Monday, April 30, 2012
Has Ed Schultz gotten a little too big for his britches?
Schultz, a 20 year veteran of talk radio, actually got his start as a conservative talker out of Fargo, ND. According to an interview with the LA Times, his ideology began to change after visiting a Salvation Army cafeteria in 1998.
I began listening to Schultz on the internet around 2007. When I moved back to Minnesota in 2008, I was glad to know he was on the airwaves on Minneapolis' KTNF-AM950. I really enjoyed his no nonsense style, as well as his ability to identify with blue collar working folks.
About a year and a half ago, I was overjoyed when a member of KTNF's marketing team invited then co-host, Roger Shaver and I to the studio to meet Ed, who was just finishing up a broadcast from their studio. It didn't take long for me to feel a little put off, when all we really got out of the deal was a 2 minute photo op, before he and his wife had to be whisked off in their snazzy Escalade livery cab. I was told later that MSNBC contracted with that particular company. I must have had that "not good enough to ride in a regular taxi" look in my eye. This was the first time I've ever been disappointed with any contact I've had with a "celebrity."
You have to understand, in 30 years of pushing a hack, I've had celebs and ball players in my cab, too numerous to mention. I don't get star struck very easily. I didn't view Ed as a celebrity, as much as I did a champion for the liberal cause.
I hate to say it, but I think the bright lights of 30 Rock have changed this once humble champion of the common man. Of late, he's real short with callers to his show, even going as far today, as dressing down an obviously nervous caller (most of them are) for asking if he could "say something."
He's also made a point of saying that he doesn't want to talk to Republicans, saying that he doesn't "like" them. I know as a talk host, I have a long way to go to reach "Big Eddie's" lofty perch, but one thing I do enjoy is debating with opposing views. That doesn't mean I like Republicans any more than he does, but I feel how else can you give your position any credibility if you're unwilling to shoot down the FOX News talking points when presented with them.
Schultz's recent changes have not made me mad enough to flip on the oldies music station when he comes on. But what it has done has made me appreciate the humility of a talker that I feel is much more informative, and educational to listen to, Thom Hartmann.
I say this only as a listener, and a strong believer in liberal talk radio, Mr. Schultz, I suggest you might want to go back to your roots. A little humble pie goes a long way.
Posted by John Shannon at 8:08 PM