No one should ever confuse Ed Schultz with an objective news anchor (except when he fills in during MSNBC news hours, I guess) but yesterday’s hyperbolically absurd segment bashing Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann (the “psycho-sisters,” as he casually called them) stood out.
It would just be another cable news talker doing what he does best – if not for the presence of an interview with a Bachmann Congressional challenger right in the middle.
“No two people have done more to distort the truth about the President of the United States with flat-out lies,” said Shultz at the beginning of the segment, calling the two “psycho-sisters” and later “twisted sisters.”
To give an indication of what was to come, Schultz played an entire DNC ad aimed at the duo. Then it was time for a text survey question, that jay-droppingly read, “Who do you think is a more dangerous psychotalker?” A text question so ridiculous can usually only be seen on Sean Hannity‘s Fox News show…maybe. But the presence of words like “psycho” being thrown around so easily (and then having people text their vote) puts Schultz in a league of his own. It’s not like Schultz hasn’t said some “psycho”-like things himself (Newsbusters compiled a whole greatest hits reel).
But then came the interviews – first with the Democratic Mayor of Minneapolis, and then, as the “psychotalker” text poll still showing on the lower third, Tarryl Clark, a Democrat running against Bachmann (who has been raising big money but is far down in polls). These were the sort of softballs lobbed Clark’s way:
This is now a national race, isn’t it? There’s a lot of people around this country, a lot of liberals, that would love to see Michele Bachmann out of the Congress. Are you going to be aggressive?
In other words – ‘please, Tarryl, be aggressive!’ Of course, Clark had the opportunity to say responses like, “We’re gonna need help from all hands on deck, particularly people in the 6th. If your viewers are interested in helping us out, they can go to…”
And so on. The last person to be granted this free campaign-like airtime may have been Doug Hoffman, and Clark has about the same political acumen. But Schultz, who fills in during news hours as well as anchors on MSNBC during breaking news on weekends, used the chance to smear Bachmann as a psycho while simultaneously propping up her challenger’s campaign. If the tables were turned, it would be the kind of thing “Worst Persons” are made of.
Text survey happens at 5-minutes, Clark interview at 8-minutes:
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