On Thursday, liberal talk-radio hosts Randi Rhodes and Stephanie Miller each protested the one-week suspension of MSNBC host Ed Schultz for calling Laura Ingraham a “talk slut” on his radio show. Miller said of the S-word: “So, I wear it proudly. Some right women are soooo sensitive!”
It’s understandable Randi Rhodes might think this isn’t offensive. She was suspened by Air America for yelling that Hillary Clinton was a “big f—ing whore” in 2008. But she was really upset at the Schultz apology and suspension, insisting Schultz had used the word on her, too, and neither found it offensive:
RHODES: So, they suspend him for saying that on his radio show - the MSNBC show suspends him. Now, I don't know if he's been suspended for his comments or for moonlighting! I have no idea what's going on there!
But I will tell you that the right wing does not do this to their hosts, they just don't! They let them say anything and they do! They call the President every name -- you're talking about the President of the United States of America! They call him every name in the book, everything! They say he hates white people! They say everything about this president! They say everything about people like me, they call me a Nazi, they call me uh Randi Bin Laden. They’ve questioned my patriotism personally, they have questioned my love of country...these people who have had absolutely no experience loving their country, I mean, loving the country! They, uh, they've never really loved!
And, you know, it's so interesting to me that the left media is always suspending their hosts! You know... it's the weirdest thing in the world! And like I said, in 2004, Ed called me Randi slut...I don't know what that is, and maybe I'm thinking he just gets excited calling women sluts! So I guess the message would have been, if I were his manager, uh, you know a lot of sluts would charge extra for that, be careful.
You know, I don't know what his deal is, I don't know why he plays like that, but he does, he's always been, you know, kind of in nasty - um, he went on a tirade in 2007 that was so unbelievable and I got on the air uh, you know after that, and people were calling me going did you hear what he said about you did you hear...and, you know, I have my response....we went back and found it...I said, you know, when all this happened and I was the target, what was it that I said exactly, what was it that I you know - how did I react to - because you know they demanded his head on a platter! You know, they wanted him to be fired!
Then Rhodes played an archived response of her comments, explaining her position:
RHODES: I never asked for anybody to be fired or suspended...I didn't need an apology, I just figured you know this is the business I have chosen! You know - and the right wing just goes absolutely bat crap crazy...I want his head on a platter...I want him fired...I want him suspended....I want...why do they do that and how come people on my side actually acquiesce?
Then Rhodes re-played audio clip of Schultz's apology, while ranting: "You never thought it was severe and neither did I!...No, I think when you said it to me, it was the lowest of low, but I didn't really care! And I still don't care what people call me! How can you be in this business and care about what people say about you! Uh - yes, he was supposed to have been a friendly, but uh how could you care? How could you really go on every day? How could care? This business just blows me! I gotta say!"
Rhodes kept complaining about conservatives: “The right wing, you know, talk show hosts can say anything including almost the F word - and they'll stand by them! You know, they'll just stand by them and say that's who he is, that's what he does!”
In a discussion with political consultant Karl Frisch of Bullfight Strategies, Miller complained Laura Ingraham was "snarky" with Ed Schultz in her reaction -- as if Miller is never, ever snarky? -- and this "slut" talk was just part of the everyday hurly-burly in Talk Radio Land:
KARL FRISCH: Right wing radio though is replete with every host under the sun saying these types of things every single day. So, whether there about you, whether there about the First Lady, whether there about the President whether there about generally speaking women. I mean Rush Limbaugh has said something sexist, I'm guessing on every show that he's ever broadcast in his entire career.
STEPHANIE MILLER: I'm just saying at the bottom we're human beings. I mean she (Ingraham) makes fun of me on her radio show; I make fun of her on mine. You know, it's just at some point you go oh give me a break that everybody's suddenly so sensitive.
FRISCH: Yeah I think the right wing must play victim and if Ed had not done what he did, they would have used this as a perfect opportunity.
PS: On her website, Ingraham published a letter an 18-year-old fan sent to Schultz:
Dear Ed Schultz,
You're comments made towards Ms. Laura Ingraham, a highly intelligent, successful, and respectable woman, were not only highly offensive to Ms. Ingraham, but also myself. As an 18 year FEMALE, the word slut is tossed around daily by teenagers...and, as it looks from your face on your website, you, Mr. Schultz, are no teenager. I am not condoning this word used by young adults, and even in some cases younger than this, but you as a 57 year old man, takes this word use to another extreme. You should not be making these remarks about someone who, although you may not deem this possible, is your equal. You're behavior is disgusting and your not showing any regret is obscene. You are a pitiful excuse of a man to be able to put down a woman the way that you TRIED to. Reagan drank that beer in 1983. Laura was at Dartmouth. I doubt you read the Dartmouth Review on-line since Al Gore hadn't invented the internet yet. What are the chances of you remembering a comment made from Ms. Ingraham over a quarter century ago? I find this hard to believe, Mr. Schultz. Laura Ingraham is a remarkable person and a wonderful mother. She is also a brilliant and gifted writer. The size of her audience is MANY times that of yours. She graduated from Dartmouth and Virginia School of Law, while you cheated on your first wife with the second and barely made it out of Minnesota State Moorehead...You have some serious guts! You shall always be known for these outbursts - which are usually idiotic and highly insulting to the target of your anger.
With all due respect,