Hours from the premiere of his MSNBC cable show Monday night, radio host Ed Schultz told listeners what they can expect on his television show (click here for audio) --
If it's successful then I think you win because I know what I'm going to be talking about, I know what kind of stories I'm going to be looking for. And I want to make sure that the Democrats don't get weak knees on the Employee Free Choice Act.
Yet it was Schultz whose knees grew wobbly after the Wall Street Journal ran an op-ed by Rush Limbaugh on the so-called Fairness Doctrine in February.
Not only did Limbaugh leave Schultz the most unhinged he'd been since McCain picked Palin, Schultz vowed to respond in print, telling his listeners he'd been in touch with a Wall Street Journal editor about writing an op-ed in the Journal.
Two months later, still no op-ed challenge to Limbaugh from the blustery Schultz.
Elaborating further on plans for his MSNBC show, Schultz said he would target Newt Gingrich for his first "Psycho Talk" segment after North Korea tested a long-range missile and Gingrich criticized Obama's policies for leaving the US vulnerable to attack (click here for audio clips) --
SCHULTZ: Newt, where the hell were you when they were shooting these things off before? Newt has now fallen into the category of psycho talk. He says there will be another 9/11 if we don't pay attention to North Korea right now. Newt, I didn't hear that from you when Bush was in there. I didn't hear that kind of talk from you when they fired off some other missiles. Here's the comment, here it is --
GINGRICH (in interview on "Fox News Sunday"): We've been talking about this since the Clinton administration and they have been building nuclear weapons and building better and better missiles while we keep talking. And one morning, just like 9/11, there's going to be a disaster and people are going to look around and say, gosh, why didn't anyone think of that? Well I'm telling you the time to think about it's before the disaster, not afterwards.
SCHULTZ: Oh Newt, I tell you, it's so insightful, I don't know what we're going to do with that audio. I mean, that's just, that's like God is speaking to us. Why didn't you talk like that when Bush was in office? You're a phony, Newt! And you're not a Catholic! You're just making everybody think you are! C'mon! Now tell me, Newt, how does the Pope feel about striking North Korea right early on, huh? Where does he stand on that? What a phony! What a complete phony! The Newtster's back at it! He's first up on Psycho Talk! He doesn't know what he is! He doesn't know who he's married to!
Also on Monday's radio show --
SCHULTZ: My oh my, what 77 days will do to America. I struggle with this. Hey look, he has the right to say what he wants to say, freedom of speech and everything else, but all this does is divide the camps. Because God forbid if we do get hit again, it'll be civil war in America. I mean that!
And later on, with beaten horse still showing signs of life --
SCHULTZ: Newt, why don't you just admit it that this is just your opinion. You don't know squat! Oh you had somebody who used to work somewhere at guessing and making think-tank assumption and now you're going to tell me that you got it from Brent Bozell and those nitwits over at Media Research Council (sic). This, this, this is their research! Just throw it up there and divide the country.
What's laughable about Schultz excoriating anyone for alleged "psycho talk" is that he so often engages in the real thing, as shown in devastating detail by Brian Maloney at The Radio Equalizer.
Watching Schultz weave from Democratic hall monitor to volcanic bellicosity toward Gingrich, it dawned on me who I was reminded of -- the late comedian Chris Farley, whose "motivational speaker" Matt Foley ranks among the best characters created on "Saturday Night Live."
Follow this link for what I believe is Foley's first and funniest appearance on "SNL" and see if you discern the parallels to Schultz. Enjoy!