Randi Rhodes Non-Mugging Story, Ed Schultz Reacts
While Another Implodes, Libtalker Covers Own Ass
Sure enough, liberals really do eat their own, but in this case, who can blame them?
While the media spotlight was shining brightly upon liberal talk radio conspiracy queen Randi Rhodes earlier this week, her cohorts were busy trying to figure out how to deal with the situation. With listeners clearly concerned, what's a "progressive" host to do?
Once it became clear the story was fishy, Ed Schultz decided to throw Randi under the bus. Did he make the wrong call, or demonstrate a rare bit of independence from the libtalk party line? You be the judge.
After initially expressing sympathy (not to mention falling at least partly for the "Randi was mugged by right- wingers party line) during Tuesday's show (even wondering whether he should carry a gun for protection), Big Eddie pretty much fed Randi to the wolves on Wednesday.
ISOLATED QUOTES FROM TUESDAY'S PROGRAM:
SCHULTZ: "But no one of the face of this earth, in America especially, deserves this kind of treatment and it's horrible."
"It's probably an isolated, random attack on a human being in a big city."
"I just hope we're not becoming a country where people speak their mind and speak their piece and do it with such tenacity and such passion and such belief and such conviction to the point where we become targets - is that the America we're talking about?"
"But when you suppress freedom of speech, when you suppress the free spoken word, people think that you're violating their space if you do speak your mind. And that is what is scary about this whole thing, is that we have to be used to as a country, as a society, as a people, to continue to speak out because that's who we are, that's our freedom, that's what America is all about. And if it becomes out of the norm because freedom of speech has been suppressed so much, if there's only one school of thought out there, I think it lends itself to situations that are just like this."
After Randi's story unraveled, Schultz quickly changed his tune, blaming Air America host Jon Elliot as well as Rhodes herself. Here are quotes from Wednesday's program:
SCHULTZ: "I think we have to ask the question, what is this, some kind of cheap promotion?"
Schultz reads what Elliott posted about incident at Rhodes' website, claiming she'd been "assaulted" while walking dog.
"Is that speculation? "What conversation, Jon, did you have and what a disservice you did to the format and to a talk show host by going on the air with erroneous information like that?"
Schultz says he hopes Rhodes is quickly recuperating: "We're all rooting for you to be OK. But you got some 'splaining to do here, girl. You know, how did you get your teeth kicked out or knocked out or how did you fall down or did you get into a fight? It's not fair to those of us who are out there in the progressive format trying to defend you, go to bat for you, help you, be a part of you, see you succeed and everything else. This is about the goofiest damn story I think I've ever heard in my life."
Schultz, who is syndicated by a competing libtalk syndication firm, has never been shy about attacking Air America Radio for its chronic mismanagement issues. But this may be the first time he's gone after a fellow "progressive" talker by name.
A year ago, this wouldn't have happened, but with the format now on thin ice, it's every man for himself. Can Schultz afford to have his own career threatened by unstable fellow- travellers like Rhodes? Call this a case of covering one's own ass.
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