The Ed Show for Thursday, June 16, 2011
Read the transcript to the Thursday show
Guests: Errol Louis, Michael Blozen, Bill Press, Mike Papantonio, Shira
Toeplitz, Dr. James Peterson, Eric Boehlert, Janice Hahn
ED SCHULTZ, HOST: Good evening, Americans. And welcome to THE ED SHOW, tonight from New York.
Anthony Weiner has stepped aside. And we‘re going to talk about it with a panel.
But there‘s another topic that I‘m really proud of. Glenn Beck said today that I‘m the reason he‘s leaving television. You‘re welcome, America.
This is THE ED SHOW. Let‘s get to work.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
FMR. REP. ANTHONY WEINER (D), NEW YORK: Today, I‘m announcing my resignation from Congress.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ (voice-over): Congressman Anthony Weiner is out. Senator David Vitter is still in. Plenty of reaction ahead.
The Atlanta Police Department is responding to this incitement to violence.
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
NEAL BOORTZ, RADIO HOST: We need to see some dead thugs littering the landscape in Atlanta.
(END AUDIO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: And the worst political ad in history.
(VIDEO CLIP PLAYS)
SCHULTZ: The Republican says he had nothing to do with it. Today, the Democrat is crying foul. We will speak to the real Janice Hahn exclusively.
SCHULTZ: Good to have you with us tonight, folks.
Democratic Congressman Anthony Weiner of New York, a seven-term representative and one-time shining star for progressive Democrats, has resigned from office.
Today, the congressman held yet another press conference and stepped down.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WEINER: I‘m here today to again apologize for the personal mistakes I have made and the embarrassment I have caused. I make this apology to my neighbors and my constituents, but I make it particularly to my wife, Huma.
I had hoped to be able to continue the work that the citizens of my district elected me to do, to fight for the middle class and those struggling to make it. Unfortunately, the distraction that I have created has made that impossible.
So, today, I‘m announcing my resignation from Congress.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Congressman Anthony Weiner did exactly the correct thing.
This story has been really tough for progressives from the very beginning. Weiner has been undoubtedly a champion for almost every middle-class American cause that‘s out there that we all care about.
The day Weiner admitted sending various photos of himself and having online sexual relations with at least six women, I said that the congressman needed to step down and refocus and come back. And I wanted Weiner to take time with his family and go heal.
I was the first person in the media to encourage Weiner to step out and come back and run again someday.
Today, Weiner left that door wide open.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WEINER: I got into politics to help give voice to the many who simply did not have one. Now, I‘ll be looking for other ways to contribute my talents to make sure that we live up to that most New York and American of ideals.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: I‘m all about it. Weiner gave a voice to millions of Americans who didn‘t have health care. Sick 9/11 first responders—he was a fighter for them big-time. Millions of unemployed Americans who need help and still do, millions who need food stamps. The list goes on and on. He was a fighter, and he‘ll be missed.
Washington is in dire need of politicians who care about others and not just themselves. And his voice will be hard to replace.
Democrats need to hammer John Boehner and Mitch McConnell every time they lie about tax cuts creating jobs. Weiner was great at that. Democrats have to speak up and fight against the seven Republican candidates who were on stage Monday night. Republicans should also show the same kind of character that Anthony Weiner showed today.
A good start would be Senator David Vitter. The Louisiana senator should step down immediately for having illegal sexual relations with prostitutes.
Washington sex scandals go back centuries. The difference with Congressman Weiner is that he got caught and he lied about it repeatedly. The question of trust comes into play here.
Sooner or later, there‘s going to be another public official who‘s going to get caught with his pants down and we‘re going to go through this all over again. The next time it happens, I think we can all come to the conclusion that Congressman Weiner has set the standard for doing the right thing.
I wish it had happened sooner. I hope he can heal and come back and be the fighter that he has always been.
A lot of opinions floating around—this is mine. This is not the media‘s fault. The media had nothing to do with his behavior or his actions, and the media had nothing to do with his long string of lies.
But this is not the end of the road, at all. This is a chance for someone to do some restitution, which he will do. This is a chance for someone to go away, get counseling, and heal and take a personal course correction. And he will do that.
And I am confident that Anthony Weiner will come back and he will be supported, he will be respected, and he will be trusted again. And he will fight for all of those causes that we need him to fight for.
This isn‘t the end of somebody‘s career. This isn‘t the end of someone‘s profession. This is a new beginning. It‘s the correct thing to do for those who have supported him for so long and especially for his family.
And for those out there who think it‘s the media‘s fault, I terribly disagree.
Get your cell phones out. I want to know what you think.
Tonight‘s question: will Anthony Weiner come back stronger than ever?
Text A for yes, text B for no to 622639, or go to our blog at ed.MSNBC.com and give commentary there. We‘ll bring you the results later on in the show.
Joining me now is one of Congressman Weiner‘s constituents, Michael Blozen. We‘re also joined by Errol Louis, host of the New York 1‘s “Inside City Hall.”
Gentlemen, great to have you with us tonight.
Michael, how tough is this for you? Because I know you wanted him to stay on as your congressional representative.
MICHAEL BLOZEN, WEINER CONSTITUENT: It‘s very tough. And you know, today MSNBC showed many highlights of his work in Congress.
Where else are we going to find a congressman who is so passionate that when he‘s on the floor of the house that the veins in his neck pop out? That‘s who we need representing New Yorkers.
And to lose this man with his seniority and his position and his
knowledge of the rules of the House is a big blow to the progressives. Ed
SCHULTZ: Do you think he made the wrong decision today?
BLOZEN: I wish that the media had not hounded him. I wish the Democrats didn‘t fold like a cheap tent. And I wish they had been able to stick together more.
Look at the Republicans. They never self-criticize themselves. And yet, we always shoot ourselves in the foot and every place else.
SCHULTZ: But doesn‘t this set the perfect standard for someone who repeatedly lies? And doesn‘t this separate the liberal movement in this country from the conservatives?
BLOZEN: It was difficult. And you know what? It doesn‘t help. I agree.
SCHULTZ: Errol Louis, how are the people in the community reacting to this? How do you think his constituents will react in the days to come?
ERROL LOUIS, NEW YORK 1: Well, the last poll that we took in mid-week, our organization did a poll, and a slight majority of people in his district said he should run again. I think that would probably change if we were to do it again.
But there still are pockets of support. There are people out there who felt like he made a mistake but that‘s not a reason to throw him out. I think there‘s a sense out in that the public has invested 20 years in his education.
Basically, he‘s kind of grown up in politics in and around New York. He‘s championed a number of causes. You mentioned some of the national ones. He‘s involved in a whole bunch of local issues that were really important.
Somebody reminded me today back in the early ‘90s, as a city councilman, he was involved in an issue where they had flammable paint used in public housing. Buildings were catching on fire, hallways and stuff, and he fought on that one. You know, as a 20-something freshman.
So there‘s—you know, there‘s a lot of potential here that‘s been squandered. I think the overwhelming sense is one of sadness, that what an opportunity has been squandered. Not just for him but for a lot of people that he helped.
SCHULTZ: The public understands restitution when someone makes a mistake.
I think he‘s going to come back stronger than ever. He‘s going to go away. He‘s going to heal. He‘s going to work on his marriage, obviously. He‘s going to reprioritize his life.
His talents of advocacy don‘t change. They can‘t take his talent. No one can take his talent. He will come back with much more credibility.
LOUIS: I think he‘s—I think the question is where he‘ll come back. I agree with you that he‘s got a lot to offer and it would be some sort of a tragic waste to not put it to some kind of use.
But does he work at a foundation? Does he work as a lobbyist? Does he work as an advocate? Does he try to come back into the electoral arena in a few years? Does he think about a career in media?
You know, we‘ve seen former Governor Spitzer do exactly that. And so, you know, it‘ll take some time.
SCHULTZ: Michael, are people talking about this --
SCHULTZ: -- on your street?
BLOZEN: Yes. I‘ve spoken to neighbors young and old, and they have the same attitude, that it was a personal issue and that he‘s effective and that we‘re losing someone who really speaks with our voice on our issues.
To tell you the truth, Ed, it‘s only people like you and Rachel and the others on MSNBC that speak so clearly. I would like to see him being a commentator full-time on one of these channels when the dust settles on this.
SCHULTZ: I would like to se him do what he has to do to take care of himself, which he has admitted to.
SCHULTZ: And come back and serve the people again.
SCHULTZ: This is a chance to come back. And even President Obama was talking about that in an interview that‘s going to air tomorrow.
He says, “I wish Representative Weiner and his lovely wife well. Obviously, it‘s been a tough incident for him, but I‘m confident that they‘ll refocus, he‘ll refocus, and they‘ll end up being able to bounce back.”
President Obama saying that in an interview that‘s going to air tomorrow on “Good Morning America.”
Now, is it too much for we the taxpayers to demand the truth unequivocally, 100 percent of the time, of the people that we send to Washington?
Not to overstate it, but I think we‘re at a crossroads. I think Americans are going to remember this ordeal because it‘s been out there for three weeks. And maybe now, this is a wake-up call of sorts.
LOUIS: It would be nice, I think, though, Ed. You know, look, if every politician who ever lied to you or to me were drummed out of politics, Congress would be empty, there would be nobody to do any of the work.
Politicians do lie. They do shade the truth. There‘s no question about it. It‘s our job to find them and to catch them.
I think this doesn‘t set a new standard, but if you go out there and you brazenly do a couple of dozen interviews about things that are clearly untrue and will be found out within a matter of hours—yes, that‘s a new standard.
SCHULTZ: It is. And you were one of the reporters who interviewed him.
SCHULTZ: In hindsight, how do you feel about that interview and where we are now?
LOUIS: Well, look, I think viewers are pretty smart. I asked him a couple questions. He gave his denials.
I thought most people in the audience could see that he was probably you covering something up. And so, I thought I had done my job.
Now, when it turns out he‘s brazenly directly lied about things that can be refuted within—again, within a number of hours, within hours, then he‘s really reduced his usefulness. And that I think is partly what slammed the door on him.
If he hadn‘t done that, he‘d still have a chance I think at trying to rescue his position.
SCHULTZ: But, Michael, doesn‘t this set the table for the next scandal? And there will be another one because now the Democrats can say, you know, our guy did what he had to do when he was going through his personal ordeal, and the Republicans need to hold up to that standard as well. What about that?
BLOZEN: Well, wait a minute. Why don‘t they say Vitter should get out and then --
SCHULTZ: I just did.
BLOZEN: I know you did. And you were right.
But, I mean, where‘s the forgiveness? You know, there‘s none of that around here. And I—you know, like I said, we‘re just losing a voice. It‘s just terrible.
SCHULTZ: Well, we‘re not losing a voice. He‘s just stepping aside for a while. And he‘ll be able to come back.
BLOZEN: He‘s being silenced. He‘s being silenced by the Republicans who just jumped on him, and then the Democrats just collapsed. There‘s no unity in the Democratic voice.
SCHULTZ: But, Errol, he jumped on all the interview opportunities.
LOUIS: Absolutely. Listen, he went through—this is comparable to the stages of grief after somebody dies, right? Anger and then denial and then bargaining and then finally acceptance.
You know, so, at first, he lashed out at people. Then he said he was going to be quiet. And then he came back and he gave that series of lying interviews.
And then he gave the fake confession where he was still mixing some untruths in there at what was supposed to be a coming clean. And there was the behind-the-scenes jockeying, well, maybe I‘ll take a leave of absence, maybe I‘ll get some counseling.
And in the end, it just didn‘t work.
BLOZEN: Yes, but what—the biggest criticism I heard about him today was his failure to handle the media. It wasn‘t about what he did. It was about his inability to hold the message and to sway it in a proper way --
SCHULTZ: But he was lying.
BLOZEN: He was lying.
SCHULTZ: You can‘t repeatedly lie in interview after interview. It‘s eventually going to catch up with you.
BLOZEN: But is every part of our personal lives open to public review? I mean, are people going to ask you the most fundamental things about how you live? I mean, how many times you change your socks? You know? I mean, how minuscule does the public need to know everything we do?
SCHULTZ: But, Michael, would you agree that there is a clinical component to this?
SCHULTZ: That this gentleman needs help?
BLOZEN: Yes. But is it any different than --
SCHULTZ: And that he can be rehabilitated and come back and have the very same talents that he had before and he can do it with much more credibility?
And I want our viewers tonight to think about this. Remember the story of, a competitor now, Eliot Spitzer. When that press conference was taking place, how many millions of Americans watched that press conference when he was standing there with his wife and said, you know what, I think that guy‘s going to come back and have a TV show someday. Come on.
It is amazing how people can do restitution, step back, and come back even stronger and even more influential.
And I would make the case that having a cable TV show and having exposure puts you in a position to do some good things. And I think the gentleman I‘m talking about is doing just that. And he may have a political future as well.
BLOZEN: That‘s true. But Spitzer is not the governor anymore. And he—part of the allure of him is his knowledge of Wall Street and his promise to clean up Wall Street. And I think that‘s why they got rid of him.
Every time we get a progressive that does anything to further the cause, they find a little pimple someplace and they say, oh, you‘re defective, out.
SCHULTZ: Errol, you‘ve got the last word.
LOUIS: I think it‘s a very hopeful thought you‘re talking about that somebody like an Anthony Weiner might come back.
And look, he‘s a very young man. He‘s 46 years old. He can wait 10 years. He‘d still be in the prime of life and able to do stuff.
So, I think there‘s no reason to write him off because, as you‘ve pointed out, lots of people get second acts, third acts, second chances in American politics.
SCHULTZ: Errol Louis, Michael Blozen—great to have you both with us tonight. I appreciate the discussion.
Remember to answer tonight‘s question at the bottom of the screen. I want to know what you think.
Tonight our returning panel weighs in on the hypocrisy of Republicans who beat the drum for him to quit. That‘s next.
Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: Last night, we told you about the agriculture bill in the House and what it says about Republican priorities in the Congress.
Well, here‘s another example. Republican Congressman Steve King of Iowa added an amendment to the bill late yesterday. It prevents the government from making payments to black farmers who were discriminated against, even though the farmers won these settlements in a civil suit.
King told Congress last year he thinks these legally binding payments are a form of reparations.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. STEVE KING ®, IOWA: We‘ve got to stand up at some point and say, we‘re not going to pay slavery reparations in the United States Congress. That war‘s been fought. That was over a century ago. That debt was paid for in blood and it was paid for in the blood of a lot of Yankees.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Democratic Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee of Texas called on her colleagues to reject King‘s amendment, saying that he is interfering with the legitimate settlement of legitimate claims.
Coming up, more on the fall of Anthony Weiner and the Republicans who helped pave his way for the exit and why don‘t they have to do the same thing.
SCHULTZ: Almost every prominent Democrat in Congress called for Anthony Weiner to resign in the past two weeks. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi even called for an ethics investigation into his behavior.
And yet, Republican leaders wanted you to think the Democratic Party was silent about the whole thing.
Earlier this week, Republican Party Chairman Reince Priebus told CNN leaders of the Democratic Party were defending Weiner. Congressman Darryl Issa, the Republicans‘ top investigator in the House, said last week Weiner wouldn‘t resign because Democrats are held to a different standard.
Let‘s remind Issa and Priebus about a lawmaker who did not resign. Republican Senator David Vitter of Louisiana, a family values guy who admitted in 2007 to being a regular customer of a prostitution service. Not only was there no investigation into Vitter‘s potential legal violations, he was applauded by Republicans the day he returned to work.
Let‘s bring back the panel that was with us the night Congressman Weiner first admitted to his behavior over a week ago. Nationally syndicated radio talk show host Bill Press with us tonight, author of “Toxic Talk.”
And I can tell you, Bill, it‘s still out there.
BILL PRESS, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: All right, Ed.
SCHULTZ: “How the Radical Right is on the Airwaves of America.”
And co-host of the “Ring of Fire” radio show, Mike Papantonio.
And Shira Toeplitz, political reporter for “Roll Call.”
Well, a lot of water has gone under the bridge in the last 10 days, and, Bill, I wanted to know how has this unfolded in your opinion? Where are we tonight? And your thoughts on what has happened in the last 10 days.
PRESS: Well, it‘s been a sad 10 days, let me tell you, for everybody.
I‘m glad to see the whole thing disappear, Ed.
I couldn‘t agree with you more. I think Anthony Weiner, with all the wrong that he did, today he was a mensch, he was a class act, he resigned, he didn‘t force his wife to stand alongside of him, you know, like everybody else has. He didn‘t blame anybody else. He even thanked the colleagues that didn‘t stand by him.
And I think we have—I agree with you. We have not seen the last of Anthony Weiner.
You know, give him five years or whatever, get his family together, have that new baby, get his life back together, and I think we‘re going to se him in public service again someday.
But you are so right. The fact that these Republicans—and Reince Priebus was the lead of it—were out there, the first ones to demand that Anthony Weiner resign. And yet when they were asked the question what about David Vitter, they didn‘t want to talk about him.
Here‘s a guy who actually broke the law, who made calls, lining up the prostitutes, which is illegal, even in Washington, D.C., I might add—
PRESS: -- made those calls from the floor of the United States Senate, Ed, and they gave him a standing ovation when he came back from Louisiana.
SCHULTZ: Shira, does this resignation by Congressman Weiner set a standard? Is this something that the public and also lawmakers are going to look back to someday? Because it sure seems Republicans get a free pass from their party and their critics.
SHIRA TOEPLITZ, ROLL CALL: No, I think it sets a standard in bad P.R. when it comes to these situations if anything. If you look back to the David Vitter yore press conference and even if we‘re going to compare these things the Eliot Spitzer press conference, these guys did a presser, they left the stage, five minutes, no questions. OK. It looked much more like what congressman, soon to be former Congressman Weiner did today, than the mess that‘s ensued over the past couple weeks.
SCHULTZ: Mike, where do you stand on this? There are some on Capitol Hill who are saying that this has been—nothing‘s been handled worse than this over the last 10 days.
MIKE PAPANTONIO, CO-HOST, “RING OF FIRE”: Well, Ed, this does give you a picture of how dysfunctional the Democratic spin machine has become. Think about this. In five days, the right-wing spin machine had turned this whole story into a jaunt down memory lane about Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky. It reminded us about Barney Frank‘s ancient history. They turned the Weiner junk mail story into this story about the godless Democrats who can‘t be trusted with small children and damned farm animals, I suppose.
They turned the ADD, attention deficit media, they turned their attention into stories about—away from the stories about their side. They told the story time and time again about how they‘re the party of family values. But they ignored the Larry Craig story when his roving foot went looking for love in a men‘s restroom at an airport. Or Mark Foley, who solicited teenage page boys for man-boy sex in the halls of Congress.
But I‘ll tell you something, Ed, the Republican right-wing spin machine took everybody‘s attention away from all that. That‘s why the Democrats had to have this story go away, because they don‘t have a spin machine. They don‘t know --
SCHULTZ: Bill Press, what do you think of that?
PAPANTONIO: They don‘t know how to take facts like that.
PRESS: No, no, I think mike is really on to something.
And look, you know, what they were able to do is because there were pictures, right? That‘s what brought Anthony Weiner down. There were no pictures of Larry Craig, no pictures of John Ensign, no pictures of Mark Sanford, no pictures even of David Vitter, right? So they skated.
And Anthony Weiner, who didn‘t break the law—look, I‘m not defending what he did. But who did not break the law, did not even have sex, for God‘s sakes—he‘s brought down because of the pictures, and Republicans were able to use that.
So now, Ed, I think we‘ve got a new standard here.
SCHULTZ: Yes. I think we do.
PRESS: And if there‘s a new standard, then David Vitter has to resign tomorrow and Republicans have to call for his resignation. And so does the president of the United States.
SCHULTZ: Shira, finally, is social media going to be used differently
by congressional members now?
TOEPLITZ: Oh, I think so. I think you‘ll see a lot of staff members talking to members of Congress about what really should be put out there on twitter and what really shouldn‘t be. There are some members of Congress who are notorious or famous for using Twitter to comment on things not relating to politics. Anthony Weiner was one of them until now. And I bet they‘re going to be thinking a little harder before they send out that tweet.
SCHULTZ: Bill Press, Mike Papantonio, Shira Toeplitz, great to have you with us. Thank you so much.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: OK, Ed.
SCHULTZ: And hopefully this is the last story we do on Anthony Weiner.
The Atlanta police respond to Neal Boortz.
Next, Republicans who suddenly don‘t support a tax cut because it might actually help the economy.
Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW.
How about this? Republicans have finally found a tax cut that they don‘t like, because President Obama is in favor of it. That‘s why.
And Republicans don‘t want the economy to get any better before the election. That wouldn‘t be good.
The Obama administration has reportedly been open to the idea of a payroll tax cut for employers. And many economists believe it might actually stimulate hiring. Another reason the Obama administration was considering a tax stimulus, it‘s pretty much the only thing the Republicans are going to agree to.
But funny thing happened. Certain Republican leaders are now saying tax cut? No way. Senator Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, the Senate GOP conference chair, he‘s against it. He says, “we don‘t need short-term gestures. We need long-term strategies.”
Right. Because a short-term stimulus might kick in by election day and the economy might be helped. And it would make the president—well, his path to re-election probably a little bit easier. Then of course, there‘s Congressman Jeb Hensarling, the House conference chair.
Well, dog gone it, he‘s against it too. He said, “well, they‘ve tried once before and it hasn‘t seemed to be working.”
Congressman Hensarling, that‘s never stopped Republicans before, now, has it? I remember the lame duck session of the Congress when we had to extend the Bush tax cuts. We couldn‘t raise taxes on the job creators. Where because all this Republican responsible talk back at Christmas time?
Glenn Beck tried to blame me for reckless rhetoric. He‘s going right back into Psycho Talk.
And Neal Boortz refuses to explain why he called for murder in the streets of Atlanta. More on that next.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW. Thanks for watching. Now last night on this program, I challenged nationally syndicated right-wing radio talk show host Neal Boortz to come on this program tonight, because I wanted Mr. Boortz to explain his racist call to violence in the streets of Atlanta. Here it is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
NEAL BOORTZ, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: We got too damn many urban thugs, yo, ruining the quality of life for everybody. And I‘ll tell you what it‘s going to take.
You people, you are—you need to have a gun. You need to have training. You need to know how to use that gun. You need to get a permit to carry that gun.
And you do, in fact, need to carry that gun. And we need to seen some dead thugs littering the landscape in Atlanta. We need more dead thugs in this city.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Now, our producers spoke with Boortz today, and he declined the invitation. So I guess I can come to the conclusion that he doesn‘t have the character or the guts to explain his comments to a national television audience.
We asked the Atlanta Police Department to appear on the show to discuss Neal‘s comments. Here is their response. “We will politely decline your invitation to discuss such counterproductive remarks. We‘re too busy focusing on our efforts to continue reducing crime in the city. We‘re proud of the work we‘re doing here and believe the numbers bear out those efforts. Major crimes have dropped 15 percent since this time in 2009.”
Maybe Neal should call the Atlanta Police Department and explain what an urban thug looks like.
Joining me now is Dr. James Peterson, director of Africana Studies and associate professor of English at Lehigh University. Doctor, good to have you with us tonight.
DR. JAMES PETERSON, LEHIGH UNIVERSITY: Thank you for having me.
SCHULTZ: What‘s your response to that audio that you heard?
PETERSON: I‘m disgusted by it. When people wonder what we mean when we refer to the vitriolic discourse in political and public life, this is a prime example of it. It‘s irresponsible. And I really, really hope and pray that cooler heads will prevail here.
Obviously, when you look at the stats, the percentages of crimes reported in Atlanta are going down, even though the population is increasing. So there‘s no factual basis here.
But also, in the main, he‘s focusing on behavior when we should be thinking about structures, right? So that if we really want to address crime in inner city or in urban America, there are multiple ways of doing that. None of them have to do with increasing the police or getting guns and arming citizens to fight the criminals.
We need to improve education and continue our path of educational reform. And we need job development. That‘s how you address crime in urban America or in America, period.
SCHULTZ: Have you ever heard a broadcaster speak like that on the air?
PETERSON: Rush Limbaugh ventures into that territory sometimes. You
know, he‘s not always quite as irresponsible as Boortz is here. It is
really dangerous because, unfortunately, there are a lot of folk who are
unemployed and who are frustrated in the United States. And so you can
sometimes tap into those folk—tap into that kind of mentality with this
kind of language
But it‘s really irresponsible. In some ways, it‘s just kind of hateful. Obviously, thug and urban are kind of these sort of dog whistle terms for different racial and class ethnicities and class backgrounds. So we have to really, really be careful of it and be really vigilant about it.
The irony is, Ed, that today we celebrate the 40th birthday of what would be Tupac Shakur‘s 40th birthday. And right there in Atlanta, the Tupac Shakur Foundation is doing all kinds of incredible work to help young kids and improve that community. The guy—the rapper who‘s most associated with being a thug, his foundation is celebrating what would be his 40th birthday today, and they‘re addressing these issues directly in the community.
SCHULTZ: And we can only speculate or wonder what would happen if a black broadcaster were to tell people to get a gun, get armed, and we need to, say, litter the streets of a community with CEOs. What do you think—what do you think would happen to a black broadcaster?
PETERSON: Listen, their show would be over. They would be removed from whatever platform they had. And they might be facing some charges. But they wouldn‘t be—I mean, sort of the response to it would be so swift and so immediate, it‘s interesting. Because now we are just talking about Boortz.
He‘s choosing not to come on your show. But if you sort of switched the racial terms here, obviously the public outcry would be immediate and much more powerful. That‘s why it‘s important, again, to draw attention to this kind of dog racial kind of politics.
SCHULTZ: Dr. James Peterson, thank you for being with us tonight. I want to save the invitation for Neal Boortz to come on the program on Monday night still stands.
Glenn Beck trashes me for putting him in Psycho Talk. You won‘t believe his excuse for talking about guns and pointing at the president of the United States. Beck is back in the zone next.
SCHULTZ: And in Psycho Talk tonight, Glenn Beck is back in the zone for the second time this week. And he wasn‘t too happy about the first time being in the zone this week. He‘s attacking me for playing this tape.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GLENN BECK, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: Why would you get a gun? To prepare for tough times. That‘s why.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: I‘m going to show you that tape again before the night‘s over with. Now, we called it Psycho Talk because no one should talk about guns and then point to the president of the United States. Then today, interestingly enough, almost 36 hours later, Beck went after me on his radio show.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BECK: Did you see what Schultz said about me? This guy is such a piece of trash. He has no idea—do you not know how camera angles work, Ed? Do you not know how camera angles work? He said that I‘m pointing—
I pointed to the president‘s picture, which was directly behind me, when I said, you know, you‘ve got—why do you need a gun? Because you need to prepare.
The camera angle didn‘t pick up what I just walked from, which was the chalkboard. I was pointing to the chalkboard. But the camera angle made it look like I was pointing to the screen behind me.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Can you believe that? He‘s blaming it on the camera angle! Can we take another look? I mean, I think Beck is the one who doesn‘t know how camera angles work. Where is that chalkboard, Beckster? I mean, I don‘t care what Glenn Beck thinks. He was pointing at—it looks like he‘s pointing at the president of the United States, encouraging people to get a gun.
The inference there is unbelievable. And even if you believe Beck, it took him three days to come up with that lame excuse. And he didn‘t say anything until I called him out on it.
Now he says that I‘m trash? Well, Glenn, that‘s your opinion. But let me give you a fact. You‘re the garbage that Roger Ailes took out the back door. He doesn‘t care if his viewers think he‘s telling them to go buy guns because of President Obama. Glenn Beck is a guy with a history of inflammatory rhetoric.
So sure, we should believe him. Saying the president has a deep-seated hatred for white people, calling the president a racist. He doesn‘t give a damn. But now suddenly, I‘m trash because I called him out on reckless rhetoric?
Folks, let me tell you something. Full disclosure tonight. I am 248 pounds, and I‘m kind of a fat guy. And we have all these camera angles out here to make me look skinny!
Glenn, trying to weasel your way out of this one by blaming it on a camera angle and calling me names is dishonorable Psycho Talk. And speaking of dishonorable, Glenn Beck doesn‘t stop there. He says I‘m the reason he‘s leaving cable?
I‘ve got something to say about that next. Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: Oh, I‘m not done with Beck. You just heard Glenn Beck trash me for calling him out about pointing at President Obama and talking about guns. But now it sounds like the Beckster is blaming me for giving up his television show.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BECK: He is such an unbelievable—there is no—may I say somebody said to me recently—I said is there no honor in this industry? Is there no honor at all? And somebody said to me, no, there‘s not. And you‘ve got to get over that.
No, I will not get over that. And that is why I am leaving television.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: I want everybody to know that I‘ve never worked a day in my life with Glenn Beck. I‘m sure the Fox employees feel good about that. Glenn Beck giving a lecture on honor is ridiculous. But if I had any part of getting Beck to leave television, I will wear it as a badge of honor.
For more, let‘s bring in Eric Boehlert, senior fellow at Media Matters. Honor and Glenn Beck, do they go together?
ERIC BOEHLERT, MEDIA MATTERS: They don‘t go together. I mean, him whining about lack of honor—Glenn Beck has not done an honorable thing in 2.5 years on Fox News. We could spend the whole night cataloging all the dishonorable things he‘s done.
So for him to be whining about this—but by the way, congratulations on driving Glenn Beck off the air. If you deserve credit, then here‘s to you.
SCHULTZ: Well, why didn‘t he come back and do a segment on his television show explaining the angle, if I‘m so wrong?
BOEHLERT: Right. He wanted to leave the impression. Look, this is a scripted TV show. He was in front of that screen talking for at least 60 seconds. There was his logo behind him. And then at the last second, when he talks about why do you need guns, suddenly Obama‘s photo pops up. He turns around and looks.
This is not—you know, this is not—he‘s not ad-libbing his show. It is scripted. And that is what—that is the impression he wanted to leave. And he left it.
SCHULTZ: Now, he says there in that radio ad-lib that people have asked him why he‘s leaving television. He uses me as the crutch, saying that there‘s no honorable people in TV. I‘ve never worked a day in my life with the guy. I‘ve never had any association with him.
What is he really saying about Fox?
BOEHLERT: Well, that‘s a good question. They are clearly frayed in that relationship. He is clearly out the door. They are subbing for him every chance they get. This is not a very friendly divorce that they‘re having.
But yeah, I think he‘s talking about honor. You can read into that.
He‘s talking about some folks at Fox News.
SCHULTZ: Could the case be made that he has failed in cable television because nobody wants to advertise on his show? I mean, he‘s blacklisted by many clients around the country to the tune of some 400, is what I‘m told.
Now, you‘ve got to make a dollar, no matter how good your ratings are, no matter how many people are watching. So he‘s failed.
BOEHLERT: Yeah. He‘s failed in two ways. He‘s not making the kind of money that he should be for Fox, if he has two million viewers or 1.5 million viewers. He should be able to turn those big numbers around and get blue chip advertisers and charge them a premium rate. They can‘t get the blue chip advertisers, and they‘re certainly not charging a premium rate.
And the other thing, he‘s lost over a million viewers in the last year. It‘s hard to get a million viewers in cable. It‘s really hard to lose a million viewers.
SCHULTZ: Eric Boehlert, good to have you with us tonight. Thanks so much.
We showed you this ad last night. Tonight, there are allegations that the Republican who denies any involvement in the ad actually had something to do with it. The Democrat who was the subject of the attack joins me, coming up. Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: Finally tonight, the race to fill the open congressional seat once held by Democrat Jane Harman has really gotten ugly. A political action committee that claims to be independent of the Republican produced a web ad attacking the Democratic candidate, Janice Hahn. And it‘s brutal. Here it is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Janice Hahn hired hardcore gang members with taxpayer money to be gang intervention specialists. She even helped them get out of jail so they could rape and kill again.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I started working with Janice Hahn.
I started working with Janice Hahn.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You know what I‘m saying?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Congress has enough gangsters.
Janice Hahn, bad for L.A., bad for America.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: The Republican candidate has attempted to distance himself from that web ad. According to Craig Huey, “the ad was not authorized and not affiliated with my campaign.”
But now Janice Hahn‘s campaign is asking the Federal Election Commission to investigate a possible link between the Republican‘s campaign and the PAC that produced the ad.
Joining me now exclusively to talk about those charges is the Democratic candidate, Janice Hahn. Janice, good to have you with us tonight.
When you first saw this ad, what was your reaction?
JANICE HAHN (D), CANDIDATE FOR CONGRESS IN CALIFORNIA: Well, thanks, Ed. I was absolutely horrified. It‘s the most vulgar, degrading, obscene, over-the-top attack ad I have ever seen in my life.
To have me, who is, you know, running to become a member of Congress, depicted as a stripper pole dancer, you know, with gangsters pulling cash, you know, out of my shorts is just so—so bad and so degrading.
It‘s offensive to women. It‘s offensive to African-Americans. It‘s just—I was horrified. I was horrified.
SCHULTZ: I‘ve never seen anything like it myself. Explain exactly why your campaign believes your opponent‘s campaign has got something to do with this. What‘s the connection that you believe to be?
HAHN: Well, you know, we‘re asking for—we filed a complaint with the FEC. And we‘re asking for an investigation, because we think there are some links between my opponent‘s campaign and this so-called independent expenditure.
We think there are some things that, frankly, don‘t pass the smell test.
SCHULTZ: Wasn‘t there a zip code that was similar or an address that was similar?
HAHN: Well, right. The P.O. Box from one of his campaign vendors and this super PAC, Turn Right USA, had the exact same address in the same retail shopping center.
HAHN: There was also a person that we know that was involved in his campaign in the primary election, moved over to this—this Turn Right USA and worked with the producer of this video to produce it. So we just think there—he knows more about it than he‘s saying.
SCHULTZ: Sure. And the National Republican Campaign Committee says that the imagery in the ad is offensive, but the issues it raises are valid. What do you say to that?
HAHN: Well, I don‘t know what issues they think are valid. Again, depicting me, who‘s a respected member of the Los Angeles City Council running to become a member of Congress, as a striptease pole dancer—I don‘t know what issues they‘re raising, except for if they feel that women should be degraded in that way, portrayed—it‘s a sexist campaign.
I can‘t imagine a man running for Congress would be depicted as a pole dancer.
HAHN: So it‘s really vile against women. I don‘t know what issues they think are credible in this ad.
SCHULTZ: How is your family responding to this? I mean, this is not easy.
HAHN: You know, it‘s really embarrassing. I come from a long-time respected political family in Los Angeles. My brother called me the first morning he saw it. Then my two sons. I‘ve talked to each one of them.
Unfortunately, they saw it. I mean, everybody has seen it. Everybody is talking about it. Everybody is making jokes about it. And it‘s frankly degrading. And it‘s distracting.
SCHULTZ: Well, how are voters—
HAHN: -- from me talking about the real issues.
SCHULTZ: This has to be distracting. But this is as nasty as it gets. How are the voters responding? People in your area who would be voting for you or would be legally in a position to vote for you, what kind of response are you getting from neighbors?
HAHN: You know, the response we‘ve been getting has been pretty overwhelmingly the same: people are outraged. They are insulted. They think this has taken campaign ads to an entirely new low. And many of them now are really more involved in my campaign and want to make sure that I‘m going to be elected.
Many people are sending me money on the Internet. Many people are wanting to come into my campaign headquarters and volunteer. They‘re so disgusted by this that they really want to prove to the Republican party and prove to my campaign opponent that there—this has no place in this campaign.
SCHULTZ: This clearly, in my opinion, is character assassination, unless you‘ve been a stripper before—and I know you haven‘t been. And the video obviously is trying to present you as that. Is it racist, in your opinion, as well?
HAHN: Well, it is. It portrays, you know, the African-American community as being a bunch of gangsters and thugs and wielding an AK-47 while they‘re, you know, calling me the B-word. It is sexist. It is racist. And it is vulgar.
And again, it has no place in a Congressional campaign—in any campaign.
SCHULTZ: Are you going to call your opponent on it?
HAHN: Well, you know, I have called him on it. And I think he took way too long to come out and denounce it. It was like 36 hours that video was up that he didn‘t denounce it.
HAHN: And I‘ve been asking him to call for it to be taken down, which he has not done.
SCHULTZ: Janice Hahn, thank you for joining us tonight.
HAHN: I don‘t think he‘s doing enough to denounce it.
SCHULTZ: We will follow the story. We‘re up on time. Thanks so much for joining us tonight. All the best to you. It‘s unfortunate you‘ve been subjected to that.
Tonight in our survey, I asked will Anthony Weiner come back stronger than ever? Eight four percent of you said yes; 16 percent of you said no.
That‘s THE ED SHOW.
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