At the New Media Seminar in New York City last week, liberal commentator Ed Schultz surprised the crowd by standing up for Rush Limbaugh against Media Matters and its relentless boycott campaign.
"When we start attacking advertisers because of what somebody said, it's the wrong thing to do. I made a phone call that was not off the record-- I called David Brock at Media Matters-- I said, 'David, this is Ed Schultz. I need you to know what's happening-- this is what's happening. There's a lot of people getting hurt, this is going too far. That's my opinion, you can take it for what it's worth.' Don't attack advertisers..."
The defense was specifically a response to Media Matters' effort to target Rush Limbaugh's advertisers after he called Georgetown student Sandra Fluke a "slut," but he elaborated that attacking advertisers in general is an unproductive way to conduct business.
Hear Schultz's comments, via YouTube, below:
To watch a longer clip of the speech, click here.
Though Schultz may sound sincere, even the Huffington Post noted that he was one of the leading voices celebrating each advertiser to drop Limbaugh. Their article on the matter included comments from conservative producers who noted: "Every night Schultz was on TV keeping a count of the advertisers Rush was losing every day...To flip flop and kind of align yourself with what makes sense at any given moment, that's not ok...If we're gonna play fair, you do something like Sean [Hannity] did. You say, 'if you don't like it, turn the dial.'"
On March 6th of 2012, for instance, he took to the airwaves accompanied by a gleeful list of 35 advertisers ("and counting") who had dropped Limbaugh (although as Rush has pointed out, that figure is misleading):
All of which leaves conservatives asking: Why the change of heart?
The Washington Post's Erik Wemple simply broke down Schultz's speech into a series of contradictions and non-sequiturs, concluding, "...huh? Does that mean he's cool with the anti-advertiser campaign after all?"
But perhaps Schultz is just seeing that, in terms of raw viewers, he'd be much better off ingratiating himself with Rush Limbaugh's enormous audience, than alienating it.