Inspection- Stomping Off Stage

This week you are rewarded for being great readers, or punished because you’ll have to skip over two editions of Inspection. I really felt “Stomping” needed to be out this week, but “Moments” deserved its own special treatment, and especially not combined with a rather strong rant such as this. So, here’s my first offering with a hearty “you’re welcome,” or a hung head “I’m sorry:” whichever most applies.

Ed Schultz did a stupid thing. No; not “stomping off stage,” his “stupid” move was to go on Fox and Friends at all, or at least without very plain and obvious preconditions. He also should have demanded that he address the audiences: unedited in any way; telling them of these preconditions. But Ed Schultz, for some odd reason, is one of these talkers who thinks unfair; even outright cruel, people will use cameras and microphones fairly when he walks into a studio. One hopes it’s not because his self image is that Hindenburg like.

If so, then put a gas escaping needle in it, Ed, before you explode and splatter all over us like Rush so often does.

Dorothy was far less clueless when she landed in Oz than some talkers when it comes to FOX and other Right-leaning media sources. If only I could advise them as they drive to the studio. Oh, I know, I hate back seat drivers too but… yeah, I’m going to insist on doing it anyway.

Preemptive warning: I am not an “Ed-head.” When I first heard Ed I thought it was Limbaugh trying to get richer by pretending to be a Left talker too. Their style is very similar, right down to the annoying ego; only as much as I dislike Rush, Ed is no Rush. Rush is obnoxious, full of himself, a liar, out to “do your thinking for you…” but he is quite talented to an extent that Ed isn’t. Now it is the kind of talent Goebbels would be proud of, but talent it is. Plus, he has a great spoof writer that comes somewhat close to Smothers Brothers quality. How close? Not even close enough for even a Laugh In Fickle Finger of Fate Award, but at least the attempt is there.

Ed could take lessons, but then there’s that blimpish Limbaugh-like ego that probably prevents such.

So I’ll bet you’re surprised that I am about to defend Ed… cringe. Invited to appear as a guest they immediately did what they always do with any guest they disagree with: ask a barrage of questions but not give him enough time to answer, while ridiculing him after every four or five words he somehow managed to blurt out. Such programs: no matter who runs them, are not “talk shows” in any sense. They are public lynchings.

If I hosted a talk show I would have my policy right up front: before any calls, or words escape my lips. You call my show, or I could go on your show; but I talk… you talk… then I talk. The rest follows that pattern. If we happen to interrupt each other we apologize and stop: then let the interrupted talent finish. If you feel I’m going on too long then politely say, “Ken, I need to get on with this.” If you think I won’t stop, hang up and call another show. If I feel the same about your call, if I feel I need to, I will warn you and if I must: I also will hang up.

Come on my show and you would know right up front that this is a no talk over; no filibuster, show, Buster. Being polite and respectful to each other would be the rule: though not necessarily whomever else; or whatever group, either of us are slamming.

I know: it would probably wouldn’t last even if anyone ever did hire me to do a talk show. Seems; as long as it vindicates their own opinion, everyone wants the lions to eat the guests, I guess. Ironic how they complain only when it doesn’t make their favorite pundits or pols look good, isn’t it?

Ed Schultz has a similar rule, though not as strictly enforced as I would enforce mine… or as strict in general. So when he went on Fox and Friends, without making sure the audience and the hosts know right up front he has to be respected, not interrupted and talked over constantly, it was no surprise that’s exactly what they did. Then, when he stood up and walked out, they just laughed about it.

That can be fixed too. You stand up but don’t walk out, watching the lights on the camera: don’t say anything until they shut up. Just keep standing and look into whatever camera has the light on; arms folded. Wait for them to ask why you are standing, then talk straight into the camera explaining why you are about to walk out unless they stop acting like unruly chimpanzees. Explain it again and again no matter how much they interrupt or jeer. Basically: freeze their “eat the guest” format until they start acting like responsible adults.

Bad TV? Horrible radio? Yes, would be; and that’s the point. You do whatever will takes to make them suffer from a loss of viewers/listeners until they act human, not simian.

Sidebar time!

I can see it in my head now: a U-Tube with Fox and Friends jumping all over a guest: interrupting him or her, and splice in scenes of chimps going nuts while sitting on a similar set.

But Ed walking out? Yes, I understand. Under certain circumstances I might do it too. My main critique of Ed is he was naive, hadn’t planned for the obvious result and gave up too easily. But I willingly admit: after I tried my plan;and if it failed, maybe I would have walked off too.

Or maybe I’d just bring a bunch of bananas and start peeling them while they blathered. Then toss both peels and bananas at them declaring over and over the discussion will continue when they act more human and less like raving, rabid, insane monkeys.

Everyone knows what monkeys do in their cage at a zoo that makes Mom and Dad cover their little boy’s eyes and move on to the next cage. That’s all this style of “talk” is. They sneer and smear our TV screens and radio waves nationwide with this slime, and it’s about time people like Ed turn it right back on them: revealing them for who they really are.

Monkeys with less morals than a jackass.

Only the jackass is probably smarter.


Inspection is a column that has been written by Ken Carman for over thirty years. Inspection is dedicated to looking at odd angles, under all the rocks and into the unseen cracks and crevasses that constitute the issues and philosophical constructs of our day: places few think, or even dare, to venture.