The Ed Show for Friday, March 2, 2012
Read the transcript to the Friday show
Guests: Al Sharpton, Krystal Ball, Karen Finney, Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, Mike Papantonio, Eric Boehlert
ED SCHULTZ, HOST: Good evening, Americans. And welcome to THE ED
SHOW tonight from New York.
Rush Limbaugh is being abandoned by his advertisers. But the
multimillionaire king of conservative talk is still attacking a 30-year-
old. This could be the beginning of the end for the man behind the golden
Lots to talk about tonight. This is THE ED SHOW -- let`s get to work.
RUSH LIMBAUGH, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Not one person says did you ever
think about backing off the amount of sex that you have?
SCHULTZ (voice-over): The attacks on Sandra Fluke have not stopped
and now Rush Limbaugh is complaining that he`s the victim.
LIMBAUGH: This is about silencing me, removing my voice as a credible
SCHULTZ: The president has called Sandra Fluke, one candidate has
weighed in, another is running away.
Major advertisers are pulling out. But Limbaugh`s employer Clear
Channel is silent on the matter. I think that needs to change.
Karen Finney is here with the politics, Krystal Ball on the boycott,
and I`ll ask Reverend Al Sharpton if this is Rush Limbaugh`s Don Imus
And a Montana judge who sent a racist e-mail about President Obama is
in more hot water today. Congressman Emanuel Cleaver of the Congressional
Black Caucus says an apology is not enough. Congressman Cleaver is here
SCHUTLZ: Good to have you with us tonight, folks. Thanks for
Breaking news off the top, Mitt Romney has just weighed in on the Rush
Limbaugh controversy. We`ll bring you his comments in just a few moments
as we`re racking up the tape.
Rush Limbaugh has created, as you know, a media firestorm unlike
anything we`ve seen in a long time. Limbaugh`s outrageous comments about a
Georgetown student, Sandra Fluke, are absolutely shameful. But Limbaugh
has not backed down and today, he continued his vile and despicable talk
about the 30-year-old college student you first met here on THE ED SHOW.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LIMBAUGH: A woman, a law school student at Georgetown, has it
reported about her that she is having so much sex she can`t afford her
birth control pills anymore. Thirty years old, a student at Georgetown law
who admits to have so much sex that she can`t afford it anymore. You know,
people -- I offered to pay for aspirins. I thought I`d been quite
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: This is disgusting for so many reasons. First of all, Rush
has his facts wrong. Perhaps the worst thing about it is, is that Limbaugh
keeps deliberately misrepresenting what Sandra Fluke stands for.
Fluke`s testimony about contraception was not about her personally.
It was about people with medical problems who need the pill for reasons
other than pregnancy prevention. As she said in her testimony, "The
denials of contraceptive coverage impact real people in the worst cases,
women who need this medication for other medical reasons suffer dire
The president of the United States understands this college student
and her message. He called her today to show his support.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANDREA MITCHELL, MSNBC HOST: What did he say to you?
SANDRA FLUKE, GEORGETOWN UNIV. LAW STUDENT: He encouraged me and
supported me and thanked me for speaking out about the concerns of American
women. And what was really personal for me was that he said to tell my
parents that they should be proud and that meant a lot because Rush
Limbaugh questioned whether or not my family would be proud of me. So I
just appreciated that very much.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Fluke pointed out her parents have a different political
persuasion than she does, but that doesn`t stop Limbaugh from making
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LIMBAUGH: OK, let me ask you a question. I might be surprised with
the answer I would get to this question. Your daughter appears before a
congressional committee and says she is having so much sex she can`t pay
for it and wants a new welfare program to pay for it. Would you be proud?
I -- I`d be embarrassed.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: So, what do you think? Has this gone far enough?
Where are the Republicans to call for an end to all this? Well,
Senator Scott Brown of Massachusetts, he wants to get reelected in a blue
state, so he said on Twitter Rush Limbaugh`s comments are reprehensible, he
You can bet if it was someone on the left, Brown would demand a
Congressman Darrell Issa took the opportunity to blast Democrats, "I
find your narrow focus on this particular comment to be self-serving and
dismissive of other inappropriate comments and attacks on Americans of
House Speaker John Boehner also had a mild response through a
spokesman. "The speaker obviously believes the use of those words was
inappropriate, as is trying to raise money off the situation."
No calls for Rush`s firing or even a temporary suspension from the
right wing. The Republican candidates, well, they don`t want to touch this
A CNN reporter said, "When CNN tried to get Mitt Romney to comment on
Limbaugh this afternoon, he walked right by our camera."
NBC News reported Romney addressed Limbaugh`s remarks tonight at an
event in Ohio. Romney said, "It`s not the language I would have used. I`m
focusing on the issues I think are significant in the country today."
Rick Santorum also had a weak response.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RICK SANTORUM (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Well, he`s taking -- you
know, he`s being absurd. I mean, that`s -- you know, an entertainer can be
absurd, he`s taking the absurd sort of point of view here as to how far do
you go. And, look, he`s in a very different business than I am.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: To diminish Rush as an entertainer is absolute nonsense. No
broadcaster has ever been so connected to the Republican Party as this
broadcaster. There are almost connected at the hip.
In fact, in 1995, Limbaugh was made an honorary member of Congress at
a three-day orientation sponsored by the Heritage Foundation and Empower
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The people that listen to 10 hours of talk radio a
week or more voted Republican by a three to one margin. Those are the
people that elected the new Congress. That`s why this is the Limbaugh
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: This is a man with more power than most politicians. But
now he`s portraying himself as the victim.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LIMBAUGH: I say this really with the absence of all ego, what this is
about now is getting me. What this is -- this is about silencing me,
removing my voice as a credible critic.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: The absence of all ego?
The only thing that will silence Rush Limbaugh is if his syndicator
loses money. And that might not even do it. Clear Channel Communications
did not respond to our request for comment tonight, but sponsors have
responded to Rush`s actions in a big way.
Sleep number, sleep train, Quicken Loans and Cleveland Cavaliers have
dropped their advertising from the "Rush Limbaugh Radio Show". Several
other companies are keeping their distance, saying they don`t plan to
advertise with Limbaugh ever again and will review their current
I have been in the radio business for 30 years. I have managed
stations and dealt with advertisers upset with program content, even my
own. Every station manager gets phone calls, complaints, et cetera, et
cetera. But the social media is descending upon Limbaugh and station
advertisers like never before. The social media is a post for everyone to
see that just doesn`t go away. It`s far more damaging and effective than
an irate phone call from a listener.
If this pressure continues, it could be Limbaugh`s downfall, may be
his Waterloo, we can only hope.
The fact that Limbaugh has doubled down, tripled the talk in day three
and shown no remorse underscores this is just who he is.
Ladies and gentlemen, we are talking about a major media figure in
this country attacking a college student for speaking her mind on Capitol
Hill, being called a slut and a prostitute? Are there any boundaries?
Here are your options: put pressure on the advertisers at the local
stations to force the change in the market, or let this conservative hate
talk continue to have its place in the market.
Get your cell phones out: I want to know what you think. Tonight`s
question, would you buy anything advertised on Rush Limbaugh program?
Text A for yes, text B for no to 622639. And you can go to our blog
at Ed.MSNBC.com. We`ll bring you results later on in the show.
And I want to say one thing -- there`s been a lot of Twitter about Ed
Schultz`s comments last April about Laura Ingraham. I apologized, I had
restitution. I took a week suspension. I took myself off the air.
I didn`t double down on day two or three and continue on a tirade
against a college student, a student that has no platform to defend
I think, Rush, you just need to man up. Say you were wrong and be
done with it. And if you don`t, you deserve to lose all your advertisers
because right now, every program director in this country I think is really
examining whether you`re worth it or not anymore.
We know the Congress is. You may have your right-wing nut jobs
thinking and saying, go, Rush go, and some right wing bloggers who were
behind you all the way, but we know what you`re about. But now, we really
know what you`re about: you have no character. You can`t fess up that you
made a mistake and you`re trying to justify yourself. That`s what makes it
An apology I found out goes a long way in America.
Joining me now is Reverend Al Sharpton, host of "POLITICS NATION" here
Reverend, good to have you with us.
AL SHARPTON, POLITICS NATION HOST: Thank you, Ed.
SCHULTZ: You`ve seen this before, you were involved on the sidelines
of the Don Imus situation because a lot of people in your community, in the
black community, came to you and said we can`t put up with this.
Are there similarities here?
SHARPTON: Yes, the similarities are that you`re dealing with innocent
women. In the case of Imus, it was a basketball team of young women that
were disparaged. And here is a young college student.
The thing that is most offensive here is what you just said -- even
Imus tried to apologize after it was a foregone conclusion and advertisers
withdrew. Rush is not even showing the decency that was displayed by Imus,
who we felt had come too little too late. He`s doubling down, he`s
attacking this girl, he`s implying her parents should be embarrassed.
And it`s a direct sexual assault on her. This is not an implication
using sexual terms for something political, he is downright denigrating her
and making direct references like she has some sexual habits that is
causing her position, which is not only untrue, it`s absolutely
I think the advertisers coming off is the first stage. I think Clear
Channel is going to have to answer. I think civil rights groups are going
to join women`s group.
And I think this may be Rush`s undoing by Rush. He can`t make himself
the victim. This young lady didn`t do anything to him, even after he kept
He`s the one that did the offense, he`s the one on the assault, how
can you turn around and call yourself a victim when you caused this whole
SCHULTZ: You know, in the last few years, Reverend, we have seen
social media have a impact on change in business and society. Is the
social media finally, maybe in your opinion, going to hold Rush Limbaugh
accountable? He`s never had to do restitution for anything he`s ever done
on the air at all.
SHARPTON: Well, no, I think he has not. But I think the social media
has the strength to do it. I think they`re showing that, and I think he`s
inciting it because he`s almost daring us to come and get him, those decent
Americans that are saying this young lady doesn`t deserve this, and she is
representative of all young ladies.
I have two daughters. He could do this to my daughters.
SCHULTZ: What do you make of Clear Channel`s silence? They`ve been
silent for three days. They`ve been called out and in some media circles.
We call them late this afternoon. We could not get a comment from them.
SHARPTON: I think their silence will be seen as consent, and it will
be unclear channel. I think that they`ve got to deal with the fact that in
the corporate community, they are risking any standing of credibility and I
think the Republican leaders that have come with weak responses have robbed
from themselves the moral authority to say anything about anyone if all
they`re going to do is kind of sugar-coat an answer and try to use that to
just attack Democrats.
SCHULTZ: Here is another one. Limbaugh says that this is a
Democratic plan to get him off the airwaves. Here it is.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
LIMBAUGH: The Democrats are desperate. And why they want people -- I
do know why they want people to fear me. This is all they have got, to go
out and try to discredit their critics.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: What is your response?
SHARPTON: The question is that he`s calling this young lady a slut
and a prostitute. Neither of which are true -- a young lady that went
before a congressional hearing, in the United States capitol to stand for a
position that she believes in. This is not about Democrat-Republican.
This is about whether we have a country people can use the public air waves
to disparage and slander a young woman going before the Congress of the
SCHULTZ: And do you think this pressure will continue?
SHARPTON: This pressure must continue on him, and on the Montana
judge that I`m joining Chairman Cleaver with, in saying he must be removed.
When you have federal judges now saying the president`s mother may have had
sex with a dog and he could have come out barking, when you have Limbaugh
(ph) going, doubling down on three days in a row this, poison has to stop
somewhere and decent people of parties and all races and all genders must
stand together on this.
SCHULTZ: Reverend Al Sharpton, host of "POLITICS NATION" -- great to
have you with us.
SHARPTON: Thank you.
SCHULTZ: Thank you.
Remember to answer tonight`s question there at the bottom of the
screen and share your thoughts on Twitter @EdShow. We want to know what
When we come back, Krystal Ball was also attacked by Rush Limbaugh
when she ran for Congress. She`s organizing a boycott Rush. She will join
me along with Karen Finney for all the politics of it all.
And we know -- we now have the sound bite of Mitt Romney reacting to
Rush Limbaugh`s remarks, we`ll get to that. That`s breaking now.
And later, calls for resignation of a federal judge are mounting over
his racist e-mail about President Obama. Congressman Emanuel Cleaver of
the Congressional Black Caucus will join me on that.
Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: Coming up: our guest Krystal Ball is calling for a boycott
of Rush Limbaugh and advertisers are responding.
Plus, MSNBC political analyst Karen Finney will tell us about the
political fallout of all this.
Righties in the media are actually standing behind Rush -- Eric
Boehlert and Mike Papantonio weigh in with their comments.
I will tell you the real truth about Rick Santorum record on working
class Americans. You won`t want to miss it.
Share your thoughts on Twitter using #EdShow.
We`re coming right back.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back do to THE ED SHOW.
We`ve been talking about offensive remark which crosses a line which
goes so far mere condemnation isn`t enough. Sponsors of Rush Limbaugh are
beginning to respond to demands that he`d be dropped. The response of
Republican lawmakers has not been what it should be sadly because they`re
scared of this guy. His microphone is pretty big.
But Democrats have been clear on the matter. The Democratic
Senatorial Campaign Committee has an online petition to demand an apology
from the broadcaster.
The Obama campaign senior strategist David Axelrod said, "Rush`s vile,
appalling assault on Sandra Fluke deserves universal condemnation. How can
folks who call themselves leaders walk away?"
I`m joined tonight by MSNBC contributor and Democratic strategist
Krystal Ball, and MSNBC political analyst and former communication director
for the DNC, Karen Finney.
Great to have both of you with us tonight.
Krystal, you have been subjected personally to attacks by Rush
Limbaugh. Tell us. What happened?
KRYSTAL BALL, MSNBC CONTRIBUTOR: Well, during my campaign for
Congress in 2010, some right wing bloggers issued party photos of me that
went viral. And, of course, this is a time-honored tradition of a way of
degrading women, painting them as sluts, to undermine their credibility and
to silence their voices, as Sandra Fluke said herself. And, of course,
Rush Limbaugh jumped on that bandwagon attacking me.
So, I have been there and I have seen what it`s like to be raked
through the coals the way that Sandra is, which is part of why I`ve had so
much I think passion around this issue, because I don`t want to see any
woman have to go through what I went through and what Sandra is going
SCHULTZ: So, if you run for Congress or if you even go testify on
Capitol Hill, you run the risk of being trashed by Rush Limbaugh.
BALL: That`s right.
SCHULTZ: That`s what it comes down to.
Mitt Romney was asked about the Limbaugh remarks tonight, here`s his
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I`ll just say this, which
is, it`s not the language I would have used. I`m focusing on the issues
that I think are significant in the country today, and that`s why I`m here
talking about jobs in Ohio.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Karen Finney, is this a problem for the RNC? Is it a
problem for the Republicans and especially the candidates like Rick
Santorum? And there you saw Mitt Romney saying it`s not the language he
would have used. What about that?
KAREN FINNEY, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: You know, what a coward, my
What this says to us is that this is -- we are witnessing the absolute
final straw in the takeover of the Republican Party by the right wing.
That these guys are cowering in the corner, so afraid to say to this man
you can`t talk about our daughters, our sisters, our mothers, grandchildren
this way, that that kind of language isn`t acceptable. That sends a very
And what I don`t think these candidates understands, what I don`t
think the RNC understands or other leaders in the Republican Party, women
are paying attention. I mean, this is not just an isolated incident. This
really goes to the heart of the matter of the war on women and this sort of
slow erosion in some ways of women`s civil rights, our liberty being
perceived and seen as equal human beings, instead of demean in the way
that, you know, Krystal was talking about.
I remember very clearly when he did that to her. And it was
BALL: Karen defended me. I will never forget that. That`s
absolutely right. And that`s why this --
FINNEY: I did.
BALL: -- has touched such a nerve with women, because we`ve had one
thing after another. I think on this issue, Rush did not realize what he
was stepping in to. And as you were pointing out, he also doesn`t
understand that age of social media that we are living in.
SCHULTZ: Well, I want to talk about that. Is the power of the social
media a big threat to Rush Limbaugh right now? Karen, what do you think?
FINNEY: It is, but and I think -- I think, Ed, we`ve got -- there is
two parts to this, right? Absolutely, we need to arm ourselves and go
after Rush Limbaugh. This is unacceptable. Bain Capital also happens to
own a portion of Clear Channel. So, don`t forget that.
At the same time, the second piece of this is and this goes to kind of
what Reverend Sharpton was talking about. I`m in Montgomery, Alabama, with
Congressman Lewis and the delegations, sort of retracing the steps of the
civil rights movement -- when we are silent, when things like this go on,
then we`re saying it`s OK. Part of what we have to do, the men in our
lives and women need to stand together and say this kind of language is not
OK. It is not OK to have these kind of attitudes about women.
I don`t want young girls thinking that this is an OK way for them to
feel about themselves.
FINNEY: I don`t want the boys, that they might date, to think that`s
an acceptable way to treat women.
SCHULTZ: Well, on the campaign trail, we`ve seen on numerous speeches
that Rick Santorum has had his daughter up on the stage. I wonder how he
would feel if a liberal broadcaster were to call his daughter a slut or
prostitute, or even start asking questions about and making assertions
about her sexual activity, if there is any.
But Santorum said the comments by Limbaugh were absurd.
Krystal, your response to that.
BALL: I mean, calling a woman a slut and a prostitute is not just
absurd, it`s despicable. It`s deplorable. And the fact that Santorum
can`t call it that is in itself despicable and deplorable.
I mean, why are these guys so afraid of Rush Limbaugh?
SCHULTZ: You called for a boycott. Tell us about that. Go ahead,
FINNEY: I was going to say again, I mean, again, these men are
cowards. They are such cowards. Why won`t they stand up to Rush Limbaugh?
I mean, Ed, you know this very well. Lots of times -- this is not the
first time that Rush Limbaugh has gone beyond the pale and these guys never
speak out. Why? Because they are afraid of him.
It`s the same reason that so many of these Republican members are
afraid that they`re going to be primaried by the Tea Party folks who listen
to this guy.
SCHULTZ: Krystal, tells us about the boycott effort.
BALL: So, last night on Twitter, this started. Someone actually
suggest the idea of he`s not going to shut up. We have to take away his
power by going after the people who are sponsoring his programs, the
companies that are sponsoring his programming.
So, it started with Twitter #boycottRush. There`s other ones out
And we have a petition up online at boycottrush.org. same deal.
There`s a lot of different petitions. But basically we are saying, we are
not going to patronize any business that is sponsoring Rush Limbaugh`s
SCHULTZ: This is where social media can come in because network
advertisers are going to do what they`re going to do. But if station
managers start losing local advertisers, they`re going to be thinking about
whether they`re going to be carrying Limbaugh`s program.
Krystal Ball and Karen Finney, I want you to stay with us, because
just moments ago, Bill O`Reilly has made shocking comments about Sandra
Fluke, and I want to get your reaction.
We`ll be right back. Stay with us.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW thanks for watching tonight.
Moments ago on his show, Bill O`Reilly made disparaging comments about
Sandra Fluke. Here they are.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BILL O`REILLY, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: So let me get this straight, Mrs.
Fluke. I`m asking this with all due respect. I am. You want me to give
you my hard earned money so you can have sex? Why then won`t the
government pay for my activities?
For example, I played college football. The government should have
bought my equipment, my helmet, shoulder pads, cleats, because if I don`t
have those things on the field, I might get hurt. Surely the taxpayers
should have ponied up for my football activities.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Actually, Bill, you played football without a helmet. Let`s
bring back MSNBC contributor Krystal Ball and MSNBC political analyst Karen
Finney. What is it about Rush Limbaugh and now Bill O`Reilly that don`t
understand women`s health care? Krystal?
BALL: I mean, that is the question, because the fact of the matter is
over a million women use birth control for purely medical purposes, nothing
to do with contraception. And in fact, if he had bothered to listen to
Sandra`s testimony, you would know that what she was talking about was a
friend who had to lose an ovary because she could not afford birth control
and her insurance wouldn`t cover it. That is what this is about.
The other piece of this I`ll throw in, as well, even if this was just
about contraception, Bill O`Reilly and all these right wing guys, they are
pro-life. They`re against abortions, as we all are.
Guess what the best way to prevent an abortion is? It`s to have
access to contraception.
SCHULTZ: Karen Finney, your response to Bill O`Reilly. The president
today, of course, called Sandra Fluke. That took the story to a whole new
level. Now O`Reilly seems to be defending and siding with Rush Limbaugh
FINNEY: Well, of course he is. Again, these guys are cowards. What
do cowards do when their power is challenged? They stick together. Again,
I think it`s important that we remember, they are trying to reduce Sandra
and this story to this is about sexual activity and sexual habits, when
Just in the same way that this contraception and the accommodation the
president made is not about religious freedom, it is about protecting the
rights of the individual. And the larger message here is the Republican
party is standing with the Vatican and protecting the institution. What
the president is trying to stand up for, what we`re talking about is
protecting the rights of the individuals, of every individual, the woman
who would be affected by this.
Just as we`re talk about Sandra as a person, not as some kind of sex
BALL: Right. And if I could make a political point here, too,
remember what precipitated the year of the woman back in 1992. It was the
Clarence Thomas Senate confirmation hearings, the grilling of Anita Hill,
and that visual of the all male Senate hearing. Now we have a similar
dynamic, the all male contraception hearing. Now these comments from Rush
Limbaugh. We could have a similar dynamic playing at the ballot box here
SCHULTZ: But O`Reilly, this what is gets me about O`Reilly. I
thought he was for sure smarter than Limbaugh, maybe not.
FINNEY: No, come on, Ed! One thing to Krystal`s point -- politically
just to Krystal`s point, we do have a record number of great women
candidates running this time. Remember that more women than men vote. and
I promise you this, Ed, we will remember all of this. And we Democrats
will use this and remind American women who is on their side.
SCHULTZ: So You think women are going to remember Mitt Romney`s
saying it`s not the language that he would have used. They will remember
that Rick Santorum just said it was absurd and then kind of hinted it was
all about entertainment. And of course the slow response from the speaker
of the House, John Boehner, after a letter was sent to him by other
Congressional members asking for them to condemn it.
Actually, no one on the Republican party has fully condemned what
Limbaugh has done. And now you`ve got Bill O`Reilly giving him cover. But
I want to go back to this point they keep making, Karen, about how Bill
O`Reilly thinks that his tax dollars are going to pay for her sex. Address
FINNEY: I mean, that is just so ludicrous. Again, that is trying to
demean her and bring this down to some kind of -- you know, this is about a
sex act, which it has absolutely nothing to do with. This has to do with
our values as a country.
We say that we believe that people deserve access to basic health
care. Contraception is part of basic health care. That is what this is
about. And that is why, though, Ed, it is so important that we are out
there and we talk about this stuff. And don`t just -- it`s important to go
after Limbaugh and it`s important to call out Bill O`Reilly.
But it`s even important that we make it very clear that what they are
trying to make it about, a sex act, is not what this is about. This is
about basic health care for women.
BALL: Yes, and this is slut-shaming, plain and simple. Same as what
they did to Anita Hill, same as what they did to the women who came out and
accused Herman Cain, same as what they did to Congresswoman Janice Hahn,
when they ran these despicable ads against her in California. It`s the
same thing that we`ve seen time and time again.
SCHULTZ: Krystal Ball, Karen Finney, thanks for staying with us
tonight. Thank you so much. We got to run here. Thank you.
We`ll have more on the right wing noise machine rallying around Rush
Limbaugh coming up. This is THE ED SHOW, Stay with us.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: While you were sleeping, Rush Limbaugh was wide
awake. That`s because the bomb squad showed up at his house. A suspicious
package wound up outside his home in Palm Beach, Florida. Turns out one of
his listener sent him a package. That listener apologizing this morning
for all of the trouble that he caused. Oops.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: That was the big Limbaugh headline on Fox News today. The
right wing noise machine managed to avoid Limbaugh`s outrageous comments
about Georgetown Law student Sandra Fluke. That is until the public`s
outrage got too big to ignore.
Host Megan Kelly did not play Limbaugh`s offensive audio for viewers,
but had plenty to say about Fluke`s congressional testimony.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MEGAN KELLY, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: What she testified to, and the manner
in which she testified to it, caused a very big backlash, not just about
the coverage for contraception, but whether the testimony bespoke of an
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Taking a page out of Darrell Issa`s play book, Eric Bolling
questioned Fluke`s credibility.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ERIC BOLLING, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: I just want to know Bob`s opinion on
this 30-year-old Georgetown lawyer who testified. Seems like a plant to
me, Bob. I mean, she`s 30 years old. She doesn`t seem like she is going
to have a hard time finding contraceptives.
What I also heard -- and we did a little research on it -- was that
she was actually -- she went to Georgetown with the express purpose of
exposing an issue -- an ideological issue of hers.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: Meanwhile, other Fox personalities attacked Sandra Fluke off
camera. Former Bush Secretary Dana Perino Tweeted, "I wonder how much the
average law student spends a month on coffee a month. You know, the fancy
kind with soy milk and junk?"
Kirsten Powers, the so called Democratic political analyst for Fox,
Tweeted this, "also I thought the feminist said being a slut was a good
Let`s turn to Eric Boehlert, senior fellow at Media Matters, with us
tonight, and also Mike Papantonio, host of the "Ring of Fire" radio show.
Gentlemen, good to have you with us tonight.
Eric, Limbaugh has put Fox News maybe in a tough spot, but maybe not,
now that Bill O`Reilly has come out in somewhat of a defense of Limbaugh
and an attack on Sandra Fluke.
Why are they so quiet about something that has been so offensive and
ERIC BOEHLERT, MEDIA MATTERS: Look, Eric Bolling talking about
they`re doing research on this college student now. They are going to do
opposition research and look into her past. Look, they are all on the same
page. We are watching sort of a right wing media nervous breakdown today.
I mean, they have completely lost all -- they`ve completely lost any
sort of moral compass and adult leadership. This has been going on three
days. Nine hours -- three days of Rush Limbaugh`s radio show he has spent
basically denigrating a private college student who had the temerity to
come forward and talk about a public issue.
So Fox News and Rush, they are on the same page. They`re part of this
hate machine and hate movement. Of course, they are going to back him up.
Look, a couple people on the so-called serious Fox show tonight did
criticize Rush Limbaugh. But the opinion shows tonight, they all doubled
down and they all attacked the victim.
SCHULTZ: Mike Papantonio, you`re one of the finest attorneys in
America. Does Sandra Fluke have a case here at all?
MIKE PAPANTONIO, "RING OF FIRE" HOST: You need more facts on this
one, Ed. There are some -- there are some issues that could be raised.
Would it stand past a summary judgment? You never know until you take some
"New York Times" is a tough case to overcome. But at any rate, it`s a
But as I watched this develop, something Eric said, they are proud of
Rush, Ed. They are proud -- they were proud when he laughed at the joke.
I don`t know if you remember this case, Eric, they laughed at his jokes
when he was talking about a rape case. He took the story of a rape case
and actually played it for his viewers.
It was a court case that was taking place. They had a yuk yuk
moment. And all of the people on the right laughed along with him. It`s
one brain syndrome. He has referred to women many times, their political
groups, as terrorists organization. He calls them ugly dogs. Those are
the words he likes to use.
One of his -- one of the things he used to do is play a song on the
air, you might remember this. It was called "Born a Woman." It almost
became his theme song. The song is about the idea that if you`re born a
woman, you should be under the thumb of a man.
SCHULTZ: So, Mike, is it catching up with him? He`s never been
brought down before. Is this it?
PAPANTONIO: I think there is enough momentum because of the fact that
90 percent of all purchases in America, Ed, are made by women. They are
the ones who buy real estate. They buy cars. Something like 65 percent of
them actually buy automobiles. They are the people who spend money.
Listen, I don`t care if you`re an affiliate, if you`re an advertiser.
I don`t care what your role is. You can`t ignore the impact.
Look, you just saw Krystal Ball and Karen Finney. They are fired up
about this, just like everybody who is going after him right now. He maybe
can weather it, but there`s going to be some ulcers developed over this
story, Ed. I can promise you that.
SCHULTZ: Eric, you folks at Media Matters have documented just about
everything Limbaugh has ever done. Is this the worst?
BOEHLERT: It`s top five. I really do think it is. It`s top five.
SCHULTZ: What is number one?
BOEHLERT: Well, good question. I mean, the incessant race baiting
during the Limbaugh years. You know, he went after autism a year or two
ago. That was just completely off the range. This is really bad because
he went back two, three times.
He`s not going after a columnist or a senator or a presidential
candidate. He`s going after a college student. Remember The republican
hearing wouldn`t even allow a woman. We finally have a woman come forward
and her reward is being called a slut and prostitute. And Limbaugh went
after her parents on his nationally syndicated radio show. This is insane.
SCHULTZ: So if you run for office, as I said earlier, or you go
testify on Capitol Hill and you are a woman, and if you say something that
the Republicans don`t like, they have their tool to take care of you. And
that`s Rush Limbaugh.
BOEHLERT: One point; he has lost more advertisers in the last two
days that he has lost in the last two years. I don`t know if anyone will
take him down. He writes his own ticket at Clear Channel.
SCHULTZ: What does that mean he writes his own ticket at Clear
BOEHLERT: He`s on his syndicated stations. They don`t care. They`re
going to carry his stuff. It`s not like --
SCHULTZ: So would have to get him at the local level, then.
BOEHLERT. He has so many stations. It wasn`t like Glenn Beck.
SCHULTZ: This is the one thing about ownership, is that Clear Channel
owns the stations that Limbaugh is on.
BOEHLERT: Some of them.
SCHULTZ: Enough of them. They mandate you are going to carry
Limbaugh`s program. I know. I went through that. In Fargo, we were
forced to carry Limbaugh`s program after having "Live and Local" around the
clock for many years.
So and I`m -- Mike, what do you make of Clear Channel not responding
to any media request for any kind of comment. Do they think this is just
going to blow over?
PAPANTONIO: They are hoping it will, Ed. But this isn`t the kind of
thing that blows over. Look, this is going to happen again. This is going
to happen again. This is a man who has so many doubts about his own
virility, about his own masculinity that it manifests by attacking women.
That`s just part of it. It`s not going to go away.
SCHULTZ: Mike Papantonio, Eric Boehlert, great to have you with us
tonight. Appreciate it so much.
Another deadly tornado outbreak strikes America`s heartland. Next
meteorologist Bill Karins will tell us where these storms are headed. Stay
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Looks like a train I guess you would call it, you
know, boom it just hit so fast.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHULTZ: An outbreak of severe weather has swept across the Midwest
and south, tornadoes hitting eight states. Tonight, at least 14 people are
dead, and entire communities have been completely wiped out.
NBC News meteorologist Bill Karins with the latest.
BILL KARINS, NBC NEWS ANCHOR: Good evening to you, Ed. Just an
amazing show of force from these tornadoes, incredibly strong. We have
heard stories of asphalt being ripped up in southern portions of Indiana.
We had debris blowing 50 miles away into Cincinnati from these storms.
We still have a tornado threat as we go throughout the late night
hours here and after we go past midnight. But the tornado threat will
slowly diminish as we go throughout the evening. The areas of concern now
are switching more or less towards areas of eastern Alabama, northern
Georgia, and up through the mountainous areas of the Appalachians.
A lot of our big cities, you are out of the woods. We`ve had an
amazing number of severe weather reports.
Now we`re heading towards 500, over 60 to 80 tornado reports out
there. A lot of damaging hail. You see where the center of it was, right
over Kentucky, southern Indiana and southern Ohio. That is where we want
to bring these pictures to you from.
The Marysville area of southern Indiana just likes the town was wiped
off the map. About 1,900 people live there, and a lot of them are just
kind of struggling and wandering around, trying to figure out how they are
going to rebuild their small town.
Also, some high schools were hit in that region, along with a medical
center. So they are going to have a lot of clean-up to do, as we go
through the weekend. It`s going to take a long time, Ed, before they put
their lives back together.
Also some areas of Kentucky, too -- the little town of West Liberty,
we`re hearing reports of fatalities there and devastation.
Back to you.
SCHULTZ: Bill Karins, NBC News meteorologist, thanks for the update.
Next, the Montana judge who sent out a racist e-mail is apologizing to
the president. I`ll ask Congressman Emanuel Clever if more should be done.
SCHULTZ: We want to tell our audience tonight that we expected to
have Leo Gerard of the Steelworkers and also former Ohio Governor Ted
Strickland on the air with us tonight, previewing what is coming up on
Super Tuesday in Ohio and talking about the political fallout when it comes
to the Republicans who say they support middle class workers.
We`ll get to that later on in the coming days. We apologize for not
getting them on tonight because of breaking news.
Survey tonight, we asked -- I asked, would you buy anything advertised
on "The Rush Limbaugh Program?" Three percent of you said yes; 97 percent
of you said no.
Coming up, Congressman Emanuel Cleaver joins me to discuss Montana
Judge Richard Cebull`s about a racist e-mail and if an apology is enough.
SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW. Big finish tonight, the top
federal judge in the state of Montana sent out a racist e-mail about
President Obama. And today there are more calls for his resignation.
Yesterday, the judge apologized to anyone who he may have offended.
But that obviously wasn`t going to cut it. So today, Chief U.S.
District Judge Richard Cebull sent an apology to the president. Here is
what Judge Cebull was apologizing for, an e-mail he forwarded saying "a
little boy said to his mother, mommy, how come I`m black and you`re white?
His mother replied, don`t even go there, Barack. From what I can remember
about that party, you`re lucky you don`t bark"
Judge Cebull says he didn`t know what else he could do. Well, he
could resign. Former Senator John Meckler of Montana and civil rights
groups have called for his resignation.
I`m joined tonight by Congressman Emanuel Cleaver of Missouri. He is
the chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus. Congressman, thanks for
your time tonight.
REP. EMANUEL CLEAVER (D), MISSOURI: Good to be with you.
SCHULTZ: Is an apology enough? What do you make of the situation
CLEAVER: Absolutely not. An apology is not enough. The question is
for what is he apologizing? Is he apologizing because it was made public
or is he apologizing because the inner parts of who is is being revealed.
Look, this man is a federal judge, a U.S. district court judge and a
chief justice. And I don`t think that this man has expressed the -- in
what he`s saying in this joke, the kind of temperament that a federal judge
needs to have. Any minority who ever appears before this judge would not
believe that they are going to get a fair shake.
And that is why Judy Chu of the Asian Pacific Caucus, Charlie Gonzales
of the Hispanic Congressional Caucus and myself as the CBC chair all joined
together and said, this man needs to go. Now, at the minimum, he should be
brought before the Judiciary Committee, because he asked for a review by
his colleagues, but that is nothing.
The only way a federal judge can be removed is by the Congress of the
United States. He must be impeached. And I think that this man needs to
at least be held accountable in front of the court of the United States --
the Congress of the United States.
The question is not whether Judge Cebull has foul racial opinions, but
whether or not they have him. And by that I mean if what he said, and I
believe that he meant what he said in the joke, that that`s what he is,
then this man is not fit to be on the court of the United States of
SCHULTZ: Well, the question begs if someone were to go in the
courtroom with a Barack Obama t-shirt on and stand in front of this judge,
could he objectively do what he has to do and follow the guidelines of the
law without having his personal beliefs get involved? Is that really the
gist of it all for you?
CLEAVER: That is the issue. I think if a man stood before him who
had driven on a sidewalk or something, he would probably get the electric
SCHULTZ: Congressman, what does it take to get him in front of the
House Judiciary Committee?
CLEAVER: Well, the chair of the House Judiciary Committee would have
to ask him to come. And of course if he doesn`t, the Judiciary Committee
is one of the House committees that does, in fact, have subpoena powers.
And let me just tell you, if I were the chairman of that committee, I
don`t care if that has been a Democrat, an African-American, Republican.
To say -- to send that joke out, as he did, means that there is something
wrong. This man does not need to be on the court of the United States.
And every person who has ever appeared before him who was not like him
might think about making some kind of call for review.
SCHULTZ: Congressman Emanuel Cleaver, we will follow the story up --
follow up again next week. I don`t think this is going away. I appreciate
your time tonight. Thanks so much.
That is THE ED SHOW. I`m Ed Schultz.
"THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW" starts right now. Good evening, Rachel.
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY
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