updated 9/10/2010 1:10:03 PM ET 2010-09-10T17:10:03

Guests: Barry Lynn, Jim Wallis, Leo Gerard, John Feehery, Laura Flanders,

Edward Rendell, Stephen A. Smith, Roy Sekoff

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

These stories on the table and hitting my hot buttons at this hour.

           

Breaking news, the psycho pastor in Florida says he‘s canceled his plan to burn the Koran.  But the story is far from over.  He‘s claiming he‘s cut a deal to move the so-called Ground Zero mosque in New York.  Folks, you can‘t believe a word this guy says.

My commentary on that, plus we‘re going to get rapid fire response. 

That‘s all coming up.

Democrats, I want you to pay attention and listen carefully to how Governor Ed Rendell of Pennsylvania has just been hammering the Republicans.  He just said we can‘t turn our country over to the, quote, “fruit loops and crazies.”  I kind of love that kind of talk.  He‘ll bring the straight talk here in the battleground bottom of the hour.

And Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin are restoring dishonor, in my opinion.  The psycho duo, well, they are taking their circus to Alaska.  Palin said that there‘s no better way to commemorate 9/11 anniversary than to be paid for it?  It‘s disgusting.  That‘s coming up.

But this is the story obviously that has me fired up tonight.  It‘s all about this crazy pastor in Florida.  Pastor Terry Jones just announced that he will cancel his Koran-burning event.  Pastor Jones says he made the decision because the imam associated with the controversial plan to build the Islamic center here in New York near Ground Zero will move the mosque.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PASTOR TERRY JONES, DOVE WORLD OUTREACH CENTER:  The American people do not want the mosque there.  And, of course, Muslims do not want us to burn the Koran.  The imam has agreed to move the mosque.  We have agreed to cancel our event on Saturday.  And on Saturday, I will be flying up there to meet with him.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  All right, all right, time-out.  Folks, you can‘t believe a word this guy is saying.  He‘s been shooting from the hip for days now.

Now, right now, NBC News is reporting that there is no deal with the New York imam to move the cultural center away from where it was proposed here in Manhattan.

What‘s infuriating—really infuriating about all of this is that this—the world basically has been held hostage by this Pastor Jones, a small-time lunatic zealot.  I mean, this nut has gotten the president of the United States, the State Department, the Pentagon, the FBI, General Petraeus, Hillary Clinton and Interpol.  I mean, it doesn‘t get any higher than that, does it?

I mean, we have to really put this in perspective.  This is an unparalleled example in my opinion in the information age of how a fly on the wall can suck the air out of the room to the point where the president of the United States has gotten involved.  And he‘s been poorly managed in my opinion on that.

For the last month, basically, the last 45 days, you‘ve got Glenn Beck and Newt Gingrich and the rest of these crazy Republican right wingers, they have said that the imam behind the planned Ground Zero center was a threat to this country.

I believe the reckless nutjobs across the street and Republican politicians bear some responsibility for this entire scenario that is playing out.  They spent the month of August scaring the hell out of America about the Muslim faith.  Newt got the ball-rolling when he said this:

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

NEWT GINGRICH ®, FORMER HOUSE SPEAKER:  Nazis don‘t have the right to put up a sign next to the Holocaust Museum in Washington.  We would never accept the Japanese putting up a site next to Pearl Harbor.  There‘s no reason for us to accept a mosque next to the World Trade Center.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  Well, one of the other FOX News 2012 presidential contenders put it this way as well:

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SARAH PALIN ®, FORMER ALASKA GOVERNOR:  He just doesn‘t get it, that this is an insensitive move on the part on the those Muslim who want to build this mosque in this location.  It feels like a stab in the heart of, collectively, American who‘s still have that lingering pain from 9/11.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  Terry Jones is a huckster who saw an opening and tried to capitalize on all the anti-Muslim nonsense FOX has cooked up this past summer.  This is flat-out dangerous, and it‘s never going to stop.  The story just gets weirder by the second.

We‘re now hearing that Donald Trump has made an offer to buy out one of the major investors in the building where the Ground Zero Islamic center was planned.  Trump said that he was making the offer not because it‘s a great location, but because it would end a, quote, “very serious, inflammatory and a highly divisive situation.”  The lawyer for the investor just declined the offer.  He says that Trump‘s offer is just a cheap attempt to get publicity and get into the limelight.

Can we back up just a little bit, folks?  Can we back up to how this whole thing started?

General Petraeus does an interview with the “Wall Street Journal” and it‘s published on Labor Day.  He says that the troops are in harm‘s way because of this nutjob pastor down in Florida because of what he said.  This pastor who has a following of how many?  Tens, 20, 30, 40, 50 people at the most?  Nobody‘s ever heard of this guy before but because General Petraeus says it, obviously, the media takes it to a whole new level and escalates the story.

At that point, there should have been red flags going off in the White House.  OK, our guy President Obama, is not going to get involved.  We‘re going to cut this off at the pass.

Don‘t we have any undercover agents that could have gone down and had a conversation with this nutjob and said, “You know what, you got the attention of the boss.  You got the attention of the generals.  You know, you really don‘t want to do this because this is what‘s going to happen, the American thing for you to do would be to back off on this because you‘re going to put a lot of soldiers in harm‘s way.”

Well, the White House didn‘t play it like that.  The White House has been winging it.

You know, Rahm Emanuel, there‘s a lot of talk about you being the mayor of Chicago.  I think you‘re already the mayor.  You‘re acting like the mayor, because you checked out.  You let your guy go on national television today and put the president in an untenable position answering to a nutjob down in Florida.

Now, tell me, folks, do you really think the president has been served well by the people around him now that it‘s elevated to this point?  They should have quietly gone down and managed this situation.

Now, it‘s blown up into what?  You‘ve got demonstrations overseas.

I would really like to know, did the White House know that General Petraeus was going to say this in an interview or was he just winging it and didn‘t understand the effect of his words were going to have?  I mean, this thing has spun out of control and now you‘ve got the president of the United States on a morning show this morning talking about what?  Answering about things that he shouldn‘t have to talk about.

Mr. President, you have gotten some real poor advice.  Yesterday, you went to Cleveland and you gave a hell of a speech on the economy.  That‘s where the country should be focused on.  But instead, 14 hours later, you‘re on the morning show talking about—well, you know the guy‘s got a right to burn it but we really don‘t—is that where you want to be, Mr.  President?  It‘s not your fault.

Rahm Emanuel who‘s been just working himself all over the media about

well, this is really the job I want.  Rahm, you‘ve checked out, buddy. 

You‘re already the mayor of Chicago in your mind.  You‘re not serving the president well.  And now, look what the mess we have on our hands.

The president of the United States deserves a hell of a lot better than what he‘s getting.  They are winging it from day one, which really doesn‘t bode well when it comes to confidence of turning the economy around.  The focus should be the economy.  The president gives a great speech in Cleveland, and hours later, he has to deal with this.

I‘d like to know, in the White House, maybe you can tell us—did the president know last night or yesterday afternoon when he was speaking in Cleveland that he was going to have to go on the morning shows this morning and answer to this nutjob?  You mean to tell me that there‘s nobody in the White House that can run interference for the president to defuse all of this?  How are you going to defuse it now?

You‘re not.  It‘s out.  And now, we‘ve got a bunch of cross chatter—well, this is true, well, that‘s not really true, well, he said this, well, he said that.  And the president is in the middle of all of this garbage?

Mr. President, why don‘t you just do the country a favor and fire Rahm Emanuel?  He‘s the chief of staff.  He should have never let you get in this situation.  You are better than this, Mr. Obama.  There‘s—how many millions of people in this country that are out of work?  Isn‘t that supposed to be our focus?  Instead, we‘re focusing on this.

And I think it‘s a very fair question that I think the American people ought to be asking.  General Petraeus, did the White House know that you were going to say this, or were you winging it?

Folks, tell me what you think in our telephone survey tonight.  The number to dial is 1-877-ED-MSNBC.  My question tonight is: At this point, do you believe anything Pastor Terry Jones says?  Press the number one for “yes,” press the number two for “no.”  We‘ll bring you the results later on in the show.

Well, so we‘re at a crossroads here.  Everybody in the government is trying to get this pastor to back off.  He says he‘s got a deal.  He doesn‘t have a deal.  So, we‘ve got a lot of cross chatter on that.

Meantime, Defense Secretary Robert Gibbs calls this guy and tells him to back off.

And, of course, there‘s the religious community out there saying, gosh, where do we stand on this?  How do we handle this guy—now that he‘s been elevated to the point where the president of the United States is responding to him is where you don‘t want to be.

Joining me now is Reverend Jim Wallis.  He is the president of Sojourners.  And also, Reverend Barry Lynn, executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State.

Well, gentlemen.

We‘ll start with you, Reverend Lynn, first.

What should we do as a country right now?  We don‘t know what to believe what the heck‘s going on?

REV. BARRY LYNN, AMERICANS UNITED:  No, I think—but you‘re absolutely right in suggesting that the administration handle this very poorly.  You certainly don‘t have the secretary of defense calling and essentially begging this fringe character in Florida to change his plans.  In fact, if the secretary of defense, for example had done a whirlwind tour around the world speaking in the last 30 hours or so to Islamic nations around the world how this country functions, why the government is not held responsible for the craziest things somebody says in a little church in Florida, explaining that to the American people again because sometimes we need to be reminded of that, and to the Islamic world, I think we would have gotten a lot further than we got now.

Now, we have the prospect if somebody decides overnight they‘re going to burn Korans in Georgia or Montana or northern California, does Secretary Gates have to talk to them also?  Does Hillary Clinton, the secretary of state, have to discuss it with them?

I think there is no way to go but off this cliff unless we fundamentally get the administration to start talking to the Islamic world and explaining us and not talking any more to Pastor Jones whether he‘s in New York or on another planet, which is probably where he is.

SCHULTZ:  Reverend Jim Wallis, your take on all of this.

REV. JIM WALLIS, SOJOURNERS:  You know, sometimes there are moments when we should all take a deep breath.  I think this might be one of those times.

On September 11th, we should honor those who died.  We should honor those who responded.  We should honor the principles that make us different than those who attacked us.

And there‘s a pastor in Florida who—I‘m a Christian leader—I don‘t know anyone who even knows him.  He is a congregation you can count on two hands, and he is—he is on September 11th, creating new flames of violence and hate.  That‘s what he‘s threatening to do.

SCHULTZ:  “The Associated Press.”

(CROSSTALK)

WALLIS:  Dishonoring our principles—

SCHULTZ:  Yes.  “The Associated Press” and FOX News.

WALLIS:  -- dishonoring families.

SCHULTZ:  “The Associated Press” and FOX News is now saying they‘re not going to be covering this on Saturday.  Isn‘t it interesting how FOX comes in and stirs the pot for over a month talking about this, you know, Islamic cultural center down the street and now, all of a sudden, we it gets to this point, oh, they‘re jumping out.

LYNN:  You know, Ed, this is Barry—I think one of the things that happens, whatever is lit or not lit down in Florida or anywhere else on Saturday, any Korans being burn, those matches were lit by the very people that you‘ve been talking about, the Glenn Becks, the Newt Gingriches.  You reap what you sow.

The reason that freedom of speech is so important in this country is because we understand that it has effects.  And I think people better be listening long and hard to their own conscience tonight if they started this Islam bashing as so many of them did months and indeed years ago.  It‘s not just one pastor.  It‘s a lot of people who should have trouble sleeping tonight.

SCHULTZ:  Reverend Wallis, would it be worth while for you and Reverend Lynn to maybe reach out to this pastor, this guy down in Florida and ask him not to do it?  Have any Christian leaders reached out to this guy at all?

WALLIS:  Oh, many people have tried.  I‘ve said today that pastors across the country, especially evangelicals and Charismatics should call him.  And he is—he is—he is slapping the face of Jesus here.  No one believes Jesus would do something like this.

I was really pleased by the Massachusetts Bible Society today—this got lost in the news—their response was to say, the bible society, we will giveaway—we will print and giveaway two copies of every Koran that he burns.

Now, what I‘ve said, we should surround that place tomorrow with the prayers of people of faith.  A huge outpouring to say this is not our faith.  This has nothing to do with our faith.

And politicians—politicians, you‘re all right, political self-interest has intruded to fan the flames of prejudice and our worst angels.  This is a time when we either call for the best in us or for the worst.  And I think this really is a test of our character.  Everyone has condemned this.  Everyone has said this is wrong.

SCHULTZ:  Well, why does it—

(CROSSTALK)

WALLIS:  I think what we do as a people.

LYNN:  Jim, Franklin Graham allegedly wrote a letter to Pastor Jones.  It was release this afternoon.  He says, you know, it‘s never right to burn anyone‘s holy scripture, but the point is, Franklin Graham, as a world famous religious leader, has been the guy fanning the flames, calling—just four months ago, calling Islam, not terrorists but all of Islam evil and wicked.  Now, he says, well, I‘m shocked that anybody would now take it upon themselves to burn the Koran.

SCHULTZ:  Yes.

LYNN:  If you‘re going to demonize a whole religion, then I think you better not cry crocodile tears this late in the game when somebody goes a little bit further than you might go in causing hurt and pain in the Muslim communities here and around the world.

SCHULTZ:  Reverend Barry—

(CROSSTALK)

SCHULTZ:  Go ahead and respond, Jim.

WALLIS:  I‘m in Chicago and I met today with a bunch of young people from the Interfaith Youth Core.  They‘re Christians, Jews, Muslims, young people.  And they believe that they want to show that their faith means they serve their communities and they‘re in such pain at how this narrative at 30,000 feet is undermining the narrative of their lives every day.

I think most people in this country want to go in a different direction.  I think we are going in a different direction.  I don‘t want Terry Jones—

SCHULTZ:  Yes.

WALLIS:  -- or Franklin Graham‘s irresponsible comments to change the fact that Jesus was a peacemaker.

SCHULTZ:  He was.  Gentlemen, we have to leave it there.

Jim Wallis and Barry Lynn—thanks for joining us tonight on this very important subject.

Coming up: you won‘t believe how Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin have decided to spend 9/11 and what people are spending just to be near them.

And straight-talking Eddy Rendell, the governor from Pennsylvania, just labeled the Republican Party as a bunch of “fruit looms (ph)” and there‘s a lot more where that came from.  He‘ll sound off with me in the battleground story tonight.

Senator Vitter gets challenged to a steel cage match and Sharron Angle lands in the zone.

You‘re watching THE ED SHOW on MSNBC.  Stay with us.  We‘ll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ:  Up next on THE ED SHOW: Americans, well, we need to keep their eye on the ball.  Here‘s one thing that matters the most: jobs.  Republicans are crying about tax cuts.  Nutjobs are threatening to burn the Koran, and at the same time—this just in—China is eating our lunch.  Anybody care?

The president of the steelworkers cares a lot about it.  He‘ll be here next.  Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

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

We‘ve lost focus as a nation in my opinion.  We‘re all haggling over tax cuts for the top 2 percent and burning Korans, and having mindless conversation with a pastor in Florida.

In the meantime, anybody paying attention?  China is eating our lunch when it comes to the energy sector—you know, the sector we‘re supposed to be adding jobs.  Now, we all know our trade agreements are horrendous.  Now, we have more evidence that China is cheating again.

United Steelworkers Union says China is taking over the global—did you get that—taking over the global green energy market through illegal subsidies and loans.  They are in clear violation of the international trade law.  The unions are calling them out on it.  They want the Obama administration and the WTO to get involved and stop China from cheating.

But that‘s only half the battle.  America needs to get in the game.  The president keeps talking about green jobs and an investment in green jobs.  Anybody over on the Republican side listening to that?

China has more than doubled their efforts against the United States in this arena.  You know who‘s listening when it comes to green jobs?  The Chinese.

Leo Gerard is the president of the United Steelworkers International. 

He‘s calling them out on it.

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

Where are they cheating, just what are they doing and where are we losing?

LEO GERARD, UNITED STEELWORKERS INT‘L:  Ed, they‘re cheating on almost every piece of their commitments under the WTO that they committed to us to join the WTO, certain actions.  They‘re doing things like export subsidies.  They‘re doing things like free land.  They‘re doing things like demanding that we do technology transfers.  They‘re demanding that they will have certain requirements of their domestic content that we don‘t do.

And today, we filed a 5,800-page brief, made 40 copies of it and delivered it in 80 boxes to the U.S. trade representatives, pointing out in five key areas where China is deliberately and consistently violating the trade rules, not just of our nation but of the WTO.

And to give you a couple examples that you alluded to—in 2009, China doubled its export of wind turbines to America.  In two years, China is now controlling in the neighborhood of 35 percent of global solar panel production.

Just 10 months ago or so, a Chinese official said that they‘re going to dominant the renewable energy sector no matter what it takes.  And what they‘re doing to do is they‘re violating the law and we call them out today.

SCHULTZ:  So, in the meantime, we have a government that is dysfunctional when comes to the green sector commitment of creating jobs in this country.  Once again, we‘re handing it over to the Chinese.  I mean, that‘s the short of it, is it not?

GERARD:  The reality is that—and I‘m very, very upset about this part—our president has advanced the right agenda.  Our president and the Democratic House of Representatives and a majority in the Senate have moved the legislation, have moved the financing, so that we could at least get in the game.  And the Republican leadership and their caucus have done everything they can possibly do to prevent us from moving forward.

And as we‘ve been having these squabbles with Republican filibusters, the Chinese have been dumping into our market.  They‘ve been expanding their globe.

Let me give you an example, they control 95 percent of what‘s called rare earth minerals that are needed to make certain kinds of technological advancements, and they have now have an export prohibition on those rare earth minerals that we‘re now fighting about that.

SCHULTZ:  Yes.

GERARD:  So, everywhere they can dominate, get an extra foot ahead, they‘re getting it.  And our Republican caucus is doing everything they can do to stop us from moving forward.

SCHULTZ:  And this is where the jobs in America can be created.  This is exactly the sector of growth where America can go.  And here, we are standing idle, almost idle, compared to the Chinese.  And we‘re haggling over whether tax cuts should be extended for the top 2 percent instead of focusing on jobs.  I mean, it‘s almost like a global economic war.

GERARD:  Ed, let me give you a suggestion I‘ve made to a number of people.  Take the unwarranted tax cuts to the ultra-rich 2 percent of the population and take that almost $900 billion it would generate and direct it all to the green energy sector.  Put us back in the game.

As the Chinese are doing this, let me tell you, they‘re also demanding that the research and development follow it.  And you know, I don‘t often quote CEOs, but Jeff Immelt, the CEO of G.E., said it‘s time that we started to re-grow our manufacturing sector.  That‘s a point where he and I agree.  And we‘re not going to do it unless we re-grow our manufacturing by leading.

SCHULTZ:  We should be making—yes—we should be making these wind turbines.  We should be making everything in the energy sector, and our commitment should be at home.  In the meantime, the Chinese are eating our lunch and the free traders are killing us on this.

GERARD:  And, Ed, let me give you a fact here.  Our name is steelworkers, right?

SCHULTZ:  I got to run here, Leo.  We‘ll do it again.  It‘s great to have you with us.  We will stay on the story.  It is so vital to America‘s economy.

Coming up—

GERARD:  It‘s crucial.

SCHULTZ:  No doubt.

Coming up: Sharron Angle is insisting she‘s mainstream even though she just compared herself to some of the most extreme psycho talkers out there.  It‘s tea time for her next in the zone.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ:  And in “Psycho Talk” tonight, Nevada tea partier Sharron Angle still trying to convince people that she‘s really not an extremist.  Even though she wants to get rid of Social Security and said President Obama is violating the First Commandment.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REPORTER:  What are Sharron Angle‘s politics?

SHARRON ANGLE ®, NEVADA SENATORIAL CANDIDATE:  I‘m a mainstream American and mainstream Nevada understand that very well.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  I bet they do.  Sharon is thinking she‘s mainstream, could be psycho talk all by itself.  But we go further, there‘s a lot more.  She went on to say that she‘ll be in good company in Congress with other supposedly mainstream thinkers like herself.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REPORTER:  What is Sharron Angle in the United States Senate going to be like?  How are you going to fit in?

ANGLE:  Oh, I think that I‘ll fit in just fine.  You know, there are folks there that already think like I do, Jim DeMint, Tom Coburn, Mike Pence, Michele Bachmann.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  Actually, Bachmann‘s over in the House, Sharron.

Sharron, you can‘t be like Senator Waterloo and the founder of the Tea Party caucus and be in the mainstream at the same time.  Can happen in (INAUDIBLE), but nutjobs like DeMint, Coburn, Pence and Bachmann are mainstream Americans is extreme political “psycho talk.”

Coming up, Democrats need to follow President Obama‘s lead and step up and just continue to hammer republicans as the party of no.  Straight talking Governor Ed Rendell of Pennsylvania just called the republicans whackos and took a shot at Boehner‘s tan.  I love it.  He‘ll go even further, next in the Battleground.  

And breaking news, the Imam behind the Islamic Center near Ground Zero says, he never talked to Pastor Jones.  What a psycho talking liar this pastor is?  All that plus we‘ve got Palin and Beck will be making money on 9/11.  And I‘ll talk Favre with my main man, Stephen A. Smith in the Playbook.  You‘re watching THE ED SHOW on MSNBC.  Stay with us.   

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ:  Welcome back to THE ED SHOW.  Thanks for joining us tonight.  More on the breaking news right now.  The nut job pastor in Florida has canceled his Koran-burning event claiming that he was able to get the proposed mosque near Ground Zero moved.  But that comment appears to be false. 

The Imam behind the Muslim community center in Lower Manhattan in New York just put out this statement.  “I‘m glad that Pastor Jones has decided not to burn any Korans.  However, I have not spoken to Pastor Jones or Imam Musri.  I am surprised by their announcement.  We are not going to toy with our religion or any other, nor are we going to barter.  We are here to extend our hands to build peace and harmony.”  Now, in the wake of all of this, the pastor just said moments ago that he was lied to about the New York mosque moving. 

Joining me now is Laura Flanders, author of “Blue Grit” and host of Grit TV on free speech TV and John Feehery, republican strategist.  Well, there‘s about 18 different angles I can take on this one because the story is so fluid.  John Feehery, what do you make of it at this point after the president has been involved in this?

JOHN FEEHERY, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST:  Boy, Ed, that‘s a great question.  I look at this whole thing and I wonder why does a guy who has about a 30-person congregation get so much press and why is the media making such a huge circus out of this.  And you know, how can we manage this in such a way so that we don‘t have someone with such a small influence have such a big influence on our national security.  It‘s really troubling to me.  I think this whole story is, you know, is such an amazing thing that someone like Pastor Jones can get so much press.  This really kind of makes me scratch my head.  

SCHULTZ:  Well, I think General Petraeus has something to do with all of this.  Laura Flanders, what do you think?  

LAURA FLANDERS, “BLUE GRIT” AUTHOR:  Well, as much as General Petraeus, I mean, I think my friend here is right.  Media have played directly into the hands of this pastor.  But, you know what?  It‘s not about him anymore.  Terry Jones.  I always wish this was the Monty Python Terry Jones.  It would have been so much more fan.  But it‘s never been about him alone.  And it‘s not about him alone now.  The reason that story took off was because it fit with the narrative that has been coming at us ever since the Barack Obama administration came into town.  There are folks out there who want to maintain the Bush era by other means and they‘re doing just that.  Remember that fear and fright and. 

(CROSSTALK)

SCHULTZ:  John, what about that?  John Feehery.  

FLANDERS:  Let me just say, Newt  Gingrich has a DVD, he‘s released these days called “America at  Risk,” brought to you by the same people, the Citizens United, it‘s just like what Terry Jones is doing only a little bit more behind the scenes.  It‘s outrageous. 

SCHULTZ:  John, is this pastor in Florida following a narrative that we‘ve seen play out on conservative talk for the last couple months?

FEEHERY:  No, not at all.  

SCHULTZ:  So, there‘s no connection?

FEEHERY:  I think Pastor Jones is doing something to get publicity.  I think we‘ve given him a lot of publicity.  This has nothing to do with Newt Gingrich or any republican.  

FLANDERS:  It‘s not just crazies out there in Gainesville who is giving us this language that everybody is out to get us and we must fight back.  Newt Gingrich is doing that in a DVD—around the country.  America at risk around the corner, that is what he‘s saying. 

(CROSSTALK)

FEEHERY:  No responsible respectable person is saying we should burn any holy book.  

FLANDERS:  Sharia law is a direct threat to the United States, it‘s a baloney. 

(CROSSTALK)

SCHULTZ:  The conservative talkers in this country including Mr.  Gingrich have targeted the Muslim faith and the Islamic faith and painted them with a broad brush that really stroked the passions and the emotions of a lot of the Americans as we should be fearful of this faith.  You don‘t believe that?

FEEHERY:  I think that—well, the connection between burning Korans and having some questions raised about where to put the 9/11 mosque and making that connection, I don‘t think any responsible politician is making that connection.  

(TALKING OVER EACH OTHER) 

FLANDERS:  Wait a minute, Boehner did it yesterday and Palin, you may not be respectable, but Palin and Boehner, it‘s their playbook that this guy is drawing from they‘re the ones who was saying, there‘s some kind equivalents between the two.  It‘s outrageous what‘s happening in New York, some Imam try to have a cultural center with swimming pool and daycare. 

(CROSSTALK)

FEEHERY:  No responsible person saying that.

SCHULTZ:  It was fueled by a lot of this negative talk towards that faith and they painted it with a broad brush like every Muslim, every one of the Islamic faith is a terrorist.  I mean, John, you got to admit that. 

FEEHERY:  No.

SCHULTZ:  Here‘s the president I think in an untenable position this morning on GMA.  Here it is.  

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA (D), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:  This stunt that he is talking about pulling could greatly endanger our young men and women in uniform who are in Iraq, who are in Afghanistan.  This is a recruitment bonanza for Al Qaeda.  You know, you could have serious violence in places like Pakistan or Afghanistan.  This could increase the recruitment of individuals who would be willing to blow themselves up in American cities or European cities. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  Blow themselves up in American cities.  I can‘t believe it‘s gotten to this level.  I think the president‘s been ill advised.  What do you think, Laura?

FLANDERS:  Oh, I‘m with you.  I mean, people talk about Rahm Emanuel running for mayor of Chicago.  He just needs to run out of the White House.  This guy is not being well managed.  It‘s an outrage the president responded to this.  

SCHULTZ:  John, would you have advised the president to do that interview and take it to that level?

FEEHERY:  No, I think it‘s a huge mistake.  For someone like Terry Jones, this is a dream.  The president is talking about you.  And you know, to give the president—for the president to give this guy this kind of platform is just a huge error. 

SCHULTZ:  Laura Flanders, John Feehery, great to have you with us tonight.  Thanks so much.  

FEEHERY:  Thank you.

SCHULTZ:  Now let‘s go to the Battleground story tonight.  Democrats are finally going on the offensive against the fruit loops.  That‘s what Governor Ed Rendell of Pennsylvania called some of the republican candidates running in 2010.  He says that they are whackos and their ideas are flat-out crazy.  People have jumped on the governor for using those words, but he understands the stakes.  We cannot hand our country over to Michele Bachmann and Sharron Angle.  The president went after the tan man yesterday calling him out eight times on his speech on the economy.  I hope we hear a lot more of that. 

Joining me now is Governor Ed Rendell of Pennsylvania.  Governor, good to have you with us tonight.  Well, you‘re in the news for all the right reasons in my opinion.  What do you make of all of this?

GOV. EDWARD G. RENDELL (D), PENNSYLVANIA:  Well, let me start by saying I‘m probably not a good guy to criticize John Boehner‘s tan.  So, let me start with that disclaimer.  That‘s number one.  But number two, look, obviously, all republicans aren‘t whack jobs or fruit loops but many of the people that are dominating their party and dominating the discussion are.  And here‘s the problem, the people who talk about the birthers, the president is a Muslim, we should not allow abortion even if someone is raped, we would have to force them to have the baby of the rapist, people who want to get rid of the 14th amendment, repeal the civil rights act, these people are dangerous folks.  And they‘re getting more and more in control of the Republican Party. 

So let‘s assume you‘re a Pennsylvania voter.  And you‘re in the Delaware County or Bucks County, two contested congressional races where we‘ve got a great democratic incumbent Pat Murphy in one and Brian Lance (ph), good candidate and the other, the two republicans running against him are reasonable people.  I know them.  But the problem is, if we turn control of the Congress over to the Republican Party, Michele  Bachmann says, the first thing they‘re going to do is issue subpoenas and have one hearing after another.  Now, you can say Michele Bachmann, we‘ll discount her because he‘s really nuts but Darrell Issa who‘s going to be a committee chairman has said essentially the same thing. 

These are the people who said that the president was trying to do a shakedown of BP when he got the $20 billion for the people of the gulf.  It‘s a scary prospect to have them running the government.  So independent voters and the democratic base, we got to get off our duffs, take a deep breath, look at the facts and say, we don‘t want to turn the reins of government over to people who are going to be so much influenced by these crazy ideas. 

SCHULTZ:  You know, governor, what you just said, I wonder if that‘s going to be enough to excite the democratic base to go out there and do what they have to do.  The president released a schedule today.  He‘s going to go to Wisconsin, he‘s going to go to Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Nevada.  Now, we know the political landscape in all of those states right now is, this going to have a big effect and help the democrats.

RENDELL:  I think the president will.  This idea that the president stays away from your state and he‘s on unpopular in certain areas, that‘s going to be good.  Everyone knows he‘s the president, knows he‘s a democrat.  But he can help rev up the base, particularly if he keeps talking the way he‘s talking and keeps talking about some of the disgraceful things that are going on.  Let me give you the number one example.  The republicans have talked for months and months, we have to help small business, help small business. 

SCHULTZ:  Yes.

RENDELL:  Well, the president‘s had a bill, it‘s been in the hopper for four months that would give $30 billion of lending to the small businesses of this country, would eliminate capital gains tax on investments made in small businesses.  It‘s fully paid for.  And the republicans, we can‘t get one republican senator to vote, to cut off a filibuster so we can put that bill into law.  

SCHULTZ:  It‘s all about power.  

RENDELL:  It‘s the party of no, and democrats and independents are making a huge mistake if they sit home.  They‘ve got to get out there and vote to preserve sanity and rationality and to preserve the right type of government, government that isn‘t divisive.  I mean, you hear these candidates and it scares you to your core. 

SCHULTZ:  Well, the issue that you just brought up about, you know, all of the small business stuff, they never get asked any of these questions.  I mean, it‘s constantly attacking socialism, it‘s constantly attacking the president.  It‘s a straw man argument for all of these nut jobs that are out there that are running.  I think you hit it out of the park.  I‘m glad you did it.  And finally, is Joe Sestak going to win in Pennsylvania, in your opinion?  The president is going to go there and stump for him, which I think, you know, there‘s a lot of hatchets being buried and there is team players stepping on board.  Is Joe going to win in Pennsylvania? 

RENDELL:  I think the answer to that is very simple, Ed.  If democrats forget about the fact that they‘re a little disappointed in this, a little disappointed in that, and they know what the stakes are, and the stakes are, do we want to turn the government over to a party that so influence by people who were so different in their ideas than us, that ought to be enough to get us off our seats.  There are 1.3 million more registered democrats in Pennsylvania.  If we get excited, Joe Sestak wins and we ought to win.  

SCHULTZ:  And governor, I think your tan is natural.  I know Boehner works on his.  Good to have you with us tonight.  

(LAUGHTER)

RENDELL:  Mine is, mine is.  Thanks.  

SCHULTZ:  Coming up, folks, I‘ve been waiting for this for eight months tonight.  Brett Favre, my hero and the Vikings, they head back to New Orleans to take on the champions.  I‘m talking to Stephen A. Smith, next in the playbook.  Stay with us.  Don‘t shake your head, brother, you know who‘s going to win that game tonight.  We‘re right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ:  And it‘s not too late to let us know what you think.  The number to dial tonight is 1-877-ed-msnbc.  Tonight‘s telephone survey question is, at this point, do you believe anything Pastor Terry Jones says? Press the number one for yes, press the number two for no.  Again, the number to dial is 1-877-ed-msnbc.  We‘re right back.  Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ:  And in my Playbook tonight, my Vikings are going to spoil the party on Bourbon Street tonight.  You can count on it.  NFL season kicks off on NBC about an hour.  It should be a dandy.  Now, I‘ve been waiting for eight months for this rematch between the Vikings and the Saints.  The last time, well, let‘s roll it back, they played in January, Brett Favre threw the season away with an interception at the end.  Drew Brees went on with the saints to win the Super Bowl.  None of that matters now because tonight is a new season.  My buddy, Stephen A. Smith, nationally syndicated radio talk show host and also a Brett Favre disliker talks with us tonight.  All right.  Stephen A., last year was last year.  

STEPHEN A. SMITH, NATIONALLY SYNDICATED RADIO TALK SHOW HOST:  Yes.  

SCHULTZ:  Tonight, it‘s Brett Favre and revenge.  He‘s going to get it done, he‘s going to start the NFL season off great.  I assume you don‘t agree with me.  

SMITH:  Well, Ed, I understand you‘re allowed to dream.  It‘s a beautiful thing.  It‘s really nice to see you dream and the fact of the matter is I expect Brett Favre to get beat down tonight.  Pure and simple.  I‘ll be surprised if he‘s walking in the second half.  Simply put, this is a man that decided to stay home in Hattiesburg, Mississippi as opposed to be in training camp from day one.  You remember that fake retirement ceremony that he keeps conducting annually.

SCHULTZ:  It‘s all promotion.  

SMITH:  Excuse me?

SCHULTZ:  It‘s all promotion.

SMITH:  It‘s ridiculous, it‘s embarrassing.  And if he were a republican, an outright republican, you would call him out.  But for some reason, he must be the ultimate liberal because you give him a pass.  

SCHULTZ:  Actually, I think he is a righty.  But as long as he throws touch downs, I‘ll accept him.  

SMITH:  Listen, the man does not—he wants to show up when the lights are shining bright.  He wants to show up when the crowd is in attendance. 

SCHULTZ:  Is he over the hill?

SMITH:  Oh, he‘s not over the hill.  Anytime you throw 33 touch downs, seven interceptions, have a quarterback rating of 107, pass for 4202 yards, you‘re not over the hill.  But at the same time, is he a Super Bowl champion?  No, last time I checked that would be Drew Brees.  

SCHULTZ:  All right.  Here‘s the deal, Favre has a pretty harsh words for the media, he says, “It‘s been a media frenzy world and nothing goes untouched and un-talked about.  I quietly—I thought quietly this off-season, tried to make my decision.  Of course, once we got months before camp, the media started camping out at the gate.  I never asked them to come, I never asked them to talk about it.”  

SMITH:  Ed, can I respond to that?

SCHULTZ:  Yes, you can.

SMITH:  Here‘s the bottom line.  In January after he threw that interception that cost them a Super Bowl championship as far as I‘m concerned, he immediately spoke to the media thereafter.  He says I‘m not going to take along at all.  In a couple of weeks, I will have a decision for you, I will not let this drag out.  What did he do subsequently?  He waited four months to get his ankle surgery, he waited an additional 2 ½ months after that to show up to training camp.  And when did he do that?  After three teammates had to fly to Hattiesburg, Mississippi to beg him to come back and play.  Does that sound like a man that‘s looking out for his teammates or that sounds like a man who‘s looking out for himself?  Does that sound like a person that the media was bothering or does that sound like a person acting like a media—looking for the media to draw attention to him?  

SCHULTZ:  He did get a $7 million raise.  

SMITH:  And that something. 

SCHULTZ:  Nothing wrong with that.

SMITH:  You‘re right.  He is a republican.  I‘m sorry.  I apologize. 

My bad.  My bad.  

SCHULTZ:  Stephen A., give me a score tonight.  Saints win it?

SMITH:  Thirty five-21. 

SCHULTZ:  OK.

SMITH:  They‘re going to beat you down, I‘m sorry.  

SCHULTZ:  Good to see you my man. 

SMITH:  Always.

SCHULTZ:  Thanks for joining us tonight. 

SMITH:  All right, buddy.

SCHULTZ:  Stephen A. Smith with us tonight.  And you can catch the game on NBC starting at 7:30 tonight.  Looking forward to it.  

Coming up, Sarah Palin says, she can think of no better way to commemorate 9/11 than to gather with patriots and listen to Glenn Beck.  “Huffington Post” co-founder Roy Sekoff tackles that one, next.  Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ:  And finally tonight on THE ED SHOW, Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin fans can see their dream team in person at a rally in anchorage, Alaska on September 11th.  But it‘s going to cost you.  Tickets start at $73.75 and top out at $225 for a meet and greet with the psycho stars.  And if you fork over the cash, Palin promises a great evening with her buddy Beck.  In a Facebook posting, she wrote, “We can count on Glenn to make the night interesting and inspiring and I can think of no better way to commemorate 9/11 than to gather with patriots who will never forget.”  Really, Sarah?  You can think of no better way than listening to this guy?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BECK:  I don‘t think anybody in their right mind is going to ever say this out loud.  But I wonder if I‘m the only one that feels this way.  You know, it took me about a year to start hating the 9/11 victims‘ families.  It took me about a year.  When I see, you know, 9/11 victim family, you know, on television or whatever, I‘m just like, oh shut up.  I‘m so sick of them because they‘re always complaining. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  Joining me now is Roy Sekoff, founding editor of the “Huffington Post.”  My friend, you have the microphone after that.  

ROY SEKOFF, “HUFFINGTON POST” FOUNDING EDITOR:  Well, there it was.  I finally now know what restoring honor looks like.  Boom, there it is.  It‘s $225 a pop for a meet and greet with a guy who wants the victims‘ families to shut up.  It‘s remarkable, Ed, you know, and the other thing about this event, you can‘t say that they have no feeling, the organizers though.  If you read the details, they‘re going to have a dry section with no alcohol and a wet section if you want to get boozed up to commemorate 9/11.  What‘s next, are they going to have a crassly commercial section over here and, you know, horrifically opportunistic section over there?  Maybe sell some tchotchkes in the lobby.  It‘s pretty pathetic.

SCHULTZ:  The event coordinator promoter Chris Cox says that the 9/11 date is just a coincidence.  Isn‘t it interesting how all these coincidence seem to follow Glenn Beck?  Wasn‘t it a coincidence that he did his rally on Dr. Martin Luther King‘s date on August 28, it‘s just a coincidence, what do you make of it?

SEKOFF:  Yes, it‘s funny, the guy said that the reason it‘s on 9/11 was because on September 4th, he didn‘t want to compete with the Alaska fair.  You know, that would be a bad optical thing to compete with the Alaska fair.  So, instead, he‘s going to have this, you know, for profit events on 9/11.  Here‘s the amazing thing for me though, Ed.  Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck, whatever else they are, they‘re media savvy.  And now that the details of this are coming out, you know, it‘s got to play bad.  So, I‘m asking you, what‘s the over under on them finally come out and saying, well, we‘re going to donate a lot of proceeds to charity?  By the time we stop talking.

SCHULTZ:  After expenses I‘m sure there‘s probably some jet travel in there, the best hotels.  Of course, we know how Sarah likes to live it up.  But, is it kosher to charge, is it Morally fine to charge people on a 9/11 event?  What do you think?

SEKOFF:  Well, that‘s the thing.  I mean, it‘s clearly cashing in on this sacred event.  I mean, she says, she can think of no better way to commemorate 9/11?  I can think of about nearly 3,000 ways.  

SCHULTZ:  I would think so.  It‘s a Jekyll and Hyde situation with Beck.  I mean that, sound bite was what it was.  And to commemorate after saying something like that, isn‘t that a 180 in character, a 180 in moral compass?  Your thoughts, Roy.  

SEKOFF:  I can‘t do the math, Ed.  I think he‘s spinning around like a top.  He says, nobody in their right mind would say that.  Well, there he is, he‘s giving you the postcard right from the edge.  He‘s not in his right mind.  But he is savvy about making money.  He made $32 million last year.  So, you know, I think he‘ll say anything, I think, he‘ll do anything, I think, he‘ll exploit anything.  You know, he‘ll say something negative about the mosque and then he‘ll change his mind about it, he‘ll say something, you know, negative about Obama then backtrack on it.  You know, he‘ll say it‘s not about politics, then he‘ll be incredibly political the next day.  I mean, that‘s who he is.  And all the time, he‘ll just keep trying to sell those gold coins. 

SCHULTZ:  Roy Sekoff, “Huffington Post.”  Great to have you with us tonight.  Thanks so much.  

Tonight in our survey, I asked, at this point, do you believe anything Pastor Terry Jones says?  Five percent of you said yes, 95 percent of you said no. 

That‘s THE ED SHOW.  I‘m Ed Schultz.  A live edition of “HARDBALL” with Chris Matthews starts right now on the place for politics MSNBC.  Go Vikes.  We‘ll see you tomorrow night from the Minneapolis.  Have a great one.

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