would wish it was an April Fools joke.  You have, on the one hand, Geithner

talking to steel workers in Pittsburgh saying, there will be unacceptably

high levels of unemployment for an unacceptably long.  Then these numbers

from the hedge funds.  This is a fancy word for speculators.  These are

people who are making money gambling on our economy. 

You and I probably don‘t disagree with people making some money.  I‘m

not against fat cats.  It‘s what they eat that‘s the problem.  In this

case, they ate our economy.  You talked about the top of the list there,

this was a guy—I don‘t think he was brave.  He perhaps knew what we

didn‘t know.  He was banking on the fact that AIG would get bailed out by

the government, not that it was a good company doing great stuff, but that

it was deemed too big to fail. 

Down at number six, just 1.3 billion dollars, you have Carl Icahn. 

You probably remember him from the ‘80s.  He spent that decade corporate

raiding, laying people off.  In the “New York Times” account this day of

his earnings this year, he says, well, I was investing in debt.  It was a

great opportunity for gambling on debts.  They were under-valued. 

What does that tell Americans?  We‘re in debt and that‘s a boon for

someone else?  Our recession is their opportunity.  This is just sick

stuff, if you ask me. 

SCHULTZ:  This has got to be a tough balancing act for the president. 

He‘s trying to get unemployment numbers turned around.  He‘s trying to

create jobs.  And then folks who had tough economic times go home and see

stuff like this.  Here‘s how the president is talking about jobs today. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA:  Folks are asking, how am I going to find a job when I‘ve only

known one skill my entire lifetime, and I just got laid off and I‘m in my

50s.  How am I going to retire when I keep spending my savings just to get

by?  Or trying to make sure that my kid can go to college and tuition keeps

on going up?  How am I going to make it when I‘m stretched to the limits on

my mortgage and on my bills? 

Those are the questions that I hear.  I want you to know we are

working every single day to spur job creation and to turn this economy

around. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  Where‘s the fairness here, Laura?  I have to criticize the

president somewhat for not speaking up against this.  I‘m a free market

guy.  But these profits are really obscene.  And I really get my back up

when we‘re looking at record deficits in our economy.  We have people who

need jobs.  Yet we‘re afraid to tax the top one percent that‘s rolling to

the bank tonight because they got lucky and they took a chance with

taxpayer dollars after we propped up the system. 

FLANDERS:  I don‘t disagree, Ed.  I completely agree.  I think you‘re

message to Obama is totally right.  Let‘s go back again for just a second

to how this money was made.  These are people who made a billion betting

that the T-Bill will go up two cents on Tuesday.  They‘re not making jobs. 

They‘re not feeding people, educating people.  This is money on gambling. 

I think you‘re right.  There is a point where the federal government

has to step in.  What they‘ve done so far is step in and shore up exactly

this gambling, those whose debts went bad.  Now they have to, I think,

create some jobs.  We could have an FDR type program tomorrow.  If the

president really wants to keep his majorities in Congress, that‘s what he

has to get serious about. 

These folks are not creating jobs.  One thing we haven‘t said is I

don‘t see the incentive, if the opportunity is in debt, for them to do any

job creation. 

SCHULTZ:  Laura, appreciate your time tonight.  Thanks for weighing in

on this.  I want to get some rapid fire response from our panel on these

stories.  President Obama has taken heat from environmentalists for backing

offshore oil drilling in Florida, Virginia and parts of Alaska. 

The president hit the road to sell health care reform in Maine today,

and righties are still screaming about repealing it. 

I think it‘s past time for the Congress to apply some balance to

political talk radio and end the constant stream of right wing hate

merchants with microphones in this country.  I think they‘re having an

effect on society. 

With us tonight, Sam Stein, political reporter, “Huffington Post,” is

joining us, and also Michael Medved, nationally syndicated radio talk show

host. 

Gentlemen, let‘s talk about the oil drilling first.  Michael, is this

a reversal on the part of the president?  And how should conservatives and

how do they view this? 

MICHAEL MEDVED, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST:  Well, a lot of conservatives

are saying he didn‘t go far enough, because we maintained the entire

moratorium on the Pacific Coast.  I think it‘s a step in the right

direction.  Is it a reversal for the president?  Absolutely.  Is he

listening to the people and actually doing something that‘s correct, just

as he did with nuclear power?  I give the president props on this. 

SCHULTZ:  Sam Stein, is this just a political move on the part of the

president to try to get some Republicans to help him out with the energy

bill or does he really believe we could possibly enhance our transportation

costs for the middle class in this country by digging for more oil?  What

do you think? 

SAM STEIN, “THE HUFFINGTON POST”:  I to have go with the former.  Most

sober minded environmental experts look at this and say, it‘s going to be

10 to 15 years, minimum, before you get any energy source from drilling. 

The president with nuclear power is hoping to pick off one or two

Republican votes in the Senate.  It‘s what he needs, otherwise the bill

doesn‘t pass. 

You saw it‘s not doing him any good.  The statements yesterday from

Republican leadership all were very tepid or were against the announcement,

either didn‘t go far enough or were deemed misleading.  Once again, the

president is negotiating against his own party on a major policy area. 

SCHULTZ:  He certainly is.  Let‘s go to health care now.  The

president was on the road selling the health care bill.  And he also

commented on the GOP possibly attempting to repeal the bill.  Here it is. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA:  Now that it‘s passed, they‘re already promising we‘re going to

repeal it.  They‘re going to run on a platform of repeal in November.  And

my attitude is, go for it.  You try to repeal. 

It if they want to have a fight, I welcome that fight, because I don‘t

believe the American people are going to put the insurance industry back in

the driver‘s seat. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  All right.  Michael Medved, is this a platform that the

Republicans can run on?  And do you think they can repeal it because—go

ahead. 

MEDVED:  We can‘t repeal every aspect of the health care bill.  But

what we can do is do something about the cost of it.  Nine hundred fifty

billion dollars, at a time when we already have a deficit of 1.6 trillion

dollars, is just irresponsible.  Where Republicans are going to make a

difference, when we take over the Congress of the United States, is cutting

off the oxygen for this thing, cutting off the money supply.  Because a lot

of the big costs of this thing only actually hit the government in 2014,

2015.  Those costs are not going to be affordable.  We have to fix Medicare

and we have to fix Social Security, not create a brand-new entitlement. 

SCHULTZ:  So I can tell, Michael, that you don‘t believe the CBO

report and you don‘t believe that it‘s going to reduce the costs over time. 

I know where you‘re coming from. 

MEDVED:  Neither do you.  You‘re too smart. 

SCHULTZ:  Yeah, OK.  Sam Stein, can the Republicans run on repeal and

replace?  Would that be an effective campaign?  Do you think they can do

it? 

STEIN:  No.  I think it‘s too difficult to actually explain.  You see

the difficulties right now.  I cornered Senator John Cornyn, who is the

chair of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, and at the time, he

said, well, we don‘t want to get rid of the good stuff in the bill.  We

want to eliminate preexisting conditions as a mode of discrimination.  We

just want to get rid of the bad stuff. 

Well, that‘s a very tough message to actually say, especially when the

Tea Party crowd, the right wing base wants a full on repeal.  So already

you‘re seeing divisions within the Republican ranks over what to do with

this thing. 

SCHULTZ:  Political talk radio.  Michael, I don‘t want to take you off

any stations at all.  But I do want to point out that we‘ve got 91 percent

of talk radio in this country is controlled by conservatives.  The

broadcast stocks are terrible.  Radio companies are firing people.  Yet you

folks on the right are telling us it‘s the free market working. 

I‘ll give you a moment.  Why won‘t the Fairness Doctrine correct that? 

MEDVED:  The Fairness Doctrine would not correct it because it would

put government in charge of free political speech.  It‘s an outrageous

idea, Ed.  That segment you did before with Laura Flanders pointed out that

George Soros made as much money as nearly everyone else in the country. 

Get George Soros to set up a liberal network with some decent funding. 

The answer for speech that you don‘t like is not cutting off the

speech that you don‘t like, it‘s providing people with alternatives. 

You‘ve shown you can do that.  There‘s no reason that other liberals can‘t

do it as well.  Why not engage in the kind of debate you relish and welcome

otherwise? 

SCHULTZ:  Sam Stein, your thoughts on this, because a lot of people

believe these Tea Parties and a lot of the stuff that‘s going on—you can

just listen to the audio on conservative talk radio on some selected shows

in the country, have fueled the fire for a lot of this stuff.  What do you

think? 

STEIN:  I‘m generally in favor of anything that would expand your

audience, Ed.  So if it means the government getting there in and ensuring

that you‘re in more media markets, I‘m all for it. 

SCHULTZ:  Sam, this isn‘t about me.  This is about the fact—

STEIN:  It doesn‘t matter.  For me, it is about you, Ed.  OK.  Listen,

I understand both sides of the debate here.  My main issue is with media

concentration in terms of monopolies of markets.  I don‘t like having one

network, one station, one conglomerate own the market in Chicago, for

instance.  I‘d much rather have diverse set of ownership. 

SCHULTZ:  All right, gentlemen, great to have you with us tonight. 

Coming up, a psycho group of pirates got way more than they bargained for

when they tried to attack this United States guided missile frigate in the

Indian Ocean. Hey guys, you might want to pick on somebody your own size. 

That‘s next in the playbook.  Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ:  In my playbook tonight, the United States Navy battled a

group of pirates in the Indian Ocean today.  It was no contest.  The

pirates didn‘t stand a chance.  Early this morning, Somali pirates opened

fire on this frigate, the USS Nicholas.  The Navy fired back, ultimately

sinking the pirate‘s boat and confiscating their mother ship.  Five pirates

wear taken into custody on board the Nicholas. 

For more, let‘s bring in NBC‘s Jim Miklaszewski.  Jim, how did this

all start?  And was this brewing some time? 

JIM MIKLASZEWSKI, NBC NEWS CORRESPONDENT:  Well, you know, Ed, these

have to be the dumbest pirates on the high seas ever.  It was very early

this morning, as you mentioned, that the U.S. Navy got word there were

pirates from the Seychelles.  That‘s hundreds of miles from where the

pirates usually operate. 

So, several hours later, when the USS Nicholas, a guided missile

frigate, showed up on the scene, three pilots in a small skiff opened fire

on the U.S. Nave warship with small arms, AK 47s. 

I can only imagine that the crew aboard the Nicholas said, are you

kidding me?  It was only within seconds that they returned fire with a deck

mounted 50 caliber machine gun.  The pirates quickly gave up.  They were

taken aboard the ship.  The skiff was sunk.  Nobody was hurt.

Then, in addition to that, a short time later, they grabbed that

mother boat with two other pirates on board. 

Here‘s the problem: within the past couple of month, the Navy grabbed

up about a half-dozen pirates and they had them aboard a U.S. Navy warship

for several weeks until they had to release them, without any charges,

because nobody apparently would take them, Ed.  The U.S. has had an

agreement with Kenya, but apparently Kenya felt there was in insufficient

evidence against these individuals to take them through their legal system. 

Ultimately, they say that the problem has to be solved by going ashore

in Somalia, improving conditions there, and eliminating the pirate camps

that thrive in that ungoverned space.  That will not happen any time soon. 

So U.S. officials acknowledge eliminating piracy is not going to happen any

time soon either, Ed. 

SCHULTZ:  Jim, is this now official operating procedure for the United

States Navy on the high seas that they‘re going to get more of these

encounters, or are there things that are happening out there that the

American public don‘t hear about?  Are they, I guess for lack of a better

term, on pirate patrol all the time now? 

MIKLASZEWSKI:  They are, but hundreds of miles to the north in the

Gulf of Aden, where the pirates from Somalia usually operate, because

that‘s a very busy shipping lane.  Many of those cargo ships were very

vulnerable to attacks by pirates. 

There have been two developments since then.  The international

community, led by the U.S., has put together a task force which routinely

patrols those waters.  But also many of the private shipping companies have

gotten smarter.  Their ship captains take evasive action now.  And some of

their ships actually have their own armed guards on board.  It doesn‘t take

much to deter pirate attack if you choose to take that course of action,

Ed. 

SCHULTZ:  Jim, thanks for joining us tonight. Jim Miklaszewski at the

Pentagon.

A final page in my playbook tonight; one of my favorite Minnesota

Twins hit the mother of all foul balls during the first inning of a spring

training game yesterday afternoon.  Denard Span hit a foul ball that flew

into the stands and hit his own mom in the collar bone, knocking her out of

her seat.  His mother was treated by paramedics and she got an EKG at the

field.  But she thankfully was—it all turned out just fine and she was

back in the stands just a few minutes later.  What are the odds of that

happening?  Slim and none.

Coming up, folks, don‘t let that pretty face fool you.  Great American

Stephanie Miller is here to set the record straight on Sean Hannity and

Caribou Barbie.  That‘s all coming up with an April Fools‘ Day edition of

Club Ed.  Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ:  Welcome back to THE ED SHOW.  We have a special edition of

Club Ed with nationally syndicated radio talk show host and my good friend,

Stephanie Miller.  Stephanie, I have to get you to comment on Sarah Palin‘s

fake promos.  What do you make of it?

STEPHANIE MILLER, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST:  -- LL Cool J interview that

she didn‘t actually do, Ed?  You know, many people don‘t realize, but I‘m

not even talking to you live right now.  This is from an interview I did

with someone else many months ago.  April Fool.

The difference, Ed, is people are not embarrassed to actually be

talking with you live.  People are not embarrassed to actually be on your

show, like they apparently are with Sarah Palin. 

SCHULTZ:  Here‘s the hottest audio on the Internet these days, the

last few day, Sean Hannity comparing the Tea Partiers to Timothy McVeigh. 

Here it is. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS ANCHOR:  I think we won the debate. 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  We did win the debate.

HANNITY:  When you think of the vast majorities they have in Congress,

and they had to bribe, back room deals, corruption, that‘s all because the

Tea Party movement, the people, all these Tim McVeigh wannabes here -- 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  All these Tim McVeigh wannabes.  Of course, they must have

liked it.  They clapped.  What do you make of this? 

MILLER:  I had a right wing caller tell me that I just don‘t get Sean

Hannity‘s nuanced humor.  Apparently his audience didn‘t either, because

they appeared to be clapping for Tim McVeigh.  Maybe I don‘t, Ed.  One

thing I have learned in my travels in comedy is Republicans and comedy, not

so much.  I think what his point was, Ed, is that everybody in the

mainstream media calls all Tea Baggers Tim McVeigh wannabes.  Have you

heard anybody in the mainstream or progressive media say that?  I haven‘t. 

SCHULTZ:  Not at all.  I can‘t believe it.  The thing I couldn‘t

believe was some of the callers today were trying to tell me, Stephanie,

the audiotape was doctored.  Good to have you with us tonight. 

MILLER:  Thank you. 

SCHULTZ:  In our phone survey, I asked you tonight, folks, do you

think Fox News deliberately misleads its viewers?  Ninety four percent of

you said yes; six percent said no. 

That‘s THE ED SHOW.  I‘m Ed Schultz.  Have a great holiday.  Chris

Matthews and “HARDBALL” starts right now on MSNBC, the place for politics. 

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY

BE UPDATED.

END   

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