SNBC talk show screamer Ed Schultz had a meltdown in the network’s 30 Rock newsroom, shouting at staff, “I’m going to torch this (bleep)ing place,” according to a report from the New York Post.
The hot-tempered anchor of “The Ed Show” lost it during a phone call in the packed studio and slammed down the phone before exploding.
As astonished MSNBC staff members fell silent, Schultz glared around the room and yelled, “(Bleep)ers!”
A witness told the New York Post, “Ed was furious the network was running election-night promos and he wasn’t in them. He’d been arguing on the phone with marketing, then he slammed down the phone and exploded. It was like Mel Gibson had entered the newsroom.”
Fuming Schultz was immediately dragged in for a meeting with NBC News President Steve Capus and MSNBC President Phil Griffin following his Aug. 12 meltdown.
The Post’s source added, “Schultz was told: ‘If you do that again, you are fired.’ He broke down crying.”
Sources say the hothead was pushed over the edge by MSNBC’s catering to bullying fellow anchor Keith Olbermann and its focus on golden girl Rachel Maddow.
A second MSNBC source said, “Ed never gets any attention and love, and he finally snapped.”
Schultz, who’s fronted his 6 p.m. EST show on MSNBC for 16 months, also doesn’t hold back on his radio show. He once told White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs, “You’re full of (bleep).” And after Fox News Channel’s Glenn Beck revealed a condition that may make him go blind, Schultz said, “It’s a travesty he’s not going to see the country he’s trying to destroy.”
A spokeswoman for Schultz and the network declined to comment on the incident but told the Post, “The only thing that’s on fire are Ed’s ratings, and the only people crying are at CNN.”
In April 2009, Schultz, a former WDAY-TV sportscaster, abruptly left KFGO radio, where he had worked off and on for years as a news talk show host.
Three months later, Schultz missed the “comfort level” of local radio and started a talk show at a Lisbon, N.D.-based station owned by right-wing talk radio host Scott Hennen. Schultz abandoned that after two weeks.
Last fall, in an interview with The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead, Schultz talked about leaving the local radio scene, particularly KFGO.
“I don’t have any regrets on anything. I don’t leave conflicted at all. I’m sorry I can’t broadcast in this area anymore. But I’m just at a different level now. The pressure’s different, the expectations are high, and the performance has to be there," Schultz told a Forum reporter.
“I’ve had a lot of great things happen to me in my career; I’ve been very fortunate. I’ve worked hard, but I’ve also had my share of luck.”
Schultz is currently in the middle of a three-year contract with MSNBC and has a four-year contract for his national radio show. In addition, Schultz has another book due out next month on “saving America’s middle class.”