Russian President Vladimir Putin loves him some Donald Trump. “He is a bright and talented person without any doubt,” Putin has said, adding that Trump is “an outstanding and talented personality.”
That’s certainly disconcerting. All the more so because Putin’s media puppets, among them former Fargo talk radio host and MSNBC ranter Ed Schultz, have taken up the refrain.
In a column today Jonah Goldberg notes that this is an epic flip flop from Schultz:
In 2011, when Trump was reportedly thinking of running for president (again), Schultz wrote in The Huffington Post, “…when it comes down to the devil in the detail of dealing with the issues … and making real change, Trump, you don’t have it. You’ve never had it. Money is not a measure of a man’s character or success in the arena of public service.”
Now I happen to agree with that second bit. The interesting thing is, Schultz doesn’t — anymore. The man who once mocked Putin, now cashes his checks, as a pundit on his network, lending aid and comfort to the Kremlin’s pro-Trump PR campaign.
Schultz recently told Larry King, his RT colleague, that Trump was like Ronald Reagan (he meant it in a good way). Trump, Schultz explained, “certainly has shaken up the Republican Establishment, and I think he’s done it by talking about things that people care about.” Schultz now says Trump is a great and decisive decision-maker.
So what explains the transformation? I don’t like speculating about peoples’ motives in part because 99 percent of the time, I find those who try to guess mine are wrong (Former KKK Grand Wizard David Duke recently attacked me on Twitter for being a Zionist stooge for opposing Donald Trump). Still, one possibility is that Ed Schultz is simply sincere. A more obvious explanation is that he’s doing it for the paycheck. Both of those things are possible. But there’s a third possibility: Some people need to be on TV or some other public arena. As with Trump himself, the money comes second to celebrity.
Prior to Schultz becoming a part of the propaganda arm of the Putin regime I’d always thought of him as an entertainer. Sincerity took a back seat to his shtick, which was bombastic sort of outrage aimed at whatever target would earn him his next paycheck.
Which made Schultz, in the past, just another of a large number of media personalities who take that approach.
But Schultz’s new job is something different. Something more sinister, I think.
It’s one thing to posture and rant for the titillation of the politically inclined public. It’s quite another to be a mouth piece for an increasingly belligerent leader who is looking more and more like a dictator every day.