Guests: Sherrod Brown, Cindy Paoletti; Barry Lynn, Mike Papantonio, Karen
Hunter, Heidi Harris, Joan Walsh, Lizz Winstead
ED SCHULTZ, MSNBC ANCHOR: Good evening, Americans, and welcome to THE ED SHOW tonight from Minneapolis.
These stories on the table and hitting “My Hot Buttons” at this hour.
President Obama cut through the burning questions today in his news conference and kept his eye on the ball. He‘s focused on jobs, and not some nut job pastor down in Florida. Commentary on that coming up in just a moment.
The nation‘s leading hate-monger, Newt Gingrich, is recklessly comparing the psycho pastor‘s plot to Ground Zero imam‘s motives. He was back at it on Fox News this morning and beat the drum with a big speech today. The Reverend Barry Lynn was front and center with him, and he‘ll sound off coming up later in the show.
Plus, “Daily Show” co-creator Lizz Winstead gives her take on “The Beckster‘s” 9/11 event with “Caribou Barbie.”
But this is the story that has me fired up tonight. President Obama stepped it up today, kept his eye on the ball, and focused on the burning crisis in this country.
Folks, I‘m not talking about burning the Koran. I‘m talking about jobs. The president made it very clear that he knows Americans are angry on a lot of issues and on edge.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Moms who are sending out resumes and not getting calls back, worried about losing homes, not being able to pay bills, you know, they‘re not feeling good right now. And I understand that. And I ran precisely because I did not think middle class families in this country were getting a fair shake.
For all the progress we‘ve made, we‘re not there yet. And that means that people are frustrated and that means people are angry. It‘s understandable that people are saying, you know, what have you done?
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: President Obama called on Congress to pass the small business bill the anti-American obstructionists in the Republican Party have been blocking for months.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: I understand there‘s an election coming up, but the American people didn‘t send us here to think about our jobs. They sent us here to think about theirs. And there are small businesses right now who are putting off plans to hire more workers because this bill is stalled.
That‘s not the kind of leadership this country deserves. And I hope we can now move forward to get small business owners the relief they need to start hiring and growing again.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Just one Republican is putting the country before his party. Outgoing senator from Ohio, Republican George Voinovich, told the president that he‘ll break the filibuster on the $30 billion small business bill when the Senate gets back to work next week.
Voinovich told “The Washington Post” this: He said, “We don‘t have time anymore to play games.”
Senator Voinovich, a lot of times on this program I just hammer the righties for not being American. Tonight, you are an American, sir.
You are putting aside all this partisan garbage that has been going on, and obviously you have been touched by the unemployed families that you have met in the state of Ohio. And I don‘t think there‘s any doubt that there might be one or two, maybe even three more Republicans that might come on board with this.
It‘s not about who‘s going to win the next election. It‘s about families in America who are struggling big-time.
Now, it‘s about damn time that we pass this small business bill in this country, because there‘s a lot of businesses out there that need the cash, that are cash-strapped, that want to move in this economy.
President Obama says Republicans are doing the same thing with the middle class tax cuts.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
OBAMA: I‘m prepared to work on a bill and sign a bill this month that would ensure that middle class families get tax relief. Ninety-seven percent of Americans make less than $250,000 a year -- $250,000 a year or less. And I‘m saying we can give those families, 97 percent, permanent tax relief.
What I‘ve got is the Republicans holding middle class tax relief hostage because they‘re insisting we‘ve got to give tax relief to millionaires and billionaires to the tune of about $100,000 per millionaire, which would cost over the course of 10 years $700 billion.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Whose side are you on? I mean, this is clear-cut. This isn‘t about left and right, Democrat, Republican.
The president of the United States is trying to do something to put people back to work, but because we‘re less than eight weeks away from an election, and because the Republicans are just thirsty for power, they will obstruct and hurt American families just to get the power.
Step up, be a player, be a statesman. Senator Voinovich is being a statesman. He‘s showing some leadership. It‘s time to stop playing games.
But do you think the two leaders in the Republican Party would change their position after today‘s press conference? Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell wasted no time in getting right after it. He says, “The president spent a lot of time blaming others and talking about more government spending, but Americans want to know when Washington is going to stop this reckless spending and debt, the burdensome red tape and job-killing taxes.”
Damn it! Stop! There are no job-killing taxes. None!
But you see, notice how Republican senators won‘t come on MSNBC, and they certainly won‘t come on my show, and explain where the taxes are going up. They lie. They flat-out lie to the American people every chance they get when it comes to the economy.
And, of course, now we‘ve got the chain-smoking “Tan Man.” He got in on the action, too. Boehner said, “Half-hearted proposals and full-throated political attacks won‘t end the uncertainty that is keeping small businesses from creating jobs.”
Where did you pick that up, Boehner? Who wrote that one for you?
What do you mean uncertainty?
The only uncertainty that the American people have in business right now is that they wonder how the Republicans are going to act if they ever do get power, because if you‘re going to block it now when millions of Americans are out of work, what are you going to do when you‘re in power? Going to get more thirsty for more tax cuts for the top two percent, and to hell with business because you‘re a bunch of free traders? And you think you don‘t want to be protectionists.
Do you ever hear a Republican talk about “buy American”? The answer to that is no. Do you ever see a Republican put out a proposal about buying American products, even advocating it?
Now, I‘m sure many of you have gone to some town hall meetings. Be fair about this now. You‘ve been to some town hall meetings maybe this past August and early September when they‘ve been on vacation.
And ask yourself the question, did the Republican candidates ever mention the middle class? Did the Republican candidates of say anything about buying American? No.
All they do is vilify Democrats and vilify this president. Those two guys in the Republican Party, they don‘t have a clue.
Democrats, it‘s time now to get focused and get this thing done when you get back. You‘re probably going to get the 60 votes. Get going on the 100 percent write-off on capital investment that the president has proposed the other day. Get something done in small business. And do something for the 99ers.
Now, if we don‘t come together as Democrats and liberals and lead the way on this jobs bill, we may not have a next time. I believe we will, but let‘s face it, you never know what‘s going to happen.
That‘s why we‘ll be standing on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial for the One Nation rally on Saturday October 2nd. I‘ll be joining the NAACP and all the unions—the AFL-CIO, the Service Employees International Union, AFSCME and the Steelworkers, the real workers of America, the wage earners of America. And I‘m determined to restore real honor for the millions of desperate Americans who have been ignored and left behind and haven‘t been the beneficiary of all those billions of dollars that the president was talking about today in his press conference.
Get your cell phones out, folks. I want to know what you think about all of this.
Tonight‘s text survey is: Do you believe President Obama is doing everything he can to make your life better? 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 a true crusader for the middle class, Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown. He sits on the Senate Appropriations and Banking Committee.
Senator, good to have you with us tonight.
SEN. SHERROD BROWN (D), OHIO: Good to be back, Ed. Thanks.
SCHULTZ: I think—you bet. I think the president hit it out of the park today focusing on jobs while I know a lot in the media has been talked about this Koran burning in Florida. But it is about jobs.
I want you to comment if you can on your colleague in Ohio, how he has now thrown his support behind this bill. What does that mean?
SHERROD: Well, I‘m proud of my senior senator from Ohio, George Voinovich. He‘s retiring at the end of the year, and he stood up and did the right thing.
And what he said was he was tired of the messaging and the politics coming out of the Republican leader‘s office, Mitch McConnell. And when McConnell goes to the floor and finds all kinds of obscure reasons, non-substantive reasons to block what the president is trying to do, what we‘re all trying to do, I think it really sums up this way—for a year and a half the president and the Democrats in the Senate and the House have tried to govern, and we‘ve passed lots of things that have begun to turn this economy around.
The Republicans have been campaigning for a year and a half, and George Voinovich is saying, I‘ve had it with the campaigning, it‘s time to do something. He sees the Chamber of Commerce, the National Federation of Independent Business that supports these bills, this legislation to help small business. We know two out of three jobs in our country, and especially in a state like Ohio, were created by small business.
And George Voinovich is stepping up, and I‘m proud of him for that.
And I know Ohio is behind him.
SCHULTZ: Senator, do you think that there might be some more Republicans that will see the light on this? Are they hurting Americans by standing in the way? What do you think?
BROWN: Well, once we‘ve broken the filibuster, I think—and George Voinovich‘s vote will do that, I think, because all 59 Democrats will vote for it, I think. And then 57 Democrats and two Independents, I think. Then some Republicans are going to kind of look around behind them and wonder, well, I don‘t know, man, everybody back in my home state, all these small businesses, are saying they need this.
So, we may see—once the dike starts to break we may see more Republicans coming aboard. And I think it started in part when the president—you said the president hit it out of the park today. The president hit it out of the park earlier this week in Cleveland when he really did focus on—for eight years in the Clinton years, 22 million new jobs were created, incomes went up, and President Clinton left President Bush with the largest surplus in American history.
Eight years of George Bush, fewer—only about a million jobs created. The middle—the incomes actually went down during his eight years. And President Bush gave President Obama the largest deficit in American history. That alone says to me, why would you go back to that philosophy with Bush of tax cuts for the rich and deregulation and more trade agreements that outsource jobs? It‘s all pretty simple.
SCHULTZ: Here‘s what you guys have to do, in my opinion, when you get back. You need to pass this bill. You need to really work on this 100 percent write-off credit of capital improvements that the president talked about last week. And also, do something for the 99ers.
Senator, I appreciate your time tonight.
BROWN: Want to do all of it. Thanks.
SCHULTZ: You have been a warrior for the middle class. I appreciate it. You‘re a standup guy.
And I have been talking about on this program for a long time the unemployed in this country. We‘ve got to do something for the 99ers. And I‘m not going to forget them.
Let‘s bring in Cindy Paoletti. She‘s a 99er from upstate New York.
Cindy, good to have you with us tonight on THE ED SHOW.
What have you tried to do during this recess? What have you tried to do during this recess? What kind of communication have you had?
CINDY PAOLETTI, 99ER: Oh, we have called senators. We have called the White House. We had a letter delivered to the White House, to President Obama. We had a letter delivered to the RNC, the DNC, basically telling them that the ones that help us will be the ones we will help when elections come.
SCHULTZ: Have you had any response from any of them?
PAOLETTI: No, not yet. And the 99ers are pretty disgusted with the way Congress has handled all of this from the beginning. They should have never went on vacation this last time without doing something to help us.
We‘ve gone way too many months without an income. Winter‘s coming. Are they going to let people just freeze to death when they get evicted from their homes and are out on the streets?
We just—we need help, and we need it now. And you know, it‘s getting down to, you help us and we will help you in the elections.
SCHULTZ: It‘s going to be an interesting story to follow, to see if the leadership in the Senate does anything for the unemployed in this country. But you‘re not the only one. I‘ve had a number of folks from your organization tell me that you‘re going to be a political force, a force to be reckoned with in this election cycle.
Cindy, good to have you with us tonight. Keep up the fight. We‘ll keep the focus on the 99ers. Something has to be done.
Coming up, Newt Gingrich has taken hate to a new level in his never-ending quest to become our next president. The morally corrupt former Speaker is so bad for this country, that a man of the cloth is here to expose his sins.
The Reverend Barry Lynn is up next.
And guess what? It turns out the “Psycho Pastor” and “The Drugster,” believe it or not, they go all the way back to high school. It‘s got me convinced something‘s in the water down there in Missouri. More on that in the “Playbook.”
All that, plus I‘ve got to tell you what—I think that there are a number of people who are letting this president down in a big way. It won‘t be pretty. I‘m going to say it. Somebody‘s got to say it.
You‘re watching THE ED SHOW on MSNBC. Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: Coming up, I love it when people and politicians get cranked up and tell it like it is. But this guy has a lot of folks wondering where the line is between passionate and just going totally psycho.
I‘ll play you the tape, get “Rapid Fire Response.” That‘s coming up at the bottom of the hour. You won‘t want to miss it.
Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW and thanks for watching tonight.
Newt Gingrich just keeps stirring the pot of Islamophobia in this country. He kicked things off by comparing the Islamic community center near Ground Zero to a Nazi sign next to the Holocaust Museum, and he‘s still ramping up the inflammatory rhetoric.
Today he compared the New York imam affiliated with the community center to the pastor in Florida who wants to burn Korans.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NEWT GINGRICH, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: It‘s wrong to burn the Koran and it‘s wrong to build the mosque at Ground Zero, and both should be stopped. I‘m glad to see that the pastor took a big step back. I wish that Imam Rauf would have the same courage and the same commitment to America and take an equally step back from the Ground Zero mosque and build the mosque somewhere else in New York.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: I‘ll tell you what, we are at a point where Newt Gingrich doesn‘t even make sense anymore. For him to parallel those two is absolutely outlandish.
Gingrich has clearly defined himself, in my opinion, as nothing more than a hate merchant. But he‘s still in a position to be a serious contender for the Republican presidential nomination.
Bring it on, Newt.
We‘ve got to remember who this guy really is. His unethical and hypocritical behavior in Congress is clearly stated in history books and will never be forgotten.
Joining me now is Reverend Barry Lynn, executive director of Americans United for the Separation of Church and State. Reverend Lynn attended Gingrich‘s speech at the Faith and Freedom Conference today in Washington, D.C.
Reverend, good to have you with us.
What mission is Newt Gingrich on? He‘s the one—he has been, you know, flaming—fueling the flames for a long time on this. And it‘s a firestorm that I think he loves.
REV. BARRY LYNN, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, AMERICANS UNITED FOR THE
SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE: No, he does love it. And by the way, the name of his book which he was peddling today at this the event sponsors by Ralph Reed, the former head of the Christian-Coalition-turned-Jack-Abramoff-pal-and-gambling-advocate, Ralph Reed invites Newt Gingrich there, seemed to be promoting him for the presidency.
Newt Gingrich‘s book is called “To Save America.” “To Save America.”
A little messianic complex there perhaps, Ed? I think so.
What he‘s done is he recycles all of his bad ideas from when he was Speaker of the House and now overlays it with a lot of phony history, phony constitutional law, and giving people the impression that if you are not a born-again fundamentalist Christian who wants your Christian world view to be reflected in government, you‘re pretty much a second class citizen. He continues to get the biggest applause today whenever he talked about so-called radical Islam, forgetting, apparently, that the biggest danger to this country from fundamentalists right now in terms of taking over our government are from fundamentalist Christians who want to tell people how to live their lives literally from the moment of conception until the moment of death.
SCHULTZ: What do you make of his comparison between the pastor in Florida and the family—the imam in New York City that wants to put up the Islamic cultural center?
LYNN: It‘s absolutely ludicrous. In one case, people are trying to do something which they believe, the imam in New York believes will be good for the ultimate reconciliation process. In other words, he‘s got a mosque. He‘s got a community center. He‘s going to have prayer rooms he said to “The New York Times” earlier this week for Christians, for Jews. That‘s the exercise of your religious freedom.
What this character, this pastor down in Florida wants to do is do nothing but to spoil and disparage someone else‘s religion. There is nothing in the bible to suggest that your goal as a Christian is to burn the holy scriptures of somebody else.
And unfortunately now, whatever happens in Florida tomorrow, now we have a pastor out in Springfield, Tennessee, who says he‘s going to burn a Koran. We have the Fred Phelps family. They say they‘re going to burn Korans. And some jerk says he‘s going to burn one on the steps of the state capitol in Cheyenne, Wyoming.
So the damage is already done.
SCHULTZ: And in the midst of all of this, it seems like Gingrich is trying to create a narrative that the country‘s not safe and the president‘s not doing enough.
This is a comment in his speech today that caught my attention. He says, “The secular elites are so terrified of telling the truth about radical Islam. When you talk about the radical Islamists, we‘ve got to get straight and get serious and talk about it in the right way. And this administration is an absolute impediment to defending America and defeating our enemies.”
He is a hate merchant and a warmonger. I don‘t know how else to put it.
LYNN: Well, he is a hate merchant, there‘s no doubt about it. But now he has this veneer of religiosity on top of it because he, like Ralph Reed, who invited him to this event, are, shall we say, challenged in their own ethical and moral conduct.
The truth is Newt Gingrich lit the matches, the early matches that caused this anti-Islamic sentiment to occur in the country, and now he and all the speakers at this conference say, oh, there‘s no Islamophobia in this country. That‘s just a creation of the liberal news media like NBC.
Barry Lynn, great to have you with us tonight. Thank you, Reverend.
Appreciate your time.
LYNN: Thank you.
SCHULTZ: Coming up, only a psycho-talking righty could find a way to make the Bush tax cuts about blood and Moses. He‘ll be begging for forgiveness after I‘m done with him in the “Zone.”
Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: And in “Psycho Talk” tonight, Georgia Congressman Phil Gingrey. Well, he‘s trying out a new strategy to extend the Bush tax cuts, bringing God into the discussion.
Now, at a town hall meeting this week, he talked about the 2010 version of the 1994 Republican “Contract with America.” Listen to this.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. PHIL GINGREY ®, GEORGIA: And I had somebody suggest to the panel that maybe there ought to be a covenant with America just as God‘s covenant with Moses, when, really, this is a covenant. This is more of a commitment, more than a contract.
This is a pledge, one sacred honor. And maybe that‘s the kind of thing that we need to get the truth, truly get the attention in signing in blood if necessary. Part of this covenant with America will be to keep taxes low for everybody.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Signing tax cuts in blood. That‘s beyond deliverance.
And Gingrey just compared the Republicans to God? Somebody ought to warn Sharron Angle that her own party is violating the First Commandment. This just shows the Republicans will do anything to cut taxes for their rich buddies. To hell with balancing the budget.
But saying you‘re going to sign your name in blood on a Godlike covenant to extend the Bush tax cuts, that is the Friday edition of “Psycho Talk.”
Coming up, I want nothing more than this country to put the psycho pastor where he belongs, in our tail lights. But before we do, we‘ve got to get something straight. I hope folks over at the Pentagon and White House are watching tonight, because I‘ve got to give them a piece of mind on this subject.
The hose of “Ring of Fire” radio show, Mike Papantonio, and I are going to be going round and round in “The Battleground” coming up.
All that, plus, Vitter could be headed for a steel cage soon. And I‘ve got a football flashback that you won‘t want to miss in the “Playbook.”
You‘re watching THE ED SHOW on MSNBC. Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW. The Battleground story tonight, well, the Florida pastor took his hate crusade to a new level today. He announced his phone number in an effort to get the New York City Imam to call him and laid out an ultimatum about the plan to build an Islamic center near Ground Zero.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REV. TERRY JONES, DOVE WORLD OUTREACH CENTER: The mosque of course, is something that the American people don‘t want. So if the American people don‘t want it and they like 80 percent don‘t want it, then why do it? And on the other hand, probably 100 percent of the Muslims don‘t want us to burn the Koran. So we felt through prayer and thinking about, that would be a great solution. Everybody would get what they want.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: The Imam isn‘t playing into the pastor‘s hand, he put out this statement today. “I am prepared to consider meeting with anyone who is seriously committed to pursuing peace. We have no such meeting plans at this time. Our plans for the community center have not changed.” The Imam‘s wife told “Think Progress” she would be willing to meet with the pastor but not on 9/11. She said, “We do not want to take away from the solemn day of 9/11. Our center is not about 9/11. The Koran is not about 9/11. We wish to commemorate 9/11 with prayers for the families of the victims.” This pastor has proven that he has absolutely no credibility and is a total whack job. He claims to be standing on principle, but refuses to take any responsibility for the fact that this freak show is endangering American lives according to Petraeus.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED HOST: And what you‘re doing results in people dying, so be it?
JONES: Not at all. That would be absolutely, absolutely terrible.
That is what we do not want.
UNIDENTIFIED HOST: Well, it‘s already happened.
JONES: We are even surprised. We are even surprised by the violence of Islam. We did not kill anybody. Islam killing people. We need to realize, we need to wakeup and see the danger.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHUTLZ: I hope this is a lesson to General Petraeus and others. Words do mean something. Anybody with any public visibility I think has a responsibility to call this guy out for the nut job that he is.
Joining me now is Mike Papantonio, host of the nationally syndicated “Ring of Fire” radio show. Mike, good to have you with us tonight. This is a story that I believe has started with the conservative right and snowballed and now we‘ve got this grandiose-thinking pastor on an international stage. It‘s almost—it‘s almost an unbelievable story and a scenario that‘s played out this week. How do we reel it in as a country?
MIKE PAPANTONIO, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Well, first of all is to understand as you laid it out, when FOX News created Joe the plumber, for example, what they did id they took this obscure oddball and they put him front and center on the concept of small government. He was the republicans‘ talking man. He was their voice. In a sense, the crazy right wing media sound echo chamber has done the same thing with Terry Jones. They‘re delighted to have a character, a whacked out mail order ordained wannabe preacher like Terry Jones. He‘s not about government. This is a guy about creating conflict. So for the right wing, he has the perfect vehicle.
FOX is delighted to have done—this is—look, the very loud mouths right now, this is what‘s so interesting. The very loud mouths who say they publicly disagree with burning religious books are the same demagogue who just two weeks ago, were talking about how dangerous the Muslims are. The Newt Gingrichs, the Sarah Palins, the Glenn Becks. Those are the people who has fueled discontent in this country and division with the Muslims. This guy is like a home run for the right wing echo machine. There‘s no reason for anybody who‘s sane to sit down and talk to Terry Jones. You can‘t cure crazy. And you can‘t overcome this type of zealot racism with rational discussion. So what we‘re going to see happen with this guy.
SCHULTZ: I think it‘s a low point in President Obama‘s presidency that he has to respond to this. To one nut job and I think it‘s a low point. I think it‘s wrong. I think it‘s unfortunate. I think he was poorly managed in all of this. What do you think?
PAPANTONIO: I can tell you any president, look, do you think Richard Nixon would have paid any attention to a nut job like this? Even the most Republican Republican Richard Nixon, even the most Republican Republican Ronald Reagan. They would have ignored him just like the lunatic that he is. But what‘s happened here Ed, is people like that echo machine, that right wing echo machine, they have created this new image in the same cloth that they create the character like Joe the plumber. FOX News thrives on the lunatic fringe. And that‘s what they‘re doing with this guy.
They don‘t care that this guy put soldiers‘ lives in further dangers all around the globe. What‘s going to happen Ed, when this has an unhappy ending when anger is fueled, when this thing gets out of control, you‘re going to have the Newt Gingriches and Sarah Palins and the FOX News saying, we didn‘t have anything to do with this, we didn‘t know what was going to happen. But the truth is, we know the truth. This is a guy much more dangerous than a Joe the plumber. They‘ve created somebody that can lead us to a tragic ending and they know that.
SCHULTZ: Mike Papantonio, always a pleasure. Thanks for telling it like it is tonight as you always do, my friend. Thanks for joining us to the march coming up on October 2nd. We‘re looking forward to having you there.
Now, let‘s get some rapid fire response from our panel on these stories. I think General Petraeus is largely responsible for elevating this psycho pastor on to the international stage.
And a republican running for local office in Ohio went absolutely bananas while speaking to voters. This video is unbelievable. Folks, I‘ll let you be the judge on this one for yourself.
With us tonight, Karen Hunter, journalist and publisher and also Heidi Harris, radio talk show host out of Las Vegas. Let‘s talk about this situation with the pastor down in Florida. How this was elevated to a new level and both of you being journalists know that when a general speaks up and says that something is endangering soldiers, it takes it to a whole new level. Karen, your take on this.
KAREN HUNTER, JOURNALIST: Well, you know, as much as we can put the blame at the feet of Petraeus, we also need to give a big heaping spoonful to the media. You know, it‘s a kin to them going into the hood and interviewing the most ignorant toothless person they can find, sticking a mike in front of them, when there‘s a brother on the corner in a suit. Terry Jones is this—is an example of this. And if the media didn‘t follow and cover him and he has been doing this since he started his 50-member church, we wouldn‘t be talking about him right now. And General Petraeus won‘t have anything to say about him. Thank you, media.
SCHULTZ: So, how do you stop a feeding frenzy when it‘s started by the highest ranking military man fighting a war in Afghanistan? I don‘t think it‘s the media‘s fault at all. I mean, you have the Secretary of State Hillary Clinton talking about it. You have the president coming out speaking about this.
HUNTER: But who‘s asking the questions, Ed? I mean, the media sticking mikes in front of these people and asking them for their opinion on something when I agree with Papantonio that we should have ignored him from the start. Why is he in front of our camera? This pastor and you have to put your fingers up when you say pastor because the Christians say, what would Jesus do? Not this. Definitely not this.
SCHULTZ: Heidi Harris, why did General Petraeus even recognize this guy?
HEIDI HARRIS, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: I think General Petraeus really thought he was doing the right thing by coming in as a general and saying listen, you don‘t want to fan the flames over there. So, I think he meant well. But let‘s be honest, it‘s a slow news week. Congress is out of the session. People are looking for something to talk about. So, they gave this guy attention, apparently he did not get enough attention as a child, so, he‘s desperate to be famous for whatever. I agree with you, Ed, we should ignore him.
And it‘s interesting how some of the media outlets have said, we‘re not going to broadcast it if he actually burns the Koran. Well, maybe not, but you‘ve given him all this attention all week long, right? The guy just needs to be completely ignored about it. And I think, it‘s stupid that he‘s doing it. There are books that some people consider holy that I don‘t. I would never burn them. I think, he‘s a bad example. He really is, he‘s embarrassing, frankly.
SCHULTZ: Well, I think the media bears some responsibility, but the fact is, it‘s taken to a new level when we have General Petraeus in an interview with the “Wall Street Journal” shine a light on this guy and say that soldiers are being—their lives are being endangered. I mean, the right wing has been out there for years saying that they support the troops. They‘ve been out there for years wrapping themselves in the flag. And we‘ve had this big narrative in this country that, you know, if you don‘t support the troops, if you‘re a liberal democrat, you don‘t support the troops. I mean, this whole thing has gone on for years.
And now you‘ve got a general saying that well, because of what this pastor is doing and most people said what pastor is he talking about? I mean, I‘d like to know if the White House knew that General Petraeus was going to make this comment or was this guy involved in some security briefing, hey, we got this the nut job down there in Florida, we‘ve got to the shut him up. He‘s going to burn a bunch of Korans. I mean, I think this thing has been poorly managed throughout.
HARRIS: Yes, probably but this has been on a lot of major websites as you know Ed, for the better part of a week. A lot of the major news Web sites that people all over the world look at, they‘re seeing this. So, it wasn‘t like Petraeus brought attention to something that he knew anything about. He is over there we‘re not and he sees the effect that could potentially have.
HUNTER: And as a perfect storm, we had all of these flack in New York over this mosque, 9/11 is coming up.
HUNTER: We just got caught in a media perfect storm and you‘re right. There‘s not enough stories about Paris Hilton‘s coke habit to occupy the media.
HARRIS: Sadly that‘s true this week.
SCHULTZ: Do you think—I‘d like to ask both of you, do you think that Newt Gingrich and some of his cronies over on the right, Sarah Palin have had anything to do with stirring any of this up? What do you think, Karen?
HUNTER: Well, they always walk around with a blanket to fan the flames. That‘s what they do. This is, you know, this is their whole agenda. You know, it‘s unfortunate that we live in a country that is so divided and where people don‘t really care about America that they would rather, you know, push their agenda. I wouldn‘t be surprised at all if their fingerprints are all over this.
SCHULTZ: What do you think, Heidi?
HARRIS: I see, I don‘t think so. I agree with what they said about the mosque being built anywhere near Ground Zero. We‘ve talked about that a couple of times in the show. I disagree with that being built. I don‘t think Sarah Palin and Newt Gingrich had anything to do with this guy. They‘ve distanced themselves from this guy Jones. They want nothing to do with him. They‘re not backing that. They‘ve come out against it. This guy is a totally separate entity trying to jump on the...
SCHULTZ: After they stirred the pot really good. Oh, we‘re not going to cover it. Oh, we‘re not for that. Come on. I mean, it‘s like they threw the match on the fire and then they took off to start the whole thing and then they ran from it.
All right. Let‘s talk about this candidate in Stark County of Ohio, he was running for treasurer. His name is Phil Davidson. Let‘s watch the tape.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
PHIL DAVIDSON, GOP CANDIDATE: In the middle of our difficulties lies opportunity! This is the opportunity we‘ve been waiting for. The Stark County treasurer‘s office is a mess! It is in dire need of structure and guidance. And nominating tonight, I promise each and every person in this room, I will hit the ground running, come out swinging and end up living!
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Well, we should point out that he did not win the nomination, but we have seen some politicians on both sides kind of come uncorked like for instance, Anthony Weiner recently on the house floor got very passionate and also Alan Grayson from time to time gets after it. I want to ask you, where do you draw the line between passionate and psycho talk? What do you think, Karen?
HUNTER: Well, I wouldn‘t put this in the category. I thought Anthony‘s Weiner‘s expression of passion was particularly warranted.
SCHULTZ: I agree. I agree.
HUNTER: This is more like Howard Dean.
HARRIS: That‘s right.
HUNTER: You know, it was his undoing, right? Howard Dean when he did that rebel yell at the end. It was awesome.
HARRIS: And that was unfair. That was so unfair that Howard Dean got shafted for that. I‘d like a little exuberance in a politician.
HUNTER: Yes, Heidi but do you want this guy near the button? Do you want this guy near the button, really?
HARRIS: I like him. I like Governor Christie too. I like a guy who says what he believes for a change. Hey, it sounds like Ed and me on the radio shows over the courses of the week. We get passionate. Passion is good.
HUNTER: He needs a drug test.
SCHULTZ: All right. Karen and Heidi, great to have you with us tonight.
HUNTER: Thank you.
SCHULTZ: Have a great weekend.
HUNTER: You too.
SCHULTZ: Thanks so much.
Up next, the president has been desperately trying to keep the country focused on the economy and jobs. But all week—but it just keeps getting dragged into the mud because of this Koran burning threat. I think the people closest to the president have put him in a real untenable position. They‘ve got to, in my opinion, answer for it. Salon.com‘s Joan Walsh joins me in the locker room, next.
SCHULTZ: And it‘s not too late to let us know what you think. Tonight‘s text survey question is, do you believe President Obama is doing everything he can to make your life better? Text A for “yes,” text B for “no” to 622639. Results coming up. Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: And in my Playbook tonight, I think the president‘s team is letting him down. I don‘t think they‘ve had a good week. Earlier this week, President Obama came out swinging in Cleveland as we want him to with a strong speech on the economy and jobs. But less than 12 hours later, he had to go on national TV in the morning and talk about this nut job pastor down in Florida. Then today, his press conference, the president tried to keep the focus on jobs but he still had to deal with questions about burning Korans. Somebody close to the president of the United States needed to step up and keep him out of this latest debacle. It‘s been a big distraction and it‘s too bad it happened. I think the advisers this week anyway did a very poor job of protecting the boss. And this country is paying a price for it.
Joining me now is Joan Walsh, editor-in-chief Salon.com. Joan, your thoughts on this. I think it was a low moment for the Obama administration to having it spiral out of control where the president of the United States has to comment on this. What do you think?
JOAN WALSH, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, SALON.COM: You know, Ed, a couple days ago, I think I would have completely agreed with you, but I just want to make one or two points. Salon this morning ran this excellent piece by Justin Elliott that really was a tick tock of how this controversy unfolded. And really what was happening Ed, in truth, is that it was an issue in Muslim countries. Hundreds of people were demonstrating last weekend in Kabul. There have been protests in Indonesia, in Cairo, it‘s been all over their newspapers, their television stations, and it‘s really become this horrible symbol, and so you know I think that when Petraeus was asked about it by the “Wall Street Journal,” it was in that context of, there really is an escalation of risk and anger and threat to our soldiers, so I can‘t criticize at least Petraeus and Hillary Clinton for what they said about it.
SCHULTZ: Well, I‘m not, you know, I just think it was poorly managed. I mean, don‘t we have anybody in any kind of position that would be undercover to go down and talk to this guy and say, you know what, you got the boss‘s attention and this is what‘s happening overseas, is this what you‘re all about? Is this an attention-getting mission that you‘re on? Do you care about the safety of the troops? I just think.
WALSH: That‘s negotiating with terrorists, you know, this guy is a nut job.
SCHULTZ: OK, he is a nut job, but the fact is in our media culture today, this is how things can spiral out of control, a fly on the wall can suck the air right out of the room to the point where the president of the United States ends up getting in middle of all this.
SCHULTZ: I just think that there could have been a better way to handle all of this instead of putting the boss in this position. This is the president today talking about it at his press conference. I want your response on it.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA (D), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Although this may be one individual in Florida, part of my concern is to make sure that we don‘t start having a whole bunch of folks all across the country think this is the way to get attention. I hardly think we‘re the ones who elevated this story, but it is in the age of the internet, something that can cause us profound damage around the world, and so we‘ve got to take it seriously.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: What do you think, Joan?
WALSH: I think he‘s right. He definitely didn‘t choose to elevate the story but the fact is that the story was spiraling out of control, and now, you know, you see there is going to be a Koran burning in Cheyenne. I mean, there are copycats around the country now and you know, you and I, we criticize the president and his staff when they deserve it. I really think again the blame goes back to Sarah Palin and Newt Gingrich. Because even though they say, oh we don‘t like what this guy is doing, you know, Gingrich and Boehner, they have tied these things together, they have tied it to the Park 51, the prayer center near Ground Zero, they‘re sort of blaming the victims of Islamophobia for creating this terrible climate and they‘re the ones who, over the last six or eight weeks have forced the president into this position.
SCHULTZ: I totally agree.
WALSH: Of having to over and over again step into these horrible questions.
SCHULTZ: I agree with all that but I‘m sorry the president was put in this position. Joan, great to have you with us tonight. Thanks so much.
WALSH: Thanks, Ed.
SCHULTZ: A couple of pages in the Playbook tonight. Here is a blast from the past, psycho talker Rush Limbaugh, the crazy Pastor Terry Jones were high school teammates and we found their yearbook photos, the drugster, the psycho pastor graduated from Cape Central High School in Cape Gerardo, Missouri, and were both members of the class of 1969 but I‘m pretty sure it wasn‘t the summer of love, it‘s probably the summer of hate. Something‘s got to be in the water down there in Missouri, I don‘t know, maybe they ought to check it out.
And finally, a quick programming note tonight, tune in to MSNBC tonight at 10:00 p.m. Eastern for the premiere of “Brian Williams Reports:
New Orleans, An American Story.”
Coming up, Lizz Winstead is about to take the stage in one of my favorite cities. Unlike the Beckster and Sarah Barracuda, she‘s not charging, folks, $225 a pop to sit and have a drink with her in the section. She‘ll restore honor next in Club Ed. Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW. If it‘s Friday, it‘s time for Club Ed with “Daily Show” co-creator Lizz Winstead. You can catch her at twitter.com/LizzWinstead. Well, Lizz, I‘ve thought about maybe you and I could team up and go on the road and charge 225 bucks but outside of family I don‘t know who would show up.
LIZZ WINSTEAD, “DAILY SHOW” CO-CREATOR: Well, Ed, I don‘t know how to restore honor, I make no claims that I have any skills that restoring honor to anything, so I think we‘re out.
SCHULTZ: What do you think of this gig that they‘ve got going on up in Alaska?
WINSTEAD: You know, again, I can‘t begrudge somebody for going on tour and making money but what I do think is morally reprehensible is to say you‘re commemorating 9/11 in Alaska, and charging people, you know, upwards of 200 bucks and making sure that you have a wet zone, so that people can drink during your commemoration to 9/11. I mean it‘s shameful.
SCHULTZ: It‘s pretty low rent.
WINSTEAD: It‘s low rent, exactly.
SCHULTZ: There‘s no question about it.
WINSTEAD: What else can you say?
SCHULTZ: Well, not much actually. What do you make of this pastor down in Florida, the media overplay this week? What do you think?
WINSTEAD: Well, the fact that the media gives any credence to a guy that I just call Yosemite scam, because always done, he‘s scammed the media into doing his bidding like a child who needs attention. Yes, I do, you know, I kind of, I‘m not quite with you on the Petraeus set it off, because Petraeus wasn‘t sitting there in Afghanistan googling, is there anybody who is going to burn the Koran on 9/11. He found about it from somewhere like Joan Walsh and others have said, it was in the news. He had to respond to it because it was elevating in the areas where he was and he knew this is a risk and this guy, he‘s a total scumbag. He actually admits he found out about Sharia law on YouTube. That‘s how he learned about it. He‘s a church of 50 people. Everybody on twitter usually has more than 50 followers, and this guy is getting press? It‘s crazy.
SCHULTZ: Lizz, you‘re a blast, and you will be, because you‘re going to be in Portland, Oregon, you can catch her show tomorrow night at the Alberta Rose Theater and on September 17th, she‘ll perform in Seattle at the Theater off Jackson. And will join us October 2nd for our march in Washington, D.C., this is an official invitation, I know you‘ll say yes, so I took the liberty of saying that you‘re going to be there.
WINSTEAD: I accept.
SCHULTZ: All right. Tonight in our tech survey question I asked, do you believe President Obama is doing everything he can to make your life better? Eighty one percent of you said yes, 19 percent said no.
That‘s THE ED SHOW. I‘m Ed Schultz. For more on the October 2nd march, you can go to my website at wegoted.com for all the logistics and details.
“HARDBALL” with Chris Matthews starts now on the place for politics MSNBC. Have a great weekend.
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