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Erik Wemple
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Posted at 01:17 PM ET, 06/13/2012

Ed Schultz’s flip-flop on Limbaugh: The side by side

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In June, Ed Schultz expressed dismay that activists — including the folks at Media Matters for America — were going after the advertisers behind Rush Limbaugh’s show. A Huffington Post story shows him saying the following at a New York confab:

If we start attacking advertisers because of what somebody said — it’s the wrong thing to do. I made a phone call that was not off the record. I called David Brock at Media Matters. I said, ‘David, this is Ed Schultz. I need you to know what’s happening. This is what’s happening. There’s a lot of people getting hurt. This has gone too far. It’s my opinion, you can take it for what it’s worth. Don’t attack advertisers.’

Now dial things back to early March. That’s when Limbaugh’s comments calling Sandra Fluke a “slut” and a “prostitute” were the top news stories everywhere you turned. In the video at the top of the post, Schultz inveighs against Limbaugh, and throws in this endorsement of the campaign to take him down:

SCHULTZ: Well, I have to say I think his ratings are overstated. And I think you’re going to see a lot about that in the industry coming up. I think there’s this facade surrounding Rush that he’s the big king and he’s diminished dramatically.
If there is a time to get him off the air, this is the push. I mean, if women in this country are serious about what they hear on the free airwaves of America, there is no better time.

Not explicit enough for you? Well then try these words on the “Ed Schultz” section of MSNBC.com:

Rush Limbaugh’s disturbing tirade against Georgetown University Law Student Sandra Fluke has now cost his radio show 35 corporate sponsors, according to the Think Progress website, thanks to thousands of angry customers who have been overwhelming Limbaugh’s corporate sponsors via social media.
Here’s the list (so far). Let us know which ones you contacted and which ones you’d like to see added to the list!

Not much concern there about “people getting hurt”: Schultz has made a clever transition from boycott cheerleader to boycott scold.

As Schultz said at that New York event, he has “two guys who fly for me at 45,000 feet.” That’s the upside of being a highly successful broadcaster. The underside is that there’s this long tail of on-the-record comments you’ve made on most high-profile issues. That tail can whip around and sting you.

By  |  01:17 PM ET, 06/13/2012

 
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