Ed Schultz and MSNBC Prez Phil Griffin: The secret emails revealed

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Earlier this year, MSNBC host Ed Schultz was moved by MSNBC President Phil Griffin from his 8:00 p.m. weekday time slot to a weekend show at 5 p.m. On Monday, it was announced he would return to weekdays at 5:00 p.m. The Daily Caller has exclusively obtained emails between Schultz and Griffin that led to Monday’s announcement. 

The exchange is reprinted here for the for time, in its entirety, and without comment.

From: Ed Schultz

To: Phil Griffin

Date: Aug. 10, 2013 4:34 a.m.


I’m starting to believe that the 5:00 pm time slot on Saturday and Sunday is not the promotion you led me to believe it was and would like to move back to my weekly time slot.

It is my understanding that the queer you replaced me with is not working out and certainly not drawing the type of American man that I brought to the network. Holy hell Fil, the 8 to 10 pm time slots are hosted by a virtual Three’s Company, with Rachel being Jack Tripper!!!

Whatever problems you may have seen with me hosting a weekly show, I promise I can rectify them.

First, I’ve gone to a doctor to take care of my drooling problem. That should no longer be an issue.

Secondly, I know the make-up ladies complained that I would often come to make-up room pantless. I now see why this can be viewed as inappropriate by women who come from a certain background and I promise I will no longer conduct myself that way unless explicitly asked to by the make-up ladies.

Finally, I’m willing to work for even less than what you pay me now. I’m a team player.

You got to put me back in prime time, Fil. America needs to hear big Ed’s truth.

Your buddy,
Eddie Schultz

From: Phil Griffin

To: Ed Schultz

Date: Aug. 12, 2013  11:37 a.m.


It is so awesome to here from you, one of America’s most thought-provoking populists. Have I told you recently how important you are to the MSNBC family, and how unfortunate it would be if we had to send you back to North Dakota?

Have I expressed how it would pain me if, a year from now, my assistant tells me that you drunkenly fell outside of a Williston bar and, unable to right your massive frame, you froze to death during a snowstorm?

Do you have an idea how distraught I would be if, after leaving the network and descending in a nightmare of loneliness and alcoholism, your body was chewed on by stray dogs as you lay dying of exposure in a country that forgot about you the moment you left MSNBC?

That would be so fucking sad, Ed. Fucking sad for me, and fucking sad for the Republic we both so dearly love.

Think of all the hill people whose laziness long ago outstripped their racism and see you as a version of their better, less-trammeled selves? Think of all the obese, moon-faced children who want nothing more than to grow up and join a dying union and make eight dollars an hour until they die of heart disease at 35? These are your people, Ed, and although they are totally worthless from the perspective of our advertisers, they believe in you, and it would be a damn shame if you let them down because you couldn’t deal with a slow decline into obscurity like a fucking man.

Hayes stays where he is. So do you. Deal with it.

With Every Good Wish,


From: Ed Schultz

To: Phil Griffin

Date: Aug. 13, 2013  3:42 a.m.


Thanks for your response. I needed that. I felt your confidence in me oozing out of every word. You have a talent for words but what I appreciate more is that you are a straight shooter and you tell it from the heart. I have to admit that, for a moment, I thought I was unwanted here at the network — someone told me that some hosts actually get paid, is that true?

Anyway, I still can’t help but express my disappointment in your insistence that I stay at the 5:00 pm weekend slot. I know you previously said you needed me in that weekend slot to take on our rivals’ “heavy hitters” like CNN’s Fredricka Whitfield and CNBC’s “Body by Jake.” But I think I could do so much more, coach!

Look, if Mrs. Hayes has to stay, what about one of Matthews’ two time slot? I’m not a dummy. I know you are a big admirer of Matthews’ mind. I’ve been there when you complimented him by saying things like, “Smart take, Einstein” and “How did you figure that one out, Sherlock.” I know I’ll never be a Bob Einstein like Chris, but I have passion. And passion should count for something Fil.

Please, Fil, reconsider. If not for me, then for the common man, who, as you say, I represent in both body and mind.

Your pal,
Eddie Schultz

From: Phil Griffin

To: Ed Schultz

Date: Aug. 15, 2013 2:42 p.m.


So far as I can tell, the only good thing about that idea is how much Matthews would hate it. I would’ve fired that schmuck years ago were it not that lifetime contract he negotiated with Jeff Zucker as they followed Erin Burnett home from the gym in ’06.

But times are tough here at MSNBC and, against my better judgment, I’m going to allow you to move back to weeknights, provided you accept a couple conditions.

1. You’re responsible for getting Matthews home every night. Bear in mind that, assuming that his interns’ experiences are any indication, he will try to kiss you. Think you’re not his type? Well, I got news for you, buddy: he doesn’t have a type.

2. As part of NBC Universal’s bold new “reverse salary” initiative, you will be required to pay us $75,000 a year.

How about it, old friend? Think you have what it takes?

From: Ed Schultz

To: Phil Griffin

Date: Aug. 16, 2013 4:53 a.m.

Tell the gang Eddie’s back!


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