Loud liberal Ed Schultz on Thursday sneered that Republicans, because of a hatred for Barack Obama, now idolize their "new hero" Vladimir Putin. The Ed Show anchor also repeatedly, but incorrectly, identified Putin as the former head of the KGB.
In a viewer mail section, Schultz read aloud, "Our next question is from Jay Stan. 'Do you think Putin is hinting for a leadership role in the Republican Party?'" [MP3 audio here.] Schultz mocked, "I tell you what, all of a sudden Putin is the new hero for the Republican Party. Have you noticed that?"
He continued, "Have you noticed how many right-wing talk show hosts across the country all of a sudden are just embracing this former head of the KGB?" Schultz offered no examples of GOP love for Putin. In fact, in a later segment, he showed clips of Republicans slamming the Russian.
As ABC News reported, Republicans have attacked Putin. Regarding the Russian leader's op-ed in the New York Times, writer Arlette Saenz recounted:
During a news conference Thursday, House Speaker John Boehner said, "I was insulted," when he read Putin’s editorial.
Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., in a tweet, called Putin’s words "an insult": "Putin’s NYT op-ed is an insult to the intelligence of every American."
Sen. James M. Inhofe, R-Okla., said in an interview with CNN on Thursday that he too was not a fan of Putin’s piece: "I could hear Reagan turning over in his grave."
Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, an opponent of the use of military force in Syria, said on the Senate floor Wednesday, "I would caution all of us – the American people and all of our colleagues – to be skeptical for good reason at this lifeline that Vladimir Putin has now thrown the administration."
Does that sound like hero worship?
Schultz added, "I mean, they hate Obama so much they will even embrace the head of the KGB?" Again, Putin did not head the KGB. The closest he got was Lieutenant Colonel in 1991.
Obama made the same gaffe in August.
A transcript of the September 12 segment is below:
ED SCHULTZ: Our next question is from Jay Stan. "Do you think Putin is hinting for a leadership role in the Republican Party?" I tell you what. All of a sudden Putin is the new hero for the Republican Party. Have you noticed that? Have you noticed how many right-wing talk show hosts across the country all of a sudden are just embracing this former head of the KGB? I mean, they hate Obama so much they will even embrace the head of the KGB? Putie. Putie is their new hero. I guarantee you, there are Republicans right now thinking, "damn, Putie is doing us a favor. He's going after Obama and making him look bad."
-- Scott Whitlock is the senior news analyst for the Media Research Center.