Ed Schultz, the bombastic host of MSNBC’s The Ed Show, has been dumped from the network’s weekday lineup and exiled to the weekend.
I suppose if screaming at the camera and conjuring up bloodthirsty deaths for your political opponent is your thing, you will probably miss Mr. Ed and his strident, take no prisoners liberalism.
For the rest of us, relief that we can remove the cotton from our ears that we used when listening to his show.
Allah captures exactly the right mix of haughty disdain and astonishment at Schultz’s reaction to the humiliating demotion:
Rarely will you see a crap sandwich devoured with the sort of gusto displayed in the video below. If prior media reports are accurate, this is not a guy who’s reacted well in the past to seeing his profile at MSNBC lowered. Last November, when the whispering began that he’d soon be replaced, he handled it … predictably. And yet there he was last night, practically ready to high-five the cameraman over his banishment to the Island of “Lockup” Re-Runs. If he’s feeling bold, he should end tonight’s show with the clip of Ian Faith talking about Spinal Tap’s appeal becoming “more selective.” Have fun with it!
Dylan Byers at Politico:
Like former MSNBC host Dylan Ratigan, Schultz suggested that the move was his choice: “I’m very proud of the work our team has done here at 8 PM, but sitting behind this desk five nights a week doesn’t cut it for me,” he said. “I want to get out with the people and tell their stories. This show has been a show that has been a voice for the voiceless. That really was my mission when I came here and it remains.”
Sources at MSNBC told POLITICO that that was a very generous interpretation of events. Schultz was pushed out to make way for new talent, they said.
Media Decoder points out that the real reason for the decision was demographics:
The change is predicated on the belief that MSNBC can win a wider audience with Mr. Hayes than it did with Mr. Schultz, a champion of the working class whose bluster didn’t always pair well with Ms. Maddow and the channel’s other prime-time program, “The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell.” Mr. Hayes, on the other hand, is just as wonky as Ms. Maddow and Mr. O’Donnell, and is a regular contributor to both of their programs.
“Chris has done an amazing job creating a franchise on weekend mornings,” said Phil Griffin, the president of MSNBC. “He’s an extraordinary talent and has made a strong connection with our audience.”
Mr. Hayes, 34, will be the youngest host of a prime-time show on any of the country’s major cable news channels, all of which seek out youthful viewers but tend to have middle-aged hosts and a core audience made up of senior citizens. Of Mr. Schultz’s one million viewers last year, for example, only 249,000 were between the ages of 25 and 54.
At least when Hayes savages conservatives he does it quietly. That will be a huge improvement from Schultz who now gets to exercise his vocal chords on a virtually empty stage over the weekend.