Ed Schultz once decried Donald Trump as “a racist.”
He describe Russian autocrat Vladimir Putin as having a “nasty” record on human rights and accused him of “crippling” his country. Schultz mocked Republicans for allegedly having a soft spot for “Putie.”
But these days things have changed for Schultz, as the Washington Post reports. He works for RT America, the Kremlin-funded television network which operates as the propaganda arm of the Russian state.
Now Schultz has few bad things to say about his boss, Vladimir Putin, and even has a changed outlook on Donald Trump.
None of which is news, mind you. Schultz’s bizarre career trajectory has been followed closely by those of us here in North Dakota where his career as a political commentator began. But the Post does a good job of chronicling Schult’z evolution from a relatively conservative broadcaster into a progressive, left-wing bomb-thrower and now into a tool of the Putin regime.
The only important chapter the Post misses is that Schultz once considered running for Congress as a Republican. This was before his conversion to liberalism, when he considered running for the Senate as a Democrat (which the Post does mention).
The Post profile also reveals a certain vapidity at the core of Schultz’s career. A vacuum where his convictions ought to be.
People can change. Schultz’s move from the right to the left might be understandable. Life, after all, is a journey of discovery. But going from right to left to Russian-funded propagandist? It reads like the story of a man for whom fame and money are the most important goals.
It certainly casts Schultz’s move to the left in a new light. “Backed by donations from Democrats, Schultz took his radio program into national syndication in 2004,” the Post reports.
Did he move left because that’s where his convictions led him? Or because that’s what he was paid to do? The former argument would be more believable if Schultz hadn’t clearly followed money into a career as Moscow’s American mouthpiece.
“Nobody is going to tell Ed Schultz what to say,” Schultz said in an interview with the Fargo Forum back in January. The facts of Schultz’s career arc don’t seem to support that statement.
Is Schultz proud of where his choices have brought him? He doesn’t seem to be based on the Post reports of Schultz blowing off their interview requests alongside requests from Politico and the Daily Beast.
It speaks volumes when someone with an ego as enormous as Schultz’s is doesn’t want to talk about their career.
I hope the money is worth it, Ed.