After Ed Schultz Calls Laura Ingraham a 'Right-Wing Slut,' MSNBC Suspends Him and He Apologizes: 'I Am Sorry, Very Sorry'
In full retreat, a humiliated and somber Ed Schultz opened his MSNBC show on Wednesday night (video below
) by apologizing to Laura Ingraham for using, on his radio show, “vile and inappropriate language” to describe her, language he did not repeat. On Tuesday, the left-wing host had slimed the conservative talk radio host as a “right-wing slut” and a “radio slut.”
(After Schultz’s statement, Thomas Roberts hosted the rest of the hour.)
Schultz pleaded: “I am deeply sorry, and I apologize. It was wrong, uncalled for and I recognize the severity of what I said. I apologize to you, Laura, and ask for your forgiveness.”
He added that “I also met with management here at MSNBC, and understanding the severity of the situation and what I said on the radio and how it reflected terribly on this company, I have offered to take myself off the air for an indefinite period of time with no pay.” The official NBC management statement, however, said he had agreed to “one week of unpaid leave.”
As first picked up before other blogs early Wednesday afternoon by the MRC’s NewsBusters blog via Brian Maloney’s Radio Equalizer blog
, Schultz, on his Tuesday radio show carried by satellite radio, disparaged conservative radio host Laura Ingraham.
Tim Graham’s prescient Wednesday noontime NB headline: “Will MSNBC Suspend Ed Schultz for Calling Laura Ingraham a 'Right-Wing Slut' and 'Talk Slut
Hours later, at 5:51 PM EDT, MSNBC issued this statement:
MSNBC management met with Ed Schultz this afternoon and accepted his offer to take one week of unpaid leave for the remarks he made yesterday on his radio program. Ed will address these remarks on his show tonight, and immediately following begin his leave. Remarks of this nature are unacceptable and will not be tolerated.
Radio Equalizer’s audio of Schultz’s May 24 remarks:
ED SCHULTZ: And what do the Republicans thinking about? They're not thinking about their next-door neighbor. They're just thinking about how much this is going to cost. President Obama is going to be visiting Joplin, Mo., 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. [Audio: Downloadable MP3 clip]
Schultz’s remarks at the top of the May 25 The Ed Show
Good evening, Americans and welcome to The Ed Show from New York tonight. Thomas Roberts will be here tonight anchoring the program, but first I want to take some time to offer an apology. On my radio show yesterday I used vile and inappropriate language when talking about talk show host Laura Ingraham. I am deeply sorry, and I apologize. It was wrong, uncalled for and I recognize the severity of what I said. I apologize to you, Laura, and ask for your forgiveness.
It doesn't matter what the circumstances were. It doesn't matter that it was on radio and I was ad-libbing. None of that matters. None of that matters. What matters is what I said was terribly vile and not of the standards that I or any other person should adhere to. I want all of you to know tonight that I did call Laura Ingraham today and did not make contact with her and I will apologize to her as I did in the message that I left her today.
I also met with management here at MSNBC, and understanding the severity of the situation and what I said on the radio and how it reflected terribly on this company, I have offered to take myself off the air for an indefinite period of time with no pay. I want to apologize to Laura Ingraham. I want to apologize to my family, my wife. I have embarrassed my family. I have embarrassed this company.
And I have been in this business since 1978, and I have made a lot of mistakes. This is the lowest of low for me. I stand before you tonight in front of this camera in this studio in an environment that I absolutely love. I love working here. I love communicating with all of you on the radio and the communication that I have with you when I go out and do town hall meetings and meet the people that actually watch. I stand before you tonight to take full responsibility for what I said and how I said it, and I am deeply sorry.
My wife is a wonderful woman. We have a wonderful family. And with six kids and eight grandkids, I try to set an example. In this moment, I have failed. And I want you to know that I talked to my sons especially about character and about dignity and about the truth. And I tell you the truth tonight that I am deeply sorry and I tell them every day that they have to live up to standards if they want to be a successful human being in life. And I have let them down. I have never been in this position before to the point where it has affected so many people. And I know that I have let a lot of people down.
To the staff here at MSNBC, I apologize for embarrassing the company and the only way that I can really make restitution for you is to give you a guarantee, and the only way that I can prove my sincerity in all of this is if I never use those words again. Tonight, you have my word that I won't. Laura Ingraham, I am sorry. Very sorry. I'll be back with you in the coming days.
MSNBC.com has video of the entire four-minute statement
.Earlier this month, Schultz “earned” the “Quote of the Year” at the MRC’s 2011 “DisHonors Awards” for screaming on his MSNBC program: “The Republicans lie! They want to see you dead! They’d rather make money off your dead corpse! They kind of like it when that woman has cancer and they don’t have anything for her.” Video, scroll down to "winner."
>> Many more examples of vile radio comments from Schultz and other left-wing hosts in the MRC’s 2010 Special Report, “The Real Radio Hatemongers: Left-Wing Radio Hosts' Track Record of Vile and Vicious Rhetoric.” << -- Brent Baker is Vice President for Research and Publications at the Media Research Center. You can follow him on Twitter here.