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Thursday, May 26, 2011

MSNBC's Ed Shultz suspended, says 'sorry' for calling Laura Ingraham a 'slut' on air

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Ed Schultz is sorry for calling Laura Ingraham a "slut" -- very, very sorry.

The MSNBC host publicly apologized Wednesday to the conservative pundit, who he had lambasted for her criticism of Barack Obama. On Tuesday, Ingraham suggested it was insensitive for the President to be drinking Guiness in Ireland while Joplin, Missouri reeled from tornado damage.

"And what are the Republicans thinking about?" Schultz reacted Tuesday on his radio show.

"They're not thinking about their next-door neighbor. They're just thinking about how much this is going to cost. President Obama is going to be visiting Joplin, Mo., on Sunday, but you know what they're talking about, like this right-wing slut, what's her name? Laura Ingraham? Yeah, she's a talk slut. You see, she was, back in the day, praising President Reagan when he was drinking a beer overseas. But now that Obama's doing it, they're working him over."

His comments enraged those on both sides of the aisle, and MSNBC announced late Wednesday that Schultz would be suspended from his TV show for a week, effective immediately following an apology to be delivered on-air.

"Remarks of this nature are unacceptable and will not be tolerated," the network said in a statement.

Schultz appeared on the set of his show Wednesday looking somber, and delivered a nearly four-minute apology before exiting on what he called a self-imposed hiatus.

"I am deeply sorry and I apologize," he said. "It was wrong, uncalled for, and I recognize the severity of what I said. I apologize to you Laura and ask for your forgiveness."

"It doesn't matter what the circumstances were," he continued. "What matters is what I said was terribly vile and not of the standards that I or any other person should adhere to."

Schultz added he had called Ingraham and left a message but still intended to apologize to her personally.

The liberal commentator also apologized to his wife and family and to MSNBC for "embarrassing the company."

"In this moment I have failed," he said. "And I know that I have let a lot of people down."

Acknowledging that he had "made a lot of mistakes" in his more than 30-year career, Schultz vowed never to repeat his behavior, saying gravely, "This is the lowest of low for me."

Ingraham did not respond to Schultz's apology on Wednesday night, but earlier in the day she took to Facebook to weigh in on the incident.

"The crude comments made about me by Ed Schultz on his radio program: First, I was surprised to learn that Ed Schultz actually hosted a radio show. Is it only available online?" She wrote. "Second, I have to get back to recording the audio edition of my new book 'Of Thee I Zing.' Now I'm tempted to insert one additional zing -- about men who preach civility but practice misogyny."

Schultz is slated to return to the show on June 6th.

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