That liberal radio/TV talker Ed Schultz called a conservative antagonist a “right-wing slut” wasn’t a big surprise. Schultz is a vulgarian and thug who is a repeat offender when it comes to this sort of disgusting verbal combat. Although we conservatives passed most of the last year—and especially the weeks after the shooting of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords by an apolitical lunatic—being lectured by the left about how mean-spirited and divisive the rhetoric of the right has been, the left’s own attack dogs like Schultz were happily romping in the muck.
But what was most interesting about the fallout from Schultz’s attack on Laura Ingraham wasn’t the usual liberal hypocrisy about political hate speech and the usual assertions that when such talk is heard from right-wingers, it leads to violence. Instead, it’s the way the new owners of the NBC empire have decided to crack down on their left-wing outlet. In the past year, Comcast’s management has chosen to discipline MSNBC personalities when they stepped out of line, including the odious Keith Olbermann. Their swift suspension of Schultz and his abject apology show that Comcast doesn’t like the idea of being responsible for disseminating his bile.
The point to be made here is that if liberals are sincere about promoting civility in political discourse—and there is every reason to doubt it—then they can start by cleaning up their own houses. Whether Schultz and the left like it, it appears that this is exactly what Comcast intends to do.