Gibbs responds: I told Ed Schultz he was intentionally lying to ‘get people to watch his show.’

As ThinkProgress first reported yesterday, MSNBC host Ed Schultz told a progressive gathering in Minnesota that he recently engaged in a testy confrontation with White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs. In an off-the-air conversation, Schultz told Gibbs he was “full of sh*t,” leading Gibbs to respond with “the f-bomb.” The Plum Line’s Greg Sargent followed up with Gibbs to explain what happened:

[Gibbs] says he pointedly accused Schultz of misleading viewers about the Dem health care plan in order to “get people to watch his show.” […]


Asked about Schultz’s account, Gibbs emailed that in their private talk, he strongly took issue with Schultz’s claim that the health care bill is a gift to the insurance industry.Gibbs adds that he demanded Schultz tell him “why he’d tell his viewers something so completely and knowingly wrong in an attempt to get people to watch his show.”

The White House has tried repeatedly to dispute the concern that health insurance companies would profit from the current reform proposal. In November, White House health policy adviser Nancy-Ann DeParle argued that “insurance companies will profit if status quo remains.” And in December, White House communications director Dan Pfeiffer argued that insurance companies wouldn’t be spending vast amounts of money to lobby against the bill if it were good for them.