By The Mirror guest writer Evan Gahr.
Ratings-addled MSNBC host Ed Schultz loves to trash Fox News and Roger Ailes.
But when Schultz was just an obscure radio guy seeking fame and fortune on TV he sang a different tune.
His business partner asked Ailes, to please, pretty please, give Ed his own Fox News show.
“Ed Schultz would like to bring his considerable talents to FOX News Channel preferably in Washington,” Michael Queen wrote Ailes on April 22, 2008. “He would be great in Washington and great on Fox News Channel.”
The letter, obtained exclusively by this reporter, concluded, “Some network is sure to sign this former All American quarterback either as a commentator or show host, why not FOX?”
MSNBC had no comment on the matter. When reached by email, Diana Rocco, director of media relations, wanted more details: “Thanks for reaching out. Could you please let me know a little bit more about what you are writing and the angle for your piece?”
After she received more information, she went silent.
Here is the back story: In 2008, Queen and Schultz allegedly entered a partnership to get the behemoth broadcaster his own TV show. Queen claims Schultz emailed him that “Any TV deal will obviously involve you.”
Besides Fox, Queen hawked Schultz to CNN, NBC and MSNBC president Phil Griffin.
Griffin demurred but then approached Schultz directly and signed him. The “Ed Show” launched on April 1, 2009.
All Queen got in return from the friend of the working man was the $11,500 he paid out of pocket to tape a pilot.
In 2011, Queen filed a federal lawsuit against Schultz for reneging on his promise to pay him 25 percent of whatever he got for a TV show.
Schultz denied all the claims. In 2012, Washington, DC Federal District Court Judge Beryll Howell ruled for Schultz.
But an appeals court last April reversed Howell and allowed the case to proceed.
The Ailes epistle was discovered after this reporter trolled through hundreds of pages of filings.
Queen wrote Ailes under a pseudonym because he is an engineer for the NBC News Washington bureau. The name Jeffrey Landa, identified as the “Agent for Ed Schultz,” appears at the bottom of the letter. Landa, who is defending Schultz against Queen, said neither man saw the letter until after the lawsuit was filed. He pleaded ignorance about whether Schultz had advance or contemporaneous knowledge of Queen’s pitch to Ailes.
The lawsuit dates back almost four years but he never asked his client? “I don’t know means I don’t know,” Landa growled.
Queen and his lawyer did not respond to requests for comment. An email sent to a 2008 address for Schultz contained in court filings was not returned.
Just three years after the letter was written, Schultz, now safely ensconced at MSNBC, trashed Ailes on the air for running a “political machine” not “a news organization.”
Gee, that is an original argument. Whoever heard that before?
But left-wing troglodytes who also think FNC is a political machine should take note: when Schultz was vying for fame and fortune he was eager to be a cog in the Fox machinery.