RT America, an anti-American media outlet funded by the Russian government, has a new fellow traveler in its quest for truth: Ed Schultz,* previously one of MSNBC’s most bombastic liberal voices.
"I’m Ed Schultz. I do the news on RT America. I’ll make sure you don’t get railroaded," Schultz said in an announcement for his primetime show The News with Ed Schultz.
Schultz is the former host of The Ed Show, which was one of five shows cancelled in last year’s programming bloodbath at MSNBC.
During his time at MSNBC, Schultz billed himself as an angry, straight-talking champion of the working man.
Schultz will bring the same charm to his job at RT, which the Columbia Journalism Review has called "the Kremlin’s propaganda outlet" for its cast of "fringe-dwelling" pro-Russia experts and support for President Vladimir Putin’s "confrontational foreign policy." RT will receive $307 million in funding from the Russian government in 2016, according to The Moscow Times.
"For decades, the American middle class has been railroaded by Washington politics," Schultz said over footage of a speeding freight train, possibly a metaphor for his broadcasting style. "Big money corporate interests have drowned out a lot of voices."
"That’s where I come in," Schultz said.
In many ways, the former MSNBC anchor is a natural fit for RT. The two networks cover many stories from the same editorial perspective. They also draw from the same pool of pundits, including The Nation editor Katrina vanden Heuval, former Obama administration advisor Jared Bernstein, and two out of three founding editors of The Intercept.
However, Schultz has criticized Putin in the past—or more accurately, he has charged that his arch-nemesis, Fox News, is fond of the Russian strongman. Whether Schultz will toe the Russian line when covering Russian politics and wars remains to be seen.
It also remains to be seen whether Schultz will bring his expertise as a pollster to RT.
The News with Ed Schultz will premier January 25 at 8 p.m. EST.
*Full disclosure: Schultz has referred to this publication as a "fishwrap." The Washington Free Beacon does not yet publish a print edition.
For decades, the American middle class has been railroaded by Washington politics. Big money corporate interests have drowned out a lot of voices. That’s how it is in the news culture in this country now. That’s where I come in. I’m Ed Schultz. I do the news on RT America. I’ll make sure you don’t get railroaded, and you get the straight talk and the straight news. RT. Question more.