Tuesday’s recall election in Wisconsin marks the end point of MSNBC’s Ed Schultz’s 15 month-long mission to destroy Scott Walker. The conservative Republican governor’s attempt to fix that state’s budget crisis, by reigning in the public unions’ influence, sent Schultz on a rampage. The liberal talk show host turned his self-titled program, The Ed Show, into a hyper-partisan platform from which union activists, liberal journalists and Wisconsin state Democrats could join Schultz in his drive to oust the “radical” Walker out office. From February 14, 2011 through May 18, 2012 anti-Walker guests dominated by a count of 237 (99.6%) to 1 (less than .5%). In that same span Schultz devoted a portion or a majority of 128 episodes to attacks on Walker.
Critics of cable news often suggest that MSNBC and Fox News Channel (FNC) are carbon copies of each other with FNC catering to the conservative side. However, over that same time period, Shultz’s 8 PM EDT time slot competitor -- FNC’s The O’Reilly Factor -- spent only 19 shows discussing Walker and those displayed a more balanced guest list with a total of 12 pro-Walker advocates (44%) to 8 (30%) Walker opponents, with 7 (26%) neutral voices.