While discussing President Obama’s response to the tornadoes that devastated Missouri on his radio show, MSNBC host Ed Schultz shifted into an attack on conservatives for focusing more on the cost of disaster relief than the desperate need for it. Schultz decided that the best way to mark that contrast would be to launch a personal attack on talk radio host and Fox News contributor Laura Ingraham after she criticized President Obama for continuing the Ireland leg of his European trip as disaster relief began. Ingraham critized the “tone-deafness” and the disconnect between “heartbreaking pictures and then President Obama lifting a glass of Guinness.” But, she also emphasized she “didn’t want to make too much of it.” Schultz responded:
President Obama is going to be visiting Joplin, Mo., on Sunday but you know what they’re talking about, like this right-wing slut, what’s her name? Laura Ingraham? Yeah, she’s a talk slut. You see, she was, back in the day, praising President Reagan when he was drinking a beer overseas. But now that Obama’s doing it, they’re working him over.
Schultz can certainly disagree with Ingraham on policy, but her personal life has nothing to do with disaster relief in Missouri. Schultz’s crass remarks about Ingraham were an ineffective way to make an important point. For a leading progressive commentator, they’re unacceptable. Ed Schultz, who has criticized conservatives for their sexism, should apologize to Laura Ingraham during his show tonight. And he should remember that there’s more to building a progressive movement than attacking regressive conservative policies. Respect for women and women’s issues is a core fundamental value, and should never be compromised.