Ed Schultz is certainly not universally loved in Progressive circles, his concentrated stand on behalf of the American worker in both private and public sector perhaps made unnecessarily irritating to listen too under a blast of bloviating vocal cords and a bullying personality: even though the bully was on our side in the class warfare billionaires started and, without talking heads like Ed, would have likely won by now. Nobody—and I mean nobody—in all of the cable news-as-entertainment universe has stood up and, yes, howled at and fingered those in state governments and the money-exchanging halls of Congress who are engaged in a national security threatening crusade to obliterate the upper, middle and lower middle classes quite as fearlessly as Ed Schultz. Though we may have had to cover our ears from time to time, Progressives needed this guy.
I’ve not been much of a fan of the Huffington Post since the AOL sellout (except for its books and writing page,) but, looking for some immediate commentary after Schultz, at the close of his show Wednesday night, announced that MSNBC’s The Ed Show was moving to the 5-7 PM Saturday and Sunday MSNBC slots, I was particularly struck by Anjali Sareen and Jack Mirkinson’s take on Schultz’s vacating of the 8PM desk:
“The change may be one of tone rather than numbers. Schultz’s ratings have been solid — he was the second-highest-rated host on the network in February — but his barnstorming, Midwestern, labor-friendly brand of populist liberalism has come to look more and more at odds with the increasingly elite and wonkish tone taking hold on the rest of MSNBC.”
Bold emphasis is mine. It is where Sareen and Mirkinson cut straight to the heart of why MSNBC/Comcast would shift the number two of its ratings bounty to the Siberia that is its weekend late afternoons. Schultz had made some striking headway in stripping the class war of its taboo and opening the minds of the once massively propagandized and brainwashed American worker that class warfare was not at all a dirty word, but a real war of some of the richest people and corporations in the world against anyone who must labor to make a survivable living.
MSNBC/Comcast, like all the corporate-owned media, exists on behalf of the oligarchy to tamp down this class warfare talk, to demean it unworthy of polite discussion. Schultz pulled off that duct tape and the dried crusted scab it clung to, likely elevating the fear of the elites in management that the oligarchy’s divide and conquer final solution, already deteriorating, would collapse altogether against the onslaught of millions of private and public workers, Tea Party and Occupy Wall Streeters, and unemployed and underemployed uniting in demand of the restoration of all of FDR’s New Deal and more, just when victory of the billionaires and GlobalCorps was within sight.
Exit Ed, enter, oh, say (best guess) the more polite and elite Ezra Klein.
I like Ezra, but he’s no Ed Schultz. MSNBC/Comcast and the oligarchy, no doubt, are counting on that.