Shouldn’t behemoth broadcaster Ed Schultz be feeling pretty giddy that he finally managed to get any television gig — even on Vladimir Putin’s RT?
When MSNBC president Phil Griffin, whom he turned into a liar at his disastrous May 2015 breach of partnership trial, coincidentally cancelled the “Ed Show” that August, Schultz was reduced to running a superPAC out of UPS store, before “Puty,” as he once derisively called the Russian president, came calling.
But Schultz proved quite ornery and ultimately went ballistic when Daily Beast reporter Olivia Nuzzi cornered him at an environmental protest outside the White House after he backed out of a scheduled interview at his prestigious RT office, which is undoubtedly more spacious than the crowded M St. UPS store from which he only recently did business.
But here’s the rub. RT just ran an interview by Larry King of Donald Trump, leading President Barack Obama to ridicule the GOP nominee for playing footsie with Putin. And now that his paymasters are paling around with Trump, who Schultz once called a “racist” on MSNBC, he is treating the GOP front runner with fulsomeness reminiscent of how he once begged Roger Ailes for a job.
“It should be pointed out that the Clinton campaign has refused interviews on RT America,” Schultz said in a homemade online video, Nuzzi reports. “This is manufactured news by the Clinton campaign to vilify Donald Trump and connect him to Vladimir Putin, and that’s their strategy to win the election.”
Nuzzi asked Schultz about his change of heart.
“I feel very comfortable about being fair to Trump,” he said. “I think I’ve been very fair to him.”
But, uh, didn’t he used to be a Trump hater? “Um, well, then I guess that kind of shows my opinions aren’t getting in the way, right?”
Then he freaked out, Nuzzi relates. She refreshingly avoided self-references, saying “a reporter” instead of “me” until it was unavoidable because Schultz soon charged at her like a Hippo on PCP.
“He never wanted to be interviewed, he said, and despite giving a reporter his location and answering questions for several minutes, he didn’t want to be quoted. He grew incensed and accusatory, but then seemed to try to calm himself by saying he was comfortable with everything he had said on the record.
“He said he didn’t want to answer anymore questions, but then he ran after me, in a state of total panic.”
Schultz asked Nuzzi not to write about him and his “face turned red” when she said no dice.
“He moved closer and stared into my eyes, and then he screamed at me, divulging something personal and wholly unrelated to both RT and the conflict at hand.”
“’This is a hit job, I know it is!’ he screamed again.”
Schultz later re-iterated his demand in an email to Nuzzi, then called and hung up on her.
If Schultz can’t handle one Daily Beast reporter what is going to happen when a hoard of journalists confront him outside the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit next month when a three judge panel hears an appeal by plaintiff Michael Queen. The veteran NBC producer and sound engineer claims he lost the trial because of a biased judge appointed by Barack Obama, coincidentally shortly after she donated to his campaign.
Phil Griffin’s alleged testimony for Schultz could even be an issue during oral arguments by lawyers for Schultz and Queen.
Expect a courtroom packed with reporters from POLITICO and the Washington Post and the Associated Press. After all, they vehemently deny liberal bias so surely they would not try to cover-up legal proceedings at the second highest court in the land just to spare MSNBC embarrassment.
Oh, wait, no
It seems the media cover-up for Schultz and Griffin is going to continue and nobody but the Washington Gadfly is going to cover the proceedings. AP reporter David Bauder, pressed this afternoon on whether he would cover the hearing after ignoring the trial said, “I don’t respond to hostile questions.”
Yeah, well, imagine how even Barack Obama would get mocked by reporters if he tried that line on at a press conference.
CNN media reporter Dylan Byers, who told Washington Examiner reporter Eddie Scarry he ignored the Ed Schultz trial while at POLITICO because it was not interesting (perjury is boring?) — stonewalled and then hung up when asked if he would cover the appeals court hearing.
“I’m not going to answer any more questions,” Byers said slowly, sounding worried he was being recorded.
“Well, you didn’t answer any to begin with.”
Byers, who hung up even quicker than WaPo media blogger Erik Wemple usually does, seemed flabbergasted that somebody would actually ask him rapid fire questions—something journalists do to politicians all day long.
POLITICO media blogger Hadas Gold, who also ignored the Schultz trial — maybe she was busy finally learning how to spell editor? — did not immediately reply to an inquiry about the appeal.
It’s a scary day for journalism when AP, CNN and POLITICO reporters prove even less forthcoming than Ed Schultz under questioning.