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Banned In Baghdad, And Other Troop Locations

by Steve Young

Steve Young columns

I want to know who in the White House is working for Ed Schultz, the Jones Radio progressive syndicated talker (KTLK in L.A. -- disclaimer: same station as mine). Got to be someone up near the top, because there's no way low- level personnel could have could have delivered this type of publicity gold for "Big Eddie," the fishin' and huntin' Fargo, North Dakota progressive.

If you're amongst the majority of Americans, you've probably never heard of Ed Schultz, and if you're in the military, the Pentagon wants to make sure you won't. Earlier this month, the deal appeared set: The chief of the radio division for Armed Forces Network e-mailed Schultz's distributor, Jones Radio, "AFN Radio has squared away everything on our end to begin carrying the first hour of 'The Ed Schultz Show' each day, beginning Monday, October 17, 2005."

But this past Friday, Schultz highlighted the staged teleconference between President Bush and U.S. soldiers in Iraq, where the troops were rehearsed by Pentagon Communications Director, Allison Barber. On Monday morning -- the day the Schultz show was to be first aired on AFN Radio -- Barber calls to tell Schultz's producer that the okay was not actually that okay and they would get back to them when and if it will become okay. Okay?

It's about the most incredible stroke of luck a on-air personality could hope for. Schultz will get more media hype than Jones Radio could afford to ever afford to buy for him. Democrat Senators sent a "what the hell are you doing (or not doing)" letter to Rumsfeld. The issue was brought up on the House floor. This week, more people will learn about Schultz's show than listen to his show in a year -- even if he was heard on Armed Forces Radio. This is the greatest boon to progressive talk radio since Bill O'Reilly and Fox News sued Al Franken. Franken never could have sold as many books without the foolish, ego-driven lawsuit -- which was thrown out of court, but not before Franken's book ("Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them... A Fair and Balanced Look At The Right") needed a couple more reprints.

Schultz's show had been under the Pentagon's microscope for quite a while, leading Ed to believe the last minute cancelation is, um, questionable. "This is pure get back," Schultz told me. "This had been a long term effort. They had our tapes and demo for months. They knew exactly what they were getting. They're just afraid of letting me talk to the troops."

This past Wednesday, Schultz, who is presently heard on over 100 stations, was to appear at a Capitol Hill press conference to discuss his good fortune. But unfortunately, his flight out of Fargo was delayed, keeping from getting him to Washington in time. Such a nice, Republican coincidence.

So it seems that Schultz becomes another (as Schultz agrees) "victim" of this administration's attempts to quiet dissent (which Schultz doesn't believe he perpetuates).

Meanwhile, how do I get the Bush Administration to try and cancel my show? I could use the ratings.

Steve Young is a author of "Great Failures of the Extremely Successful" and can be heard every Saturday on KTLK AM1150 (1-4PM)

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Albion Monitor October 20, 2005 (

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