Warm and fuzzy has never been a formula that has worked well for liberals. But even in 2014, you can tune into most media outlets that carry a brand closer to “liberal” than “neo-nut” and you will still see ghosts of George McGovern, Michael Dukakis, and most every other liberal soul that ended up in some politically correct uber liberal trash pile.
Still in 2014, liberal media leadership cannot seem to connect the dots about why that is. It is as if they can’t figure out why their entire body is bleeding from bullet holes because they don’t have the good sense to recognize that all the wounds are there because they are forever showing up at gunfights with freaking pocketknives. Liberal media is no exception!
Enter Ed Shultz: A little over a decade ago, a Republican-turned-Democrat brought what he learned from watching and listening to genuine Republican anger and conviction that began to emerge during the golden Republican Ronald Reagan years. Anyone paying attention during those years would have recognized that the new Republican formula for political discourse was attack, slash, attack! But most liberal pundits never read that memo. Ed Shultz did. Because of that, every night of the week Shultz displays a commitment toward adopting that attack methodology as a voice for every facet of the progressive movement, ranging from the labor movement to minority and women’s rights.
It is a two-fisted, brawling, bare knuckles fight most nights from 5 to 6 Eastern on MSNBC when Shultz opens his program with “let’s get to work.” The work he’s talking about typically centers around an unapologetic ass whipping of Wall Street types burning down our economy or gray white old guys shutting down voting booths for minorities, students, elderly and disabled voters.
The sweet spot Shultz has found gives those of us who are mad as hell the impression that we are watching a little bit of JFK, a little bit of MLK, and a whole lot of pissed off John Wayne.
As I watched all that unfold again last night it occurred to me that the only higher calling that Shultz could possibly fill would be to conduct “how to” courses for “would be” liberal pundits. That would include all those soft talking types with gelled up hair, horned rim glasses, quarterback smiles and PhD’s. The how-to courses ideally would focus on how to get genuinely angry and maybe even convey that through words or a television screen. But more importantly, the focus that the Ed Shultz primer course could focus on is how wannabe liberal pundits can possibly learn how to save themselves in an “attack, slash, attack” political discourse that they simply don’t understand.
Schultz understands the issues better than anyone out there, and he manages to speak to the audience without the snarky one-liners that so many progressives have made their brand. Ed gets angry, and that anger comes from his understanding of what’s happening to the American people. He speaks to his audience like they are his friends, not his students. And that’s how he genuinely feels about them, and that’s why he gets so passionate when he sees them suffering.