Saturday, July 25, 2015

"The Ed Show" a Dead Show?

Nothing's official yet, but it looks like Ed Schultz is going to lose his MSNBC show.
The populist pundit did everything he could in the past year to boost his sagging ratings.  He ditched the "Pretenders" segment lampooning conservatives for their asinine comments, he stopped taking similarly asinine questions from his few remaining viewers, he instituted a two-minute sports report, and he even had conservatives join him on his show.  All to no avail, apparently; MSNBC is reportedly shaking up its late-afternoon lineup and canceling not only Schultz's show but also the four-host show "The Cycle" at 3 PM Eastern and Alex Wagner's "Now" at 4 PM Eastern.
By the way, I wonder if "Cycle" co-host Krystal Ball saw all this coming by looking into her name?
As if losing Schultz, whose show is one of the few political punditry programs with a blue-collar progressive slant, is bad enough, even worse is who's slated to replace him.  Michael Eric Dyson?  Worse than that - Chuck Todd!
Yes, that Chuck Todd.  The same Chuck Todd who ruined whatever credibility was left in "Meet The Press" by taking it over from the similarly dubious David Gregory, the same Chuck Todd who handicaps Democratic candidates for office by insisting that their Republican opponents are probably going to win anyway, the same Chuck Todd who said that it wasn't his job to report on Republican lies about the Affordable Care Act, the same Chuck Todd who insists America doesn't know enough about President Obama, and the same Chuck Todd who selectively used poll results to push the idea of a Republican sweep in the 2014 midterm elections . . . and reacted to the wave he helped stoke with restrained jubilation!  
I don't get this.  Todd has been a disaster as the host of NBC's "Meet The Press," the ratings of which have been mired in third place among the Sunday news-talk shows, and he proved to be completely useless as the solo host of MSNBC's "The Daily Rundown" once Savannah Guthrie left the program for "Today."  I figure, if you're going to get a corporate stooge to replace Ed Schultz, at least get a corporate stooge who's not so blatantly insufferable and self-righteous.  Todd exudes enough smarminess one hour a week.  Now we're going to get six hours of it on a weekly basis?
The only silver lining in MSNBC's shakeup is that Keith Olbermann - once again a former ESPN host - may be returning to MSNBC to do battle with Bill O'Reilly, which would mean the end of "All In," hosted by Chris Hayes, who's about as interesting as cardboard.  But that's not definite yet, and Todd's new 5 PM Eastern gig is more of a certainty at this point.  Bearing all that in mind, unless Olbermann does come back, I am never watching MSNBC again.  MSNBC only cared about providing an ideological counterpoint to Fox News for as long as the ratings were good, and now that its ratings are in the toilet, it's going more in a center-right direction.  But don't expect me to follow along.  If I want to watch staid, passionless cable news, I'll watch CNN.
As for Ed Schultz, he has a lot of money and he has his lodge up in Canada, and I'm sure he'll be the first person to say that you shouldn't worry about him.  But I think he should seriously consider running for office; with his show all but canceled, he has nothing else to do.  He'd be a great voice in government.  And even though the four U.S. Senate seats in both his native state of Virginia nor his adopted home state of Minnesota are occupied by Democrats (and none of them are up in 2016 anyway),  I understand that Republican Senator John Hoeven of North Dakota, where Schultz has lived and worked, is up for re-election in 2016.  
How about it, Ed?  You've already engaged Hoeven on your own show.  You can debate him easily.  You're up on all the issues.  Please Ed, consider a Senate run. We still need you. 

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