At first glance, MSNBC’s Ed Schultz delivered a bona fide, integrity-filled apology yesterday about his commentary on Obamacare. Here’s how viewers heard it:
I got to apologize — hold it right there. I said some months ago that it was going to be five million people by March 1st and The Washington Post really took issue with that, and I apologize tonight, there`s another apology here. I missed it by 14 days, damn. Close, I know The Washington Post never really held anybody accountable for the Iraq war, all those billions of dollars and predictions and all that kind of stuff, but I missed it by 14 days, I apologize.
Accurate, as far as it goes: The Erik Wemple Blog exposed how Schultz on his Dec. 11, 2013, program had predicted that Obamacare enrollment would hit 5 million by March 1. He was off — no shame in that, given that everyone botches a prediction here and there.
What irked us a bit, however, was that after the Department of Health & Human Services announced that the March 1 figure was 4.2 million, Schultz didn’t administer any sort of self-accountability on air. So: We didn’t criticize him for missing the prediction; we criticized him for touting a monster prediction in December and failing to tell his viewers that said prediction didn’t pan out.
Then! On his March 12 broadcast, Schultz attempted to revise his Dec. 11 prediction, saying, “Well, I predicted 5 million people are going to sign up by the end of this month [March]. We`re closing on it on that number.” No, Schultz had predicted that 5 million people would be signing up by the beginning of March, only to turn around months later and tell his audience that the prediction applied to the end of March. That’s the part that really irked The Post.