Ed Schultz is passionate, committed and I think his heart is in the right place. He is also arrogant, insulting, and I think, a hypocrite. While I may agree with Ed on an issue; I very much disagree with his contemptuous style of presenting his view on the same issue. His wise-cracking, purposefully disrespectful and condemnatory manner in which prefaces many stories undercuts some of the gravitas of his righteous indignation. Basically he makes himself into the intolerant bomb thrower he ridicules.
By consistently using nasty nicknames for those whose political opinion and style he disagrees with, Ed greatly reduces the intellectual level of his stories to that of a childish name calling contest. While this may play well with his hard core liberal base; it lessens his legitimacy and effectiveness in communicating his point of view to a broader audience. His overly strident belittling of those on the other side of a political or social issue is off-putting to a significant number of viewers, even to the point of offending them. It also places him in the same light as the "mean spirited" people he often points out are examples of people behaving badly or "psycho talking", when they use inflammatory language to besmirch people Ed shares political kinship with.
Ed virtually always calling Sarah Palin "Caribou Barbie" or Congressman John Boehner "the Tan Man" is no different than and as insulting as, someone on the Right referring to Nancy Pelosi as "Speaker Botox Face" or Vice President Joe Biden as "Hair Plug Man". Being gratuitously disrespectful and insulting to one's political opposition is exactly the sort of blind self-righteousness that many of us in the media have been critical of. It may be mildly amusing to a specific target group one is trying to pander to; but it is self defeating in that is an obstacle to real productive discussion with people whose opinions differ from our own.
In the aftermath of the immensely tragic mass shooting in Tucson many, including President Obama, have justifiably been calling for a lessening of the vitriol in what is said and written in the media. Ed Schultz, as one of the biggest (small pun intended) perpetrators of cheap insults among the major media Left, should be taken to task by others of us in the media and perhaps by his employer. As a political-social columnist and commentator I absolutely understand the line between constructive criticism and censorship; but good advice about maintaining a certain level of simple human respect is not in any way the same as insisting on an absolute level of political correctness that precludes expressing one's opinion clearly.
Making fun of someone based on the way they look, the political party they belong to, the activities they pursue or they style of living is called prejudice. An honest and fair discussion about issues and policy is what political and even advocacy journalism is about. Insults, nasty nicknames, disparaging wise-cracks all make informative and persuasive discussion more difficult and less likely. There are better and more informative ways to use valuable media time to communicate things to the American public. I would be glad to discuss my above criticism with Mr. Schultz on his or any other MSNBC show. And don't worry I won't call him No-Neck Ed.