So... I'm sure everybody wants to hear my take on that all-out violent bar fight over the weekend that involved Ed Schultz, with guns, knives and broken bottles brandished about, as 72 people were admitted to the local hospital in the bloody aftermath. Yeah, that's the one.
Okay, I embellished a bit. There were no guns. No knives. No bottle fights. And not a single ambulance, or for that matter a police car in sight. But the way the wingnut pundits and bloggers are likely imagining it, one would think it was like a scene out of Road House. Or perhaps something like this.
Here's what happened: He and his wife Wendy were unwinding at a watering hole in his hometown of Detroit Lakes, MN over the weekend when some California GOP sugardaddy named Kevin Nagle and his female companion went up to him, and an alcohol-fueled political debate soon ensued. Yes, all involved were drinking.
Schultz said the couple would not end the conversation despite Schultz’s repeated attempts to do so.
Allegedly, there was shouting. And namecalling. And then Nagle's date had to toss out the dreaded, unspeakable 'C'-word, directed at Wendy Schultz. Uh oh.
"Finally, I put my beer on the bar and put my finger in his face,” Schultz explained on his local KFGO show News and Views. "I told the guy, ‘I didn’t come here for this.’"
"I totally broke my rule,” he said. “I don’t engage in political talk on personal time."As is usually the case, there's two sides to this story. Schultz admitted to being a bit hotheaded (surprise, surprise) that night because this guy would just not go away. And Nagle claims Big Eddie was picking on him and shaking his fist (and we all know Republicans are big crybabies). All in all, seemed like much ado about nothing, as the Sheriff's department wasn't even notified about it and the owner of the establishment didn't feel that it was that big a deal. We do know that there was no violence, since an arrest could really derail Schultz' career, something that he indeed did take note of. So, he most certainly couldn't have opened that can o' whupass.
But quite frankly, if I was in Schultz' shoes, why couldn't I just be allowed to unwind and not talk shop when out and about in the real world? I really wouldn't want to get into arguments with strangers about what happens at my day job. That's why I have some sympathy for celebrities who get hounded all the time (well, except for the ones that go out of their way to seek that). No matter what anyone does for a living, and no matter how famous or wealthy they are, don't they have a right to live something resembling a normal life without being stalked and harassed? They're only flesh and bone, after all.
Sure, the wingnuts are going to lap this all up and spin it as fast as their heads do. But I will say this: At least Schultz goes out in public and talks to normal, everyday people. Yes, he is approachable. Think Sean Hannity is that accessible? Of course not! He'll probably be the first to tell a guy like Nagel to 'go Cheney himself.' Do we even know if, say, Bill O'Reilly has a life outside his small, sheltered world? Think you'll ever run into him throwing darts at the local tavern or in the falafel aisle at Kroger? Hell no! Rush Limbaugh? Only if you golf at the same overpriced ritzy country clubs as him. Or if you hang out behind Denny's.
We'll never know how a guy like, say, Glenn Beck behaves at the Taco Bell drive-thru (though, with his history of drinking problems, should he even be driving?). Think lame-ass media commentators like this moron would trash his keepers? Hell no. After all, we're talking about The Tranquilizer here, who's recent relationship with Limbaugh, Hannity and O'Reilly could best be described as 'spit or swallow.'
So, since these conservojocks obviously live a pretty sheltered life inside their ivory towers, far away from 'the little people,' the following is an oldie but a goodie, a brush with fame story borrowed from Democratic Underground, and a lesson on how not to behave in public when fame has turned you into an insufferable ass:
OK, everyone, I just received the most hilarious phone call from one of my friends, KC, in San Francisco. 100% true, and it just happened tonight.
KC and his friend decided to get some crab, so they went to Nonna Rose Seafood in Fisherman's Wharf. They wanted one of the outside tables, waited a few minutes, and were seated.
Just after they sat down, they heard a gruff man at the table next to them complaining to his waiter. "I thought you said I'd get some privacy here," he complained. "We're very busy tonight, sir, I'm sorry" he replied.
So, KC glances over at this guy. He's an older guy, strange-looking, by himself, reading a magazine, and there's a little grey-haired poodle at his feet, lapping water like crazy out of a very nice dish. He absolutely glares at my friend.
KC leans across the table and whispers, "What an asshole," to his buddy. "Poor dog," his friend answers.
They're well into appetizers when the man calls over the server by crooking his finger. "Get the manager," he commands.
"Is something wrong?" the server says.
"Yes, I need to move my dog's water dish, but I'm not going to touch it myself."
Now, KC just about drops his fork when he hears this. I'm still a bartender, and he used to be, and that's got to be one of the most condescending requests he's ever heard. The server rolls his eyes at KC and his friend, walks away, and soon the manager shows up.
"Well, how am I supposed to touch this food after touching the dog's bowl? Move it and bring him another one!" he yells.
At this point, KC's friend says to him, "You know, that guy looks familiar. He even sounds familiar. I think he's famous or something."
The manager actually kneels down and starts to move the bowl when the man screams out, "What are you doing?? Make the busboy do that!!"
KC and his friend actually burst out laughing at this point. They look over at the guy, and KC says it looks like he's about to bare teeth.
Eventually, a poor busboy is dispatched to move the dog's bowl. The man finishes his dinner, glares at KC's table, gets up and leaves.
They immediately call their server over.
"Hey, was that someone famous? He sure was an asshole."
"Yeh," the server said. "He eats here pretty often."
"So is he someone famous? He looks familiar, kinda."
"Oh, him?" the server says. "That's Michael Savage."
Nevertheless, the next time some wingnut tries to lay down some 'my shit don't stink' trip on you, just send them a link to this article. None of us are perfect. Just because a guy gets pissed off in a bar does not mean he's 'unhinged.' On the contrary, it means he's human.
Wonder what would happen if it was Limbaugh or Hannity in Big Eddie's shoes that night? But that won't happen. Those blowhard primadonnas don't mingle with the common folk. At least Ed Schultz does.