updated 11/15/2010 9:38:08 AM ET 2010-11-15T14:38:08

Guests: Al Sharpton, Sheila Jackson Lee, Robert Reich, Joe Madison, Ron

Christie, Joe Wilson, Lizz Winstead

ED SCHULTZ, MSNBC ANCHOR:  Good evening, Americans, and welcome to THE ED SHOW tonight from Minneapolis.

These stories are hitting “My Hot Buttons” and on the table at this hour.

Rush Limbaugh ought to be fired for what he just said after labeling Democratic leadership a bunch of white racists.  He said Jim Clyburn should be driving Ms. Nancy around instead of going to the back of the bus. 

My commentary, plus response from Reverend Al Sharpton and Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee in just a moment. 

Incoming Oversight chair Darrell Issa, he better embrace himself, because he‘s about to reach his match.  A powerful Democrat is stepping forward to throw down the gauntlet.  I‘ll tell you who it is in tonight‘s “Battleground” story. 

I‘ll tell you what, George W. Bush, he‘s had one hell of a week, hasn‘t he?  He‘s incriminated himself on national television, let Hannity ride shotgun, and showed no remorse for making dangerous decisions.  The CIA agent who was outed by “Scooter,” her husband will respond in “The Playbook.”

But this is the story that has me fired up tonight.  Rush Limbaugh is proving, once again, he‘s nothing but a flat-out racist.  This time he‘s attacking the highest-ranking African-American in Congress.  Limbaugh felt the need to make the leadership contest between Congressman Steny Hoyer and Congressman Jim Clyburn—make it about race. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST:  So there you have it, all hell breaking loose in the Democrat Party because now black and brown people, after tonight, we‘re on the inside.  We want to get in there. 

The white racist leadership of the Democrat Party trying to ace out Clyburn.  Clyburn has had power, but they want to take it away from him. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  Well, “The Drugster,” as always, doesn‘t know what the hell he‘s talking about.  The contest between Clyburn and Hoyer is an inside-the-beltway story, at best.  But Rush, of course, wants to use anything he can to make the Democrats look very evil. 

“The Drugster” sunk even lower when he said this about Jim Clyburn --  

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LIMBAUGH:  Clyburn‘s worried about not having the car.  Clyburn‘s worried about not having the perk of a big office, a driver, so forth. 

The way this can all be worked out, Clyburn‘s new position, driving Ms. Nancy.  He gets to keep the car, he gets to go everywhere she goes, parties and everything else.  He‘s not in the back of the bus.  He‘s in the driver‘s seat, and she‘s in the back of the car being chauffeured.  Solved problem. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  Any fair-minded American knows that this is no slip of the tongue.  Limbaugh posted this “Driving Miss Nancy” image of Clyburn and Pelosi on his Web site hours after he called the Democrats racist. 

Now, Rush loves to attack where he‘s weak.  He‘s done it for years.  He has a long history of racially-charged comments, but he wants his followers to think that the Democrats are real racists. 

The election of the first black American president has not racially united this country, and, in many ways, it has done the opposite.  Conservatives like Limbaugh have double downed with rationally-charged language, and at same time, they‘ve also played the reverse racism game on America. 

This is what Limbaugh said after our first Hispanic Supreme Court justice --  

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

LIMBAUGH:  Here you have a racist.  You might—you might want to soften that.  You might want to soften that and you might want to say a reverse racist.  And the libs, of course, say the minorities cannot be racists because they don‘t have the party to implement their racism. 

Well, those days are gone, because reverse racists certainly do have the power.  Obama is the greatest living example of a reverse racist, and now he‘s appointed one. 

(END AUDIO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  Limbaugh isn‘t the only hate merchant who pushed this garbage.  Hannity went on for days about reverse racism when the NAACP called the Tea Party out. 

Glenn Beck, of course, will never live this one down --  

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

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

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  Limbaugh, Hannity and Beck are the three biggest names in conservative talk radio in this country.  Their brand of racist hate is really what sells on talk radio.  It‘s not entertaining. 

Conservative radio ownership never seems to hold these talkers accountable, do they?  They just throw it out there.  And it is amazing what it sounds like when you bite them all together. 

Is there is an agenda?  Yes, it‘s black and white.  They have something against black people.  They have something against this president.  And they have something against the Democratic Party for its all-encompassing platform and its position. 

Tell me what you think in our text survey tonight, folks.  The number to dial is 1-877-ED-MSNBC. 

Get your cell phones out.  I want to know what you think. 

Tonight‘s text survey question is: Do you agree with Rush Limbaugh‘s remark that the Democratic Party leaders are white racists?  Text “A” for yes and text “B” for no to 622639.  We‘ll bring you the results later on in the show. 

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

Reverend, good to have you with us tonight. 

REV. AL SHARPTON, PRESIDENT, NATIONAL ACTION NETWORK:  Thank you. 

SCHULTZ:  I have come to the conclusion in this business that Limbaugh is so big, and his company is so jaded in the way they think, he can say anything, any time, any way, and get away with it.   He‘s too big.  

What are your thoughts on that? 

SHARPTON:  I think that he certainly has intimidated everyone into thinking that.  

What is interesting to me—and I think that you were right on target, as always, Ed—is if his logic is that the Democrats in the Congress are racist to have an election between Hoyer and Clyburn—and I certainly think that Clyburn should—based on what he‘s done on merit—not just because he‘s black—should remain there.  But if that makes them racist, then how does Limbaugh explain how he and others are try to dump the chairman of the Republican Party, Michael Steele? 

I mean, he should then bring that logic to say that maybe he and the Republicans that are dumping the black chairman who just led their party to the biggest victory they had in decades, does that make them racists?  I mean, does one logic apply to the other? 

The other thing is, for him to be the keynoter at all of these mainstream Republican events, when he‘s talking about somebody “Driving Miss Nancy,” clearly the race card inferring on “Driving Miss Daisy.”  Why do people in mainstream Republican America have him keynoting their events? 

Not only talk radio, it‘s when he‘s the one that is the big keynoter of Republican events, which is why the NFL and others could not allow him in mainstream sports.  And also, I think when you look at today‘s “New York Times” where even the Anti-Defamation League is questioning Glenn Beck and some statements that he made that they deem very much offensive to Jews, they‘re playing the divide and conquer card. 

We cannot allow them to divide us or conquer us, and we must hold them to a consistent standard.  Ask him about Michael Steele. 

SCHULTZ:  Yes  Reverend, it seems that they have no boundaries and there‘s never any ramifications for anything they say when it comes to racist comments, inflammatory comments. 

I mean, these licenses for these radio stations are given out to operate in the public‘s interest.  I mean, that‘s what the license says. 

Is this operating in the public‘s interest, to allow somebody to go on the air, time and time again, and make racist comments and no ramification for it, whatsoever?  I mean, this is 2010.  When are we going to get beyond this? 

SHARPTON:  No, I think that you‘re right, Ed.  Not only should there be ramifications—people can say whatever they want, but not on the air, not on federally-regulated airwaves, and not when those licenses are very difficult to get and should be upholding a standard, that they mock the standard, they mock the licenses that this government gives, rather than a privilege to express yourself to the American public. 

SCHULTZ:  Reverend Sharpton, great to have you with us tonight. 

SHARPTON:  Thank you, Ed.

SCHULTZ:  I appreciate your time so much, as always. 

Reverend Al Sharpton here on THE ED SHOW.

Joining me now is Texas Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, a member of the Congressional Black Caucus. 

Congresswoman, good to have you with us. 

REP. SHEILA JACKSON LEE ®, TEXAS:  It‘s good to be with you.

SCHULTZ:  You bet.  Leave it to the right-wing talkers of America to have competition between Jim Clyburn and Steny Hoyer enter into the arena of race.  And there‘s only one group of people that‘s done that, and that‘s the conservative talkers of America. 

How do you feel about that? 

LEE:  Isn‘t that interesting, Ed?  Frankly, I believe that they‘re abusing the First Amendment.  They‘re the crowd that calls “Fire!” in a crowded theater. 

I am a strong supporter of the right for anyone to express their beliefs, and to do it in a way that may be controversial, or may be a belief that I don‘t agree with.  But I can assure you that Nancy Pelosi‘s a distinguished Speaker.  Mr. Hoyer‘s a distinguished majority leader.  And Mr. Clyburn is a distinguished majority whip. 

They have worked together over the years and accomplished much.  And in the course of our leadership, we have embraced people from all walks of life.

Hispanics and African-American, Caucasians and Asians, all find a home in the Democratic Caucus and in leadership.  It is shameful, absolutely shameful for the laxity and the misuse of words to compare or to equate Mr.  Clyburn‘s stellar service to “Driving Miss Daisy,” to equate the first woman Speaker to “Driving Miss Daisy.”  It is insulting. 

We made history in 2006.  We elected a very diverse caucus that includes Xavier Becerra as vice chair of the Democratic Caucus; John Larson; Mr. Van Hollen.  Very diverse.  The leadership is diverse—chairman of committees.

The Congressional Black Caucus has 17 subcommittee chairs, and they will be ranking members.  The Hispanic Caucus is very diverse.

I take great issue in the abuse and the misinterpretation of a leadership fight, an election, that respects both individuals who have garnered their support from all sides of the caucus.  Both men have support of African-Americans, Hispanics, and Caucasian and Asian.  That‘s how diverse our caucus is, men and women.

And so Mr. Limbaugh is entertainment, but it‘s entertainment in which he will ultimately eat his own words.

SCHULTZ:  Well, it‘s damaging to race relations in this country. 

That‘s what I think. 

How are we going to make any progress if there‘s somebody out on all of these radio stations across America who is allowed to basically get away with racist comments, never challenged on it, and it goes into the ears of impressionable people, low-information voters, who say, yes, that‘s the way the Democrats really are?  I mean, I don‘t want to say, should there be a law against this, but where‘s the decency? 

LEE:  Ed, that‘s—

SCHULTZ:  There isn‘t any. 

LEE:  -- a very good question.  As you well know, the Fairness Doctrine exists no more.  It was interpreted that that was stifling the First Amendment.  It might be worthy of a debate again, because without the Fairness Doctrine, of course, there is a wide latitude of the use of language that is provoking, provocative and insulting.  You‘re right—

SCHULTZ:  How about a decency doc—how about a decency law that says you can‘t make racist comments on the air? 

LEE:  Well—

SCHULTZ:  I mean, there‘s right and there‘s wrong.  We‘re afraid to say what‘s right and wrong anymore, what‘s decent and indecent.  But we‘re never going to move the envelope forward in this country when it comes to race relations, intention, and a melting pot in America if we‘re going to allow people to go on the air and say inciteful things like this that are nothing but harmful. 

What do you think?

LEE:  Well, they‘re inciteful, but they‘re also denigrating and insulting.  You‘re insulting Majority Whip Jim Clyburn. 

And I would venture to say that Mr. Hoyer, the majority leader at this time, would also view these actions as insulting.  Have they evidenced any racist tendency by the characterization of the debate and the race that is going to right now?  You‘re insulting the first female Speaker of the House, who doesn‘t define herself as that, but defines herself as a leader. 

Well, you have a good point about decency.  We were hoping that there would be a decency standard as an internal compass of all of those who have the privilege of using the airwaves of America, paid for by the American taxpayers, who happen to be enormously diverse. 

We come from all walks of life.  To throw the race card either by way of challenging the president‘s birthright and where he was born, or by suggesting that there is a racist action going on by the present race between two distinguished members who have garnered their support, including the support of the Congressional Black Caucus for Mr. Clyburn, it is absolutely ridiculous and it is unacceptable. 

What I would say to you is we have to be able to—if you will, Ed, we have to be able to have the courage to be able to stand up for what is right and to speak to the American people in tones that are respectful of them, the listener, as well as those that we‘re speaking about.  There are too many who believe that beating up in a nasty and dastardly way is the right way to go.

And I think the question that Reverend Sharpton asked, what is the standard being used for Mr. Steele?  Then you should look in your own closet before you begin to assess the actions of a caucus that has shown itself to be nothing more than open-minded, diverse, and embracing of all races, color, creed, and background, religion. 

SCHULTZ:  No doubt. 

LEE:  It‘s all in the Democratic Caucus.  We‘re proud of the Democratic Caucus.

And, Ed, I‘ll tell you this—we‘re proud of the work we‘re getting

ready to do, because we are not going to take a step backwards on serving

the American people.  We‘re ready to roll up our sleeves.  And by the way -

-

SCHULTZ:  Yes. 

LEE:  -- we‘re going to not talk about raising the retirement age of 69.  We‘ve got a lot of work to do. 

SCHULTZ:  Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, thank you for your time tonight on THE ED SHOW.  I appreciate it very much.

LEE:  Ed, I appreciate being with you. 

SCHULTZ:  You bet. 

Coming up, Rachel Maddow took on Jon Stewart last night in the great sanity debate.  She was spot on and he was dead serious. 

She‘ll join me live in tonight‘s “Battleground” story. 

George W. Bush is singing like a canary to sell his books.  And now he needs to see his day in court.  I‘ll go head-to-head with a lawyer who worked for him and we‘ll get “Rapid Fire Response.”

Plus, incoming congressman loves a hater; Rupert Murdoch‘s eating with the enemy; and “Daily Show” co-creator Lizz Winstead headlines “Club Ed” tonight. 

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

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

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

Democrats are furious over the administration‘s mixed messages on the Bush tax cuts.  The White House is denying a report saying that they‘re caving in and going to give a tax cut to the rich. 

The president spoke out today in South Korea. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:  My number one priority is making sure that we make the middle class tax cuts permanent.  I continue to believe that extending permanently the upper income tax cuts would be a mistake and that we can‘t afford it.  And my hope is, is that somewhere in between there we can find some sort of solution. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  He is absolutely right.  It would be a huge mistake, and we cannot afford it.  But he also added this --  

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  Well, at the risk—

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  Now, this sounds to me like they‘re getting ready to cut a deal. 

Mr. President, I think it‘s all very clear.  Due respect here, due respect, we cannot compromise on this one. 

Liberals in this country do not want you to compromise on this one.  And I think when you get home, you‘re going to be have to be crystal clear on this issue. 

This is all about leadership, and there is a long history of letting the base down.  Don‘t budge on this one. 

Joining me now is Robert Reich, former secretary of Labor in the Clinton administration, professor at U.C. Berkeley.  Here‘s also the author of “Aftershock: The Next Economy and America‘s Future.”

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

What does it say about the president of the United States on foreign soil having to answer questions about tax policy in America?  What do you make of that? 

ROBERT REICH, FMR. LABOR SECRETARY:  Well, Ed it‘s good to be here. 

Look, tax policy in America around the world has become an issue because everybody is focused on what the president‘s next move is going to be.  Is he going to take a firm stand?  Is he going to negotiate really from weakness by offering compromises even before the negotiations begin?  What kind of a president is this going to be for the next two years? 

The world wants to know.  America wants to know.  He‘s got to take an extremely firm stand right now. 

The rich, the people at the very top, they‘re the only ones who are doing well right now.  Everybody else is door poorly.  Everybody else needs and deserves a continuation of the Bush tax cuts.  But the people at the very top don‘t, and it‘s going to blow a huge hole in the deficit. 

SCHULTZ:  All right.  This is the sound bite from the president we tried to play a moment ago.  Is this language strong enough?  Here it is. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA:  I‘m not going to negotiate here in Seoul.  My job is to negotiate back in Washington with Republican and Democratic leaders. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  The word “negotiate” makes a lot of liberals nervous, because the righties have thrown down the gauntlet and drawn the line in the sand. 

What do you think the play is? 

REICH:  Well, it‘s not just liberals and progressives, Ed.  I think it‘s Independents—it‘s all of America want to know how much backbone our president has about issues that are really important to average working people.  And this one is. 

Again, the president—what the president needs to do, even if he feels that he needs to offer a little bit of an olive branch to recognize the fact that Republicans have made a clean sweep of the next Congress, what he could do and probably what he should do is say, OK, instead of $250,000 being the limit for getting the Bush tax cut extension, I‘ll raise it to $500,000.  Just let the top one percent of Americans who are taking home almost 25 percent of all income this year, they should not get it. 

Everybody else, 99 percent will get it and should get it.  And that smokes out the Republicans, Ed. 

It enables the Republicans—it puts them at a terrible position by saying the top one percent, I‘m not going to give them a tax cut.  The president is saying, in effect, look, the deficit is too important.  Republicans would, in effect, have to say, we are protecting our patrons, the top one percent, over 500,000 a year, and we don‘t care about the budget deficit.  That would smoke them out. 

SCHULTZ:  It certainly would.  It‘s something the president needs to do, and be very clear on it while he does it. 

Mr. Reich, good to have you with us tonight.  Thanks for your time. 

REICH:  Thanks, Ed. 

SCHULTZ:  Coming up, incoming Republican congressman Allen West can‘t stop praising a radical shock jock who says we should hang illegal immigrants?  I‘m throwing this radioactive pair right into “The Zone” next. 

Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ:  And in “Psycho Talk” tonight, Congressman-elect Allen West is standing firmly behind his racist ex-chief of staff. 

Now, West wanted to bring righty talker Joyce Kaufman to Washington with him, but her history of hate speech forced her to quit before she even started.  But neither of them is backing down. 

West called into Kaufman‘s radio show and promised to continue their fight. 

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

CONGRESSMAN-ELECT ALLEN WEST ®, FLORIDA:  You will continue to fight on your battlefield and your voice there, and I will fight them on the battlefield in Washington, D.C.  And I‘m even more committed, even more focused on making sure that this liberal, progressive, socialist agenda, this left-wing, vile, vicious, despicable machine that‘s out there is soundly brought to his knees. 

(END AUDIO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  He followed up by showering Kaufman with praise, saying, “Joyce Kaufman is the most honorable, with the most impeccable integrity and character that I‘ve ever met in my life.” 

Well, let me tell you about this honorable person.  She said that she wants to hang illegal immigrants who commit crimes.  She said immigrants bring disease with them to America.  And on the Fourth of July, she gave us this piece of psycho patriotism --  

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOYCE KAUFMAN, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST:  I am convinced that the most important thing the founding fathers did to ensure me of my First Amendment rights was they gave me a Second Amendment. 

(APPLAUSE)

KAUFMAN:  And if balance don‘t work, bullets will. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  For Allen West to think that person has integrity is wild “Psycho Talk.”  

Coming up, Rachel Maddow just landed an exclusive with Jon Stewart of “The Daily Show.”  He wasn‘t exactly fair with some of the things he said about the cable news game.  He thinks different rules apply to him. 

We‘ll talk about it.  The great Rachel Maddow will break it down for us coming up in “The Battleground” story. 

And Darrell Issa‘s witch hunt against the president is about to get a lot more interesting.  A Democratic hell-raiser is stepping into the ring right along with him, and you won‘t want to miss my commentary on this. 

Plus, “Uncle Rupert” lands in my “Playbook,” and “Daily Show” co-creator Lizz Winstead teaches Joe Miller how to count those ballots.  That‘s coming up in “Club Ed.”

You‘re watching THE ED SHOW on MSNBC.

Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ:  Welcome back to THE ED SHOW.  “Battleground” story tonight, the great sanity debate.  Well, Jon Stewart is trying to separate himself from cable news shows, he makes fun of every night.  He went head-to-head with our Rachel Maddow last night and tried to distance himself from what we do. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JON STEWART, HOST, “THE DAILY SHOW”:  You‘re on the playing field and I‘m in the stands yelling things.  

RACHEL MADDOW, HOST, “THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW”:  Everybody sees you as on the playing field too, I think.  

STEWART:  Well that may be but here‘s. 

MADDOW:  Yes.  

STEWART:  And that‘s, again back to the point of the rally.  That rally I could have gotten on the field.  And people got mad that I didn‘t.  But that was the point.  Roger Ebert doesn‘t make movies.  So to say like well, Roger, you‘re in the game.  No he‘s not, he‘s not making movies.  He‘s sitting in the seat going, this movie sucks.  That‘s me. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  You know, respectfully, I think Jon Stewart‘s off base on this one.  If you get the president of the United States to go on your show, you‘re on the playing field.  Jon Stewart puts himself in the game every night.  And he took it a step further with his rally down in Washington in the way it was perceived.  Now, I‘m not quite sure I get all of this lofty analysis he gives about cable news and whether or not it affects the attitude of the dialogue in this country, depend on how people see it.  The bottom line is, you‘re not relevant in this business unless people watch what you do.  And Jon Stewart can criticize us but millions of people flock to the cable news networks every day. 

People want straight talk, passion and a clear belief system in my opinion, something that they can relate to.  They can flip on cable news to get the unvarnished truth or whatever they want to believe was some commentary on the side and information and entertainment.  So with that, let‘s go to Rachel Maddow, who is the fantastic host and I‘m one of her biggest fans, no question about it.  Rachel, great to have you with us tonight.  Thanks for being on THE ED SHOW. 

MADDOW:  Ed, it‘s great to be here, thanks.  

SCHULTZ:  Do you accept this conversation about people of his—in his position being on a different playing field?  How did you take that?  

MADDOW:  You know I think it‘s—I think it‘s one of the most interesting things that we got to.  Because what‘s clear and he elaborated on this a lot and lot of really interesting details that he does not see himself as having come from the same place that we all come from.  You and I both come from the radio talk world.  A lot of other people in this business come from the straight news journalism world.  He sees himself as coming out of the comedic tradition and his forbearers‘ sort of being people like, you know, Jerry Seinfeld and his mother‘s brothers.  Nobody in the journalistic side.  But even though he sees himself it‘s coming from there and us not being—him being in the comedy million, the fact is that what he does for a living does mean that people see him and us sort of along the same plain.  They see his type of commentary as having as much news value in some cases as what happens here on cable news.  I‘m not sure that he wants that but I do think it‘s how he functions in the country. 

SCHULTZ:  Here is Mr. Stewart last night.  Talking about FOX, saying that they‘re not partisan.  Here it is.  

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MADDOW:  I do think that there‘s a difference between having a point of view and being a partisan. 

STEWART:  Uh-huh.  

MADDOW:  I think that. 

STEWART:  I agree with that.  

MADDOW:  I mean, I am a liberal.  It doesn‘t mean that I think of Democrats as being on my team.  

STEWART:  No, the FOX is not partisan either.  They‘re really not.  

MADDOW:  But they never criticized George W. Bush for anything even when he was doing things that were sort of not conservative.  

STEWART:  Yes.  

MADDOW:  They never criticized him.  

STEWART:  But they‘re—but that‘s—they are ideological but they‘re not—I don‘t know that they‘re partisan.  

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  Do we need to get the definition of partisan for cable news? 

What do you think?

MADDOW:  It is—it‘s—you can split hairs on this and I think this is the pretty—I think he‘s trying to make a very nuanced point.  And then I think what he was trying to get at was that they have an ideological commitment to conservatism and sometimes that causes them to do things that aren‘t necessarily in the base-level interest of the Republican Party.  He didn‘t make this argument but I can imagine him making that argument.  I think what he meant was about supporting people like Sharron Angle.  Sharron Angle‘s candidacy ultimately was bad for the Republican Party‘s immediate needs.  Because she lost that race and a more sane republican I think would have held onto it.  And so, I think that he‘s actually trying to say they‘re not just supporting Republicans, they‘re supporting a very specific type of republican.  But that‘s—I mean that‘s one that definitely deserves further debate.  

SCHULTZ:  Yes.  You know, Rachel, we can take a wide swath here on cable talk shows in America.  We‘re not the network “Nightly News,” you‘ll see it—a totally different product on all of the network, yet people come and watch what we do.  What‘s your philosophy?  Why do people watch cable shows in your opinion.  

MADDOW:  I think to try to make sense of the world.  I think that there‘s a lot of different places that you can get plain, factual information in the world.  We can get it—you know, even just on the way to work you can pick up a newspaper, you can—you can watch dayside cable television which is generally pretty partisan-free, pretty opinion-free.  You can get news alerts on your cell phone at this point.  You can get it while moving, right?  There‘s a lot of different ways to get information.  I think people come to cable because they want to figure out how to connect the desperate dots.  The different bits of information and data that they‘re able to get about the world and try to make some sense of what‘s going on in the world and that does take analysis.  

SCHULTZ:  Rachel Maddow with us tonight here on THE ED SHOW.  I appreciate your time.  I know you‘re awfully busy and we look forward to seeing you tonight here.  Thanks, Rachel.  

MADDOW:  Thanks, Ed.  I really appreciate.  

SCHULTZ:  You bet.  Be sure to tune in to “THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW” tonight at 9 p.m.

Now, let‘s get some rapid fire response from our panel on these stories.

Rush Limbaugh has unleashed his trademark racism on the highest-ranking African-American in Congress, House majority whip Jim Clyburn. 

And George W. Bush admits he personally authorized the use of waterboarding prompting renewed calls for a criminal investigation. 

With us tonight XM Satellite‘s black eagle, Joe Madison, one of the most listened to African-American radio talk show hosts in America.  And also republican strategist Ron Christie, a former special assistant to George W. Bush and Dick Cheney.  And the author of the new book, “Acting White: The Curious History of a Racial Slur.”

Gentlemen, Rush Limbaugh.  I want to let you go first, Joe, what did you make of the comments that we played earlier in the program tonight?

JOE MADISON, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST:  Racially insulting.  And you heard him.  I heard them.  My audience was so upset they even talked about boycotting Disney because I guess is affiliation with ABC.  Look, you know, to sit up there and paint this image of a Morgan Freeman “Driving Miss Daisy,” you took a man, Jim Clyburn who won is extremely honorable, one of the most progressive legislators, here is the guy who supported—went against Bill Clinton when it came to the China trade act because of human rights violations and environmental violations.  He stuck with unions.  He‘s spoken out for working men and women.  He was the third most powerful individual and you reduced him in a matter of 45 seconds to a chauffeur.  It was racist.  Call it what it is and Limbaugh has been doing this and ever since he‘s been doing talk radio and why he gets away with it.

SCHULTZ:  Ron Christie.

MADISON:  I don‘t know.

SCHULTZ:  Well, he does get away with it.  Ron Christie, your thoughts.

RON CHRISTIE, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST:  This is one of those instances that I was actually listening to “The Rush Limbaugh Show” and I‘m sure you guys didn‘t hear the entire thing before the segment, during the segment and after.  In the segment actually referred to a segment, not on a network that we don‘t know.  It was on MSNBC where they were talking to former Congressman Martin Frost.  And Frost said that the leadership battle that‘s going on in the House of Representatives right now frankly has been reduced to  perks, and whether or not Clyburn, if he is forced from his leadership position, will have to give up his driver, his security detail and of course the car.  And Limbaugh said. 

SCHULTZ:  He referred to her as Miss Nancy, Ron.  Come on.  

CHRISTIE:  Hang on a second, Ed.  I will not let you guys try to denigrate him here.  

(CROSSTALK)

SCHULTZ:  Nobody‘s denigrating you and you‘re not calling the rules on this show.  Wait a minute. 

CHRISTIE:  I‘m not calling the rules.  I actually listened to the entire segment, Ed.  I dare say you didn‘t listen to the whole thing.  I did.  

SCHULTZ:  How do you know I didn‘t?  

CHRISTIE:  Did you, Ed?

(CROSSTALK)

SCHULTZ:  Ron Christie, you do this every time when we challenge you on this program.  Now, I‘m asking you to be a gentleman about this.  

CHRISTIE:  As always I will.  

SCHULTZ:  He referred to her as Miss Nancy.  He talked about the back of the bus.  Now how do you defend that?  He put this on his Web site.  Stop parceling out the racism this guy throws out and throw your ideology out the window and tell us how you feel.  

CHRISTIE:  Well, Ed, and I would say the same thing to you.  I don‘t like the picture that‘s on the screen at all.  I don‘t.  I actually listened to the entire segment which I said that‘s why I asked you whether you heard it from start to finish.  Let me just say this, if you want to talk about throwing ideology out and racism, it‘s frankly ironic that the president of the United States, when he was talking to a group of Hispanics said that if the Republicans want to be in the car of the nation and move forward. 

SCHULTZ:  I‘m not talking about that.  

CHRISTIE: .they‘d have to be in the back of the car.  Ed, you said, if we‘re not talking about people being in the back of the bus, Ed.

SCHULTZ:  Ron, we are not talking about Rush Limbaugh.  We‘re talking about Rush Limbaugh and how he wheels his racism.

CHRISTIE:  I absolutely. 

SCHULTZ:  From time to time and how do you support that? 

CHRISTIE:  As a gentleman from one gentleman to two others, I would say to you for having heard the entire segment in its context, he was making an allegorical reference that the whip, the current majority whip of the United States House of Representatives, if he was being pushed out of his leadership position, it was a former democratic member of Congress saying that this was an issue about perks of a car, a driver, and a security detail.  My point to you is, if you listen to it from the start to the finish, he was not being racist in his intent.  

SCHULTZ:  You know, Ron.

MADISON:  Can I jump in here?  

CHRISTIE:  He was not being racist in his intent in my opinion.  

MADISON:  Can I jump in here for a moment?

SCHULTZ:  Not being racist, wow.  

MADISON:  Can I jump in here for a moment?  And I‘m going to tell you, I usually don‘t try to get angry but, Ron, let me tell you something, he didn‘t talk about Nancy Pelosi wanting the perks.  He didn‘t talk about Steny Hoyer wanting the perks.  He didn‘t talk about Boehner wanting the perks.  They‘re the same darn position, but yet when it came to an African-American, all of a sudden he wants the perks.  Now I‘m going to tell you something, Ron, I love you, I respect you.  But quit being on an apologist.  This was a racist comment.  He reduced this man and his position and all he‘s done to a chauffeur.  That is racist.  

CHRISTIE:  My affection goes back to you equally.

MADISON:  And I don‘t have anything else to say.  That‘s it.  

CHRISTIE:  Let me finish my point. 

MADISON:  You‘re double talking.  

CHRISTIE:  Equally the same but as you‘ve said. 

MADISON:  You‘re double talking. 

CHRISTIE:  Rush was saying that. 

MADISON:  Oh, Rush was—insulted him.

(CROSSTALK)

CHRISTIE:  Sometime this was a deal that related to the perks, not Rush.  

MADISON:  Oh, Ron.  

CHRISTIE:  That‘s what he said.  

MADISON:  I swear.  I wish I was on satellite radio because I got a real—I got one of those whoopees choice words to use and you‘re full of it.  

(LAUGHTER)

CHRISTIE:  Well, gentlemen, I‘d only wished, and Ed I challenged you this from the outset.  If you had heard the entire segment, Rush was not trying to be a racist. 

SCHULTZ:  How do you know I didn‘t?

CHRISTIE:  There are too many people who are trying to play the race card.  The far more racist that the president of the United States says that the Republicans should be in the back of the car of the nation when Rosa Parks was so brave with her bravery of what she did and the first African-American president of the United States wants to call Republicans worthy of sitting in the back.  That is racist and no one has challenged the president on that and that‘s pathetic.  

MADISON:  It wasn‘t to be challenged.  

(CROSSTALK)

SCHULTZ:  Joe Madison, Ron Christie, great to have you with us tonight.  

CHRISTIE:  Take care, gentlemen.  

SCHULTZ:  I appreciate your time.  Thanks for being on, you bet. 

I want to make a quick point the last couple of nights here on THE ED SHOW, we‘ve talked about Congressman Darrell Issa and his plan to investigate the Obama administration when it comes—when he becomes the chairman of the government reform and oversight committee.  Now, according to some members of Congress, Issa is on a witch-hunt.  And I think the best counterpunch for the Democrats is to make Congressman Dennis Kucinich the ranking member on that committee. 

Folks, this could be a real crisis for this country.  Issa would have the power to bring any progress in this country, legislatively, to a complete stop, and really dis-focus the country.  So, Kucinich who is a hell-raiser, a fighter and a strong lefty who won‘t let Issa get away with anything, like smearing people or coming up with phony charges, yes, Democrats need to put Dennis Kucinich in the ranking position to make sure that they have the best counterpunch to a possibly dangerous and reckless chairman.  You could go to my blog at wegoted.com and comment on this one tonight on my website. 

Coming up, I‘m not done hammering W. and either is my next guest.  Sean Penn just played his part in a movie about the outing of a CIA agent, Valerie Plame.  Ambassador Joe Wilson sounds off on the lies and deception next in the “Playbook.”  Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ:  And it‘s not too late to let us know what you think.  Tonight‘s text survey question is, do you agree with Rush Limbaugh‘s remark that Democratic Party leaders are white racist?  Text A for yes, text B for no to 622-639.  Results coming up.  Stay with us. 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ:  And in my “Playbook” tonight, President Bush has been on a nonstop media campaign to push his memoir “Decision Points.”  Bush admitted he authorized waterboarding to Matt Lauer and he told Oprah it was Saddam‘s fault the United States couldn‘t find WMDs.  Bush glossed over how members of his inner circle outed CIA agent Valerie Plame, that topic is the subject of a new movie “Fair Game” which is hitting theaters all across America this weekend. 

Joe Wilson says, Bush‘s book should be called “Deception Points.”  He joins us on THE ED SHOW now.  Ambassador Wilson, good to have you with us tonight.  I appreciate your time.  In the book, Scooter Libby is referred to by President Bush in an interview as a loyal American.  What‘s your response to that?

JOE WILSON, FORMER U.S. AMBASSADOR:  Well, you know, Scooter is a four-time convicted felon, on perjury and obstruction of justice charges.  The prosecutor who convicted him on those charges said essentially that his unwillingness to be truthful to the grand jury or to prosecutors meant that he, the prosecutor, could not get to the bottom of the case.  Which involved the betrayal of the identity of a National Security asset.  So, if those are Mr. Bush‘s types of loyal Americans, then God help us. 

SCHULTZ:  And how about the fact the president says that it was the last and most emotional, personal decision of his presidency on what to do about Scooter Libby.  What‘s your take on that?

WILSON:  Well, when he commuted his Scooter Libby sentence, what he basically did at that time was take all the pressure off of Mr. Libby to actually tell the truth to the prosecutor before he went up to do jail time.  That in my mind makes Mr. Bush an accessory after the fact to a conspiracy that could not be uncovered because of the obstruction of justice.  So that was the fundamental decision for me.  I wonder as I read the chapter on how agonizing this personal decision was, whether it really had much to do with Scooter and much more in fact do with his personal relationship with Vice President Cheney.  As in, oh, I don‘t want to make Dick Cheney mad at me. 

SCHULTZ:  A lead story in “The Huffington Post” this afternoon was Bush lifted material from adviser‘s books.  Does that surprise you at all?

WILSON:  I‘m not surprised at all.  If you read the very brief section on the way the administration handled the outing of a covert officer, who happened to be my wife is pretty clear that there‘s nothing terribly original in the words or even in the phrasing of the paragraphs. 

SCHULTZ:  And do you think that this movie will have an impact on the opinions of Americans?  What do you think?

WILSON:  Well, I hope with what people come away from the movie with is an understanding that if you wish for this republic to remain strong, people have to be fair to stand up and accept their responsibilities as citizens to hold the government to account.  It‘s one thing for you and people like you do it on the radio stations and whatnot but it‘s quite another thing for citizens to get off their couches and actually get out and participate in this great democracy of ours. 

SCHULTZ:  Joe, good to see you. 

(CROSSTALK)

WILSON:  Encourage them to do that. 

SCHULTZ:  Yes, absolutely.  Mr. Ambassador, Joe Wilson, great to have you us tonight on THE ED SHOW.  I appreciate your time.

Some final pages in the “Playbook” tonight, Jenn Sterger, the woman at the center of the Brett Favre sexting scandal finally broke her silence.  She met with the NFL officials for three-and-a-half hours on Thursday about the incident.  Sterger‘s agent said that they fully cooperated with the investigation.  The NFL had no comment.  And Brett Favre also declined to comment.  But he did make some news in an interview on the NFL network. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN:  Are you still thinking Super Bowl?  

BRETT FAVRE, FOOTBALL QUARTERBACK:  Yes.  

UNIDENTIFIED MAN:  Yes?  

FAVRE:  I mean, we have to get, you know, we have to get small steps right now.  

UNIDENTIFIED MAN:  Are you coming back in 2011?

FAVRE:  No. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  Brett, with everything going on, I still don‘t believe you.  I think you‘ve got another year in you, and Rupert Murdoch better get ready -- better get the booze ready for the upcoming charity lounge.  “Media Matters” founder and five guests will break bread with the head of news corp.  They want a charity option paints $86,000 for the lunch date.  No word yet on when it‘s going to happen.  

Coming up, W went from the oval office to riding around in a pickup truck with slant head.  Oh, that‘s get exciting.  “Daily Show” co-creator Lizz Winstead right shotgun on the former president.  Next, in Club Ed.  Stay with us.                 

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ:  Welcome back.  Well, if it‘s Friday, it‘s time for “Club Ed” with “Daily Show” co-creator, Lizz Winstead.  Lizz, great to have you with us again on a Friday.

LIZZ WINSTEAD, “DAILY SHOW” CO-CREATOR:  Hey, Ed. 

SCHULTZ:  The Bush—you bet.  The Bush book tour, take it away, what you are seeing?

WINSTEAD:  Well, I mean it was pretty amazing, the hard-hitting questions that we saw but what I found interesting in the Matt Lauer interview is that he first they were in a church and then they went to this weird room that felt like an interrogation room and so the irony of him talking about waterboarding in this room was not lost on me.  But more importantly was the Hannity interview.  Do you know that show, it‘s called “Bait Car”?  It‘s on—it‘s on Tru TV.  That‘s where they set-up people they get into a stolen car, and then they talk about their plans. 

(LAUGHTER)

Look, Ed.  They were just in this car with the weird dash cam on them and then Bush is like, well, that‘s where I fish and that‘s where I clean the brush and here‘s how the land goes and I had a hard job as president.  Nothing‘s much has changed.  Look at it.  Look at when you see that camera, when you see the weird fish, they look like the worst most boring thugs in the history of the show “Bait Car.”  Useless.  

SCHULTZ:  I was waiting—I was waiting for—well you know, Karen Hughes‘ coming over, we‘re going to work on some things.  

WINSTEAD:  That‘s right, Karen is coming over, we‘re going to watch some football, Brett Favre.  Clean brush you know?  I hated being president.  I just wanted to be retired anyway so here I am. 

(LAUGHTER)

SCHULTZ:  All right.  Alaska write-in ballots, what the heck is going on with that?  

WINSTEAD:  Dude, it‘s unending and you know, Joe Miller is—has been you know, lording over them insanely and you know, if the people of Alaska were silly enough to vote for Lisa Murkowski, you would think they would at least know how to spell it instead they voted for the Big Lebowski .  You know, my dream is that there is going to be a second run-off between Lisa Murkowski and Monica Lewinsky.  I think that‘s how screwed up this thing is going to get. 

SCHULTZ:  All right, Lizz.  Lizz is going to be performing at Pittsburgh at the August Wilson Center on November 20th.  Details at lizzwinstead.com.  Lizz, great to have you with us tonight.  

WINSTEAD:  All right.  Take care.

SCHULTZ:  Our text survey question is, I asked, do you agree with Rush Limbaugh‘s remark that Democratic Party leaders are white racist?  Twenty seven percent of you said, yes.  Seventy three percent of you said no. 

That‘s THE ED SHOW.  I‘m Ed Schultz.  For more information on THE ED SHOW, go to ed.msnbc.com or my radio website wegoted.com.  “HARDBALL” with Chris Matthews starts right now.  We‘ll see you Monday night back in New York right here on THE ED SHOW.  Have a great weekend.  

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

END   

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