George Graham

A Real Blue-Collar Guy


Ed Schultz is dead. To paraphrase Shakespeare, we’re probably not going to see his like again .Not on TV, anyway.

There used to be more people on TV like Ed, people who stood for something, who spoke their minds, without sugar coating what they had to say.

Now – left or right – it seems to be all spin, carefully designed to build and keep a target audience.

If you’ve been reading my blogs, you probably know I watch MSNBC. But Ed was too honest for MSNBC, too forthright. They fired him in 2015 on the pretext of reshaping their approach to the news.

Just like Keith Olbermann (photo at right). Remember him? He was too hot for MSNBC to handle, too.

And Cenk Uygur ? (You don’t remember Cenk? How soon we forget!)

Yet I still watch MSNBC.It’s the least offensive of the news channels my cable provider offers.

But, I wonder, how much longer will MSNBC bring us Rachel Maddow? Chris Hayes? Lawrence O’Donnell?

As long as advertisers find their shows attractive? Or as long as the folks who really matter tolerate them?

Ed was a blue-collar guy. A trade union supporter. A working-class American in the best sense of the phrase. And that was the audience he attracted.

One theory is that MSNBC didn’t want Ed’s audience. They wanted viewers with more spending power, the ones advertisers lust after.

Was that all, though? Or did more sinister voices intervene? Voices who call the shots behind the scenes? And will those voices intervene again?

We’ll have to wait and see, I suppose.

Meanwhile, I still watch MSNBC. But I miss Ed.

More about Ed

About Ed’s audience

More about Olbermann

Who is Cenk Uygur, anyway?

About the author


I am a Jamaican-born writer who has lived and worked in Canada and the United States. I live in Lakeland, Florida with my wife, Sandra, our three cats and two dogs. I like to play golf and enjoy our garden, even though it's a lot of work. Since retiring from newspaper reporting I've written a few books. I also write a monthly column for