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The Ed Show for Friday, August 13th, 2010

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Guests: Al Sharpton, Holland Cooke, Chris Berg, Alan Grayson, Joe Madison,

Heidi Harris, Lizz Winstead, Eric Boehlert


ED SCHULTZ, HOST:  Good evening, Americans.  And welcome to THE ED SHOW, live from Minneapolis tonight.

These stories are hitting my hot buttons at this hour.


Well, conservative radio talk show host, Dr. Laura, deliberately repeated the N-word 11 times on a radio show.  You know, this kind of behavior is not an isolated incident.  Rush, Beck and the rest of the copycats are using the airwaves, and have been for years, to run a racist agenda every day.  I‘ll play the tape and get reaction from Reverend Al Sharpton.

A new Democratic ad takes on Louisiana Senator David Vitter‘s alleged connection to a prostitution ring.  I‘ll get rapid fire response.

And Lizz Winstead takes on the tan man‘s golf record and Dan Quayle‘s kid accusing the president of being the worse ever.

That‘s coming up in Club Ed tonight.

But this is the story that has me fired up tonight.  Once again—once again, conservative radio has reared its ugly racist head.  Right wing relationship expert, Dr. Laura Schlessinger, repeated the N-word while she was talking to an African-American caller on her nationally-syndicated radio talk show.

Take a listen.


CALLER:  How about the N-word?  So, the N-word‘s been thrown around.

DR. LAURA SCHLESSINGER, RADIO HOST:  Black guys use it all the time.  Turn on HBO, listen to a black comic and all you hear is (EXPLETIVE DELETED).

CALLER:  That isn‘t—

SCHLESSINGER:  I don‘t get it.  If anybody—if anybody without enough melanin says it, it‘s a horrible thing; but when black people say it, it‘s affectionate.


SCHULTZ:  Dr. Laura doesn‘t get it.  And she didn‘t stop there.  The caller named Jade was trying to asking for advice about dealing with a neighbor who used racist terms in her home.  Jade took offense to Dr. Laura using the N-word.


CALLER:  I can‘t believe someone like you is on the radio spewing out the (EXPLETIVE DELETED) word and I hope everybody heard it.

SCHLESSINGER:  I did not spew out the (EXPLETIVE DELETED) word.


SCHLESSINGER:  Right, I said that‘s what you hear.

CALLER:  Everybody heard it.

SCHLESSINGER:  Yes, they did.

CALLER:  I hope everybody heard it.

SCHLESSINGER:  They did, and I‘ll say it again.

CALLER:  So what makes it OK for you to say the word?

SCHLESSINGER:  (EXPLETIVE DELETED) is what you hear on HB—why don‘t you let me finish a sentence?


SCHULTZ:  At this point, Dr. Laura turned on Jade, claiming she took her ugly remarks out of context.  That, of course, is what they always say.  Then, in a classic conservative talk fashion, the doctor of hate cut Jade off and took another shot at her.


SCHLESSINGER:  Don‘t take things out of context.  Don‘t double NAACP me.  Tape the—

CALLER:  I know what the NAACP.

SCHLESSINGER:  -- leave them in context.

What I just heard from Jade is a lot of what I hear from black-think and it‘s really distressing and disturbing.  And to put it in its context, she said the N-word and I said on HBO, listening to black comics, you hear (EXPLETIVE DELETED).  I didn‘t call anybody a (EXPLETIVE DELETED).  Nice try, Jade.  Actually, sucky try.


SCHULTZ:  Dr. Laura went totally off the rails when her caller was just asking for advice.  After saying the N-word 11 times and verbally assaulting the caller, Dr. Laura really showed how racist she is when she said this.


SCHLESSINGER:  If you‘re that hypersensitive about color and don‘t have a sense of humor, don‘t marry out of your race.


SCHULTZ:  Don‘t marry out of your race.

Dr. Laura ran right over an African-American caller, used the N-word 11 times, then called Jade hypersensitive and expects her to have a sense of humor about the whole thing.

Dr. Laura offered a lame apology on her Web site and is doing her best to make this thing go away.  She has nothing to worry about.  It seems to me that the conservative media can really say and do whatever they want and they‘re going to get away with it and never going to have to pay a price.

Back in 2005, former Education Secretary Bill Bennett said this on his radio show, quote, “You could abort every black baby in this country, and your crime rate would go down.”

Bennett did a masterful job of wordsmithing his way out of that situation.  His show is still on the air today.

Rush Limbaugh made a career of racial little charged remarks, including this one:


GLENN BECK, FOX NEWS:  This president, I think, has exposed himself as a guy over and over and over again who has a deep-seeded hatred for white people or the white culture.  I don‘t know what it is.


SCHULTZ:  Radio programmers must think that kind of hate is entertaining.  They force the Drugster‘s show on 600 radio stations across the country.  Glenn Beck, the rising star of the network across the street has never had to apologize for some of the things that he‘s been saying.  Here‘s some more.


RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST:  If Obama weren‘t black, he‘d be a tour guide in Honolulu.  Or he‘d be teaching Saul Alinsky constitutional law or lecturing on it in Chicago.


SCHULTZ:  Pretty clear, isn‘t it?  Being a conservative talker means that hey, you‘re in safe haven.  You can say whatever you want.

You got Rupert Murdoch behind you.  You got conservative radio owners behind you.  They circle the wagons.  They protect the talent.  These guys really never have to answer for any racist or ugly remarks that they ever make outside the mainstream media.

Thankfully, the mainstream media has to play by a different set of rules.  When the Drugster was on ESPN, he got fired for saying racist things about quarterback Donovan McNabb.

Don Imus was dropped by CBS Radio for some of the racist things he said about the Rutgers women‘s basketball team.

Jimmy the Greek paid the price for his racism back in the ‘80s.  It‘s Mel Gibson.  It‘s Michael Richards, the lists goes on and on.

There is accountability in the mainstream media.  But all those—all those people deserve to get fired and it‘s time for the conservative media to ask themselves the question, where do they want to go?

They don‘t want to go anywhere.  They love where they are right now.  They love being offensive.  They call it entertainment.  And they‘ll be more that are going to be throwing the N-word out there till somebody puts their foot down.

There are seven words that we can‘t say in broadcast.  Should we put the N-word and make it eight words?

Get your cell phones out, folks.  I want to know what you think about all of this tonight.  Tonight‘s text survey question is: do you think right wing radio gets a free pass on racial slurs?  Text A for “Yes”; text B for “No” to 622639.  We‘ll bring you the results later on in the show.

Joining me now is Reverend Al Sharpton of the National Action Network.

Reverend, good to have you with us tonight.

REV. AL SHARPTON, NATIONAL ACTION NETWORK:  How are you?  How are you, Ed?  I am glad to be here.

SCHULTZ:  Yes, sir.

Is there a different standard, Reverend?  I mean, the mainstream media takes action on people who make racially sensitive comments, but it seems to me—and we just played a bevy of things here—that in the right wing media, I mean, there‘s a safe haven there.  What about that?

SHARPTON:  I think it is.  And I think what we need to do is as I think you probably identified, these people are not somewhere making a speech or somewhere in the privacy of their home or talking to someone they know.  These people are on radio and television selling to advertisers who sell to our communities.  And I think it‘s time we do what we did with Imus, go to these advertisers and start saying, “You can‘t have it both ways.”

She has the right to say what she wants, but she does not have the right for me to subsidize with my consumer dollars.  For this woman to go on and on and on repeating this word, and then to turn around when the caller called her on it and said that she can‘t believe she was doing it, she chastises the caller and says the caller‘s hypersensitive, and then come out the next day with some lame apology.  Why didn‘t you apologize when the caller said it?

At no point in that whole thing, and that‘s why I‘m glad you played the whole thing, Ed, that‘s why I watch your show—did she ever say there was anything wrong with using the N-word.  She, in fact, kept justifying it, trying to make all kind of excuses and acting as if the woman she was offending was just being hypersensitive, and if she had a problem in her marriage, maybe she shouldn‘t have married outside of her race.

SCHULTZ:  You know, Reverend Sharpton, the thing that gets me about this is Dr. Laura and all of these right wing talkers, they‘ve been around microphones long enough and they‘ve had enough hours of broadcasting and enough experience that they know better.  But they don‘t really care.

SHARPTON:  They do.

SCHULTZ:  And the comment that got me in that exchange was she said, “Don‘t NAACP me.”



SHARPTON:  I think that‘s very telling.  And I think that they‘re trying to demonize and castigate those of us that raise these issues—which is why I don‘t think we should argue with them.  We‘re arguing with the wrong people.  We should argue and deal with the people that finance them it, the advertisers—these people that take dollars out of many of our communities and invest it in buying ads on these people‘s stations.

If these station stations started losing money, that‘s what got Imus fired.  I think if they start losing money, they will understand the language of consumer dollars.  I think you‘re right.  These people don‘t want to be converted.  They‘re enjoying themselves at our expense.

SCHULTZ:  Reverend Sharpton, we‘ve got seven words in broadcast that we can‘t say.  Should the N-word be added to that list?  Are there some racially sensitive terms that should be added to the list?  What do you think?

SHARPTON:  I think all racially sensitive terms should be added.  I said today on my show, if they‘re against whites, if they‘re against blacks, if they‘re against Latinos, Asians, we should not allow that.  This country must be better than that.  And I think we should say that that is not permitted.

And if people need to use that kind of language to have discourse, clearly, they‘re not having intelligent discourse.

SCHULTZ:  All right.  Dr. Laura has apologized.  She‘s in the damage control mode right now.  Here‘s her comment.


SCHLESSINGER:  I talk everyday about doing the right thing.  And yesterday, I did the wrong thing.  I didn‘t intend to hurt people, but I did.  And that makes it the wrong thing to have done.  I was attempting to make a philosophical point, and I articulated the N-word all of the way out, more than one time.  And that was wrong.  I‘ll say it again—that was wrong.


SCHULTZ:  Reverend, does that go far enough?

SHARPTON:  First of all, I think you have to weigh her statement, which was made after there was outrage, against what she consistently said.  We‘re not talking about just what she originally said.  She kept berating this lady who raised these same points to her when the conversation was going on.  So, when did she have the epiphany?

I‘m a minister.  But I want to know when did, all of a sudden, she have this epiphany that she was wrong?  She didn‘t feel she was wrong when it was going on.  She revisited it later in the program.

And to add to it, she says, and I‘ll say it again and went on and on and on.  So, I think that even I as a minister would have to say, this conversion is a little suspect.

SCHULTZ:  Reverend Al Sharpton, always a pleasure.  Great to have you with us tonight.  Thanks so much.

SHARPTON:  Thank you, Ed.  Thank you.

SCHULTZ:  For more, I guess—I guess we could say that ownership has its privileges.  For more, let‘s bring in legendary talk radio consultant Holland Cooke.

This is what you build legends on, right, Holland?


SCHULTZ:  Where do they draw the line?  Where they do draw the line? 

Where should the line be drawn?  What do you make of all of this?

HOLLAND COOKE, TALK RADIO CONSULTANT:  First of all, let me thank you for hosting your radio show today while you were traveling, and what you would have heard if you were within ear shot is exactly what you said about adding an eighth word to that list.  Callers to your show think that there shouldn‘t be a double standard, that nobody should use that word—although it is still commonly used among black people sometimes as a term of endearment.

And as for where to draw the line, I think that there is a line between what Imus did and what Dr. Laura did.  I know Dr. Laura.  I have worked with Dr. Laura, and I have not spoken to her since all this blew up.  But I can tell you, she must feel awful about this.  And—

SCHULTZ:  Well, shouldn‘t she be smart enough to know and been around broadcasting long enough to know that there are a lot of black people in this country who are offended by this, that don‘t use the N-word and have never used the N-word.  And I would venture to say that the majority of African-Americans have not.

And because she‘s on HBO and it might be a slant of entertainment that might entertain her, doesn‘t she cross the line as a radio talker and shouldn‘t she have known better?

COOKE:  I think so, and when Imus committed his faux pas and when Michael Richards fell from grace, we love Cramer (ph).  Now, we‘re not so crazy about him after what he did.

Their defense was similar.  And it was we‘re working live.  We‘re working unscripted.  We‘re edgy, we‘re out there, we cross the line.

SCHULTZ:  Yes.  But here is the key, Holland.  She‘s staying on the radio.  Nobody‘s going to take Beck off for anything he‘s ever said.  No one is going to take Limbaugh off?  Is it all about the money?

COOKE:  There‘s no question, talk radio is big business.  The difference between Dr. Laura and the gratuitous stuff you hear from Limbaugh and Beck and them, is that she was trying to make an underlying point that went very awry.  Imus was just a gratuitous deejay equip that had no upside.  I think that whenever I hear something like this, I always ask myself: is he a bad guy or was he just clumsy?

I want to think that—


COOKE:  -- the underlying point she made, which is not unlike the point Reverend Sharpton‘s making, was just made in a horribly clumsy way.

SCHULTZ:  Don‘t NAACP me.  That one pretty much did it for me.

COOKE:  That‘s tough.

SCHULTZ:  Holland Cooke, great to have you with us tonight.  Thanks so much.

COOKE:  You bet.

SCHULTZ:  Coming up: the White House doubles down on slamming the tan man.  They‘re calling him “confused.”  I‘m calling it genius.  We‘ll get rapid fire response on that.

And here‘s a scary thought for you.  Rand Paul takes a page out of Sharron Angle‘s playbook.  They‘re both heading straight to Uncle Roger Ailes.

All that, plus, Alvin Greene—he gets indicted.  Steve Doocy stoops to a new low and Liz Winstead tees off on Dan Quayle‘s dirty son.

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


SCHULTZ:  Coming up on THE ED SHOW: Imagine if you went to your boss and told your higher-up that, you know, you‘re not going to get anything done for the next couple of months but you‘ll take the check.  Well, that‘s what the Senate is saying.  Congress has rolled up the carpets and they‘ve run for the hills.  I think the system is broken and it needs to be fixed.

Congressman Alan Grayson sounds off on that and his battle with “Politico”—next on THE ED SHOW.


SCHULTZ:  Welcome back to THE ED SHOW.  And thanks for watching tonight.

This is a scary scenario that is playing out in our country, I think. 

Big business is overpowering and I mean, overpowering our political system. 

This couldn‘t be happening at a worse time.

The country is facing nearly 10 percent unemployment.  Most Americans think it‘s a heck of a lot higher than that.  And this week, we saw 30,000 people in a major American city fighting to get on a waiting list for public housing, they‘ll never get into that public housing, but they wanted the application.

The Republicans think the answer, of course, is more tax cuts for the rich and more MBA candidates to settle it all.

In California, former eBay CEO Meg Whitman has spent roughly $90 million of her own money to beat Attorney General Jerry Brown for the governor‘s chair, who has a strong record of bringing jobs to California.

In Connecticut—how about this one?  Former WWE chief, Linda McMahon, says that she‘s going to spend up to $50 million of her own money to bankroll her campaign to get Chris Dodd‘s seat.

For more, let‘s bring in the assistant general council for Citizens United, Chris Berg.  They, of course, got a Supreme Court ruling that opened up the door to get a lot of money into these campaigns.

Chris, you and I have battled on this frontier in the past.


SCHULTZ:  I think it was—I think it was a terrible ruling by the Supreme Court.  But let‘s get to the quality of people that we see right now.

BERG:  Definitely.

SCHULTZ:  How can these people that roll in this kind of money, how can they relate to those people down in Atlanta who need a break?  How can they relate to the unemployed?  How can they relate to the middle class?

Aren‘t we getting a quality of candidate that might be even further out of touch than what we have in Washington right now?  What do you think?

BERG:  Ed, money and politics is nothing new.  John Edwards told us there are two Americas, and we all know which one he was really a part of it.

When I sit here, when I look at people running across the country, I don‘t think we should be penalizing people who have been successful.  These people who have been successful in business, they‘re bright, they‘re intelligent, and they‘ve got good ideas how to turn this economy around.

SCHULTZ:  But that‘s not the question.  But, Chris, the question is:

are they in touch with the people who are struggling in this country?  Are they in touch with the middle class?  I mean, if you‘re worth that kind of money and you throw that kind of money at campaign, you‘re eating at the country club, you‘re not eating down there with the grounds keeper.

BERG:  Well, they worked hard to get there.  When I look at a lot of the these people who are running today, when is I look at Meg Whitman, when I look at Linda McMahon up in Connecticut, I‘m looking at people who worked to get where they are.  I‘m not looking at the Kerrys of the world or the Kennedys of the world—the ruling class that‘s been there with family money for the past few generations.

SCHULTZ:  Well, I think both the people that you just mentioned on the Democratic side, both Kerry and Kennedy, have got a strong record of helping the downtrodden, of helping those who needed a break in life.  Both the two people that you just mentioned and we said earlier don‘t have that record.

Here‘s the point.  Richard Trumka, AFL-CIO, at a speech today in Los Angeles said, “So in the elections for governor and senator, who do the Republicans throw at problem?  Two clueless CEOs: Meg Whitman, who was too shady even for the board of Goldman Sachs; and Carly Fiorina, who laid off 30,000 Hewlett-Packard employees, shipped jobs overseas, got fired and took a $20 million golden parachute—and was labeled one of the worst CEOs of all time.”

There‘s two sides of this story.  But how do you trust somebody from the super-wealthy to understand the needs of the middle class?

BERG:  Look, I think Mr. Trumka knows his rhetoric very well and knows what he‘s doing.  He presides over one of the nation‘s largest unions and it‘s in his best interest—his business interests to elect politicians who are going to favor his policies.  Right now, one of his decided goals is to try to pass card check, taking away the secret ballot vote so he can try to expand his union.  He just said that on (INAUDIBLE) program.


SCHULTZ:  And also getting rid of the intimidation in the workplace and the retaliation in the workplace when owners find that somebody wants to go down the road of collective bargaining.

BERG:  I don‘t see how getting rid of the secret ballot helps with you that.


SCHULTZ:  Mr. Berg, but that was a pretty good try.

Finally, is there a place for the regular guy in American politics now?  You got to have money to play the game, now that the Supreme Court has made that ruling, do you agree?

BERG:  At the end of the day—at the end of the day, I think it‘s about people and I think it‘s about policy.  When you look around the country, you see these people running.  No matter how much money you have, if your policies are out of touch, you‘re not going to get elected.  Look at Mr. Lamont in his electoral bid.

SCHULTZ:  Chris, you‘re almost making the case that money doesn‘t matter.  Great to have you with us tonight, I love your angle on it.

BERG:  Thanks so much, Ed.

SCHULTZ:  I totally don‘t agree with it.  Good to have you with us, Chris.

Coming up: “FOX and Friends” host, Steve Doocy, proves yet again what a boob he really is.  I‘m lifting him right in to the zone—next.

Stay with us.


SCHULTZ:  And in “Psycho Talk” tonight—well, the kids over at “FOX and Friends” sure think a lot of themselves.  Former beauty queen, Gretchen Carlson, recently said her job was just like the president‘s.  Then today, during a discussion on unemployment, former weatherman Steve Doocy took a shot at the folks who work in the retail sector.


STEVE DOOCY, FOX NEWS:  How many young people voted for Barack Obama a couple of years ago because the “hope and change” thing and he was going to get them jobs and stuff like that?  They get out of college, suddenly, they can‘t find jobs.  And instead, they‘re trying to go get a job down at the Gap and there‘s somebody 45, 50 years old who was laid off at a real job doing that job.


SCHULTZ:  So, Doocy is saying a job at the Gap isn‘t a real job.  Retail is not a real job.  That‘s coming from a guy who gets paid to do hard-hitting interviews like this one.


DOOCY:  Are you saying—are you girls here to tell us that Victoria‘s Secret has essentially reinvented the brassiere?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE:  They have.  They have.


DOOCY:  That is the news.


SCHULTZ:  For that guy to think that he‘s an authority to decide on what a real job is—well, that‘s just elitist “Psycho Talk.”

Coming up: Congress is on a two-month paid vacation as people are begging for help.  Congressman Alan Grayson has an important message he wants everyone to hear.  He‘ll deliver it next in the battleground.

And they‘re getting down and dirty in Louisiana.  Republican Senator David Vitter‘s opponent is trashing him for alleged ties to prostitution rings.  I‘ll get rapid fire response on that.

And Alvin Greene gets indicted on obscenity charges.  What are the South Carolina Democrats going to do now?

And “Daily Show” co-creator Lizz Winstead roasts the tan man in Club Ed.

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


SCHULTZ:  Welcome back to THE ED SHOW.  The Battleground story tonight, Congress isn‘t working.  They‘re off on recess like they always are this time of year.  And even when they come back for just a few weeks in September, then they won‘t be trying to pass any major legislation and they‘re admitting that.  This just shows how out of touch Washington lawmakers really are.  Could you imagine telling your boss, you don‘t think you‘re going to get anything done until November.  People who don‘t have a job can‘t wait a couple of months. 

People who don‘t have a home can‘t wait a couple of months.  Washington politicians say they know that we‘re in an economic crisis but they don‘t stay in town to do anything about it. 

They need to start acting like it‘s an emergency and get their butts back to Washington, take a week off and then get back.  You don‘t need the whole month.  This is why Congress has a whopping 21 percent approval rating in the latest NBC News “Wall Street Journal” poll. 

Joining me now is Florida Congressman Alan Grayson.  Congressman, good to have you with us tonight.  I think it‘s easy to see the frustration in the numbers of the American people.  What should the Congress do?  I mean all these bills that you guys have passed over in the House, what should the senate do? And does the circumstances that this country face right now call for different measures in the Congress?  What do you think?

REP. ALAN GRAYSON (D), FLORIDA:  Well, look, you identified the problem perfectly.  In the house we‘ve passed over 300 bills that the Senate hasn‘t even taken up.  And I took the trouble this week, have looking to identify the bills that the Senate has act on that the house hasn‘t taken up.  There‘s only a couple of dozen of them.  They have to do mostly with renaming post offices.  So, this is where we are.  The House is getting its work done.  The Senate is not getting its work done.  And why?  Because the republicans in the Senate are acting as a blocks to prevent anybody from getting any work done.  That‘s the problem from start to finish.  The House could be back in session for every day from now until the end of time.  It doesn‘t make a difference if the republicans in the Senate are blocking everything that they can.  At this point, if you put a cure for cancer up in the Senate, it would get filibusters. 

SCHULTZ:  We really now stand the chance, the American taxpayer of the Congress doing nothing until January.  Is that correct?

GRAYSON:  No, actually, we‘re going to be back in session for several weeks in September regardless.  But the fact remains that if the republicans consistently use the filibuster rule in order to prevent any progress on anything in the Senate, it doesn‘t matter whether the House is in session or not.  

SCHULTZ:  Congressman, I got to ask you about this recent flap that you‘ve got with Politico.  Do you think that Politico, the D.C. news outlet, the inside the beltway insider Politico news organization, they‘ve got professional people that work for them.  There‘s no question about that, people that are award winning and have been in this business for a long, long time.  And they are a real referred source by many political insiders.  Do you think they softened their coverage based on their sponsors?

GRAYSON:  Yes, I do.  And not only that, I think that the fact that they were founded by Reaganites who felt that coverage elsewhere in Washington wasn‘t slanted enough is indicative of their own  philosophy.  I mean, the argument at Politico seems to be, are we actually bought out by advertisers or just give it to them for free.  

SCHULTZ:  Now, their corporate advertisers, obviously, well, a lot of them seem republican.  But do you think that Politico is too hard on democrats because of their sponsors and go soft on the republicans?

GRAYSON:  Yes, and Politico is part of the permanent government that was established under the Bush administration.  These are the same people, these ideologues, these right wing ideologues who have been populating the government and the bureaucracy now for a decade who met the political litmus test of the Bush administration.  They‘re still there, they‘re in the think tanks, they‘re in these house organs like Politico and they‘re in the bureaucracy.  They are the permanent government and we‘ve done nothing so far to clean them out. 

SCHULTZ:  Do you think they are credible news source?

GRAYSON:  No.  I don‘t.  I think that they‘re a rag.  We use them in my office to wrap fish. 

SCHULTZ:  Congressman Alan Grayson, that pretty much says it all. 

Great to have you with us tonight.  Thanks so much. 

GRAYSON:  Thank you, Ed.

SCHULTZ:  Now, let‘s get some rapid fire response from our panel on these stories tonight.  Racist hate speech on right wing radio.  They get away with it again.  Dr. Laura is the latest to get caught in a rant using the “n” word multiple times while talking to an African-American caller. 

The democrat running to unseat scandal-ridden Louisiana Senator David Vitter is not holding back in his new commercial.  He makes reference to Vitter‘s alleged connection to prostitution rings in Washington and in New Orleans. 

And the White House doubles down on its criticism of Republican Leader John Boehner in the House.  Another blog post says, the minority leader is confused and slams the Bush tax cuts for the rich as a massive payout for millionaires. 

With us tonight, Joe Madison, XM radio Satellite talk show host and also Heidi Harris, radio talk show host from Las Vegas.  Well, let‘s get to the Dr. Laura Schlessinger first.  Joe, your response on what has happened.  Her apology and how does it all play out in your opinion?

JOE MADISON, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST:  Well, her apology as my wife pointed out was not an apology.  She never said I‘m sorry.  It never came out of her mouth.  The other thing is, it‘s not just Dr. Laura Schlessinger, but Ed, the question is, when did all of these people know black people better than black people know themselves?  It‘s not just the use of the N word that was said multiple times and how she said it.  It‘s how she lectured this woman about a perspective that she had in which she sought serious advice.  I have daughters that are married to white men.  And they could have given that woman better advice than what Dr. Laura Schlessinger did.  But it‘s all of them, Glenn Beck, Schlessinger, all of them.  They talk to us as if they know us better than we know ourselves, and it‘s just got to stop. 

SCHULTZ:  One thing I‘ve noticed, Heidi Harris, is no conservative talkers ever condemn anybody in the flock.  What about that?

HEIDI HARRIS, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST:  Well, I‘ll tell you what, I don‘t condemn any talkers not you or anybody else just because I don‘t bash people in my industry.  I just don‘t, it‘s not a question of what their politics are.  Before I talked to Laura, I heard what she said.  I‘m not going to defend it.  I‘ve never used the N word in my life, honor of the air in any context.  I don‘t see it being anything you need to use in a conversation.  My parents taught me that‘s not what we say about people. 


HARRIS:  I don‘t understand but I understand why she said it.  She was trying to make the point that it goes on all the time in music videos and movies and all these other kind of things and if black people call each other that, it‘s no big deal.  If a white person says that it‘s wrong, it‘s a double standard but it‘s still wrong when a white person says it.  

MADISON:  No, it‘s not a double standard.  No, I am not going to accept that.  That word was created to be derogatory.  And her being a Jewish person, if I used the K word, there‘s an entire generation of Jewish people who don‘t even know what it means because the anti-defamation league has done an excellent job to make sure that it‘s never used in a derogatory manner.  No, it‘s not a double standard.  And I‘m saying here, you know why that word was created.  I know why that word is created and it is not a double standard.  And it should never be used in any category and your parents taught you right.  

HARRIS:  Yes, it shouldn‘t be used by black people or white people.  I agree with you, Joe, perfect.  I agree.  

MADISON:  Yes, but don‘t give me this double standard stuff.  

SCHULTZ:  OK.  All right.  With that, Heidi, it seems you‘re afraid and other right wing talkers are afraid to render judgment on Dr. Laura.  

HARRIS:  No, it‘s not a question of being afraid.  I don‘t bash other people in my industry.  It‘s just a policy I live by.  I don‘t bash you.  If you say things I disagree which you do everyday on your show and other host, I just don‘t do it.  I think it‘s tacky to bash somebody else. 

SCHULTZ:  So the host can be bigger than the standards of broadcasting?

HARRIS:  No, no.  I don‘t think so.  

SCHULTZ:  I don‘t understand that.  

HARRIS:  No, here‘s the difference, Dr. Laura doesn‘t work for me, neither does Sean Hannity, neither to you, neither does Rush Limbaugh.  Politicians work for me.  What will Harry Reid says matters because he works for me.  Left or right.  That‘s what matters to me.  For me to rag on you because of what you say right before I come on air, I would never do that.  

SCHULTZ:  Heidi, freedom of speech is a responsibility.  And this is how the responsibility is going to be used, obviously, as broadcasters, we affect people.  That‘s why politicians take out commercials.  The spoken word has a lot to do with it.  Joe, go ahead.  

MADISON:  And what Dr. King once said, for evil to triumph, it takes a few good men and women, Heidi to remain—please, nothing to remain silent.  And that‘s what Ed is trying to say. 


HARRIS:  I understand that.  

MADISON:  That you don‘t remain silent in the face of this type of thing because it keeps perpetuating itself.  I mean, I can appreciate what you do, but you don‘t remain silent in it.  

HARRIS:  It‘s professional courtesy.  That‘s what I show.  


SCHULTZ:  Heidi, it seems like on the right side of the dial, there‘s a safe haven to get away with this stuff.  In the mainstream media, there are ramifications as we documented at the top of the show.  Do you think that there is a double standard?  Is this a classic example of ownership has its privileges?

HARRIS:  You‘re talking about the right leaning hosts versus left?  Not necessarily.  I don‘t think so at all.  Ultimately the people who advertise are going to make that decision.  It‘s her opinion.  She‘s entitled to it.  People on both sides of the aisle do it.  And ultimately, it‘s nothing tackier to me than a local host going after somebody who makes millions of dollar a year.  Now, if people like you, Ed, want to go at somebody, your level of talk radio, fine.  The millionaires go after each other, fine.  But as a local host, I‘m going to bash some syndicated woman who‘s a millionaire?  I‘m going to look like a moron and stupid regardless of what I think about what she said.  

SCHULTZ:  I have to say whether you‘re broadcasting from Fargo or New York City, the rules of decency are still the same.  That‘s how I see it.  I think that as we as broadcasters we have a responsibility, people do respond to what we say and how we say it.  And if we‘re throwing around the N word and racial slurs and there‘s ramifications in some parts of the media but not ramifications and others and it‘s not all about the sponsors.  Glenn Beck has lost a lot of advertisers because of the way he‘s broadcasted.  And ownership has decided to keep him on the air because he has an audience.  

HARRIS:  Let me say one more thing.  I know Dr. Laura.  She‘s been nothing but good to me as long as I‘ve ever dealt with her and I‘ve known her for a lot of years.  Her bodyguard is black.  One of the nicest guys you ever meet in your life.  If she didn‘t like black people, she wouldn‘t entrust her life to a black bodyguard.  Give me a break.  

MADISON:  Oh, give me a freaking break.  You know, black men love their mammies.  Cut me a break.  

HARRIS:  Oh, my gosh. 

MADISON:  Would you come off of that because she‘s got a black bodyguard?  Therefore, she must like black people?  She needs social—she needs socialization.  That‘s what she needs is socialization.  And maybe she needs to know more than one black person.  

HARRIS:  Wow, you did you not say mammy.  I can‘t believe that.  

MADISON:  Look, you know what I said.  Don‘t give me this stuff that because she‘s got a black bodyguard, therefore, she likes black people.  Oh, cut me a break. 

SCHULTZ:  Joe Madison, Heidi Harris, good to have you with us tonight.  I appreciate your time.  Great rapid response on a heady topic.  We still have races an issue in this country and we will for a long time.  Coming up, Tea Partier Sharron Angle runs from the cameras and now she‘s got righties like Rand Paul following her.  And they‘re all over hiding in the foxhole. 

Plus, Alvin Greene is turning heads today in South Carolina.  What is the party going to do?  A grand jury has indicted him on porn charges.  It‘s all coming up in the Playbook.  Stay with us.


SCHULTZ:  And it‘s not too late to let us know what you think.  Tonight‘s text survey question is, do you think right wing radio gets a free pass on racial slurs?  Text A for yes, text B for no to 622639.  Results coming up.  Stay with us.       


SCHULTZ:  And in my Playbook tonight, FOX News has become a safe haven for crazy right wing politicians.  What else is new?  Nevada‘s Sharron Angle is the queen of running from reporters, but she shows up on FOX to plug her website and ask for money.  And just this week, Kentucky Senate candidate Rand Paul did the same thing, moments after an interview on FOX News, he high tail in that out of the studio when a local reporter tried to ask a question. 

And now Dan Quayle‘s son Ben is doing the same thing.  It‘s the same pattern.  We‘ve seen it before.  They keep it up.  These guys get caught saying something stupid and going nuts and then they dodge the local media so it doesn‘t get worse and the local folks don‘t get the flavor of it.  So we have to ask the question, is this what we‘re going to see all the way through the election?

Joining me now is Eric Boehlert, senior fellow at Media Matters for America.  First of all, let‘s play this exchange with Rand Paul if we can and let‘s get your response to it, Eric.  Here it is.  


GABRIEL ROXAS, REPORTER:  Dr. Paul, Gabriel Roxas.  I‘m a reporter here.  

RAND PAUL, REPUBLICAN SENATE CANDIDATE:  We don‘t have enough time.  

ROXAS:  Just real quickly.  I mean, I understand what you said to the FOX audience.  But there‘s some—obviously there‘s a lot of sensational allegations in this.  And so, I mean, I‘m sure you would feel like it was by design so I just wanted to give an opportunity to respond to it.  

PAUL:  We do, but the thing is that you know, the whole story is just insulting and you know, my wife‘s upset about the whole thing.  We really don‘t want to go into all this.  


SCHULTZ:  What do you think, Eric?  Is this the way they‘re going to campaign now?  They can go to FOX to get the money nationally and they could say away from the local folks?

ERIC BOEHLERT, MEDIA MATTERS FOR AMERICA:  Yes, I mean, FOX News national is the safe haven.  What‘s amazing with the clip was that was Rand Paul doing damage control via Neil Cavuto on FOX News and he was inside a local FOX affiliate.  Local FOX affiliates don‘t play this, you know, GOP propaganda game, they do local journalism.  So, they had Rand Paul in the studio who caught up in this recent controversy.  So, his sort of safe haven interview with FOX News D.C. ends and they say hey, can we ask you some questions?

He says, oh, no, no, I don‘t talk to local reporters.  I mean, it‘s amazing.  He‘s sort of dodging reporters inside a FOX News studio.  This is all part of sort of this Sarah Palin approach.  Don‘t talk to the press, delegitimize the press.  Pretend the press does not play an important role, you know, in our democracy or specifically during a campaign.  Make plenty of time for AM radio, hate radio.  Make time for FOX News.  And then just ignore reporters because journalists are biased and they‘re out to get you.  And that‘s their playbook.  

SCHULTZ:  And here‘s an example of Sharron Angle raising money using the network.  Here it is.  


SHARRON ANGLE, GOP CHALLENGER:  We needed to have the press be our friend.  

CARL CAMERON, FOX NEWS ANCHOR:  Wait a minute, hold on a second.  To be your friend?

ANGLE:  Well, truly.

CAMERON:  It sounds naive.  

ANGLE:  Well, no, we wanted them to ask the questions we want to answer so that they report the news the way we want it to be reported.  


SCHULTZ:  Shameless promotion.  There‘s no boundaries to any of it. 

BOEHLERT:  It‘s a money making scheme.  

SCHULTZ:  It is.  

BOEHLERT:  The point is it to go on TV and make money for your campaign and then answer softball questions from FOX News and then completely ignore and insult anyone else who‘s doing real journalism.  

SCHULTZ:  What I have noticed is that the print media doesn‘t call them on it, or am I wrong on that?

BOEHLERT:  Well, I think Rand Paul and Sharron Angle are definitely getting some heat in the local press.  Nationally, Sarah Palin has gotten a complete free ride.  She has stiffed the press, told them, made it clear she‘s not going to deal with any of them and then she posts or her ghost writer posts something on Facebook and the national press, you know, runs around and writes it down because it‘s important news.  She has gotten a total free press.  She‘s not running for anything right now.  But in Kentucky and Nevada, I think it‘s hurt them.  And the local press has made it known, has made this a story.  The fact that they won‘t talk to the press has become a story, and if you look at the polls, it might be hurting them locally.  

SCHULTZ:  Well, I read this and one of my favorite ones so far is the Sharron Angle went on Lou Dobbs‘ radio show and actually reversed the polls around saying that she was leading. 


And she hasn‘t been leading, I mean, there‘s no integrity to this at all.  I mean, they could behind in any poll, they‘re just going there and say reversing, you know, and then they get challenged on it.  Eric, good to have you with us tonight. 

BOEHLERT:  All right.  Thanks.


SCHULTZ:  Thanks so much.  

Some final pages in my Playbook tonight.  Former Congressman Pat Toomey is running for the Senate seat against Joe Sestak in the state of Pennsylvania.  He was on TV blasting the congressman for agreeing with everything on the Obama/Pelosi agenda.  But then he made this claim. 


FMR. PAT TOOMEY, PENNSYLVANIA:  Now, when I was in the House, I frankly I opposed my party very often.  I opposed President Bush when he wanted to expand and create a new entitlement program.  I oppose that, I opposed many of our spending bills.  I personally led a filibuster on the House floor against my own party.  


SCHULTZ:  Filibuster?  Did he say a filibuster on the house floor?  No, no, you didn‘t Mr. Toomey because they don‘t have a filibuster in the House.  That‘s only over in the Senate rules.  And here‘s one for you.  Alvin Greene, the democratic senate nominee from South Carolina was indicted today for allegedly showing obscene photos to a South Carolina student in a computer lab.  A grand jury indicted him on felony charge of promoting obscenity and a misdemeanor charge of communicating obscene materials to a person without consent.  He was arrested back in November.  What is the South Carolina Democratic Party going to do about this?

Coming up, we just heard Alvin Greene‘s in trouble, but Dan Quayle‘s son apparently, he‘s a little naughty himself.  “Daily Show” co-creator Lizz Winstead is exposing this potato head next on THE ED SHOW.  Stay with us.  


SCHULTZ:  And if it‘s Friday, it‘s time for Club Ed.  You don‘t want to miss that.  With Lizz Winstead, co-creator of the “Daily Show” with the brains behind wake-up world.  Lizz, great to have you with us.  I know that you‘ve been setting your sights on John Boehner, you probably wondering how you could get a tan like that.  

LIZZ WINSTEAD, “DAILY SHOW” CO-CREATOR:  I never want a tan like that.  That guy looks like his skin is closed in.  And I don‘t know why people keep saying he‘s orange.  He looks like a catcher‘s mitt.  I honestly think he is actually moisturizes with saddle oil.  Oh, he‘s the worst.  

SCHULTZ:  Well, his opponent Justin Coussoule in Ohio has taken out an ad which really goes after his golf.  Here it is. 


JUSTIN COUSSOULE, DEMOCRATIC PARTY CANDIDATE:  Rounds of golf, 100 plus.  Golf expenses, $83,000.  Membership at all male club, $75,000.  Special interest travel including golf junkets, $159,000.  Raising the retirement age to 70 and voting to end unemployment benefits, priceless.  For those who want an out of touch pro golfer for a congressman, there‘s John Boehner.  For everyone else, there‘s Justin Coussoule.  


SCHULTZ:  Lizz, what do you think?  Have you ever seen one as good as that one?  

WINSTEAD:  It‘s really good.  I mean, it explains why Boehner is so good at driving America into the hole.  It‘s simple. 


SCHULTZ:  All right.  The Quayle family, they have a son named Ben.  Here‘s his commercial.  We want your response to this.  He‘s running for the congressional seat down in Arizona.  He‘s up against a number of other opponents to get the nomination.  Here he is.  He says President Obama is the worst in history.  


BEN QUAYLE, REPUBLICAN CANDIDATE:  Barack Obama is the worst president in history.  In my generation, we‘ll inherit a weakened country.  Drug cartels in Mexico, tax cartels in D.C., what‘s happened to America?  I love Arizona.  I was raised right.  Somebody has to go to Washington.  And knock the hell out of the place.  My name is Ben Quayle.  And I approve this message. 


SCHULTZ:  Liz Winstead, do you approve that message?

WINSTEAD:  Well, it looked like he was doing everything in his power not to the wet his pants during the whole thing he was just pursed and crazy.  But is his name Ben Quayle or is his name Brock Landers, which was the name that he was using when he was going to dirty Scottsdale and posting trying to find the hottest women in Scottsdale.  And my favorite thing about Brock Landers is that‘s the name of the character Mark Wahlberg‘s character in boogie nights.  And so, I think with Mark Wahlberg‘s character, Brock Landers or Ben Quayle‘s Brock Landers, I want to scream the same thing at the end of the ad, what a big wienie. 


SCHULTZ:  Lizz Winstead, always a pleasure.  Great to have you with us in Club Ed tonight.  Have a great weekend. 

WINSTEAD:  Thanks, Ed.

SCHULTZ:  Lizz is going to be—you bet, she is going to be at the Mixed Magic Theater in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, that‘s going to be on August 27th and 28th.  Go to to get credentialed for that one.  She‘ll do a great job.

Tonight in our text survey, I asked, do you think right wing radio gets a free pass on racial slurs?  Seventy six percent of you say, yes, 24 percent of you, say no. 

That‘s THE ED SHOW.  I‘m Ed Schultz.  I‘ll be gone next week up in the North Country catching Walleyes and Northerns.  Cenk Uygur is going to be here all next week hosting THE ED SHOW.  He‘s got a lot to say, he‘s got a lot of fans.  I know you‘ll enjoy his work.  And I‘ll be back the following week. 

For more information, go to THE ED SHOW, go to or go to my radio website at  You can hear the show on channel 167 Monday through Friday from noon to 3:00.  “HARDBALL” with Chuck Todd starts right now on the place for politics, MSNBC.   



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