Ed Schultz Defends Union Money


ED SCHULTZ: Welcome back to “The Ed Show.” Today a conservative blog posted documents filed with the United States Department of Labor stating that unions had paid Ed Schultz broadcasting nearly $200,000. Those documents are correct.

Several unions have, indeed, paid me for advertising for speeches. Some of you may have even attended those speeches. I’d like to invite you to my website, all of you who are watching tonight. Look at that Big Eddy’s North Country Lodge. Look at all that advertising on there. It’s at WeGotEd.com. Which is completely–I say completely–independent from and not affiliated with MSNBC. There you can see all the ads on the right side, some of them are products and services, some of them, yes, they are from unions. You know, they buy advertising.

In addition to advertising contracts, the documents show that I have received money for giving speeches to union groups and other organizations. The policy at MSNBC is any speech must get prior approval and any honorarium must be donated to charity of the speaker’s choice. I choose last year that all the money go to the American Cancer Society for the great work they do, and I have friends in that organization as well, and I will continue to do so.

Politico chose to headline their story, “Unions gave $200k to MSNBC’s Ed Schultz.” I want to emphatically state tonight nobody gave me anything. I work for a living. I run an independent business that’s called the Ed Schultz Radio Show, and it’s been very successful through the support of listeners and advertisers–it’s business.

One more thing, Politico and others compared my taking speaking money to Mitt Romney for doing the same. Give me a break. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Here what is I said about Gov. Romney’s speaking income:

According to his own financial disclosure forms, Mitt Romney made $374,327 in speaker fees in one year. That ain’t bad on the rubber chicken circuit, folks. That is what Mr. Out-of-Touch thinks is not very much? No it’s real good. Median household in America is just $49,445, so you tell me is he in touch? His speaking fees were more than seven times the median household income in this country.

As you can see, I criticized governor Romney for saying that nearly $375,000 is not much. And since he’s worth somewhere in the range of $250 million, he couldn’t relate to the average American making less than $50,000 a year. Gov. Romney, he is free to make as much as he can for speaking to groups anywhere. If people would like to debate whether the $375,000 is “not much” I welcome that debate.