When it comes to coverage of the Trans Pacific Partnership, no one in the corporate media covered the issue more than Ed Schultz on MSNBC’s The Ed Show. When it was announced last week that they were pulling the plug on his program, they effectively killed the only national voice that was talking about the disaster of a trade deal on cable news.
According to Media Matters, between August 1, 2013, and January 31, 2015, Ed Schultz covered the TPP on 71 different segments, not including the time he brought up the issue during the network’s coverage of the State of the Union Address in 2015. The only other host who mentioned the TPP during this same time period was Chris Hayes, who only mentioned it one time in passing on his show. The rest of the network’s personalities remained completely silent on the issue during this 18-month period.
What does this coverage have to do with Ed’s show being cancelled? Alternet’s Ziad Jilani lays it out:
It has to be noted that Comcast, the company that owns MSNBC, is a big supporter of the TPP. Comcast hired a phalanx of lobbyists to spearhead a targeted campaign to push for Trade Promotion Authority, which recently passed. Included among the individuals it was paying was the former chief of staff for former House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA).
According to the Centre for Research on Globalization, Comcast is one of the few companies that have been brought in behind closed doors – where our elected Representatives don’t even get to go – to help review and consult with leaders about the global trade agreement. Comcast is hungry for the power they would receive from the TPP because it would gut regulations for all industries, so they had to silence the only voice on their new network that had the courage to talk about how horrible the trade deal would be for American citizens.
And it isn’t just that Ed was covering the TPP – it is that other MSNBC hosts are deliberately NOT covering the TPP. For example, former Republican Congressman Joe Scarborough has made no apologies for his lackluster show refusing to cover the issue. After all, with ratings as poor as Joe’s, he can’t afford to rock the boat.
That brings us to the most glaring piece of evidence that shows Comcast canned Ed for political reasons – Ed’s ratings.
MSNBC has been struggling with their ratings for several years, with the last 12 months proving to be exceptionally painful for the network. But they are using the guise of low ratings to cut Ed’s show, which anyone with access to the Internet can prove is not true in a matter of seconds. Ed’s show consistently out-performs shows like Morning Joe, Politics Nation, and usually beats out All In with Chris Hayes and Up with Steve Kornacki. But all of these hosts get to keep their positions with the network because they aren’t challenging the establishment – they toe the corporate line.
Ed’s voice is going to be sorely missed on MSNBC, but with any luck he will be back on our televisions in the very near future. The biggest lesson here is to abandon the corporate-controlled media because they ALWAYS have an agenda, and that agenda now calls into question the integrity of all personalities willing to stay with that network.
Watch Pap and Ed discuss the TPP: