It's been awhile since I've written an "Ed Schultz Watch" post, my effort to chronicle the Democratic attempt to create the liberal version of Rush Limbaugh. Ed Schultz, of course, is the Fargo, North Dakota-based radio talk-show host frequently touted as the liberal Rush Limbaugh. This week came the news that Schultz has left his local talk show at KFGO in Fargo in order to focus on his national show:
Ed Schultz will stop hosting his weekday morning talk show on KFGO-AM Radio here Monday to focus on a national show he began almost a year ago, the station announced.
The Fargo station will begin airing the national show, "The Ed Schultz Show," during the afternoons. Schultz will replace "The Jack and Sandy Show," which has been discontinued, the station said.
Interestingly, the Ed Schultz Show is financed purely by money from Democratic donors. Democracy Radio, the umbrella organization that syndicates the Ed Schultz Show, is led by Democratic media consultant Tom Athans, who is married to Democratic Senator Debbie Stabenow of Michigan. Last November, several Democratic senators, including Senator Daschle, "feted" Ed Schultz at a fundraiser held in Democratic Senator Mary Landrieu's home in Washington, D.C., according to the New Republic. Roll Call, the Capitol Hill publication, reported the following on October 27, 2003:
With the help of Democratic lawmakers, a progressive radio outfit plans to launch a national talk show in January, the first step by a liberal organization to gain a presence in a medium dominated by conservatives in recent years.
Partnering with Jones Radio Network, Democracy Radio has signed Ed Schultz, a North Dakota-based radio personality with a liberal bent, to deliver a progressive message....
Democratic leaders and staff have been intricately involved in the project, and Members are being enlisted to help raise money to pay for it. Several Democratic Senators are expected to attend an upcoming event at Sen. Mary Landrieu's (La.) Capitol Hill home to raise money for the venture, which is expected to cost about $1.5 million over the next two years.
(Emphasis added.) Senator Daschle was heavily involved in this project. Here's what CBS Marketwatch reported on Daschle's involvement in the Ed Shultz Show:
As the U.S. heads into a presidential election in 2004, Sen. Tom Daschle of South Dakota has high hopes for Ed Schultz.
No, Schultz isn't a candidate for the White House -- or any other office, for that matter. Schultz is a radio talk-show host in Fargo, N.D., who loves to vent on the air about politics. Daschle and other Democrats are counting on Schultz to help them counter the conservative wave on the radio and communicate their liberal message to the American people....
Daschle, speaking on a panel at Newsweek headquarters on Nov. 17, noted that Democrats lack a presence on talk-radio stations. "We've got to have that," Daschle said.
When Newsweek's Jonathan Alter said Schultz sounded newsworthy, Daschle declared: "IT IS A STORY!"
During the Daschle v. Thune campaign here in South Dakota, the Argus Leader reported an exchange between Ed Schultz and John McCain regarding John Thune's comment that Senator Daschle's attack on the administration on the eve of the Iraq war "emboldened the enemy." You can read my post responding to that Argus Leader story HERE.
So Senator Daschle was actively creating an "infrastructure of attack" in the form of the Ed Schultz Show, and attempted to use it in his campaign, in cooperation with the Argus Leader. Frankly, I'm surprised that the Ed Schultz Show seems to be succeeding. Many observers expected his show to fizzle after the election.