Ed Schultz's ratings continued to plummet last week, falling to just 41,000 in a key demographic. So, how did the MSNBC host respond to the bad news? He opened his show on Monday by demanding that other journalists focus more on climate change. Regarding a global warming protest in New York City, Schultz demanded, "Ask yourself a question. How can so many people gather, such little attention?" [See MP3 audio here.] Apparently, this is on "every American's mind."
He assailed his fellow TV personalities: "I think the media is not covering climate change to the way it should be covered because they know that Washington is broken." Finding conservative bias, the host bizarrely suggested, "...If that was an impeachment rally for President Obama, oh I think there'll be all kinds of coverage."
Schultz's ratings in the key 25-54 demographic were a scant 41,000, dead last among the big three cable channels. In comparison, The Five on Fox News pulled 188,000 viewers. Perhaps one reason for the liberal host's rock-bottom ratings is that Americans don't really care about climate change.
According to a March 2014 Gallup poll, only 34 percent of Americans worry about climate change. The survey explained that number is "essentially the same as it was in 1989."
The Ed Show production crew went out and talked to protesters. Liberal, anti-capitalist sentiment seemed to be their focus:
ALAN BURCHELL, FOUNDER URBANSTRONG.COM: One of the biggest things that we`re on insisting on... a carbon tax. I mean the real true cost, the social and the environmental costs of manufacturing practices and energy production.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The people in Washington and people in the U.N., and the people on the world that the one percent of the people that control everything and make all the money they don`t care because what? They`re greedy.
Yet, Schultz saw it as a conservative media conspiracy. Talking to his audience (all 41k of them), he offered a text survey: "Get your cell phones out. Tonight's question, 'Is the mainstream media asleep at the wheel on climate change?' Text A for yes, text B for no to 67622."
According to a Media Research Center analysis, the climate march got 4.5 times more network coverage than the March for Life.
A partial transcript of the September 22 show is below:
ED SCHULTZ: Ask yourself a question. How can so many people gather, such little attention? We start tonight with an issue on -- I think every American's mind and that is climate change, you're either a believer or you're a denier. But the media in this country decides that over 300,000 people in New York City isn't quite enough to be a story. I find it astonishing. I think the media is not covering climate change to the way it should be covered because they know that Washington is broken and they know, politically, it just might not be a reality in our lifetime. Now, if that was an impeachment rally for President Obama, oh I think there'll be all kinds of coverage because that is a political reality if the Republicans win the Senate.
For years politicians have pledged action on climate change. They go home give a lip service but very little is ever [sic] happened. Now, is this public pressure that we saw going to grow? Is this public pressure we saw in New York City going to make a difference? It might. The Rockefeller family, big story today, they have announced their charitable organization will begin divesting funds from oil companies. I read that this morning and said, "Whoa, that's a bold move," considering the late John D. Rockefeller built his fortune on founding the Standard Oil Company.
Really? They don't want to make money of oil anymore after all their family history? The Rockefellers, interestingly enough timed their announcement with tomorrow's opening of the United Nation's Climate Change Summit in New York City. More than a 120 leaders, including President Obama, from around the world will attend tomorrow summit at U.N. Headquarters in Midtown Manhattan.
SCHULTZ: If there was ever a time for Congress to capture momentum and move forward to fight climate change I would think it is now. Now, the deniers out there hide behind one thing and that's called, as we all know, Citizens United. That's their firewall. If they can maximize every effort behind Citizens United and keep that as the law of the land, they're going to be able to tort any effort on climate change, unless people do what these folks did on Sunday in New York City. That may not be the last protest.
The American people are onboard. It's just a matter of whether they believe things can happen on Washington. World leaders including the world's largest polluter, China, they're onboard. Now, it's time for the Congress to act but of course they're not going to act until after the election because they're back home getting reelected.
Get your cellphone's out. I want to know what you think. Tonight's question, "Is the mainstream media asleep at the wheel on climate change? Text A for yes, text B for no to 67622, you can go to our blog at ed.msnbc.com and leave a comment there. We appreciate it. We'll bring you the results later on in the program.