MSNBC's Ed Schultz: We Faked Calls, Dems Were Involved
Libtalker: Congressional Staffers Served As Fake Callers
For over a month, Rush Limbaugh and other conservative talkers have been under attack by the left for supposedly using paid actors as callers. The charge is ridiculous (they have their choice of thousands, lines are full, why would they need them?) and based on a misunderstanding of a new service offered by Limbaugh syndicator Premiere Radio Networks.
Limbaugh has already debunked this fledgling myth.
As with all anti-Rush smear campaigns, the truth is irrelevant, all that matters is spreading the lies far and wide across the Internet.
But in a candid moment during yesterday's program, syndicated libtalker / MSNBC host Ed Schultz admitted that not only have calls been planted on his show, but that Democratic Party staffers on Capitol Hill were behind the fakery, phoning in from congressional offices!
(A reader wonders about the legality of using congressional offices this way. Does anyone know more about this?)
Schultz repeats the lie about actors calling Rush's show, of course, even using his own inexplicable disclosure to bash the talk titan. Does any of this make sense? Don't worry, it doesn't.
Why Schultz would admit this is beyond belief (he sounds perfectly sober in the clip), but here it is nonetheless:
ED SCHULTZ (Hour One - Segment One - 08 March 2011): So, Limbaugh has got his back up because apparently there's some fake callers to his program and according to a recent report in Tablet magazine, Premiere Radio Network, a subsidiary of Clear Channel Corporation, Clear Channel Communications, hired actors to call in as guests.
Now I have to tell you, this has been done. It's been done on the Ed Schultz radio show when we first started. But as we gained stations, we never did it again. Look, this is show business, although we venture into some more serious bidness as the world goes on. But I remember when we started our show in 2004, and I have no problem admitting this, our business manager Vern Thompson at the time was the head of the Democratic Party in the great state of North Dakota.
And a year after we started he joined our team here on the Ed Schultz radio show and has been with us ever since. And when we started on two stations, one in Langdon North Dakota, and the other in Needles California, we had about 500 people listening on the Internet, this was before we were on XM and Sirius.
I mean, let's face it, nobody knew who the hell I was or where we were from and guess what? There weren't any callers. And so what did we do through my good buddy Vern who now works for the program? We used to have a few people call in. And it got to be kind of fun because I was trying to guess who the hell Vern was getting to call into the program. But we were trying to start a program. We were grassroots.
SCHULTZ (04:59): By the way, we haven't had a staged caller to this program since, I think, the first three weeks of the show. But that's, I'm just being brutally honest with you. That's how it was started with us. We didn't pay anybody. Hell, we didn't have any money.
SCHULTZ (05:22): Now the other story was, when this program started in 2004, there was a lot of scuttlebutt on Capitol Hill, was that, well, Democrats and liberals don't know how to use talk radio. They're just overwhelmed by the right-wingers and we just don't know how to do anything when it comes to conversation.
So there were, and I'm not going to reveal the names, there were a few Senate offices that got involved and got some interns involved and they started to survey and coach these kids up and a few of their communications people were coaching them up on how to call a talk show.
And so such was the birth of liberal talk. I don't know if they do that now. I don't know on Capitol Hill, I'm in New York, I'm not, I don't know if any of the Senate offices or House offices do that any more.
Premiere's service is actually for FM morning shows who need fake callers for staged on-air stunts, since the FCC no longer allows impromptu gags involving unsuspecting individuals. Paid actors eliminate the potential for FCC fines that are issued for non-compliance. It has NOTHING to do with Rush, Hannity, or other syndicated talk programs.
But hey, who cares about the truth, right?