Phil Griffin On Ed Schultz: 'Over The Top,' 'Crossed The Line' At Times
The Daily Beast's Howard Kurtz has profiled MSNBC's "surprise star," Ed Schultz, who he writes is "Rush Limbaugh's TV nemesis."
In the profile, Schultz discusses his conversion from a right-wing radio host to a passionate populist (it happened when he fell in love with the woman who ran Fargo's homeless shelter) as well as his experiences with President Obama, who he has criticized for kowtowing to Republicans and compromising on liberal issues.
MSNBC boss Phil Griffin weighs in on Schultz as well, and says there are times he has to tone his 6PM host down.
"There are times I tell him he goes over the top and that TV is different than radio," Griffin told Kurtz. "A couple of times he's crossed the line. I said, 'Ed, you ran down the field 100 yards and you spiked the ball. Don't spike the ball!'"
Griffin and NBC News boss Steve Capus had to discipline Schultz following an office outburst over the network's new promotional campaign, wherein Schultz reportedly threatened to "torch" the place if he wasn't promoted more. Griffin also reportedly "reprimanded" Schultz following his description of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie as a "fat slob."
Schultz's ratings have steadily climbed on MSNBC, as Kurtz notes:
The Ed Show just enjoyed its best quarter and is up 19 percent this year over last, averaging 637,000 viewers. That is way behind Special Report With Bret Baier on Fox News, which is up 4 percent with 2.1 million viewers, but ahead of Wolf Blitzer's Situation Room on CNN, down 29 percent with 544,000 viewers.