Ed Schultz is a Big, Fat, Idiot (with apologies to Al Franken).

Big Eddie and his brother from another mother.

Ed Schultz is a sexist jack-ass for calling Laura Ingraham a “slut.”   Let’s establish that first and let’s get ready for the half-assed “apology” he’s certain to make sometime in the near future (oops…looks like Schultz got put into the time-out corner for a week by the MSNBC brass after they suspended him without pay).

The second thing that needs to be established is if anyone qualifies as a “media slut” it’s Big Eddie.

Schultz was just another in a long line of Rush Limbaugh wannabees who flipped his political perspective when he saw there was no room on the Right for yet another clone of Limbaugh and pivoted to the Left.

How does a former jock turned sportscaster turned talk show host go from a radio station in Fargo to a nationally broadcast show on MSNBC?   Why, by whoring out whatever principles he had to become a born again Lefty.

After two decades of sports reporting, Schultz launched a 2 1/2-hour regional talk show in 1996.

The show, which he continues to host, blends interviews with local officials and sharp-edged banter with callers, spiced up with Big Eddie’s rants about national affairs. He might report on a local school board meeting, break for the latest on pork belly futures, then swerve into acid commentary on the presidential primaries. The broadcast area reaches into South Dakota and Minnesota; on any given morning, nearly 30% of radio listeners in the region are tuned in to his show.

For years, Schultz’s patter on the regional show was conservative. He scoffed at the homeless for complaining about the cold. “How about getting a job?” he’d ask. He sneered at the three Democrats who represent him in Congress, nicknaming them the Three Stooges.

“I lined up with the Republicans because they were antitax, and I wanted to make a lot of money,” Schultz said.

About two years ago, listeners began to hear a softer tone.  Schultz had once derided farmers for relying on government subsidies. Now he was pounding Bush for not offering extra aid during a drought. He was calling for universal health insurance. And more services for homeless veterans.

Some dismayed fans suspected a cynical motive. “My own opinion is, he knew he would never go national if he stayed on the right or in the middle. I truly believe he moved to the left because he thought that’s where his career would get the biggest boost,” said Ron Gilmore, 42, who runs a cleaning business in Fargo. “You don’t change your politics overnight like he did without a goal in mind.”

Schultz has all the scruples of Arnold Schwarzenegger and John Edwards in a strip club and is about as big a sell-out for whatever the Far Left is shoveling as a Sean Hannity is for the Far Right. The difference being Hannity has always been a shill for the Right while Schultz cynically decided switching allegiances was the smart career path.

Schultz’s switch may have convinced the suits at MSNBC, but there are those that caught his act back in the day are skeptical. 

Ryan Bakken, a columnist at North Dakota’s Grand Forks Herald and a longtime Schultz skeptic, tells me Ed’s ideological shift was drastic. “Ed was about as conservative as you could come. He may not have switched 180 degrees, but he switched 179,” Bakken says.

“Ed saw an opening,” says Bakken, the Grand Forks Herald columnist. “He’s always been smart and able to take advantage of opportunities.” Bakken says that earlier in Schultz’s career, when he was a sportscaster covering football, he switched his allegiance from North Dakota State University to rival University of North Dakota after changing stations.

In an ’03 column, Bakken speculated that Schultz’s transformation was a response to competition from another right-wing talker:

The reason for his shift is that Scott Hennen moved next door in Fargo and took a foothold on the right side of the political spectrum. You can’t get to the right of Hennen without falling off the edge of the world. So that left the left as the only ground available to occupy. You can’t live in the thoughtful, open-minded middle and keep your job in talk radio.

After Keith Olbermann’s firing, there were of pleas made by minority journalists for MSNBC to consider hiring or promoting someone of color to the supposedly “liberal’ network’s evening lineup.  Instead, MSNBC got even  Whiter by eliminating the 10:00 pm reruns of “Countdown” and moving Schultz’s early evening show into primetime.

MSNBC’s motto may be “lean forward” but their commitment to diversity falls back into the bad old days when only White men were providing the news.

What does Ed Schultz really believe?   Yeah, he can bluster and bellow with the worst of them and make his colleagues Rachel Maddow and Lawrence O’ Donnell look like Tea Party Patriots, but how much of Schultz’s song and dance just for show or sincerely what he believes in?

Switching rather than fighting paid off handsomely for Big Eddie the Blowhard, but there’s something about him that screams “opportunist.”   If he’s changed his beliefs before will he change them again if someone offers him enough cash to do it?  For years liberals have cried foul when Limbaugh and others on the Right have coarsened political debates with nasty personal slams to dirty up the opposition.   If it’s wrong when conservatives do it, it’s equally wrong when liberals start making mud pies too.

As far as it goes him calling Ingraham a “slut” that’s the wrong slur to use. Sluts give it away for nothing. Whores get paid and a man can be a whore too.

Don’t know about Ingraham’s private life, but Ed knows all about whoring himself for cash money, honey.  Maybe a little time off will remind him he’s no better than any of the right-wingers he rips.