updated 1/19/2011 12:16:54 PM ET 2011-01-19T17:16:54

Guests: Eric Boehlert, Mike Papantonio, Karen Hunter, Heidi Harris, Raul

Grijalva, Robert Greenwald

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

These stories are hitting “My Hot Buttons” at this hour 

Fox News boss Roger Ailes ordered his hosts to shut up and tone it down in the wake of the tragedy in Arizona.  It‘s pretty clear from their coverage they didn‘t get the memo. 

I‘ll show you the lowlights, plus my commentary and reaction from Media Matters‘ Eric Boehlert coming up. 

Sarah Palin has never had a problem going after her critics or finding a camera to do it.  But her silence now, don‘t you think it is rather deafening?  Even though she is at the center of this debate, whether you like it or not, it‘s all about the rhetoric in America, and Sarah is missing in action. 

And the Tea Partiers, well, you know they are not backing down from their own line of rhetoric.  Congressman Raul Grijalva has faced them before.  He‘ll do it again, here, live tonight on THE ED SHOW. 

Plus, Rush Limbaugh is reaching a new low.  He says the reason the alleged shooter is smiling is because the Democratic Party is behind him.  Yes, that is sickening. 

This is the story that has me fired up tonight, and I don‘t believe it. 

Roger Ailes says he‘s calling off the Fox News attack dogs.  The former ditch digger from Ohio told Todd Simmons he wanted to change the tone on his network. 

Ailes said, “I told all of our guys shut up, tone it down, make your argument intelligently.  You don‘t have to do it with bombast.  I hope the other side does that.”

Bombast—isn‘t that a style?  Tone it down.  Words matter now, don‘t they?  Words have consequences.  But to tone it down, you know, that might be the biggest lie Fox has ever told. 

Now, you mean to tell me that Roger Ailes is going to make a business decision to tell his multimillionaires O‘Reilly Beck and Hannity, back off, tone it down?  I highly doubt it.  He makes them too much money.  And I don‘t think Ailes‘ top “Psycho Talker” go the memo either. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GLENN BECK, FOX NEWS:  All of those in the media and in Washington, all those with fame, all those with fortune, bankers, anybody with power, you‘re going to be in danger if, God forbid, the worst begins.  All bets are off.  Our world changes. 

I‘m in danger.  You‘re in danger.  Everyone is. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  Do you know now why we do “Psycho Talk”?  But that‘s later in the show. 

That‘s toning it down?  This guy has gone completely off the rails. 

Beck spent a full hour ranting about an end of the world deal yesterday.  He‘s also challenged leaders like President Obama to follow his lead to denounce violence. 

This is about mental illness, OK?  Let‘s keep that in mind.  I said this last night.  Beck, what he ought to do is start telling his friends to stop using language like this—

(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)

REP. MICHELE BACHMANN ®, MINNESOTA:  I want people in Minneapolis armed and dangerous on this issue of the energy tax because we need to fight back. 

(END AUDIO CLIP)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SARAH PALIN ®, FMR. ALASKA GOVERNOR:  It‘s not a time to retreat, it‘s a time to reload. 

Or my favorite, “Don‘t retreat, reload.”

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  And she says that with a smile on her face. 

Palin‘s favorite talker, Sean Hannity, is faking outrage at “The New York Times” and liberals for what they are saying about the shooter. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS:  Almost immediately, without any evidence, knowledge about the shooter, who he is, “The New York Times,” others, you know, say that this pot-smoking, communist manifesto, “Mein Kampf,” skull-worshipping student who gets kicked out of school was somehow a conservative. 

Within hours, Bob, these people are fighting for their lives. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  Once again, Hannity doesn‘t know what in the hell he is talking about. 

Anchors on this network have never said anything like that.  Hannity is spinning a story about a Democrat getting shot into an attack on conservatives?  It is disgusting. 

Ailes‘ top attack dog went completely off the leash last night.  Bill O‘Reilly is using the shooting to attack this network. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BILL O‘REILLY, FOX NEWS:  To its disgrace, NBC News allows vicious personal attacks on anyone who doesn‘t tow the far-left MSNBC line.  The hatred spewed on that cable network is unprecedented in the media. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  Nice job of toning it down, big guy. 

It‘s obvious either Ailes has no control over his air talent or he is flat-out lying.  I kind of believe the latter. 

Let‘s go back to Roger Ailes himself.  Here is a quote.  Take a look at his last sentence, “I hope the other side does that.”

You know, this is nothing more than Roger Ailes‘ weak attempt to silence voices maybe like my own since I‘m just so vicious and vile. 

Sorry, Roger, this is one broadcaster that doesn‘t need your coaching. 

And I want you to know tonight, I want this audience to know tonight that I am never going to back down when Republicans want to strip 32 million people from getting health care in this country.  I‘ll be here.  Or when Republican governors want to fire teachers and cops and firefighters so that they can line the pockets of the rich, I‘ll be here for that, too.  And I‘ll never back down from fighting for middle class Americans who are getting screwed. 

And I will always fight the lies and misinformation that comes from across the street, like it‘s a health care job-killing bill.  It‘s going to create jobs, it‘s not going to kill jobs.  That the tax cuts for the top two percent are going to create jobs.  Really?  The last eight years, where are they? 

I will stop “Psycho Talk” on this show the same day they stop lying. 

Roger Ailes is nothing more than a propaganda master of Fox who wants to defeat President Obama.  He doesn‘t have a clue about toning it down.  He can‘t.  This is the same guy—the same guy who allegedly referred to his network as “The Alamo.”

Now, according to a March, 2009 story in “The L.A. Times,” Beck says that Roger Ailes told him, “I see this as the Alamo.  If I just had somebody who was willing to sit on the other side of the camera until the last shot is fired, we‘d be fine.”

No rhetoric there. 

Look, we‘re all guilty of crossing the line from time to time, me included.  I‘m human.  I‘m not perfect.  I get passionate.  And I know when to apologize, but I also know when to call them out. 

Ailes‘ network has been on a full-scale attack against the truth for years and out to defeat the progressive movement in America.  They don‘t want to compromise, they can want to destroy.  They want to editorialize constantly and vilify liberals. 

Roger Ailes has no business telling anyone to tone it down until he gets his own house in order. 

So we are just clear on this issue tonight, to be very clear, I believe the only person responsible for the horrific act is the shooter, not Fox News, not Sarah Palin.  I also believe that Roger Ailes and Fox News will never shut up and they will never tone it down, and they will never say a nice word about liberals.  It‘s not in their DNA. 

So, as I said last night on this program, this story is about three facets.  It‘s about mental illness, it‘s about guns and how people mentally disturbed get their hands on them.  We have to deal with that.  And it‘s about the rhetoric. 

So, if you want to have a conversation about rhetoric, I will say it again tonight—doesn‘t it start down south in Washington?  Doesn‘t it start with people like Michele Bachmann and Sarah Palin, who jump in front of the camera and say this kind of stuff? 

And now Roger Ailes is Mr. Sanctimonious and he is going to tell his guys to tone it down?  It will never happen. 

I will use my judgment on this show to continue to be passionate for the issues for Americans.  And I‘m going to scream like hell when they take that vote in the House to repeal the health care bill that‘s going to help millions of Americans and save money.  That‘s worth fighting for.  That‘s worth having a heated debate. 

And when the lies come out from across the street, I‘m going to be right here. 

Get your cell phones out, folks.  I want to know what you think about this tonight. 

Tonight‘s tech survey question is: Do you think the right-wing will tone down its extremist rhetoric after the tragedy in Tucson?  Text “A” for yes, text “B” for no to 622639.  I‘ll bring you the results later on in the show. 

One more point tonight.  We are with all responsible for what we say.  This network has never told me what to say.  They have told me that I have to be factual, that I can‘t have my own set of facts. 

This is cable.  This is THE ED SHOW.  People know where they get opinion.  People know where they get a strong take.  People know where they get a passion.  But they also know they get the truth. 

Joining me now Eric Boehlert, senior fellow at Media Matters for America. 

The big question tonight is, Eric, is Roger Ailes telling the truth, in your opinion?  Did he tell the boys to tone it down? 

ERIC BOEHLERT, SR. FELLOW, MEDIA MATTERS FOR AMERICA:  No, I doubt it.  I don‘t think there‘s been 10 seconds of reflection inside Fox News since that Sunday gun massacre. 

If you watched it since Saturday, they are in attack and deny mode.  They deny they are doing anything wrong, there‘s anything harmful with the rhetoric that they spew, and they attack anyone else who even wants to have a conversation about the rhetoric. 

Look, as you said, the only person responsible for the shooting is the shooter.  But what‘s inescapable is that the latest bout of anti-government violence took place against a backdrop against wild, paranoid, anti-government rhetoric that has been mainstream and embraced by Fox News and the entire right-wing media almost exactly two years ago, since Obama‘s Inauguration Day. 

Media Matters has been warning for two years about the dangers of what happens when you embrace and really mainstream this kind of dangerous, paranoid rhetoric.  And Fox News, as you say, this is their programming, this is their strategy.

They can‘t walk away from it.  They can‘t reflect on it.  They can‘t ask questions, should we be doing this? 

This is their programming strategy.  They have doubled down since Saturday.  And nothing is going to change, unfortunately. 

SCHULTZ:  Their audience expects the rhetoric. 

BOEHLERT:  Yes. 

SCHULTZ:  That‘s what I think.  What do you think? 

BOEHLERT:  Oh, absolutely.  I mean, this is a sort of a force-feeding of the same paranoid rhetoric, you know, whether it‘s Glenn Beck saying—warning that the Obama administration might, you know, kill 10 percent of the population, whether it‘s a site like Andrew Breitbart casually referring to the president as “suicide bomber in chief,” whether it‘s Rush Limbaugh, almost on a daily basis, depicting Obama and Democrats as enemies of the state.  You know, these sort of evil forces sent from outside to strip us of our freedoms and our liberties. 

It‘s this wildly paranoid picture of America, a government that‘s out of control.  And really, what they are telling their viewers and listeners is, do something. 

SCHULTZ:  Yes.  Well, what about the people they bring on the air like Ann Coulter or Newt Gingrich, some of the stuff they throw out there that I think is over the top and lies about the left? 

They talk about the left in this country as if we‘re trying to overthrow the government, control people‘s lives.  You know, government takeover, the terminology that they use, “We‘re going to pull the plug on grandma.”  They, of course, embrace all of that rhetoric. 

So is that going to change? 

BOEHLERT:  No, absolutely none of it.  None of it.  They have no—they appear to have no regrets. 

Again, no one is saying that they are responsible for what happened in Arizona, but they appear to have no regrets whatsoever in terms of what they‘ve done to the political discourse in this country. 

SCHULTZ:  You think Ailes has got the power to control O‘Reilly? 

O‘Reilly is an industry. 

BOEHLERT:  Oh, yes.  No.

SCHULTZ:  He‘s huge.  He makes millions of dollars for them, and if they were to get rid of O‘Reilly, or if he didn‘t tone it down, it would take them years to replace something like that. 

BOEHLERT:  No, the toning down, that‘s just the public—that is just PR stuff.  He‘s not going to tone it down. 

And it‘s interesting.  If he is ordering them to tone it down, is that an admission that he knew that the rhetoric was out of control for months and years? 

SCHULTZ:  That‘s a great point.  I mean, if the rhetoric had nothing to do with the shooting, then why all of a sudden is Roger Ailes going to mess with his business and tell the boys to tone it down? 

BOEHLERT:  Yes, right.  He‘s not going to tone it down, no one is going to tone it down.  The coverage since Saturday, as I said, has been all attack, all denial.  There‘s been no reflection whatsoever. 

As far as I can tell, they haven‘t had anyone on the air to even raise legitimate questions about the rhetoric and the debate in this country.  It‘s just full steam ahead.  This is their business model, and they‘re not going to retreat from it. 

SCHULTZ:  Yes.  Well, we‘re going to be here.  We‘re going to stay on the story.  And we‘ll see if they tone it down. 

BOEHLERT:  That‘s not going to happen. 

SCHULTZ:  Great to have you with us, Eric.  Appreciate your time tonight. 

BOEHLERT:  All right. 

SCHULTZ:  Coming up, Sarah Palin never had a hard time finding a camera before, but since the tragedy in Tucson, instead of being a leader, she is nowhere to be found.  And Republicans, they won‘t stop defending her. 

Plus, Tea Party groups refusing to back down on rhetoric.  They are even raising money off the tragedy.  Arizona Congressman Raul Grijalva joins me live to respond to all of that. 

And I‘ve got a commentary tonight.  Since I must be the only one in New York that uses a firearm for recreation, I‘ll have a commentary tonight on gun control in America and how just regular Americans need to call out the National Rifle Association. 

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

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

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

Well, the issues of gun and gun control are back on the table.  Congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy and Senator Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey, they want Congress to ban the types of gun clips that were used in the attack. 

Now, Senator Lautenberg wants to bring back the part of the assault weapons ban that outlawed magazines of 10 bullets or more.  Now, law enforcement officials suspect that Jared Loughner‘s gun held 33 rounds.  And, of course, he was putting more rounds in it when he was stopped from doing the horrific act. 

Now, Lautenberg said that “The only reason to have 33 bullets loaded in a handgun with is to kill a lot of people very quickly.  These high-capacity clips simply should not be on the market.” 

I totally agree.  I totally agree. 

Lautenberg is spot-on, but with John Boehner in charge—and it‘s a political issue, guns are political—now that the Republicans and John Boehner are in charge of the House, commonsense gun control, in my opinion, has zero chance in the 112th Congress.  They‘re not going to go back to that clause in the assault weapons ban bill. 

But I will say this tonight—I guess I‘m the guest tonight here in the second block because I know a little bit about guns.  I wanted to bring in a firearm tonight and show you the shot guns and the deer rifles that I have that we use back in the Dakotas and in Minnesota. 

But, of course, it‘s against the law—it‘s a gun law—it‘s against the law to have a firearm here in Manhattan.  But the life I lead and my family leads is this.  This is what I do in the fall.  We go pheasant hunting. 

You see that shotgun right there?  That shotgun is under regulation.  That shotgun has three shells, but there‘s a plug in that shotgun.  And you can take that plug out of the shotgun and you can have five shells.

But you know what?  That‘s against the law. 

Let me show you the other picture.  This is our family.  This is what we do. 

The boys and I go out every fall.  We‘ve got a little place out there in Mott, North Dakota.  We love to go pheasant hunting.

This was a day where it was a snowstorm.  Doggone it was cold.  Look at Buck, the black lab on the right.  He got all that snow on his nose.  He had a heck of a time out there. 

But there is that shotgun right there.  And I just want to point out tonight, I get bothered when sportsmen say that, oh, the Congress is out to get your guns, we can‘t have any kind of gun legislation or any kind of gun rules. 

Wait a minute.  Sportsmen are limited.  We can‘t take the plug out of our gun and put five shells in it. 

You know why?  Because the limit on upland game is three.  And they don‘t want you going into the field with five shells and maybe coming out with five birds because the temptation to go over the limit is just too great. 

So they limit the gun to three shells.  That‘s the law. 

Now, if a game warden comes along, he is basically going to do three things.  A game warden is going to see how many birds you‘ve got, see if you‘re over the limit.  He is going to check your firearm and see if you‘ve got your plug in.  And he is also going to check your license. 

So, this idea that we can‘t have gun control for the amount of ammunition that someone has, hell, there‘s rules right there with a shotgun.  Why couldn‘t we have rules for a pistol? 

This is what I call common sense.  And Senator Lautenberg is absolutely 100 percent right when he says there‘s no need for 33 rounds unless you are going to try to kill somebody. 

Don‘t give me this garbage about they like to go out to the shooting range.  Have you ever been to a shooting range?  Have you ever been to a shooting range and see somebody with a firearm like this? 

There‘s maybe a couple people there.  There‘s not thousands of people out there doing this stuff. 

So, for the sake of the safety of the country, do you think maybe we can give up some rounds when it comes to firearms?  Do we really have to have 33 or 50 or 100 rounds in a clip and a handgun?  It‘s unnecessary, just like it‘s unnecessary for us to have five clicks in the shotgun, or five rounds in our shotgun. 

Now, Glock sales, by the way, are up in America.  You know, the Glock pistol that was used? 

Arizona, the sales on the Glock since the tragedy, up 60 percent;

Ohio, 65 percent; Illinois, 38 percent;  New York, 33 percent; California, 16 percent.  Why is this?  Well, there is a number of different reasons. 

A lot of gun collectors out there  think that legislation is coming because the Democrats are going to take your guns, so they go in and buy as many as they can.  That is the first thing.  The second thing is there are some out there who are just fascinated with the fact that this is the gun that was used, and they want to own one. 

The NRA has remained silent on the Tucson shooting.  I find that despicable. 

You know why they are silent?  Because they don‘t have a leg to stand on, on this issue. 

They vilify absolutely every piece of gun legislation that comes down the pike.  So I‘m asking Americans to push back against the NRA in this country.  We should. 

There‘s no reason why anybody needs more than 10 rounds per pistol.  And I don‘t think that they should be marketed in stores unless they are gun shops. 

We would be doing this country a favor if we took a hard look at what we are doing when it comes to firearms.  Either that, allow me to take the plug out of my firearm, my shotgun, and go into the field with five shells instead of three.  No, that‘s not the answer either. 

Coming up, Rush Limbaugh has said some disgusting things in his career on the public airwaves.  But you know what?  His response to the Tucson tragedy is right in line with some of the worst stuff he‘s ever said. 

It‘s a new low, Rush.  A new low.  You‘re in “The Zone,” next.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ:  And in “Psycho Talk” tonight, well, when we want to talk about rhetoric in America and tone, one of the biggest culprits is, of course, “The Drugster.” 

Today, he lashed out at Democrats while talking about this picture of the Tucson shooter. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST:  That smiling mug shot—this guy clearly understands he is getting all the attention, and he understands he has got a political party doing everything it can, plus a local sheriff doing everything that they can to make sure that he‘s not convict old of murder. 

No wonder you‘re smiling in your mug shot.  The entire political party

the Democrat Party—working to blame somebody other than you. 

I mean, make you, Jared Loughner, the victim, and trying to find a way for that party to use this as a way to advance their own political agenda. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  Wow.  There are no limits to what this guy will say.  He just can‘t make stuff up with no consequences because he doesn‘t answer to anyone. 

He doesn‘t have a boss.  He is too big.  He doesn‘t have a boss. 

There‘s no one that‘s going to be able to rein in “The Drugster.”

This is why I do “Psycho Talk” every night.  Saying Democrats don‘t want to blame the Tucson shooter for his actions is hogwash, it‘s despicable.  And if “The Drugster” paid any attention to what Democrats have actually been saying, then he would know that.

Here‘s what I said at the beginning of the show last night. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  I want to be crystal clear tonight off the top.  The only person responsible for the shooting is the apparently mentally deranged, sick young man. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  Now, compare what I said to the very first thing that Rush said yesterday on his first radio show after the shooting. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

LIMBAUGH:  What an embarrassing weekend with it has been for the media.  I mean, utterly, childishly, silly, embarrassing.  It has led to a number of people making abject fools of themselves.  The sheriff of Pima County has made a fool of himself. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  Right out of the gate, he goes after the media and the Democratic sheriff.  He didn‘t start by attacking the madman who killed six people.  He attacked the media, and he attacked a law enforcement officer. 

So, for Limbaugh to accuse Democrats of using the shooting for political gain when the first thing he did was beat up his political enemies is appalling “Psycho Talk.”  

Coming up, Sarah Palin‘s silence is deafening, isn‘t it?  She has gone completely silent after her buddies across the street have circled the wagons to defend her.  Radio talk show host Mike Papantonio sounds off on that ahead. 

And Tea Party groups are refusing to back down on their extreme political rhetoric.  Arizona Congressman Raul Grijalva will be here live to talk about that.

You‘re watching THE ED SHOW on MSNBC.  Stay with us.  Lots coming up next half hour.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ:  Coming up, Sarah Palin‘s silence is deafening, isn‘t it?  She has gone completely silent after her buddies across the street have circled the wagons to defend her.  Radio talk show host Mike Papantonio sounds off on that ahead.  

And Tea Party groups are refusing to back down on their extreme political rhetoric.  Arizona Congressman Raul Grijalva will be here live to talk about that.  You are watching THE ED SHOW on MSNBC.  Stay with us.  Lots coming up next half hour.         

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ:  Welcome back to THE ED SHOW.  The “Battleground” story tonight, Sarah Palin‘s silence is deafening, isn‘t it?  I mean, we are having this big discussion in this country about rhetoric.  Whether you like it or not, she is part of the story.  Whether she like it is or not, she‘s part of the story.  Her political action committee put cross hairs on the democratic districts, including that of Congresswoman Gabby Giffords, that‘s fact, OK?  That‘s not an opinion, that‘s a fact.  That page was still up in the morning of the shooting.  That was another fact.  It was removed later that same day.  That‘s fact number three. 

On Saturday, Palin rushed to put out a statement about the tragedy before President Obama, before the republican leaders, before Nancy Pelosi, here is her twitter page, updated on Saturday just after the shootings.   It reads, “On the Tragedy in Arizona” and links to her Facebook page, which has a brief statement offering her condolences to the victims and her family, certainly the correct thing to do, neither her Facebook nor her Twitter has been updated since then.  But Palin still is in the conversation.  You see, she is just using proxy to fight for her.  The bottom line is she is speaking through Glenn Beck, via e-mail, about how injured she has been by this.  Haven‘t we all?

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GLENN BECK, FOX NEWS ANCHOR:  She wrote back, in part, I hate violence.  I hate war.  Our children will not have peace if politicos just capitalize on this to succeed in portraying anyone as inciting terror and violence. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  Sarah Palin, she is not the victim.  She is not the victim.  She is not the victim.  We are having a discussion about rhetoric in this country, right?  She‘s never had a problem talking back to her critics, has she?  I think she should come out in front of the cameras and say, she was wrong to do what she did and she will never do it again.  She will help change the political discourse in this country.  Instead, she is turning to the boys at work to stick up for her. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BECK:  They are desperately using every opportunity to try to convince you that somehow or another, Sarah Palin is dangerous and using words like targeting certain districts is common political usage. 

HANNITY:  Sarah Palin has explained what she means by targeting. 

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN:  Right. 

HANNITY:  Has explained repeatedly that it is not an act of violence.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN:  She has been planning this since 2007.  She wasn‘t even on the national stage.  

BECK:  Anything to shut her down, shut me up, shut talk radio down, shut FOX News off. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  I think Sarah Palin is silent because she knows she has got no corner on this issue.  She has built a multimillion dollar Media Empire painting herself as the Annie Oakley of American politics and her only political value to the Republican Party is that she‘s not afraid to go over the line.  But Palin now has a problem.  She can‘t come out and speak about the tragedy Arizona because she would have to answer for her own rhetoric, like this. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SARAH PALIN, FORMER ALASKA GOVERNOR:  Now, when I talk about it is not a time to retreat it is a time to reload, what I‘m talking about—now, media, try to get this right.  That‘s not inciting violence, was it?  That is doing, trying to inspire people to get involved in their local elections and this upcoming federal election. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  Or this, from August of 2009.  “The America I know and love is not the one in which my parents or my baby with down syndrome will have to stand in front of Obama‘s death panel.”  It is damning stuff, isn‘t it?  And without her rhetoric, all her nasty confrontational comments on twitter, without don‘t retreat, reload, she is just a failed vice presidential candidate and a governor who failed to finish the job in her own state of Alaska.  Without all that incendiary rhetoric, she is a nobody.  Where is she?  Why isn‘t she in this discussion?  Where‘s her leadership skills?  Why does she allow FOX to speak up?  Why is she ominously silent all of a sudden?  Isn‘t she part of the discussion?

Now, it‘s interesting, when Sarah Palin went out on the campaign trail and advocated and supported a bunch of candidates, there was actually a scorecard about how effective she was, but now, something negative happens in society.  Where is she?  She is silent.  She is letting somebody else do her fighting for her. 

Joining me now is Mike Papantonio, host of the nationally syndicated ring of fire radio show.  Mike, good to have you with us tonight.  What do you make of all of this?  Is she part of the discussion?  Should she be in the ring of fire?

MIKE PAPANTONIO, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST:  They have to have her out of the picture right now, the truth is, the neo-cons have to do everything they can to save Sarah Palin.  Palin was like a political Frankenstein, created by a handful of billionaire inheritance babies who had—who misjudged her.  They thought certain things that just aren‘t true.  They thought women would love Sarah Palin.  They needed to create a Sarah Palin to be like a Hillary Clinton or Margaret thatched, only without polish and without worldliness and sophistication, but the truth is billionaire babies completely were wrong about that.  In fact, when you look at the numbers, barely 20 percent have—of women have a favorable rating of Sarah Palin because they think she is too creepy.  That it‘s best way to put it. 

SCHULTZ:  But what about the rhetoric, Mike?  Mike, what about the rhetoric?  I mean, shouldn‘t she be a part of the conversation?  Why is she in an Alaskan cave or something?

PAPANTONIO:  She can‘t be, Ed.  The truth is, she can‘t be.  Any time, if you think historically, any time you have put Sarah Palin up there and she has had to spontaneously talk about an issue that might save her, she just hasn‘t been able to do it.  So because of that, you bring in the Becks, you bring in the Rush Limbaughs, you bring in the people who created this thing. 

SCHULTZ:  They are trying to make her the victim.  They are trying to make her the victim. 

PAPANTONIO:  That‘s right. 

SCHULTZ:  What do you make of it?

PAPANTONIO:  Well, the reason is, she is too big to fail.  I mean, they have to make—they have to create sympathy for her.  Look, the more you know about Sarah Palin, the less you like her.  Her show, “Alaska” has been canned because the ratings were so bad and they figured something out about Sarah Palin.  The more she is in front of the camera, the more you know about her, the less you like her.  But the truth is right now, Ed, FOX News owns a part of Sarah Palin.  The oil industry owns Sarah Palin.  The tea baggers own Sarah Palin.  So you can bet they are doing everything they can to save her from herself, her hatefulness, her dullardness, her arrogance, her lack of sophistication and ability.  The creators of. 

SCHULTZ:  The way they have tried to protect her in the last 48 hours, ginning up these stories that were on the offensive against Sarah Palin, I mean, it is a fact she put those cross hairs up there, no question, she never took them down until after the shooting, if they are not a problem, why did they take them down, OK? 

PAPANTONIO:  Now, the truth. 

SCHULTZ:  I mean, if she is the candidate, we are getting a taste of just how vicious and how aggressive they are going to be to get her the presidency. 

PAPANTONIO:  Exactly.  That is my point here.  They will spin whatever it takes.  They have billion dollar investment.  They own everything about Sarah Palin.  They have created this political Frankenstein, so they are going to do everything they can to keep her from scaring voters, children and small animals.  

SCHULTZ:  Mike good, to have you with us tonight.  

PAPANTONIO:  Because she is a scary character. 

SCHULTZ:  Thanks so much. 

PAPANTONIO:  Thank you.

SCHULTZ:  Mike Papantonio with us tonight. 

Now, let‘s get some rapid fire response from our panel on these stories.  Do they think Sarah Palin on FOX News will tone down their rhetoric in the wake of Arizona tragedy?  And Senator John Kerry says, it‘s not just about cleaning up the rhetoric.  He thinks Americans are frustrated and angry with what they see coming out of Washington, an inability to get things done.  

With us tonight, Karen Hunter, journalist and publisher, and also Heidi Harris, radio talk show host out of Las Vegas.  Let‘s play this sound cut first, from John Kerry today, talking about why people in this country are angry.  Here it is. 

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. JOHN KERRY (D), MASSACHUSETTS:  There‘s a bipartisan consensus just waiting to lift our country and our future, if senators are willing to sit down and forge it and make it real.  If we are willing to stop talking past each other, to stop substituting sound bites for substance. 

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ:  Is he talking about filibusters, Karen Hunter?

KAREN HUNTER, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST:  He is talking about the whole climate in Washington and unfortunately, the climate in America right now and I think he is spot-on.  It goes beyond what is happening in Washington.  We see it in our neighborhoods, we see it on buses when kids don‘t give up their seats, where men aren‘t opening doors, women don‘t want men to open doors.  There is a problem in our culture right now and it is uncivil behavior.  We don‘t have respect for one another and he has hit it right on the nail. 

SCHULTZ:  What do you think, Heidi?

HEIDI HARRIS, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST:  When has politics ever been respectful in America? Give me a break.  You have read a lot of history books, you know it was worse when we were trying to form a constitution. 

HUNTER:  But we don‘t have any answer now, Heidi.  But we didn‘t have the kind of climate that bolstered. 

HARRIS:  Yes, we did Karen, we just didn‘t have 24-hour news. 

HUNTER:  There was a time in this country when people expected their olders, where people respected one another. 

HARRIS:  Oh, please. 

HUNTER:  And so, it didn‘t matter what was going on in Washington.  

HARRIS:  We used to have duels, Karen.  It‘s always been bad.

HUNTER:  That was actually civil.  That was actually civil and well organized and planned out. 

HARRIS:  A duel is very civil?  OK, the point is there‘s always been discourse that‘s been rack us in this country.  Everybody say, it is worse than it has ever been, that‘s a crack.

SCHULTZ:  But Heidi, it is not just the discourse. 

HUNTER:  Heidi wants to sweep it under the carpet, Ed, because she is part of the problem. 

HARRIS:  No, I read history, Karen, that is the difference. 

SCHULTZ:  Hold on.  What John Kerry is saying is that the discourse is being created in this country because Washington is sitting there with a record number of filibusters, Heidi, what‘s coming out of Washington is nothing positive, just a bunch of confrontational stuff and no compromise at all.  Do you get that point?

HARRIS:  I get that but I‘m telling you that you politics has always been bad, it‘s just that we have a 24-hour news cycle now to hash it out. 

SCHULTZ:  No, it is not the news cycle, Heidi, it‘s the way they are acting in Washington and the refusal to compromise, exactly what John Boehner recently stayed in a “60 Minute” interview. I mean, this permeates all through the congressional ranks is that they do not want to work together. 

HARRIS:  But they have never wanted to work together, Ed.  There have been times they have done better than others but in general, they have never wanted to work together.  There have always been contentious debates going on in Congress, which is how our country is.  That‘s why they say, you‘re not supposed to. 

SCHULTZ:  Heidi, let‘s switch with subjects here.  Sarah Palin, Heidi, why is Sarah Palin so silent?

HARRIS:  You know, I don‘t know, Ed.  I‘m not going to defend it.  I like Sarah Palin a lot.  I don‘t know.  Even though she has absolutely nothing to do with this guy, we don‘t even know if he ever saw that map you are talking about, so, she‘s got no blame at all in this as far as I‘m concerned.  I don‘t know why she is not coming out about.  

SCHULTZ:  But if we are talking about toning down the rhetoric in America and the boss on the  network that she appears on all the time says, she is going to talk to the boys about toning it down, isn‘t she one of the boys?  Doesn‘t she have to tone it down?  Yet, she is silent, not even appearing on any of their shows.  

HARRIS:  Well, I don‘t know why she is not doing it.  If it were me, I would be out in front making one statement, saying, hey, I had nothing to do with.

HUNTER:  You know why Heidi, she can‘t come out and say anything because she is part of the problem.  Maybe she didn‘t put the gun in that man‘s hand but words are that powerful and Sarah Palin is part of the problem and if she opens her mouth now, she can‘t help herself. 

HARRIS:  We don‘t know if this guy ever even saw Sarah Palin on TV. 

HUNTER:  It doesn‘t matter.  It is the climate that she created and Glenn Beck created and Sean Hannity created and Rush Limbaugh and you created.  It‘s the climate in this country of civil unrest. 

HARRIS:  Oh, give me a break.  Did he have Sarah Palin‘s book in his house?  No, he has “Mein Kampf” in his house.  Let‘s play him Hitler.  Sarah is not responsible for this kook. 

SCHULTZ:  Heidi Harris, Karen Hunter, great to have both of you with us tonight.  Spirited discussion.  Coming up, Tea Party groups are refusing to back down after the tragedy in Tucson.  One group is trying to raise money off the tragedy.  Folks, this is as ugly as it gets.  Arizona Congressman Raul Grijalva has had many threats against him over the last few years.  He responds to the Tea Party, next.  Stay with us.         

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ:  It‘s not too late to let us know what you think.  Tonight‘s text survey question is, do you think the right-wing will tone down their extreme political rhetoric after the tragedy in Tucson?  Text A for yes, text B for no to 622-639.  Results coming up.         

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ:  And in my “Playbook” tonight, the Tea Party spent 2010 ramping up their violent rhetoric.   They showed up at rallies with threatening signs.  We came unarmed this time.  What does this mean?  They are going to show up armed the next time?  They said threatening things like if ballots don‘t work, bullets will.  What about that?  Their candidates threw out lines about second amendment remedies and Gabby Giffords‘ Tea Party opponent in the 2010 election held a campaign event called, “Get on Target for Victory in November.  Help remove Gabby Giffords from office.  Shoot a fully automatic m-16 with Jesse Kelly.”  Gosh, that‘s really exciting, isn‘t it?  What a way to raise money. 

But even after the attempted assassination of Giffords, the leader of the Tucson area Tea Party group still says, she sees no need to dial down the rhetoric.  And the Tea Party express is actually trying to raise money off the shooting.  My next guest has firsthand experience dealing with violent rhetoric as well as vandalism and death threats.  

Let‘s bring in Congressman Raul Grijalva of Arizona.  Congressman, when you heard that the Tea Party locally there in Tucson said that despite the shooting, they are not going to change their rhetoric, what was your response to that?

REP. RAUL GRIJALVA (D), ARIZONA:  My response is just the mere fact that they felt the need to make that statement means that they know they are going to have to change their rhetoric.  The decency of people, the fact that people see this as a moment in which a page needs tore turned on our public discourse.  And that the rhetoric has to be turned down, no one is asking the Tea Party to abandon their opinions.  We are asking to abandon the shrillness, to abandon the fact that you don‘t demonize people, and you don‘t, anybody that disagrees is not a criminal of the state.  And so, whether the Tea Party like it is or not here in Tucson, they are going to change.  Because the vast majority of the good people of this community are either going to make them an irrelevant fringe group or they are going to change their tone, their rhetoric and the way the approach confrontational politics of this community, this is going to change.  There‘s no question about it.  

SCHULTZ:  Congressman, you say, it‘s going to change but they say they won‘t.  What if they come out with the same campaign tactics?

GRIJALVA:  I think the response is going to—the response is going to be from the public.  We have gone through a horrible period here, a tragedy of major proportions and I think—I think people are reflecting all over the country and certainly here in Tucson, because it‘s close to home.  It‘s our own people that were hurt and murdered by a deranged crazy person.  And of course, we are going to take all that into consideration.  And this moment of reflection is not about agreeing with Raul Grijalva.  It is about the tone and the tenor of our politics and I think the vast majority of people in Arizona are going to ignore the shrillness and are going to ignore the extremists.  

SCHULTZ:  Let‘s hope that happens.  Congressman, great to have you with us tonight.  Thanks so much for joining us. 

GRIJALVA:  No problem, thank you.  

SCHULTZ:  Coming up, Joe Klein says, getting out of Afghanistan is just plain stupid.  Award-winning filmmaker Robert Greenwald is here to respond.  That‘s next.  Stay with us.                    

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ:  Finally tonight, “Time” magazine‘s Joe Klein attacked me, a little ole me, for saying that the United States of America should get out of Afghanistan.  He says, that‘s stupid.  Folks, I don‘t care what he says about me, but a lot of Americans think our policy in Afghanistan doesn‘t make any sense.  Filmmaker Director Robert Greenwald is one of them.  And he‘s made this video in response to Klein.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOE KLEIN, “TIME” COLUMNIST:  I was on Ed Schultz‘s show to discuss Afghanistan.  I was just back from there.  It is the most complicated issue imaginable and the guy writes down on a piece of paper, get out now and holds it up in front of the screen.  That‘s some stupid.  

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER:  According to the most recent U.N. report, civilian casualties have risen by 20 percent in the first ten months of 2010. 

KLEIN:  That‘s so stupid.  

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER:  Our new ABC News poll reveals a record 60 percent of Americans think the car war in Afghanistan has not been worth fighting and that is up seven points from July. 

KLEIN:  That‘s so stupid. 

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER:  The country‘s military budget, now $725 billion, a price tag of epic and historic proportions.   The largest since World War II. 

KLEIN:  That‘s so stupid. 

UNIDENTIFIED REPORTER:  The White House‘s estimated price tag, a $1 million per soldier per year. 

KLEIN:  That‘s so stupid.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

Joining us now, Robert Greenwald, head of Brave New Films and director of “Rethink Afghanistan” joining us here on THE ED SHOW.  Mr. Greenwald, it is nice to have friends but you jumped on that, the numbers are right there.  But this is really no laughing matter at all, as I see it, and it‘s serious when a journalist who has been over there thinks that getting out of Afghanistan is stupid or staying on the air, get out is stupid.  Your thoughts?

ROBERT GREENWALD, BRAVE NEW FILMS:  Well, in was in Afghanistan also, Ed, and I don‘t know what Joe saw and what he didn‘t see.  I assume he was allowed to only see certain people who the military approved of, but I can tell that you stupid is the last word I would use accusing anyone who is asking us to rethink this policy.  It doesn‘t make fundamental sense.  And what we are up against is the military media complex, where they work hand in hand, trying to convince all of us in the country that we should be spending $1 million a troop.  And it somehow, we are safer by invading, occupying and killing people in Afghanistan.   But the public knows it‘s not true and we have seen a huge shift in the public opinion polls.  I‘m sorry Joe is resorting to name calling, doesn‘t get us any place. 

SCHULTZ:  Well, Mr. Climb, who has been over there numerous times, now knows that the American people don‘t want to be there, but to advocate the policy of get out is where America is right now.  How did we get there so low?  Why are we there?  And I know it is a complex issue like he says but don‘t the American people count anymore when 63 percent of the American people oppose this operation?

GREENWALD:  Well, you know, we have this strange phenomenon, Joe, the American people on the Iraq war, we are ahead of the experts, we are ahead of the media, they were ahead of Joe Klein, who supported  the Iraq war, who talked about how wonderful it was when Bush landed on the aircraft carrier, saying mission accomplished.  So we have a kind of embarrassment with the American people who supposedly don‘t know anything.  They know it‘s not making us safer.  And damn-it they know this is not what we should be spending billions of dollars.  We need jobs.  We need schools.  We need health care.  Why are we sending all that money over there?  And when you get off a plane in Afghanistan and you look around, and your eyes see the third poorest country in the world, it hits you right away.  

SCHULTZ:  What are we spending billions of dollars on?  Mr. Greenwald, good to have you with us tonight.  Thanks so much. 

GREENWALD:  My pleasure.  

SCHULTZ:  Tonight in our text survey, I asked.  Will the right-wing tone down their extreme political rhetoric after the tragedy in Tucson?  Four percent of you said yes, 96 percent of you said no.  That‘s THE ED SHOW.  I‘m Ed Schultz.  Please reach out to the show.  We have a lot of ways to reach us.  “HARDBALL” with Chris Matthews starts right now.  See you tomorrow night.    

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