Ex-MSNBC host Ed Schultz in a recent interview ripped his former network as "in the tank for Hillary Clinton" and suggested he was fired in 2015 because of his support for Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.).
Schultz, who now anchors a show on RT, told National Review's Jamie Weinstein in an an interview posted Friday that MSNBC chief Phil Griffin was a "watchdog," and he said he was often given direction on what stories to cover.
Sanders gave his official campaign launch speech in Burlington, Vermont on May 26, 2015, and Schultz said he was the only cable news host planning to air it live. He had also taped an interview with Sanders at the lawmaker's home ahead of the speech.
However, he said Griffin called him five minutes before air time at 5 p.m. EST, and he said, "You're not covering this."
"It got rather contentious," Schultz said.
He said he was forced to cover something "totally meaningless" in Texas—it involved devastating flooding in Texas and Oklahoma that had killed a dozen people—as well as the unrest in Baltimore over the death of Freddy Gray. Ultimately, "The Ed Show" did air Sanders' launch speech live when it began a little after 5:30 p.m. EST.
When Sanders' speech broke into the 6 p.m. hour hosted by Al Sharpton, he was cut off to go to news about developments on a police case in Cleveland. Sharpton covered Sanders' announcement later in the hour. Schultz aired his interview with Sanders the following day.
Schultz opined he was forced out at MSNBC because of his support for Sanders and MSNBC's water-carrying for Clinton. His final day on the air was July 29, 2015. "The Cycle" and "Now With Alex Wagner" were also canceled by MSNBC that week.
"I think the Clintons were connected to [NBC News chief] Andy Lack, connected at the hip," Schultz said. "I think that they didn't want anybody in their primetime or anywhere in their lineup supporting Bernie Sanders. I think that they were in the tank for Hillary Clinton, and I think that it was managed, and 45 days later I was out at MSNBC."
"I thought it stunk," he added.
Schultz hosted "The Ed Show" from 2009 to 2015. Known for his fiery, left-wing populist opinions, Schultz often interviewed Sanders before the Vermont senator became a nationally known figure with his presidential campaign. Calling him a "good friend," he said he felt before others did that Sanders could "take off politically."
Schultz, despite previously ripping Vladimir Putin for his "nasty" human rights record, joined the Kremlin propaganda network in January of 2016. He told Weinstein his anchoring gig at RT was the best job and "the most freedom I've ever had."
"I'm doing real journalism. It's not opinion," he said.
"There was more oversight and more direction given to me on content at MSNBC than there ever has been here at RT," he added. "I think that it's very sad that story is not getting out."
The Washington Free Beacon reached out to MSNBC for comment but did not receive a response.
UPDATE: 1:20 P.M.: This article was updated to show "The Cycle" and "Now With Alex Wagner" were canceled the same week as "The Ed Show."