Victory! MSNBC Suspends Ed Schultz for "Slut" Remark
by Shelby Knox This article originally appeared at Change.org (May 26, 2011)
Last night, MSNBC announced that “The Ed Show” host Ed Schultz would be suspended for a week without pay for calling radio host Laura Ingraham a “right wing slut.” The decision came after almost 500 Change.org members signed a petition started by the Women’s Media Center calling on the network to hold Schultz accountable for his sexist statement.
In announcing their decision to suspend the talk show host, MSNBC said, “remarks of this nature are unacceptable and will not be tolerated.” Julie Burton, president of the Women’s Media Center, announced that MSNBC and Schultz have also offered to meet with her organization to discuss how to make sure his inappropriate and degrading language will not be used again.
Schultz apologized on air Wednesday before handing his show over to Thomas Roberts for the duration of his suspension. He called his comments “vile and inappropriate” before offering apologies to Ingraham as well as his wife and children. While only time will tell, it seems Schultz may have learned to stick to the facts when debating an opponent rather than resorting to sexist slurs. “To the staff here at MSNBC, I apologize for embarrassing the company and the only way that I can really make restitution for you is to give you a guarantee, and the only way that I can prove my sincerity in all of this is if I never use those words again. Tonight, you have my word that I won't,” Schultz said.
Laura Ingraham is known for espousing anti-woman views, which has some news outlets wondering why the Women’s Media Center, founded by Jane Fonda and Gloria Steinem, came to her defense. Burton explained, “"Laura Ingram is no friend to women, and while we disagree with many of her views, the type of language Ed Schultz used, whether accidentally or on purpose, has the effect of legitimizing sexism and undermines the credibility of all women. Two wrongs don't make a right."
Thank you to everyone who signed the petition for sending a message to all media personalities and their outlets that sexist statements will be met with public outrage and are not to be tolerated. Because of your commitment to making change, we’re one step closer to a media landscape in which misogyny is the exception, not the rule.
The Women's Media Center was founded in 2005 by Jane Fonda, Robin Morgan and Gloria Steinem to make women more visible and powerful in the media. The WMC places female voices into the media, offers media training, and publishes original reports and commentaries as well as links to women columnists and bloggers, news organizations, and journalism sources on its Web site, www.womensmediacenter.com.