Here’s the transcript from Wednesday’s Countdown and an excerpt of Olbermann’s interview with Ed Schultz, who we mentioned yesterday was taking over for David Shuster at 6 p.m. This is just a hint of where the show is going to go, but it does seem as if President Obama’s upcoming treatment of GM’s autoworkers in any bankruptcy will be a huge issue.
OLBERMANN: So you hit the subject of unions a couple of times. To talk about something of substance, how come it‘s not obvious when we talk about you‘ve got to pay those AIG bonuses to the people who crashed AIG because it is in the contract—it is in their contract. There is the sanctity of the contract. You have liberals and conservatives embracing that, maybe some more reluctantly than others. In the meantime, we are ready to go to Detroit and go, UAW, tear up all the contracts. It is not worth the paper it is printed on.
SCHULTZ: Keith, the American people are tired of fine print. They want the truth and they want fairness. In this whole playing out of the AIG situation, and Mr. Wagoner walking with 20 million dollars.
OLBERMANN: Twenty three.
SCHULTZ: Was it 23? Son of a gun, it gets better all the time.
OLBERMANN: He got a raise, too.
SCHULTZ: The American people see that and say, how does this work? That is not fair. I think the Obama administration is about fairness. I think we saw that today in the story with Ted Stevens. We would have been saying, maybe if Bush had let him go, oh, it is a conspiracy. But wait a minute, we have to believe in the legal system. We have to believe in the American system. But yet, we have to ask the tough questions and our job, I believe, to do that.
I‘m liberal, but I‘m also pragmatic and I‘m also not going to turn my head to the facts. I think the American people, when they see an AIG executive get a million dollars for tanking the company, when they see GM going where it is going—it‘s not on the backs of the workers. It‘s people in the front office that didn‘t do what they were supposed to do—a sense of fair play is lost in America. We need to get our sensibilities back to that. I think we are seeing people adjust to that in that regard.
That is part of the show. That is the story that I think needs to be out there more in America.
But will people watch? Right now, the 6 p.m. hour is a disaster for MSNBC. They’ll have to basically double the ratings to catch CNN and even then, would have about half the audience of Fox.