The Ed Show | January 11, 2011
SCHULTZ: Now, let's get some rapid fire response from our panel on these stories. Do they think Sarah Palin on FOX News will tone down their rhetoric in the wake of Arizona tragedy? And Senator John Kerry says, it's not just about cleaning up the rhetoric. He thinks Americans are frustrated and angry with what they see coming out of Washington , an inability to get things done. With us tonight, Karen Hunter , journalist and publisher, and also Heidi Harris , radio talk show host out of Las Vegas . Let's play this sound cut first, from John Kerry today, talking about why people in this country are angry. Here it is.
SEN. JOHN KERRY (D), MASSACHUSETTS: There's a bipartisan consensus just waiting to lift our country and our future, if senators are willing to sit down and forge it and make it real. If we are willing to stop talking past each other, to stop substituting sound bites for substance.
SCHULTZ: Is he talking about filibusters, Karen Hunter ?
KAREN HUNTER, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: He is talking about the whole climate in Washington and unfortunately, the climate in America right now and I think he is spot-on. It goes beyond what is happening in Washington . We see it in our neighborhoods, we see it on buses when kids don't give up their seats, where men aren't opening doors, women don't want men to open doors . There is a problem in our culture right now and it is uncivil behavior. We don't have respect for one another and he has hit it right on the nail.
SCHULTZ: What do you think, Heidi ?
HEIDI HARRIS, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: When has politics ever been respectful in America ? Give me a break. You have read a lot of history books, you know it was worse when we were trying to form a constitution.
HUNTER: But we don't have any answer now, Heidi . But we didn't have the kind of climate that bolstered.
HARRIS: Yes, we did Karen , we just didn't have 24-hour news.
HUNTER: There was a time in this country when people expected their olders, where people respected one another.
HARRIS: Oh, please.
HUNTER: And so, it didn't matter what was going on in Washington .
HARRIS: We used to have duels, Karen . It's always been bad.
HUNTER: That was actually civil. That was actually civil and well organized and planned out.
HARRIS: A duel is very civil? OK, the point is there's always been discourse that's been rack us in this country . Everybody say, it is worse than it has ever been, that's a crack.
SCHULTZ: But Heidi , it is not just the discourse.
HUNTER: Heidi wants to sweep it under the carpet, Ed , because she is part of the problem.
HARRIS: No, I read history, Karen , that is the difference.
SCHULTZ: Hold on. What John Kerry is saying is that the discourse is being created in this country because Washington is sitting there with a record number of filibusters, Heidi , what's coming out of Washington is nothing positive, just a bunch of confrontational stuff and no compromise at all. Do you get that point?
HARRIS: I get that but I'm telling you that you politics has always been bad, it's just that we have a 24-hour news cycle now to hash it out.
SCHULTZ: No, it is not the news cycle, Heidi , it's the way they are acting in Washington and the refusal to compromise, exactly what John Boehner recently stayed in a "60 Minute" interview. I mean, this permeates all through the congressional ranks is that they do not want to work together.
HARRIS: But they have never wanted to work together, Ed. There have been times they have done better than others but in general, they have never wanted to work together. There have always been contentious debates going on in Congress , which is how our country is. That's why they say, you're not supposed to.
SCHULTZ: Heidi , let's switch with subjects here. Sarah Palin , Heidi , why is Sarah Palin so silent?
HARRIS: You know, I don't know, Ed. I'm not going to defend it. I like Sarah Palin a lot. I don't know. Even though she has absolutely nothing to do with this guy, we don't even know if he ever saw that map you are talking about, so, she's got no blame at all in this as far as I'm concerned. I don't know why she is not coming out about.
SCHULTZ: But if we are talking about toning down the rhetoric in America and the boss on the network that she appears on all the time says, she is going to talk to the boys about toning it down, isn't she one of the boys ? Doesn't she have to tone it down? Yet, she is silent, not even appearing on any of their shows.
HARRIS: Well, I don't know why she is not doing it. If it were me, I would be out in front making one statement, saying, hey, I had nothing to do with.
HUNTER: You know why Heidi , she can't come out and say anything because she is part of the problem. Maybe she didn't put the gun in that man's hand but words are that powerful and Sarah Palin is part of the problem and if she opens her mouth now, she can't help herself.
HARRIS: We don't know if this guy ever even saw Sarah Palin on TV .
HUNTER: It doesn't matter. It is the climate that she created and Glenn Beck created and Sean Hannity created and Rush Limbaugh and you created. It's the climate in this country of civil unrest .
HARRIS: Oh, give me a break. Did he have Sarah Palin 's book in his house? No, he has " Mein Kampf " in his house. Let's play him Hitler . Sarah is not responsible for this kook.
SCHULTZ: Heidi Harris , Karen Hunter , great to have both of you with us tonight. Spirited discussion.