Here’s another reason Ed Schultz might be fired soon: he just made his boss look like a liar under oath.
On Tuesday, Catfish Abbott, a bulky, compact man who speaks with a thick Southern drawl, may have pulled off the most impressive act of triangulation in Washington since Bill Clinton signed landmark welfare reform legislation nearly 20 years ago.
Abbott represents Michael Queen, who’s suing Schultz for breach of partnership.
Abbott used Ed Schultz’s blustery and indignant words on Monday to catch MSNBC president Phil Griffin in a huge lie, wherein he claimed he gave Schultz a show without any help from Queen, an NBC producer and sound engineer.
Now, the only key player in this whole fracas left with any credibility may be Queen, who is expected to testify Wednesday for three hours.
The federal jury trial is this week. Queen firmly believes he and Schultz had a partnership and that the MSNBC host owes him money for helping him land his program. But Schultz claims there was a never a partnership.
In a taped deposition played in court Tuesday, Griffin insisted that he recruited Schultz after seeing him supposedly ask a question from the front-row of Barack Obama’s first press conference as president — and that he never received “The Ed Show” pilot that Queen sent to MSNBC.
But before he revealed that tape, Abbott cornered Schultz: Did you ask a question at that press conference?
Schultz condescendingly waved his arms like a gorilla and lectured Abbott that you don’t just yell out questions at Obama. The questioners are selected in advance, he explained.
Schultz admitted that he didn’t actually ask Obama anything. He was never called on.
After questioning the TV host all morning, Abbott finally announced he wanted to play a 15-minute portion of Phil Griffin’s videotaped deposition.
And there was Griffin, saying again and again that he reached out to Schultz only after seeing him ask a question at Obama’s first press conference.
Abbott did not say one word about Griffin’s obvious deceit. The trial recessed for lunch.
But Brian Whittaker, one of Schultz’s lawyers, just sat at the defendant’s table, all bug-eyed with two fingers on his chin. Schultz looked nearly beet red as he stood up and went to talk with his wife, Wendy, in the first row of the spectator’s gallery.
When most people filed back into the court room after lunch Schultz was seated with his back against the bench, his arms completely stretched out at a 90-degree angle to his legs, much like Christ on the cross.
Appropriately enough, since Abbott had just nailed him.