Ed Schultz's brief rebellion against liberal orthodoxy is over. The MSNBC anchor in February announced his support for the Keystone oil pipeline, telling his audience to "confront reality." Ever since, Schultz has been slowly retreating. On Wednesday, Schultz caved, "Mr. President, say no to this project. I turn this night, on this program. I was wrong." [MP3 audio here.]
The host explained his reversal, insisting that "after researching both sides and listening to all the experts and seeing what's out there, I don't think America needs to take this risk." Schultz offered other reasons, such as suggesting that if Fox News anchors support the pipeline, that would "bring me to the conclusion that it's a really bad idea." Perhaps the real reason for the shift grew out of anger the MSNBC star faced from his audience.
On February 7, a wounded Schultz discovered: "There's one thing I've learned this week is that liberals can be just as mean as conservatives."
By March 4, he had swung completely to the other side, comparing Keystone to "Vietnam."
A partial transcript of the March 5 segment is below:
ED SCHULTZ: Well, we're getting into the say anything, do anything phase of the keystone XL pipeline. See, all the smart people saying we got to have it. We must not be very secure right now. Holy smokes. If we don't build this pipeline, we're not going to be very secure. You see, conservatives, what they're doing right now is that they are exploiting a foreign policy situation overseas to get something that they really want and they really don't know a whole hell of a lot about. They are shamelessly using the crisis in the Ukraine to push for the keystone XL pipeline. I say not so fast. The conservative noise machine again is incorrectly saying the completion of the pipeline would weaken Russia?
[Regarding Fox News hots supporting Keystone.]
SCHULTZ: Now, if this crowd is pushing for the pipeline, well, that's the first thing that would bring me to the conclusion that it's a really bad idea.
SCHULTZ: This right here, the Keystone XL pipeline that would go over the Ogallala aquifer is one of the biggest energy risks this country will ever take. Ever! Ever! It is going to be one of the most disastrous things, if it does leak, because it is irreversible. Mr. President, say no to this project. I turn this night, on this program. I was wrong. But after researching both sides and listening to all the experts and seeing what's out there, I don't think America needs to take this risk.