Ed Schultz, big labor’s loudest and most obnoxious voice, announced Wednesday night that his cable program on MSNBC would be sent packing from primetime to weekends. Chris Hayes will bring his uppers to primetime to replace Schultz.
"I raised my hand for this assignment for a number of personal and professional reasons," he said. "My fight on ‘The Ed Show' has been for the workers and the middle class. This new time slot will give me the opportunity to produce and focus on stories that I care about and are important to American families and American workers." He added that he did not want to spend all of his time "sitting behind this desk five nights a week."
Schultz’s blue collar shtick has always seemed out of place on a primetime slate of MSNBC programming hosted by 1-percenters Rachel Maddow and Lawrence O’Donnell.
What's ironic is that Schultz made this announcement on the same night of his exclusive with Prouty, which was the first time Schultz was an actual newsmaker since, well, ever. His last foray on the national stage was as an accessory to big labor’s epic fail of a campaign to recall Wisconsin governor Scott Walker. Schultz left the Badger State a stuttering mess, begging to keep counting votes in spite of exit polls showing a resounding Walker victory. His breakdown made Rove arguing with Megyn Kelly about Ohio seem sensible.
Schultz seems enthusiastic at the prospect of ending his 13-hour workdays. As television-radio double threats often say, the daily grind of hosting two programs, one several hours long, is extremely taxing on a person’s stamina and general health. And considering Big Eddie needs a physical every 90 days, it’s not surprising he’s open to his network putting him out to pasture. Maybe he should have asked those blue collar, 12-hour work day grinders on how they pull off long days for years on a pittance. Meanwhile, Eddie gets to spend the rest of his days at his North Country Lodge.
Since Schultz will have a lot of time on his hands he'll be able to catch up on one of my favorite television shows, The Wire, which among other things depicts the steady crumbling of union power in America. Union member Frank Sobotka said it best:
"We used to build make sh*t in this country. Now we put our hands in the next guy’s pocket."
Big Red would know all about that.