Media

Ed Schultz can tell David Sirota to go to hell, but can't call Laura Ingraham a right-wing slut

Is Ed Schultz coming unraveled? A week after telling fellow AM 760 air personality David Sirota to "go to hell" during a splenetic on-air spat, the syndicated yakker has been suspended from his MSNBC program for calling conservative mouthpiece Laura Ingraham a "right-wing slut" and a "talk slut" -- bon mots for which he apologized to viewers. See the video of his mea culpa below.

The Sirota scrap revolved around the killing of Osama bin Laden. Like Keith Olbermann and Michael Moore, Sirota suspects that ObL was assassinated -- an act that may have violated international law. For his part, Schultz decries "liberal hand-wringing" over a subject that's left most Americans feeling great. Moreover, he feels that the sort of questions Sirota and company have been asking are counter-productive.

Cut to May 18, when Sirota told listeners of Big Ed's desire to yell at him -- and the volume did indeed go up when he connected with Schultz a few moments later. On the topic of bin Laden, Schultz said, "The issue is settled. The Attorney General of the United States made a comment the day after the operation went down in Pakistan, saying that undoubtedly he was killed in a war setting -- in a war zone -- and that it was legal."

These assertions didn't convince Sirota, who invoked the ghost of Richard Nixon. What followed was a bark-fest during which Schultz told Sirota to "Go to hell" and then hung up after being put on hold.

To listen to the exchange, click here. You can fast-forward to Schultz's appearance, which begins just past the eight-minute mark.

The Sirota-Schultz squabble got plenty of attention, but it was mere prelude to the uproar over the following Schultz radio-show comment, quoted by Talking Points Memo: "President Obama is going to be visiting Joplin, Missouri, on Sunday but you know what they're talking about, like this right-wing slut, what's her name? Laura Ingraham? Yeah, she's a talk slut. You see, she was, back in the day, praising President Reagan when he was drinking a beer overseas. But now that Obama's doing it, they're working him over."

The Washington Post reports that Schultz's suspension sans pay will last one week -- but in his MSNBC apology, he says he'll be suspended for "an indefinite period." Whatever the case, he could probably use a time out about now.

Here's his statement:

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts