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MSNBC's Ed Schultz Off Air Indefinitely After Calling Radio Host Laura Ingraham a 'Slut'

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Radio and TV host Ed Schultz used the opening segment of his MSNBC show Wednesday night to apologize for calling radio rival Laura Ingraham a "right-wing slut" before adding he would be off the air indefinitely.

"On my radio show yesterday I used vile and inappropriate language when talking about talk show host Laura Ingraham," he said, after explaining that Thomas Roberts would be hosting Wednesday night's edition of "The Ed Show."

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

Schultz, who hosts the hour-long weeknight news commentary program on MSNBC, made the comment on his nationally syndicated radio show Tuesday.

He was responding to Ingraham criticizing President Barack Obama's trip to Ireland, where he was seen enjoying a beer, as the US was experiencing deadly tornadoes -- in particular in Joplin, Missouri, where more than 120 people died.

"And what [are] the Republicans thinking about?" Schultz said.

"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."

But Schultz said Wednesday night there were no excuses for his language, explaining, "It doesn't matter what the circumstances were."

"It doesn't matter that I was on radio and I was adlibbing. None of that matters. What matters is what I said was terribly vile and not of the standards that I or any other person should adhere to," he added.

"I want all of you to know tonight that I did call Laura Ingraham today and did not make contact with her and I will apologize to her as I did in the message that I left for her today.

"I also met with management here at MSNBC and, understanding the severity of the situation and what I said on the radio and how it reflected terribly on this company, I have offered to take myself off the air for an indefinite period of time with no pay."

With his voice breaking, Schultz once again apologized to Ingraham, and his wife and family.

"I have embarrassed my family. I have embarrassed this company and I have been in this business since 1978 and I have made a lot of mistakes -- this is the lowest of low for me," he said.

"I stand before you to take full responsibility for what I said and how I said it and I am deeply sorry."
He paid tribute to his wife, saying he hoped to set an example to his six children and eight grandchildren, before adding, "In this moment I have failed."

Explaining he would never again used the insulting word, he said, "Tonight you have my word that I won't."
He finished his statement by saying, "I'll be back with you in the coming days."

Earlier Wednesday, MSNBC said Schultz had been suspended for one week without pay.

"MSNBC management met with Ed Schultz this afternoon and accepted his offer to take one week of unpaid leave for the remarks he made yesterday on his radio program," MSNBC said earlier in a statement.
"Remarks of this nature are unacceptable and will not be tolerated."

Ingraham, who hosts a nationally syndicated talk show, "The Laura Ingraham Show," slammed Schultz on her Facebook page.

"Re. 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's comments drew the ire of a number of media commentators, with FOX News contributor and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin tweeting, "Keeping it classy, Eddie."

Ingraham serves as the primary fill-in for Bill O'Reilly when he is away from FOX News' "The O'Reilly Factor." She is also a commentator and an analyst for FOX News, which, like NewsCore, is owned by News Corp.

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