updated 3/13/2012 1:17:43 PM ET 2012-03-13T17:17:43

Guests: Michael Eric Dyson, Richard Wolffe, Michael O`Hanlon, Louis Susman, Charniele Herring, Eric Boehlert,
Holland Cook, Janet Dewart Bell


ED SCHULTZ, HOST: Good evening, Americans. And welcome to THE ED
SHOW tonight, from New York.

Less than 12 hours before the polls open in Alabama, and Mississippi,
Republican presidential candidates are flat out lying about gas prices and
lying about job creation. You won`t believe what is people in the Deep
South think about President Obama. The shocking numbers, coming up next.

This is THE ED SHOW -- let`s get to work.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

NEWT GINGRICH (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: One of my goals this fall
is to run as president drilling versus president algae.

SCHULTZ (voice-over): From gas prices to religion, Republicans are
waging a campaign of fear to take down the president. And there is new
evidence that it might be working.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He is an avowed Muslim.

SCHULTZ: Tonight, Brad Woodhouse of the DNC and professor Michael
Eric Dyson are here with reaction.

Does the HBO movie "Game Change" mean game over for Sarah Palin?

STEVE SCHMIDT, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: For me, and the experience on
this campaign is that there are worse things than losing.

SCHULTZ: MSNBC political analyst Richard Wolffe on the "Game Change"
fallout.

The Limbaugh controversy is now spreading to other righty talkers.
Radio expert Holland Cooke and Eric Boehlert of Media Matters have the
analysis.

And Sean Hannity`s Harvard conspiracy theory was a bust, but it
smeared the good name of Professor Derrick Bell. Tonight, the late
professor`s widow joins me exclusively to defend her husband`s memory.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

SCHULTZ: Good to have you with us tonight, folks. Thanks for
watching.

Republicans have found their footing in their attacks on President
Obama. It looks like they are having an impact on the American people as
well. And it`s all about gas.

A new "Washington Post"/ABC New poll shows 65 percent of Americans
disapprove of the way the president has handled gas prices. A new CBS
News/"New York Times" poll has President Obama`s approval rating at an all
time low? Well, it`s only one poll. But that is a number.

And 54 percent of Americans say gas prices are something that the
president can do a lot about. Really?

President Obama tried to get out in front of the problem today. He
did television interviews with local news channels from eight key election
states.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The single most
important thing we can do is reduce our dependence on foreign oil. And the
fact that we reduced our dependence by about a million barrels a day, that
over time is going to have a big impact.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Republicans are hitting the president for not increasing
energy production. In reality, this is meaningless. Over the last three
years, the United States paid an average of $2.64 a gallon while producing
5.4 million barrels of oil per day.

In comparison, Germans paid almost the said, $2.69 a gallon. Germany
produced just 28,000 barrels per day. Go figure.

But the facts haven`t stopped Newt Gingrich from making his entire
platform about gas prices.

He continued to hammer the president while trying to court Southern
voters.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

GINGRICH: I think the biggest issue this fall is going to be drilling
versus algae. It`s going to be 2.50 a gallon versus $10 a gallon. It`s
going to be -- which future do you want for your children and your country.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: More on that sound bite in a moment. I`ll get to it.

It`s not just gas prices getting Republicans riled up in the South,
Public Policy Polling asked Republican voters in Mississippi and Alabama
their opinions on President Obama`s -- get this -- religion. We`re still
there, folks.

In Mississippi, only 12 percent consider the president a Christian, 52
percent said he`s a Muslim. Oh, while 36 percent said, well, they are not
sure.

In Alabama, the numbers were 14 percent, 45 percent, and 41 percent of
the people in Alabama, really aren`t sure what faith the president is.
Three days ago, we saw more good news about the economic recovery in
America. But the president is now forced to address this persistent issue
about his religion.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

OBAMA: When we start using religion as a bludgeon in politics, when
we start questioning other people`s faith, we start using religion to
divide instead of bring the country together, then I think we`ve got a
problem.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: The root of this problem is at the doorstep of the McCain
campaign of 2008. You don`t have to look farther than the recent HBO movie
"Game Change," which premiered over the weekend, to see how this whole fire
started to rage.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

WOODY HARRELSON, ACTOR (as Steve Schmidt): Senator McCain wanted me
to congratulate you on a fantastic debate. You really did a great job.

JULIANNE MOORE, ACTRESS (as Sarah Palin): Thanks. Tell John I want
to bring up Bill Ayers, Reverend Wright. I think it`s time to go for the
jugular.

HARRELSON: You have to discuss that with your running mate. He made
it very clear that he doesn`t want to touch Wright.

MOORE: I`ll talk to him about it.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Sarah Palin poured gasoline all over this fire. She helped
start the misinformation campaign.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SARAH PALIN (R), FORMER ALASKA GOVERNOR: Now, this is not a man who
sees America as you and I see America. Our opponent is someone who sees
America as imperfect enough to pal around with terrorists who targeted
their own country.

(BOOS)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: So what happened? Sarah Palin made it acceptable for
Republican voters to disdain the president for his alleged otherness. She
ginned up and fostered the pitting of American people against Barack Obama.
And three-and-a-half years later, it is still a big problem for the United
States of America, and, of course, the president of the United States and
pretty much a major concern for his reelection campaign.

But I have to ask tonight, the people of Alabama, the 41 percent that
really aren`t sure -- how much news do you have to watch to be sure? Are
these numbers -- are we at a point in Mississippi and Alabama, is that not
really what you believe, but it`s what you want to believe? Is that what
you culturally believe, because you can`t just believe that a black man is
in the White House and this is still your opportunity to defeat? Isn`t our
country better than that?

Do you want to know why Newt Gingrich is going around telling people
down South, especially in these two states of Mississippi and Alabama that
he can get them to $2.50 a gallon of gas? Because apparently, they`ll
believe it. How sad it is.

Where is idiotsville, Mississippi, anyway? Do they do polling there?

I`m talking directly to the two deep Southern states tonight,
Mississippi and Alabama. Get it together.

President Obama is not a Muslim. He is a Christian, and he called for
the killing of the number one terrorist in the world, Osama bin Laden. Did
that reach the news down there?

Maybe the Democrats in the Mississippi legislature and maybe the
Democrats in the Alabama legislature will step up and put forward a
resolution to maybe turn this thinking a little bit, saying that they
proclaim that the president of the United States is a Christian.

Come on, Democrats, fight back down there. Whatever happened to our
50-state strategy?

The president is an American. He is a Christian. He`s not a Muslim.
And nobody is going to get you $2.50 a gallon of gas -- nobody.

Get your cell phones out, I want to know what you think. Tonight`s
question: will Republican voters ever believe the truth about President
Obama? Text A for yes, text B for no to 622639. And you can always go to
our blog at Ed.MSNBC.com, we`ll bring you results later on in the show.

Joining me tonight is Brad Woodhouse, communications director for the
Democratic National Committee.

Brad, good to have you with us tonight.

BRAD WOODHOUSE, DNC COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR: Hey. Thanks, Ed.

SCHULTZ: Are you concerned about these polling numbers, that this
many people in two Southern states think the president is not a Christian?

WOODHOUSE: Well, look, should say we are maybe, but not really. I
mean, we`re not getting spun up over any one particular poll or any one
particular finding.

It`s unfortunate, I would certainly agree with you about that. I
mean, the president has made clear his entire history has made clear, he`s
an American, he was born here, he`s a Christian. I mean the same people
that wanted to attack him for attending services at Reverend Wright`s
church, which is a Christian church, you know, seem to want to question his
religion.

It`s unfortunate. And like the president said, it has absolutely 100
percent no place in politics. Because once this starts going both ways,
you`re dividing people on some very emotional turf of.

SCHULTZ: Well, dividing them and making them believe about a terrible
falsehood about the highest office in the land, the man that holds that
office.

Now, what about gas price? The perception out there is the president
isn`t doing enough. How do you turn that around?

WOODHOUSE: Well, first of all, I think we need to have an honest
conversation with the American people, which the president is trying to do,
as you outlined he did earlier today.

There is no silver bullet for gas prices. Gas prices were $4.12 a
gallon in the spring of 2008 when President Bush was in office. If there
was a silver bullet, certainly, you know, he would have shot it. He
didn`t, because there`s not.

And, you know, crude oil as both "The Wall Street Journal" and Cato
Institute have said, crude oil prices are not set by the president of the
United States.

SCHULTZ: But --

WOODHOUSE: So, we need to get that straight first. There`s not
silver bullet.

SCHULTZ: It`s is not energy independence right away. It is the Wall
Street speculators. And why can`t the Democrats get on board and say it`s
Wall Street speculation?

Surveys have shown that there`s what, almost 58 cents per gallon
that`s cast on to the price of gas at the pump because of the speculators?
And if the people in Alabama and Mississippi can`t figure out what faith
the president is, how in the heck are they going to understand Wall Street
speculators? You got a heavy lift, don`t you?

WOODHOUSE: Well, certainly -- certainly that`s an issue. As you
know, the attorney general has a task force that has been looking at market
manipulation, has been looking at oil speculation.

But the truth is that, look, we`re producing more oil and gas in this
country than has been produced in the past eight years. Oil imports are
down. We have to reduce our dependence on foreign oil.

There is no easy answer to this crisis. Demand is up in China.
Demand is up in India, and what Iran is doing and volatility in the Middle
East is contributing.

SCHULTZ: Brad Woodhouse, always a pleasure. Good to have you with us
tonight. I appreciate your time.

WOODHOUSE: Thanks, Ed.

SCHULTZ: Now, let`s turn to Michael Eric Dyson, MSNBC political
analyst, Georgetown University professor and author of "Can You Hear Me
Now."

Professor, is Sarah Palin at the root of this issue? And the McCain
campaign, I mean, I watched it over the weekend on Saturday night -- I
mean, that`s where it started. That`s the impression I came away with.

MICHAEL ERIC DYSON, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: She is one of the major
facilitators of this. She`s a woman of manifest unintelligence. She is
ill-informed. She has no historical perspective.

She is a woman who is viable because she is able to articulate through
rhetoric the perspectives of the far right and lunatic fringe of the
Republican Party. And I think she engages in unlimited, nearly ceaseless
assault upon the president`s morality, upon his persona, upon his images,
suggesting, as you said in your introduction, that he is the ultimate
other.

And this does nothing good for the American politics of our country,
or for the American public. It only reinforces the divisions between us.

SCHULTZ: Here`s a clip from Republican Congressman Cliff Sterns at a
town hall meeting in Florida where he was confronted about whether the
president was born in the United States.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

REP. CLIFF STEARNS (R), FLORIDA: All I can tell you is that the
general consensus is that he has produced a birth certificate. The
question is, is it legitimate? That`s why we stand now. Because I think -
- I`ve seen a copy of it on television, the birth certificate.

And -- but you know, the governor of Hawaii couldn`t get what he felt
was an original of the birth certificate. He tried to do it and gave up on
it. I think what Obama is showing is a facsimile.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Music to the ears of old and stupid.

Why don`t Republicans do what John McCain did and just shoot these
crazy theories down?

DYSON: It does contrast nicely with Senator McCain`s valorous view
point, to suggest I`m not going to get into the mud and slug it out by
personal assaults. And we`ve seen this more recently with the assault on
Professor Derrick Bell, and you`re going to have his beloved widow on your
show to prove that his name has been besmirched, dragged to the mud and
people who are not informed well are trying to do the same thing now that
they did to Obama then.

And I think that the Republicans should stand up and say this is
wrong, McCain`s branch of the party should prevail.

SCHULTZ: So, if people believe in Alabama and Mississippi, that the
president is not a Christian, will these bigoted attacks against the
president get worse this year? Your call.

DYSON: Well, perhaps so. But I think what will come in contrast to
that will people who will stand up and assert that it`s the right thing to
do. I`m struck by so many white Americans, Ed, who see me on your show and
others and say, hey, keep up the great battle and the fight. They maybe
Nixon`s silent majority, but in a different way.

They`re out there with common sense. They understand the grand
purpose of American politics and they know that Obama is a true American
and, therefore, I think at the voting booth they will register their most
eloquent answer to all of this madness.

SCHULTZ: Michael Eric Dyson, always great to have you with us on THE
ED SHOW. Thank you.

Remember to answer tonight`s question there on the bottom of the
screen. Share your thoughts on Twitter @EdShow.

How accurate was the movie "Game Change"? One former Palin advisor
said it was true enough to make me squirm. Next, Richard Wolffe will weigh
in.

And Rush Limbaugh is losing more advertisers. It`s an avalanche that
could be changing conservative talk radio. Maybe. Eric Boehlert and
Holland Cooke on that. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ: The HBO movie "Game Change" showed us just how disastrous
the pick of Sarah Palin as vice president was. Up next, I`ll ask Richard
Wolffe if the movie ends Sarah Palin`s presidential dreams.

Later, Virginia`s governor refuses to defend his state`s invasive
ultrasound law and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton weighs in on the
Republican war on women with some blistering remarks.

And righties have spent the last week smearing a deceased Harvard
professor`s good name. Tonight, Professor Derrick Bell`s widow, my
exclusive guest and she`ll set the record straight. No doubt.

Share thoughts on Twitter using #EdShow.

We`re right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SCHMIDT: For me, the experience on this campaign is that there are
worse things than losing.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Well, if you had any questions about Sarah Palin`s
competency, they ought to be answered by now. The HBO movie "Game Change"
showed America it really dodged a political bullet.

McCain campaign strategist Steve Schmidt says the movie got it right.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SCHMIDT: It was very accurate. I think for all of us who were in the
campaign, it really rang true. It gave you a little bit of PTSD at times.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Schmidt and his team found themselves dealing with a vice
presidential candidate who was distracted, at times unstable, lacking basic
knowledge, and completely unprepared for the national stage.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HARRELSON (as Steve Schmidt): How do you plan on maintaining our
alliance with Great Britain on Iraq even though support for the war there
is at an all time low?

MOORE (as Sarah Palin): I think the United States has always
maintained a great relationship with the queen. And John McCain will
continue to have an open dialogue with her.

HARRELSON: Governor, the queen is not the head of government in
England. She is the head of state.

MOORE: Well, then, who is the head of government?

HARRELSON: The prime minister.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Even if you didn`t catch the movie, you know how the story
ends.

Schmidt says the end result of the 2008 campaign was the best outcome
for the country.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SCHMIDT: When a result happens that puts someone who is not prepared
to be president on the ticket, that`s a bad result. I think the notion of
Sarah Palin being president of the United States is something that
frightens me, frankly, and I played a part in that. I played a part in
that because we were fueled by ambition to win.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Let`s turn to MSNBC political analyst, Richard Wolffe.

Richard, good to have you with us tonight.

RICHARD WOLFFE, MSNBC POLITICAL ANALYST: Thanks, Ed.

SCHULTZ: Your basic take on what you saw on Saturday night.

WOLFFE: Ed, on any rationale basis, this was a painful movie and
frankly terrifying. You know, I watched it here, premier in Austin, Texas,
and the people around me had the same reaction. It was terrifying,
reliving that moment in the 2008 election when in the words of one of the
pundits in this movie, Sarah Palin was a 72-year-old heart beat away from
the presidency. So, that`s one side of it.

But it was painful and frankly disgusting to watch the people who were
responsible for this, and Steve Schmidt, God bless him for what he said and
for honest and open he has been. Steve Schmidt was one of the defenders of
President Bush and Dick Cheney, you cannot question his Republican
credentials.

But he was responsible -- and this movie goes in this -- he was
responsible for the reckless decision, in part, for this reckless decision
to put Sarah Palin in this position. And honestly, for Sarah Palin to think
she comes off worse than the McCain aides who put her in this intolerable
position shows how clueless she is.

SCHULTZ: Here`s a clip showing Palin`s prep session for her interview
with Charlie Gibson. Let`s take a look.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HARRELSON (as Steve Schmidt): Are you OK, Governor?

MOORE (as Sarah Palin): Why aren`t there McCain-Palin lawn signs in
Alaska?

HARRELSON: Well, Mr. Obama has five times the money we have, five
times. And Alaska is only three electoral votes and it`s solid red.

MOORE: I`m concerned about my standing back home. Todd and I are
hearing things, I can`t talk to the Alaskan press.

HARRELSON: What are you hearing?

MOORE: Things. None of it is good. Can you at least do a poll to
check my approval rating there?

HARRELSON: Governor, that would cost the campaign $60,000.

MOORE: I`d feel a heck of a lot better if I knew where I was at.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Wouldn`t the gutsy thing to do would be to go to John McCain
at the time and say, "This isn`t going to work. She is not prepared.
There`s got to be another woman out there somewhere"? Why didn`t they deep
six her if it was this bad?

WOLFFE: Right. It was so bad that Nicolle Wallace who is -- you
haven`t showed a clip of her yet, but again, a loyal Bush operative, a
loyal Republican, said she couldn`t vote in this election because of Sarah
Palin.

You know, that`s what I mean about how shocking this movie is. The
book and movie is both called "Game Change." This isn`t a game. This is
about politics at the highest level, about responsibility for life and
death of the troops, about the jobs and the welfare of the American people,
and they clearly chose someone who wasn`t ready for the limelight, wasn`t
ready for the election -- never mind for the responsibility of the job.

So, honestly, if they realized this along the way, they had a clear
responsibility to say something, that at least didn`t appear in the movie,
or from what we see in the book.

SCHULTZ: Here is Schmidt on the vetting process.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SCHMIDT: Showed a process of vetting that was debilitated by secrecy,
that was compartmentalized, that failed, that led to a result that was
reckless.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Is this really, obviously, an under statement, but it`s also
a wake up call to future politicians, that you better get this right
because McCain in his age, who know what`s could have happened. This woman
could have been the president of the United States.

WOLFFE: Right. But look, Ed, looking at the primary contests we have
seen playing out on the Republican field. Do you think they have taken it
more seriously than that vice presidential pick? Yes, this was the
Republican establishment. Everyone says, where are the leaders? The
leaders at that time took those risks.

And, you know, again, I have a lot of respect for Steve Schmidt and
you`ve got to give him credit for his honesty and being frank, but secrecy
is always part of a vice presidential vetting.

So, there will always be that kind of pressure and secrecy involved.
They rushed it. They wanted to throw the chess board up in the air. They
wanted to treat it like it was just a game.

And for John McCain and people like Steve Schmidt to do that, that was
the recklessness. They deserve more blame than Sarah Palin frankly.

SCHULTZ: Richard, what about her political future? I mean, if this
is an accurate depiction of the campaign and people around it say it is,
how in the world could she ever move forward politically?

WOLFFE: Look, Sarah Palin has done more damage to her own career than
any book or any movie. You know, she did damage when she quit her job.
She did damage when she flirted with the presidential run and never did it.

And, look, she is damaging herself right now. Here is someone who
wanted to go out and tell her story to the press and even now, she is
choosing not to engage with this movie, not to embrace the good bits of it
and not push back against the bad bits for her. Her judgment is as wrong
now as it was three years ago.

SCHULTZ: Richard, always a pleasure, good to have you with us
tonight. Richard Wolffe here on THE ED SHOW.

WOLFFE: Thanks, Ed.

SCHULTZ: The governor of Virginia gets a little tongue-tied trying to
defend his position on mandatory ultrasounds. Next, Virginia State
Delegate Charniele Herring will join me.

And thousands of hardworking Wisconsinites got some great news today.
I`ll give you the late-breaking details later in the show.

Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW.

For a guy who was interested in being on the Republican ticket in
November, Governor Bob McDonnell of Virginia isn`t terribly skilled at
defending his positions. McDonnell had a hard time explaining why he
originally supported a measure that would force women considering abortion
to undergo a highly invasive transvaginal ultrasound.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DAVID GREGORY, MEET THE PRESS: Were you wrong initially when you said
this invasive procedure should be part of the bill?

GOV. BOB MCDONNELL (R), VIRGINIA: No, I never said that. No, David,
I think you`re wrong on the facts. What we said simply was that we support
the concept of an ultrasound, and through the committee process, I realized
that there were some other things in the bill that needed to be amended.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

O`DONNELL: McDonnell only withdrew support of transvaginal ultrasound
after public outcry.

And then he got behind a less invasive yet still mandatory and
medically unnecessary ultrasound measure. He signed the bill into law last
week. Yet, the governor didn`t seem to be too eager to talk about the law.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

MCDONNELL: This constant focus on social issues is largely coming
from the Democrats. Here what is I`m worried about.

GREGORY: Well, hold on. I`m going to stop you here because I`m still
asking about this issue. Look, you ran in part talking about health care,
the president`s health care.

MCDONNELL: I ran against it.

GREGORY: You ran against it. Precisely.

MCDONNELL: Yes.

GREGORY: This was the state of Virginia mandating women have an
additional procedure, a mandated health procedure. I thought that is
exactly what conservatives opposed.

MCDONNELL: David, this was about stating what informed consent is and
saying that women have a right to know certain things before a procedure.
Every invasive procedure has an informed consent requirement.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Let`s turn to delegate Charniele Herring, a delegate in the
state of Virginia. She is the minority whip in the Virginia House and
chair of the state`s Reproductive Rights Caucus.

Charniele, thank you for your time tonight. I need you to respond to
the governor, who just said that the social issues are coming from the
Democrats. Why can`t he defend his position on this law?

DEL. CHARNIELE HERRING (D), VIRGINIA: He can`t defend it because it`s
indefensible. I find it amazing that he sort of shocked this issue has
dominated the General Assembly session that just concluded. This is an
extreme piece of legislation that he says that he supported all along.

Either he doesn`t know the facts or he does support something that is
so extreme that it enraged thousands of Virginians. And he`s still out of
touch I think with Virginia, not to even recognize that he`s mandating a
procedure, but at the same time opposing Obama`s Affordable Health Care
Act.

SCHULTZ: It`s almost as if he knows the damage has been done and he
doesn`t want to fess up to it. Do you think that is where he is right now?

HERRING: I think absolutely that is where it. I find it also
interesting, in the clip that you played, he said he got involved during
the committee process. Well, I sit on that Courts of Justice Committee,
where that bill came through. Let me tell you, until that bill hit the
floor of the General Assembly, and until Virginia became under national
ridicule did he, all of a sudden, step in, because he realized it was
damaging to his reputation, because he said he would support that bill.

SCHULTZ: But hasn`t he been radical in this position in his past
political actions?

HERRING: Oh, absolutely. To mandate a procedure and to say that,
well, I think women have the right to know, it presumes that women are not
talking to their doctors and that doctors are not providing information.
So I do think it`s radical that he would walk into a doctor`s office and
tell people what type of procedure should happen.

And his alleged affix to the bill, let me tell you, 90 percent of
those who are seeking to terminate their pregnancy won`t get anything from
an abdominal ultrasound, which is what he mandated.

SCHULTZ: Here is Secretary Hillary Clinton on women`s rights. I want
to play this for you.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

HILLARY CLINTON, SECRETARY OF STATE: Why extremists always focus on
women remains a mystery to me. But they all seem to. It doesn`t matter
what country they are in or what religion they claim. They all want to
control women.

They want to control how we dress. They want to control how we act,
they even want to control the decisions we make about our own health and
our own bodies.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Is that where we are in the world right now and in America?

HERRING: It certainly appears that way. It appears that way from the
-- what happened in the Virginia legislature and legislatures all across
the country. It seems to be an attack on women, from reproductive health
rights to unfortunately, you know, Rush Limbaugh calling a young woman a
name that I do not care to repeat.

It`s unacceptable and women are becoming under attack. And it`s
interesting. I think Bob McDonnell has a best friend in the Democratic
party, because when we dominated the Senate, these type of extreme bills
were stopped. Now we have Republican control of the legislature, as well
as the executive branch. And this is what Virginians are getting, an
attack on women.

SCHULTZ: And the latest polling shows that people believe that the
Democrats care more about women`s issues. And I would assume that this is
pretty much proof your message is finally resonating with voters.

HERRING: Yes.

SCHULTZ: Really appreciate your time, Virginia House Delegate
Charniele Herring. Thank you for joining us on this issue.

HERRING: Thank you for having me.

SCHULTZ: Rush Limbaugh`s advertisers are running for the hills.
Other rightie talkers could be next.

Eric Boehlert of Media Matters and talk radio consultant Holland Cook
will have the latest.

The Angry Badgers were out in Wisconsin this weekend. Today their
governor got crushing news about his recall election. That report is
ahead.

And the right wing conspiracy theorists have dragged the good name of
Professor Derrick Bell through the mud.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SARAH PALIN, FORMER GOVERNOR OF ALASKA: Look at his embracing of
Derrick Bell, the racist college racist professor.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Tonight, in an ED SHOW exclusive interview, the widow of the
late Harvard Professor Derrick Bell is here to respond.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ: Welcome back to THE ED SHOW. The numbers of advertisers who
have dropped Rush Limbaugh now stands at 141 and counting. That`s a mass
exodus. And if it`s permanent, it represents possibly a real sea change in
talk radio in America.

We may be witnessing something unparalleled in talk radio. It will
have far-reaching consequences all the way to the GOP, question mark. It`s
not just Limbaugh getting a big lesson in the consequences of hate speech.
Limbaugh`s syndicated Premiere Radio Networks has now calculate and
circulated a list of 98 advertisers who want to avoid offensive or
controversial content.

For example, Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Michael Savage, Sean Hannity, Tom
Likas (ph) and Mark Levine, advertisers won`t touch them. The list is
getting longer.

Now this is happening in just two weeks time, since Limbaugh`s slur of
Sandra Fluke. And it`s a wake-up call to every radio talker in America
about what is ahead in the landscape and what is acceptable.

Racism and sexism are not acceptable. All these advertisers leaving
Rush Limbaugh are making a very big statement.

I`m joined tonight by Eric Boehlert, senior fellow at Media Matters,
and Holland Cook, talk radio consultant, who has been in this business for
some 30 years.

Holland, I got to ask you, is this a sea change? Is this temporary?
Or is it permanent? What is on the horizon?

HOLLAND COOK, TALK RADIO CONSULTANT: Every shock jock goes a word too
far at some point. And until now, it seemed like Rush Limbaugh had nine
lives. But I got to tell you, radio stations are nervous.

I swapped e-mails today with a guy who runs a group of radio stations
and has Rush Limbaugh on some of them. And he says he`s considering
switching to that new Mike Huckabee show, which is going to debut head-to-
head against Rush Limbaugh, 12:00 to 3:00 Eastern on April 2.

That show is syndicated by the Cumulus Media, which owns the biggest
radio stations Rush Limbaugh is on. Imagine Rush losing WABC New York, WLS
Chicago, and major stations in Detroit, Dallas, Washington. That would be
a death blow to his show on the scope we know it now.

He`ll probably still always be on the radio. But it won`t be as big a
deal.

SCHULTZ: Eric Boehlert, what about these advertisers leaving? Are
they going to drift back, do you think?

ERIC BOEHLERT, MEDIA MATTERS SENIOR FELLOW: I don`t know. They made
it pretty clear they want nothing to do with it. Look, the same blue chip
advertisers that abandoned Glenn Back are now abandoning Rush Limbaugh.
And they doing it a lot faster.

Glenn Beck managed to hang around after he called the president a
racist -- he hung around Fox News for about 18 months. By the end, he had
no -- essentially no national advertisers. Limbaugh has lost advertisers
faster than Beck.

You`re point about the rest of right wing radio -- and it`s the rest
of right wing media. I mean, as Media Matters points out in our new book
"Fox Effect," this is the height of irresponsibility on Fox, on talk radio.
They are now paying the consequences.

And it`s -- the best part is the punishment is being handed out by the
free market place.

SCHULTZ: Holland, ownership has its privileges. But if you can`t
sell it, there is no sense in carrying it. I mean, is this big trouble for
talk radio?

COOK: Those 98 sponsors you mentioned were just the national ones.
This ripples down to the local level. And it`s drawing very uncomfortable
scrutiny to the stations at the local level.

SCHULTZ: So where does this -- I`ll ask you, Holland, where does this
leave the GOP? You know the connection between these right wing talkers
and the GOP and agenda they drive. Is this going to drive women away from
the GOP?

COOK: It may be too late. Radio is the least of it. Look at the
pickle that Limbaugh`s gaffe put Romney and Santorum in. These guys are
supposed to be Ward Cleaver and the approachable Ken Doll of politics.
They`re ducking the cameras for a couple of days.

When they finally get asked about Rush Limbaugh, all they can say haba
haba haba. And that it was a poor choice of words, like he should have
insulted her more politely.

The collateral damage goes to the GOP. I think this gender gap, which
was preexisting, is wider and deeper as a result of what Rush has done.

SCHULTZ: It`s not just syndicated talkers on the right. He`s Bill
Handel, very popular guy in Los Angeles, talking about the Kansas abortion
law.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BILL HANDEL, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: The doctor has to show these dumb
ass women --

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You just stepped in it once again. Let me tell
you something.

HANDEL: What do you mean I just stepped into it?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Whatever you just said is going to be taken so
completely out of context.

HANDEL: You mean out of context?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: How do you take that out of context, Eric Boehlert?

BOEHLERT: It is what it is. It`s misogyny. It`s sexism. It`s
rampant all over talk radio. You talked about who is going to carry these
shows. We have been monitoring WABC, Rush Limbaugh`s flagship station in
New York. They have aired over the last three -- Thursday, Friday,
Saturday, 200 unpaid ads during his program.

SCHULTZ: Public service announcements.

BOEHLERT: They are losing money every day they put Rush Limbaugh on
the radio, period.

SCHULTZ: The Heart Association said they didn`t even want their
PSA`s.

BOEHLERT: They`ve got charities that don`t even want to be on the
show.

COOK: They can`t give it away.

SCHULTZ: Holland, that has got to be a first, to have the American
Heart Association say we don`t want to be on your program. We won`t take
the freebie. What about that?

COOK: They can`t give it away. This is the canary in the coal mine.

SCHULTZ: All right. So what does this mean, quickly, Holland, to a
local operator? Do you stay away from this stuff and try to develop
something locally to stay in good favor with advertisers?

COOK: I speak to you tonight from Baltimore, where a couple of years
ago, a big station that had Rush Limbaugh on for years, kicked him to the
curb and restored -- wait for it -- are you ready? Local programming.
What a concept.

Rush used to enable stations to cut one job from the payroll. But
over the years, his rights fees have gotten to the point where it`s now
more expensive to have Rush than to go find a good local host. And I think
that there are a lot of meetings going on right now to run those numbers.

SCHULTZ: Eric Boehlert, Holland Cook, always a pleasure. Great to
have you both on the program tonight.

Radical Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker can run but he can`t hide.
It`s been a huge day for Democrats in the Badger State. We`ll tell you
about it next. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

SCHULTZ: Welcome back do THE ED SHOW. Things are about to get really
interesting in the great state of Wisconsin. Scott Walker, he doesn`t like
any of it.

On Saturday, 35,000 people staged a Reclaim Wisconsin March on the
Capitol grounds in Madison to highlight the one year anniversary of the --
Walker`s radical anti-worker bill becoming law.

Earlier today, the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board
unanimously ruled recall elections can move forward for four of the
Republican state senators who rammed Walker`s law through last March. The
Government Accountability Board is expected to officially rule on the
recall election dates for the senators, governor Walker and the lieutenant
governor as early as this week, Wednesday.

In more bad news for the Wisconsin Republicans, today, Dane County
Judge Richard Niesse (ph) permanently stopped -- stepped in and stopped the
state`s new voter I.D. law. The ruling comes on the same day that the
United States Department of Justice the blocked the radical Texas Voter
I.D. Law.

Wisconsin, Texas and five other states passed I.D. laws when
Republicans won the 2010 elections. Walker spokesman Cullen Werwie said
"it`s a shame activist Dane County judge continue to stand in the way of
common sense."

Werwie`s name might be familiar to ED SHOW viewers. He`s Walker`s
long time spokesman, who was granted immunity in the ongoing John Doe
investigation surrounding the governor`s staff when he worked as a
Milwaukee County executive.

The buzzards -- I guess you could say are starting to circle around
the rookie governor on this John Doe investigation in a big way. On
Friday, Walker became the first Wisconsin governor ever to set up a legal
defense fund.

Walker said the Scott Walker Trust will be used to pay his two
criminal defense lawyers to review documents and assist him in cooperating
with the secret probe. Folks, this is getting good.

Coming up, the 20-year-old video of a hug didn`t do anything to hurt
President Obama. But Sean Hannity did his best to lie about Professor
Derrick Bell, who passed away last year and couldn`t defend himself.
Bell`s wife joins me exclusively to do just that. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)


SCHULTZ: ED SHOW survey tonight, I asked will Republican voters ever
believe the truth about President Obama? Eight percent of you said yes;92
percent of you said no.

Coming up, Sean Hannity and friends have attacked the character of
Harvard Professor Derrick Bell. Now his widow is speaking out. Janet
Dewart Bell joins me next. Stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PALIN: Look at his embracing of Derrick Bell, the radical college
racist professor.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Amazing. Welcome back to THE ED SHOW. Sean Hannity failed
to create any controversy by showing a 20-year-old video of President Obama
hugging a Harvard professor. Sean Hannity and the righties did manage to
lie about the character of the man who couldn`t defend himself because he
passed away last year.

Professor Derrick Bell`s wife is joining us exclusively tonight. But
first, here is the moment when then Barack Obama, some 20 years ago, the
president of the Harvard Law Review, introduced the professor in front of a
crowd, Derrick Bell.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Open up your hearts and
your minds to the words of Professor Derrick Bell.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: At the time, Professor Bell was protesting Harvard`s failure
to hire minority faculty. Sean Hannity and other righties have tried
portray him as radical and even racist.

Derrick Bell was the first tenured African American professor at
Harvard Law School. He wanted -- he wanted it and he wanted it to mean
something for others.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DERRICK BELL, FIRST TENURED AFRICAN AMERICAN PROFESSOR AT HARVARD LAW
SCHOOL: I got hired after Martin Luther King was killed, after the riots
and what have you. I had applied a couple times before, wasn`t hired.

And I came as a pioneer. I said, I will be the first, but I don`t
want to be the last.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Joining me tonight is Janet Dewart Bell, widow of Derrick
Bell, the professor that is in question in the eyes of Hannity and some of
his right wing cohorts. It`s great to have you with us.

JANET DEWART BELL, WIDOW OF PROFESSOR DERRICK BELL: Thank you so
much. It`s great to be here.

SCHULTZ: What is your reaction to all of this? Are you angry about
this?

D. BELL: I am angry and I`m sad. I`m sad they could be so dishonest.
And it`s just really part of that radical right wing and the right wing
media`s patterns of distortion and misinformation.

But you know, I`m smiling because I want to lift up the memory of
Derrick Bell. Derrick Bell left a great legacy, not just to me and our
family, but my husband was -- if he were here today, he would be standing
up for Sandra Fluke. You know, Gloria Steinem once named him an honorary
woman, because he was a feminist before feminism was cool.

You know, that is the Derrick Bell that I know. He`s a man of
courage, of conviction. And he was always standing up for justice. It
didn`t matter who it was. He accepted people as they were.

SCHULTZ: Sarah Palin called your deceased husband a racist. I need
you to respond to that.

D. BELL: It`s outrageous. It`s an outrage. There is no other --
there`s no other thing to say about that. But you know, unfortunately,
some people will say anything. But what concerns me as much as that is
just this drum beat of negativity that you get from Hannity, Rush Limbaugh,
and even Bill O`Reilly, to buy into this kind of thing.

I mean, where are the good people who are going to speak up on the
right side, you know? There should be some moderate right people or
moderate Republicans who speak up and say, this is not right.

SCHULTZ: What they are saying about your husband is totally false.

D. BELL: Yes, it is.

SCHULTZ: Here is Bill O`Reilly, speaking of him.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BILL O`REILLY, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: Would it be fair for you to say that
Professor Bell is anti-white?

(CROSS TALK).

BELL: -- investigation says he doesn`t like white people very much.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

SCHULTZ: Did he ever say that, that he didn`t like white people very
much?

D. BELL: No, and I think the number of students of his who were white
that he -- at whose weddings he officiated, because they asked him -- he is
beloved by all of his students, all races, and just all backgrounds.

I think they would be very surprised to even think that that would be
the case in any way.

SCHULTZ: This videotape was promoted before his death, Andrew
Breitbart. He said he had something on President Obama. And then of
course some of his associates came out and delivered this tape that was
allegedly damaging, that your husband was a radical and didn`t love the
country.

D. BELL: My husband was a war veteran. And he was a patriot. And
what he tried to do is make this country stand up to the ideals that he
believed in. He believed it with his whole heart. Derrick thought that
the ideals of fair play, social justice, equality, opportunity, those are
things that should be shared.

Everybody should get a shot at the American dream. That is what
Derrick Bell was about.

SCHULTZ: Are you shocked that you have to come out and speak about
your husband`s character? How many -- how many wives of deceased men have
to do something like that?

D. BELL: It is shocking. But part of it is that if it has to be
done, I just want to be out there, because I know other people who are
speaking out on his behalf, really on our behalf. What Derrick worked for
was not just for himself. He worked for all of us. And I think that if
they can do it, I can do it.

SCHULTZ: Did you anticipate that these ugly things were going to be
said about your husband?

D. BELL: No. In fact, what`s interesting is that people tried to
caricature people of -- particularly African American leaders or prominent
African Americans. And my husband was such a full -- we lived such a full
and joyous life in the midst -- in the midst of the struggle. He made
struggle very attractive.

And one of the things he did was we have -- we have season series to
Carnegie Hall. So this past -- last week, I was there with our youngest
son. We left Carnegie Hall enjoying that radical bastion of culture I
guess. And we run -- I go out and I turn on my cell phone and the world
has erupted.

And all I could think of, "have they no sense of decency. This cannot
stop." Then I thought maybe it would just blow over. But it was clear
that it is not blowing over.

SCHULTZ: You`re very brave to speak out. I appreciate you doing it
tonight. I know our audience does as well. This desk is too big. I will
hug you after the show.

D. BELL: Thank you.

SCHULTZ: I will shake your hand right now. Thank you so much.

D. BELL: My pleasure. Thank you, Ed.

SCHULTZ: Appreciate it.

D. BELL: I love the show.

SCHULTZ: Thank you very much. Thank you for being here. Janet
Dewart with us tonight here on THE ED SHOW.

That is THE ED SHOW. Tomorrow night, you can catch a special edition
of primary coverage here on THE ED SHOW, live at 8:00 Eastern.

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

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