I called the Pentagon this afternoon to get an explanation for why Ed Schultz’s debut on Armed Forces Radio was canceled. I eventually got a call back from Bryan Whitman, the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs. Mr. Whitman repeatedly told me that there was “no decision made with respect to expanding the programming.”
I asked him why, if no decision had been made, Barber called Schultz’s producer to cancel. Whitman said Barber was out of the country and he didn’t know why she called.
Whitman’s spin is also contradicted by this email, sent by the Armed Forces Radio to Schultz’s syndication company:
From: Levy, Manny
Sent: Thursday, September 29, 2005 9:42 PM
To: Donna Harrison
Cc: Crawford, Ric
Subject: Confirming Schultz; Moving C. Howard; C. Howard minutes
Donna: I wanted to confirm the conversation we had this morning. AFN Radio has squared away everything on our end to begin carrying the first hour of “The Ed Schultz Show” each day, beginning Monday, October 17, 2005 at noon PT/3 ET. Of course, this means shifting “The Clark Howard Show” to 1 PM PT/4 PM ET.
I also promised to find the best e-mail addresses to send the Clark Howard minutes. It’s: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for all your help–dating back many months now–preparing the way to make all this happen. I’m sorry that there were so many panicked, “I need an answer soon” calls, false starts and unexpected delays on our end. An awful lot of people in the government had (or tried to have) a hand in program selection process that ended with the decision to add “The Ed Schultz Show.”
Chief, Radio Division
American Forces Network Broadcast Center
23755 Z Street Riverside, CA 92518
Seems to me like they made a decision.