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'The Last Word with Lawrence O'Donnell' for Monday, May 16th, 2011

Read the transcript to the Monday show

Guests: Michael Eric Dyson, Joan Walsh, John Nichols, Lee Papa, Eric Boehlert

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

Doggone it, Trump is out?  I mean, I picked him.  I endorsed him.

Huckabee is out, too.  What‘s that all about?


And tonight, big news for Michele Bachmann fan.  Hey, she might jump in.

And then, of course, there‘s the Newtster.  Five days into his candidacy and he‘s already showing his colors.

And I‘m fired up tonight because we have the much talked about and asked for—return of “Psycho Talk.”

This is THE ED SHOW.  Let‘s get to work on this Monday night.




NEWT GINGRICH ®, PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE:  President Obama is the most successful food stamp president in American history.


SCHULTZ (voice-over):  Tonight, Michael Eric Dyson and Joan Walsh on Newt Gingrich‘s dog whistle messaging to the Republican Party.

Paul Ryan tries to polish that turd of a budget bill in Chicago.  John Nichols is here.


BILL O‘REILLY, FOX NEWS:  The president and first lady have made a major mistake in inviting this man to the White House.


SCHULTZ:  And the defining moment for the ginned up Common controversy, Jon Stewart versus Bill O‘Reilly.  Eric Boehlert of Media Matters will score the fight.


JON STEWART, THE DAILY SHOW:  This guy is in the crosshairs in a way that he shouldn‘t be whether you agree with him or not.



SCHULTZ:  And thanks for joining us tonight.

This is the story that has me fired up, first: Newt Gingrich is, I guess, you could say blowing the racist dog whistle again.  In his speech down in Macon, Georgia, on Friday, the Newtster took an ugly shot at president.


GINGRICH:  President Obama is the most successful food stamp president in American history.  More people are on food stamps today than at any point in American history and he is proud of it.


SCHULTZ:  He‘s proud of it.  How do you know, Newt?  Have you ever asked him?

But let‘s get to the racist part of this.  And I think we have to put this in the context of what the culture of the South is all about.  Do you remember in July of 2009 when Senator Jim DeMint of South Carolina made that racist comment, that old slavery slur term about President Obama talking about health care?  He said, if we can break him, if we can break him that‘ll be his Waterloo.

You know, that is as bad as it gets.  But, of course, he said it wasn‘t about race.  It had nothing to do with it at all.  And I‘m sure this has nothing to do with race whatsoever.

The fact of the matter is, if you want to pick on the food stamp program, once again Newt is on, standing on quick sand.  No question about that.  And, of course, he said it in friendly territory down in Georgia playing to an old white audience.

But the fact of the matter is, is that Newt knows exactly what he‘s doing—just getting to the water‘s edge.  We‘ll talk more about it.

But Newt was asked about the food stamp comment on “Meet the Press” and immediately played the victim.


DAVID GREGORY, MODERATOR, “MEET THE PRESS”:  First of all, you gave a speech in Georgia with language a lot of people think could be coded rationally tense language, calling the president, the first black president, a food stamp president.  What did you mean and what was the point?

GINGRICH:  Come on, David.  That‘s bizarre.  This kind of automatic

reference to racism—this is the president of the United States.  The

president of the United States has to be held accountable.

Now, the idea—and what I said is factually true.  Forty million Americans are on food stamps.  One of every six Americans is on food stamps.

And to hide behind the charge of racism?  I have never said anything about President Obama which is racist.


SCHULTZ:  Well, there‘s a lot of Americans out there, including me, that disagrees with that.  You see?  Being from the South, you know that these code words were all about.  And to say something about food stamps is not about white folks.  It‘s about black folks.  There‘s no question about it.

Newt can‘t play the victim on this one.  Gingrich has used racially tense language about President Obama before.

Like last September, Newt told the “National Review Online,” “What if Obama is so outside our comprehension that only if you understand Kenyan anti-colonial behavior, can you begin to piece together his actions.  This is the person who is fundamentally out of touch with how the world works, who happened to have played a wonderful con, as a result of which he is now president.”

What a slap in the face.

Last August, John Richardson of “Esquire” reported, Newt told a group of businessman, “The More angry we get, the worse it is for Obama.  I don‘t care how many three-point jump shots he makes.”

I supposed that‘s not a racial slur, either, or an insinuation in any way, shape or form, is it, Newt?

And Newtster has a habit of, you know, walking up o the water‘s edge of racism without really saying it.  But everybody knows what he‘s thinking.

What he thinks is certainly this politically: Gingrich knows if he can galvanize folks who have a problem with America‘s first black president, it could give him an outside track to 2012, of getting the nomination.

Whether or not you believe Gingrich is a racist, you can‘t deny the fact that his policies are.   During the same speech, Gingrich revived an idea of bringing back racist Jim Crow voting laws.


GINGRICH:  I always say that to become an American citizen, immigrants ought to have to learn American history.


GINGRICH:  But maybe we should also have a voting standard that says to vote as a native-born American, you should learn American history.


SCHULTZ:  Newt is supposed to be an intellectual.  So, he has to be now making American citizens take a whole test, is illegal under the 1965 voting rights act.

The very reason the law was passed was to fight racism, because, you see, uneducated people and people in low-income situations don‘t have all the facts, and, of course, they don‘t have the wherewithal to get all the facts and may not have the access back then.  That‘s why the law was passed.

So, Newt, you‘re supposed to be a historian, you should have pointed that out.  This is all about the Jim Crow laws and it‘s another dirty, cheap shot you‘ve taken.

Now, as far as food stamps go, President Obama inherited and maybe to point out an economic mess from President Bush that has led to a record-number of Americans needing help just to put food on the table.

Gingrich, of course, is hell-bent on election.  He just wants to cut this 44.2 million Americans who currently used food stamps to give tax breaks to all white millionaires.  That‘s his priority.

If Gingrich has his way on food stamps, you know who‘s going to hurt? 

African-Americans, women and children, and millions of low income families.

The Republican Party still can‘t win on issues so their only chance is to play the race card again.

Newt desperately wants America to believe President Obama is a radical black socialist.  That‘s what I‘m getting out of this code talk out there and it‘s just sad.

And for the food stamp program, we should point out that it is part of the farm bill and the food stamp program has been in effect since 1964.  Yes, you‘ve got the school lunch program.  You‘ve got the food stamp program.  You‘ve got the nutrition programs.  You‘ve got price supports.

I guess you could say that the food stamp program helps keep the American farmer on the land and gives them a chance.

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

Tonight‘s question: Are Newt Gingrich‘s comments racist?  Text “A” for yes, text “B” for no to 622639, or go to our blog at  I‘ll bring the results later on in the show.

For more, let‘s bring in Michael Eric Dyson, professor of sociology at Georgetown University and Joan Walsh, editor at large for

Great to have both of you with us tonight.

Professor Dyson, do you think calling President Obama the food stamp president is racist?  What do you think?

MICHAEL ERIC DYSON, GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY:  Well, it‘s certainly part of a racial pattern.  You don‘t have to have a racial intent to have a racial consequence, to communicate a racial meaning.

I think that here, Newt Gingrich is fully aware as a sophisticated American historian or at least a putative student of American history to understand the code language there—welfare queen, the association of food stamps, and being on the dole of the public with African-American people, with poor Latino people, and for that matter, with poor people who are white in Appalachia.

But, I think, here, it‘s quite clear by calling the first black president a food stamp president, he gets to knock the ball out of the park two or three times.  He gets to knock out several birds with one stone.  He can appeal to the Republican conservative base.

He can suggest that these tax cuts he wants to put in place, 35 percent for corporate taxes reduced to 12 percent, should be in place, and then he can give corporate welfare, if you will, to those who are rich.  And then he can also suggest that he‘s tough on African-American people who are on the dole who don‘t deserve it.

It‘s the undeserving poor that he‘s getting at here and we all know that circulates mostly around the bodies of poor black women and their children and Newt Gingrich knows better than that.

SCHULTZ:  And, Joan Walsh, how do you read this?  What purpose does it serve for Newt to talk like this?  And, of course, he plays the victim in all of this.  Your thoughts.

JOAN WALSH, SALON.COM:  Well, you know, I do think that it has racial implications.  You know, there is a long history, as Michael says, of associating welfare with black people.  Ronald Reagan, that sunny, genial figure used to talk about welfare queens driving Cadillacs and even strapping young bucks buying steaks with food stamps.  So, there is that history.

There is Rush Limbaugh—as soon as the president got elected, insisting that stimulus bill, his unemployment increases, and his health care proposals were reparations to black people for slavery, a controversial issue for sure.

So, and—you know, you also, if it were just the food stamp president, maybe we could give him—maybe we could give him a pass.


WALSH:  But, you know, you only missed a couple things, Ed.  He also said that this president only knows how to turn us into Detroit, make us like Detroit, distressed African-American city.

And he also made this crazy reference I believe in the same speech in Georgia saying that this election is as important as 1860, which is when we elected Abraham Lincoln, which led the South to secede over slavery.  I don‘t know what other association with 1860 anybody could have sitting in Georgia.

So, it‘s a string of racial dog whistles that adds up to—it doesn‘t even feel like coded racism anymore.  It feels like racism.

SCHULTZ:  Michael, does any Republican contender have to go down this road?  I mean, to solidify the base in a very sick manner.  And it seems like we‘re the only ones that are calling them out on this.

DYSON:  Sure.

SCHULTZ:  I mean, you know, I think there is a real parallel here between what Jim DeMint said and what Newt consistently says, as Joan pointed out.  But is this what the Republicans have to do?  Can they—can they any way get the nomination and move forward in the election without doing this?

DYSON:  I certainly think so.  But I think that they believe that this is the best way, the easiest way, the cheapest way.

Stereotypes after all are the lazy person‘s way of dealing with the other.  There‘s always a kernel of truth, there‘s always some part of the truth that can be revealed, and the ingenuity of employing this kind of wolf whistling is plausible deniability.  How do you dare believe I meant that Newt Gingrich says to Brother Gregory on “Meet the Press”?  And has the constant drum beat of denying that he is the victimizer and instead plays the victim.

And, therefore, when he invokes racial passion and then we call him for it, he then makes himself to be the victim.  And as a result of that, he duplicates his effort.  On the one hand, he‘s sending signals in a Morse code kind of way, as Joan has suggested, maybe not even Morse code, straight up, you know, explicit expression of racial sentiment on one hand.  And then, on the other hand, he gets to play the victim and see how these black people are beating us up, the black president is doing us wrong, the association of Detroit where I hail from has a black enclave of civil horror and terror and governmental despair.

So, I think all these significations are part and parcel of a Southern strategy that unfortunately continues to be played in 2011.

SCHULTZ:  And, Joan, does he have a shot at winning the nomination in your opinion?  I mean, we did a story last week and documented all of his infrastructure and all the things that he has been able to do.  He‘s raised more money than any of the other candidates combined.  That‘s what we reported.

So, what does this all mean?

WALSH:  No.  I wrote a piece this morning kind of jumping out ahead of the headlines, Ed, saying Newt Gingrich will never be president.  And that‘s what I believe.

I don‘t think he needs to do this.  I think that the sad percentage of people who will not vote for a black president are already in the Republican column.  He‘s not widening his appeal.

And look, today, let‘s move away from the issue of race.  Today, he had to flip flop again on the individual mandate.  Yesterday, he kind of defended it.  Today, if he doesn‘t like it, he‘s in trouble with his comments over the Paul Ryan plan.

So, you know, he‘s running a terrible campaign his first few days out of the gate and I just think he‘s got too much baggage.  He is not presidential and will never be president.

SCHULTZ:  Michael, what did you think of Gingrich saying that he thought that the Ryan plan was radical?

DYSON:  It‘s radically nonsensical.  But here it is—radical means to the roots and it‘s to the roots of conservative ideology that continues to poison the well of common sense, but also civic responsibility to those who are most vulnerable.

To call Paul Ryan‘s plan anything but what it is, an attempt to up the ante for those who are rich, to give tax cuts to those who don‘t deserve them, and then those who are rich continue to get richer and those who are poor continue to be poorer.


DYSON:  It sounds like a cliche but it‘s certainly real.  And I think here again, I agree with Joan.  I think Newt‘s personal life, the horrible choices he‘s made politically, and the way in which he has been a polarizing figure and not a unifier will continue to ensure that he will not make much, if you will, tract in the American political system as a presidential candidate.

SCHULTZ:  All of a sudden, it‘s getting kind of thin over there on the right.  I mean, all the things they‘ve been saying about President Obama you‘d think he‘d be easy to run against.

DYSON:  Well, Seth Meyers had it right.  The only person who could beat Obama is maybe the Obama of 2008.  Where is that guy?  But other than that, I don‘t think anybody on the right has a real chance to really get at Mr. Obama.

SCHULTZ:  Michael Eric Dyson, Joan Walsh, great to have you with us tonight.  Thanks so much.

WALSH:  Thanks.

SCHULTZ:  Don‘t forget to answer our question at the bottom of the screen.

Paul Ryan tried to sell his Medicare-busting plan again today.  But

the rebranding just doesn‘t work when the brand stinks

And tonight is a big night here on THE ED SHOW.  “Psycho Talk” comes back.  I‘m loving it.  Last year‘s number one psycho talker is in the zone.

Stay with us.


SCHULTZ:  Donald Trump announced today that he is not going to run for president.  I for one am very disappointed.  He decided making money was more important to him than public service.  I think I called that weeks ago.

His decision must be devastating to all the righty pundits out there who were just salivating over the prospect of a Trump candidacy, like Dick Morris.  Here is Dick just three weeks ago.


DICK MORRIS, DICKMORRIS.COM:  Donald Trump is getting into this race and I think he is definitely going to run and I think that he‘ll shake up the whole race.  Basically, there will be sort of a right wing Republican primary, a section of the primary, which will have Gingrich against Bachmann against Palin against Huckabee.  And then there will be a primary of the moderate Republicans and independents which will be Romney against Trump.


SCHULTZ:  OK.  A lot of predictions there.

Let me give you fact: Three weeks later, Dick Morris‘s predictions are in the toilet.  Trump is out.  Mike Huckabee also announced this weekend he‘s not going to run.  He‘s making too much money.

But I‘m a little upset about the Donald just bowing out so fast.  I mean, I endorsed this guy last month.  And now, I got to go find a new righty, a new horse in the race to take on President Obama.  My search for the next craziest Republican presidential candidate is coming up.

Stay with us.


SCHULTZ:  Welcome back to THE ED SHOW.  Thanks for watching tonight.

My favorite story: Paul Ryan, the architect of the plan to end Medicare as we know it—well, he decided to try to do this thing over again.  He gave a big speech in Chicago today.  He is trying to rebrand his Medicare voucher plan.

You show me a voucher plan.  I‘ll show you a voucher plan.  Americans, including his own constituents, just absolutely hate the idea.

Here is Ryan giving it a go again.


REP. PAUL RYAN ®, WISCONSIN:  Our budget also gets health care spending under control by empowering Americans to fight back against skyrocketing costs.  Our budget makes no changes for those in or near retirement and it offers future generations a strengthened Medicare program that they can count on with guaranteed coverage options.


SCHULTZ:  What?  Empowering Americans?  Guaranteed coverage options?

Gosh, you know what?  They must spend light years coming up with these little buzz phrases that just are so camera-friendly and so appealing when it comes to speaking in front of a crowd.  Oh, he‘s so articulate, this Paul Ryan.

He‘s actually going to propose a program that is going to allow old people to get a little bit of money and go out on the free market and get a deal with insurance companies.  I mean, I‘ll tell you what.  That must be the empowering Americans part.

And the guaranteed coverage options?  Hey, there might be two insurance companies out there that really see that the old folks of America, the retired folks of America—they‘re just a brand new hell of a market.

Ryan said President Obama‘s plan for Medicare would lead to rationing. 

And he tried to make this contrast.


RYAN:  Our plan is to give seniors the power to deny business to inefficient providers.  Their plan—


RYAN:  Their plan, quite to the opposite, is to give the government the power to deny care to seniors.


SCHULTZ:  Inefficient providers.  How could 80 percent of Americans be so wrong on this?  I mean, this Ryan guy, he must be the smartest guy on the planet.

Inefficient providers.  Medicare, Medicaid, they‘ve been inefficient providers.  Why?  Because the doctors haven‘t cut a fat hog on the deal?

So, Ryan says his voucher program will give the power to seniors.  Wrong.  The GOP plan will give more power to a market that will charge seniors a hell of a lot more for coverage than what they could ever possibly afford with the stinking voucher program.

That‘s how you got to talk about this program.  Just give them the straight talk.  Right?  None of this lofty—empower Americans, guaranteed coverage options.

The protesters outside, they weren‘t buying this thing either—any more than the folks at any of these town halls that he went to.  The protesters chanted, “Hands off our Medicare.”  They actually showed up and said that outside in Chicago.

And, yesterday, presidential candidate Newt Gingrich, well, actually he wasn‘t buying it either.  NBC‘s David Gregory asked Gingrich what he thought of Ryan‘s voucher program.


GINGRICH:  I don‘t think right wing social engineering is any more desirable than left wing social engineering.


SCHULTZ:  Left wing social engineering?  That‘s what Medicare is—when 80 percent of the American people want it?

Ryan hit back saying, “With allies like that, who needs the left?”

Then Newt‘s spokesman, well, he tripped all over himself, trying to explain that Newt actually supports something close to Ryan‘s plan.

Let‘s bring in Washington correspondent of “The Nation” John Nichols.

This is almost a comedy hour when it comes to news, isn‘t it?  I mean, to follow these people going back and forth on this.

John, let me ask you: what is the empowering Americans part of his speech today?  Which part do you think it was?

JOHN NICHOLS, THE NATION:  Well, the empowering Americans line is the most Orwellian line in the speech.  He is saying that he is going to give people in their 80s and 90s the ability to work on lowering health care costs by going through the bids or the offers of dozens of insurance companies and picking the one that‘s the cheapest.

The fact of the matter is: there is no empowerment here.  What this does is make the lives of working Americans dramatically more difficult, dramatically more complicated.  And, ultimately, what he‘s talking about if you translate it is setting up a situation where they will move money out of a very functional federal program, Medicare, into the accounts of private insurance companies that will begin by taking off their high profits.

SCHULTZ:  Yes.  And so, he is so damaged on this he can‘t do a do over, can he?

NICHOLS:  No, he can‘t.  In fact, this was a disastrous day for Paul Ryan.  Imagine, you start out—you‘re going to give the speech that‘s going to win everybody back.  It‘s going to undo all the damage done by those town hall meetings.  But instead of having the platform, having the podium, you‘ve got to deal with Donald Trump quitting his presidential race.


NICHOLS:  And then Newt Gingrich calling your plan right wing social engineering.

SCHULTZ:  Let‘s talk about Wisconsin politics.  Herb Kohl not going to run.  Is Paul Ryan going to jump in?

NICHOLS:  No.  He will not make this run.  I know he is sort of hinting about it for a couple days.  I think it‘s part of trying to rehabilitate himself, make himself look like somebody people would consider for the Senate.  But I understand that this evening, Congressman Ryan and his staff were making calls to Republicans in the state, sending out signals that he almost certainly will not run.

SCHULTZ:  OK.  Let‘s talk about New York‘s 26 special election that, of course, is coming up, big time referendum on Ryan‘s Medicare plan.  I mean, this really is the first election out there that we‘re going to be able to see the tea leaves a little better—maybe the sea change that‘s out there if it is as many have predicted.  You‘ve been out there.

What are you finding out?

NICHOLS:  I think the New York 26th race is the most important race, certainly, of this part of the year—maybe the whole year.  Now, remember, this is a district that voted for John McCain for president—


NICHOLS:  -- in New York state.  It‘s as conservative as you get.  It should not elect a Democrat to congress.

And yet, Kathy Hochul, the Democratic candidate up there, has come from way behind to a position where she now leads in some polls with barely a week to go.  This is an incredible race, Ed.  And it‘s shifted entirely on the Medicare issue.

The Democratic candidate embraced a support of Medicare and wrapped the Ryan bill around her Republican opponent‘s neck and that‘s what‘s changed this race.

SCHULTZ:  John Nichols, Washington correspondent of “The Nation”—always great to have you with us here on THE ED SHOW.  Always great insight.  I appreciate it.  It‘s one to follow, we‘ll be on it next week.

We didn‘t get Osama bin Laden from torturing detainees.  Senator John McCain said that.  He got his information from CIA Director Leon Panetta.  And now, the Panetta letter—it has been revealed.  So, Mr. Rumsfeld, speak up.


SCHULTZ:  Welcome back to THE ED SHOW.  Remember a couple weeks ago when the righties were out talking about this, torture, how if we hadn‘t tortured anybody, we wouldn‘t have ever gotten Osama bin Laden?  Senator John McCain gave a huge smack down to the Bushies who said torture led to the death of Osama bin Laden. 

And today the letter from CIA Director Leon Panetta to Senator McCain was revealed by Gary Sergeant of “the Washington Post.”  Panetta said that multiple streams of intelligence led to bin Laden‘s compound.  He said that some of the detainees who provided useful information had been subjected to enhanced interrogation techniques, but their information was not the key. 

And here‘s the main point of Leon Panetta‘s letter.  “Let me further point out that we first learned the courier‘s pseudonym from a detainee not in CIA custody in 2002.” 

So the Bushies are wrong when they say or imply that we wouldn‘t have gotten bin Laden without waterboarding. 


LIZ CHENEY, DAUGHTER OF DICK CHENEY:  I think the fact that you clearly have the current CIA director saying that part of the intelligence came from enhanced interrogation, these are techniques that we know work.  That debate is over. 

DICK CHENEY, FORMER VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES:  But it wouldn‘t be surprising if in fact that program produced results that ultimately contributed to the success of this venture. 

DONALD RUMSFELD, FORMER DEFENSE SECRETARY:  Well, in my view, we very likely would not have captured or killed Osama bin Laden had we not had the intelligence information we had. 

So I think that it‘s clear that that—those techniques that the CIA used worked. 


SCHULTZ:  Dick Cheney said it wouldn‘t be surprising.  So he really didn‘t know, did he?  But he‘s out there planting the seed with a lot of Americans; if it hadn‘t been for them, we wouldn‘t have got him. 

Another smack down of the Bushies came from former terrorism adviser Richard Clarke. 


BILL MAYER, “REALTIME WITH BILL MAHER”:  Robin asked Richard Clarke how much credit does President Bush deserve for finding bin Laden?  This was some controversy last week. 

RICHARD CLARKE, FORMER TERRORISM OFFICIAL:  Zero.  I don‘t know why that‘s controversy.  The man did nothing about bin Laden until 9/11.  And after 9/11, he kind of did for a few months, kind of.  He sent troops into Afghanistan but didn‘t tell them to get bin Laden. 


SCHULTZ:  Those are the facts.  President Obama told his people to go out and get bin Laden.  And that‘s exactly what they did. 

Think the Fox News controversy over Common is finished?  Think again. 

Jon Stewart debates Bill O‘Reilly.  We‘ve got the highlights.

And Donald Trump—dog gone it—again he chose money over America.  So now I‘m put in an untenable position.  I have to go out and find another whacko Republican candidate to endorse.  Fortunately, I do have some options.  I‘m really starting to like Michele Bachmann.


SCHULTZ:  Well, we knew it was coming sooner or later, but certainly devastating to this talker.  I have some bad news to report tonight.  Donald Trump, I‘m sure many of you know by now, is not going to be running for president. 

I, for one, heart broken over the decision.  I endorsed this guy last month. 


SCHULTZ:  The one candidate that I want to see break away from the pack and secure the party‘s nomination for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination?  I am endorsing—sorry, dude.  You only get one balloon. 


SCHULTZ:  He had two balloons! Remember, I did that twice on this program.  And now less than a month after I gave Trump my endorsement, the Donald is out of the running?  How could he do that?  But he didn‘t quit without one last display of total, complete arrogance? 

He said this.  “I maintain the strong conviction that if I were to run, I would be able to win the primary and ultimately the general election.  Ultimately, however, business is my greatest passion.  And I am not ready to leave the private sector.” 

Spoken like a true egomaniac who happens to have a prime time show.  It‘s not surprising.  Trump is no public servant.  He‘s never been a public servant. 

He‘s never been an advocate for anybody other than himself.  Of course Trump never had a chance anyway.  Did he?  Especially after President Obama ripped him at the White House correspondents dinner and then ordered the raid to take out Osama bin Laden.  That really removed the fear card didn‘t it? 

Not to mention the fact that the president had already destroyed the cornerstone of Trump‘s campaign by releasing his birth certificate.  There goes another bullet point.  By the way, Donald, we‘re still—now this is the part of the story that is huge, that no one is focusing on.

But I‘m focused.  I am laser focused on this.  We‘re still waiting to hear from those investigators that he sent to Hawaii.  Well, he did interviews with people saying you wouldn‘t believe what they‘re coming up with.  But now that guy I guess I endorsed has chosen reality television over the reality of facing the country and trying to do something to help people out. 

So now I got to go out and get another pick.  It‘s going to be tough. 

So help me evaluate the field.  Will you? 

I‘ll bring in my friend Lee Papa.  He‘s the author of “The Rude Pundit” blog, as well as “The Rude Pundit‘s Almanac.”

You got something for your almanac now, don‘t you? 

LEE PAPA, THE RUDE PUNDIT:  Just rip that page out. 

SCHULTZ:  Did Trump—Trump is just saying that, well, he would have won the primary and won the presidency.  Do you think he would have won a state? 

PAPA:  No.  I can say, you know what?  I‘m going to train and win a marathon.  And you know what?  I‘m not going to do it, but, man, if I could, I would be so far ahead of the pack. 

SCHULTZ:  So who is left out there?  Michele Bachmann?  I have to endorse somebody. 

PAPA:  Yeah, I don‘t know.  Michele Bachmann, she is like every guy‘s first wife.  You know?  She‘s like—she‘s like.  You know, you sit there and you go, I knew you were crazy, but I didn‘t realize you were that crazy. 

SCHULTZ:  Sarah Palin chose the money over the public service. 

PAPA:  Yeah.  And that‘s been the way it has been for her entire career.  People forget also she quit a job in 2003.  She was on an oil board.  She was appointed to it.  She quit that, too.  So there is no way she‘s running. 

SCHULTZ:  I can‘t—I can‘t go for a quitter. 

PAPA:  No.  No. 

SCHULTZ:  I just can‘t do that.  Herman Cain, I don‘t know much about this dude.  Tell me about him. 

PAPA:  Herman Cain—he was—is really responsible for all of us being fat.  He was an executive at Coca-Cola.  He was an executive at Pillsbury.  He ran Burger Kings and Godfather Pizza. 

Really if you think about it, he is responsible for more deaths than Osama bin Laden. 

SCHULTZ:  And Rick Santorum?  This guy is really a social conservative.  He is way over the top. 

PAPA:  He‘s a jerk and he‘s creepy.  You know, I don‘t know if your viewers know the story. 

SCHULTZ:  A jerk and he‘s creepy? 

PAPA:  He is.  He is.  First of all, we know about his—how

virulently anti-gay he is.  But then there is that creepy story from 1995

about when his—one of his sons was born prematurely at 20 weeks, died

after two hours outside of the womb, 

Sad story, but then the—Santorum took the premature baby home, had his children hold it, cuddle it, and sing to the premature baby. 

SCHULTZ:  Newt Gingrich.  We talked about him earlier in the program. 

Is he really the inside track right now? 

PAPA:  If you want a bloated egotistical reminder of everything that‘s awful in American politics, sure. 

SCHULTZ:  Rude, you haven‘t given me much to work with tonight. 

PAPA:  I know.  I know.   If I was going to go down crazy road, I might go Ron Paul, although I think Ron Paul gave me a card at Walmart the other day. 

SCHULTZ:  Ron Paul is going to help President Obama get to the White House again probably more than anybody, because he will take off the crazies.  I really do—he‘ll peel more people away from the traditional Republican party than anybody ever did on the left. 

PAPA:  Sure. 

SCHULTZ:  That‘s what I think.  I mean, I think he is—I think this is a big ticket for President Obama to get back.  He‘ll split the Republican vote. 

PAPA:  Sure, sure.  He‘ll draw in the Republican stoners who like his drug policy and the gold standard people, who are 90 years old. 

SCHULTZ:  Lee Papa, the Rude Pundit, good to have you with us tonight. 

Thanks so much. 

Psycho Talk is back on THE ED SHOW and not a moment too soon.  Glenn Beck, he is spending five million dollars to restore courage in Jerusalem?  And he wants you to buy a plane ticket to join him. 

Well, I‘m going to give him a one way ticket into the zone.  Stay with us.


SCHULTZ:  And in Psycho Talk tonight, I‘m personally celebrating its return.  We celebrate the return of the biggest offender of 2010.  And that would be Glenn Beck.  His Fox News show may be coming to an end soon, but his ego is going global. 

It all started last August with his Restoring Honor Rally in Washington, D.C. on the anniversary of Martin Luther King “I Have a Dream” speech. 

Well, now Beck is trying—he is going to take his show on the road to Jerusalem. 


GLENN BECK, FOX NEWS ANCHOR:  I believe I‘ve been asked to stand in Jerusalem.  This August, join me for an event I have named Restoring Courage. 

When I first had this idea, what I saw in my head was a global shock wave.  It will ripple across the Earth. 


SCHULTZ:  Restoring Courage.  The arrogance just drips off this guy.  Beck thinks it‘s his job to restore courage—think about this—in a country that has spent almost its entire existence surrounded by enemies.  Beck says this rally will be such a life changing experience, people should fork over thousands of dollars to attend.. 


UNIDENTIFIED MALE:  What you think it costs for the average person to fly to Israel?  I mean, it‘s going to be—

BECK:  For the hotel stays and everything—and this is through people that we are trying to offer.  And I think it‘s about 4,500 dollars.  But that does include—there are going to be other things during the week that we will be announcing as we get closer.

This will be—I think a pinnacle moment in your life.


SCHULTZ:  Absolutely.  Forty five hundred bucks to chase that psycho to the other side of the world?  Glenn Beck wants you to pay his vendors 4,500 dollars to go to Israel for part two of his self-indulgent, phony rally.

Don‘t be fooled by Glenn Beck‘s false profit nonsense.  These rallies are nothing more than a desperate cry for attention.  We‘ll give it to them.

For Beck to tell people to spend of dollars to travel half way around the world for part two of his bogus rally, because he‘s been called to do it, is global psycho talk.

Jon Stewart puts Bill O‘Reilly in his place.  The epic debate and breakdown next.


SCHULTZ:  Finally tonight on THE ED SHOW, as you know, last week folks over at Fox had a bit of a problem on their hands.  They didn‘t want to give President Obama an ounce of credit for his courageous and gutsy decision to take out Osama bin Laden.  So they made up a controversy. 

They went after the president by attacking a rapper named Common.  Common attended a White House poetry reading.  The folks at Fox argued that he should not have been invited because of the lyrics of one of his songs, even though Fox News previously praised this guy, Common, as a positive role model for kids. 

Now, I went after this blatant hypocrisy.  So did Jon Stewart of “The Daily Show.”  That prompted a response from bill O‘Reilly.  He invited Mr.  Stewart to come on the program.  Here‘s some of the fireworks from earlier this evening. 


BILL O‘REILLY, FOX NEWS ANCHOR:  When a president invites someone—in this case, the First Lady invites someone—the resume has to be put in front of them.  And they have to select people who are almost unimpeachable. 

JON STEWART, “THE DAILY SHOW”:  Bob Dylan wrote a song about a convicted killer named Hurricane Carter.  He‘s been to the White House.  Why are you drawing the line at Common? 

There is a selective outrage machine here at Fox that pettifogs only when it suits the narrative that suits them.  This guy is in the cross hairs in a way that he shouldn‘t be. 

Whether you agree with him or not—you may think he is ignorant in believing that Assata Shakur is innocent.  You may think he‘s ignorant in believing that Mumia is. 

But then guess what?  Bono can‘t go to the White House.  Springsteen can‘t go to the White House.  Bob Dylan can‘t go to the White House.  You got a lot of people that aren‘t allowed to sit in the White House because they have written songs about people convicted of murder. 


SCHULTZ:  Time now to call in Media Matters senior fellow Eric Boehlert.  Great to have you with us tonight.  I‘ve never heard O‘Reilly so quiet. 

ERIC BOEHLERT, MEDIA MATTERS:  That was a long stretch. 

SCHULTZ:  Let‘s go back to the controversy, not so much that debate right away here.  Did they really manufacture a story that would be negative for President Obama when it was such a huge story that the country‘s military was able to take out Osama bin Laden? 

BOEHLERT:  Absolutely.  I think the right wing media the last couple weeks have been a bit of a disaster.  We had the Birther story fall apart. 

We had the bin Laden killing.  We had last week an AP poll that had the

president at 60 percent.  They were sort of desperate.   They‘re grasping

at straws.  They‘re always grasping at straws, but particularly last week


SCHULTZ:  Who won this debate tonight? 

BOEHLERT:  I think Stewart made all the valid points.  You know, Common is not celebrating a cop killer.  He was saying he thought a couple people were innocent.  That is not celebrating. 

SCHULTZ:  It is interesting how O‘Reilly was talking about how the White House has to look at resumes and check people out.  Yet they didn‘t do any checking out of who had been at the White House before.  They just went ahead and attacked the president for having Common there. 

BOEHLERT:  As Jon Stewart said, if I am the president of the United States and I‘m going over the list for the poetry slam, I‘m not doing my job.  That is for other people to do.  It‘s sort of silly -- 

SCHULTZ:  Let me play another soundbite and get your reaction to this. 

Here is Stewart calling out the Fox News apparatus. 


STEWART:  And when you get the entire apparatus here, the infection machine that is the overreaction—

O‘REILLY:  You mean the diverse opinions we have here? 


O‘REILLY:  Unlike your network? 

STEWART:  You have not a diversity of opinions. 

O‘REILLY:  Oh, stop it. 

STEWART:  You bring in people like Colmes so you can beat him around the head with pillows. 

O‘REILLY:  He has no defense mechanism here?  He is kind of just like

Colmes is a smart guy. 


SCHULTZ:  What do you make of that? 

BOEHLERT:  I think Jon is right.  There is no diversity.  And the controversy was a silly one.  As you pointed out, Fox a year ago praised Common as being a conscientious, positive rapper, a legend. 

I mean, the guy is just not controversial.  He went to college on a scholarship, studied business.  He was in a Gap ad where he was dancing in front of a gigantic peace sign.  He‘s not a controversial person. 

SCHULTZ:  He‘s done a lot in public education, too, trying to keep kids in school and what not.  O‘Reilly likes to bring in a body language person. 

BOEHLERT:  Right. 

SCHULTZ:  We going to get one of those on this one? 

BOEHLERT:  Probably true.  Tomorrow night, we‘ll see how Jon Stewart was really being very defensive the whole night. 

SCHULTZ:  Another facet of the story that I find so interesting, as I mentioned to you a moment ago, why wouldn‘t they research who‘s been at the White House before?  Is Fox so agenda driven that facts don‘t matter at all?  When the country is going to be paying attention to something like this? 

BOEHLERT:  Everything is short term within like a 24-hour cycle.  So they don‘t care who has been there in the past.  They‘re not going to do any research. 

Fox, I mean, it pushes all this kind of hateful rhetoric itself and for them to be picking on Common is a joke.

SCHULTZ:  And there was no diversity of opinion about Common being at the White House from the network.  It was in the morning, in the midday, in the afternoon.  They all had the same opinion. 

Great to have you with us.  I appreciate it so much.  Eric Boehlert, Media Matters.

Also tonight in our survey, I asked you, “Newt Gingrich comments, are they racist?”  Eighty seven percent of you said yes; 13 percent of you said no. 

That‘s THE ED SHOW.  I‘m Ed Schultz.  And “THE LAST WORD” with Lawrence O‘Donnell starts right now.  Of course, you can hear my radio show on XM and Sirius, channel 127, noon to 3:00, Monday through Friday.  We‘ll see you back here tomorrow night. 



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