(CNSNews.com) – MSNBC’s Ed Schultz calling former Vice President Dick Cheney “an enemy of the country” who should go “to the Promised Land,” is not an example of political incivility but is actually “beautifully phrased,” according to actor Richard Dreyfuss, who is spearheading a nationwide initiative on civics education and civility in political discourse.
At the National Press Club on Tuesday where Dreyfuss was talking about his civics initiative, CNSNews.com asked the Academy Award-winning actor the following: “MSNBC’s Ed Schultz said of, has said of Dick Cheney, ‘he’s an enemy of this country, in my opinion, Dick Cheney is an enemy of this country. … Lord, take him to the promised land, will you?’ And there’s been other quotes, specifically in the media. I wanted to get your reaction to that specifically. Is that something that you think should be rejected by a civil society?
Dreyfuss said, “No, that’s not uncivil. That’s actually kind of a beautifully phrased way of saying something that could be uncivil.”
He continued, “Civility is not not saying negative or harsh things. It is not the absence of critical analysis. It is the manner in which we are sharing this territorial freedom of political discussion. If our discourse is yelled and screamed and interrupted and patronized, that’s uncivil. I don’t care what the issue is and I don’t care who the people and the players are.”
Ed Schultz is the host of “The Ed Show” on MSNBC, and he also hosts a nationally syndicated talk radio program, “The Ed Schultz Show,” which is syndicated by Dial Global.
On May 11, 2009, Schultz said on his radio show, “I knew this was going to happen today, we were going to get into a conversation about that dirt bag, Dick Cheney. … He is an enemy of the country, in my opinion, Dick Cheney is, he is an enemy of the country. He's making it harder for those who are in power right now to protect the country. He's about the political divide. It just, I just think the guy's such a freakin' loser. You know, Lord, take him to the Promised Land, will you? See, I don't even wish the guy goes to Hell. I just want to get him the hell out of here.”
Dreyfuss also told CNSNews.com that there are “villains” in society contributing to a lack of civility in the political process.
“People who interrupt the person that they are interviewing, or patronize them or call them names childishly, or bully them, or attack them for their race or their creed are being uncivil. And they’re all over the place, and you don’t have to look very far to find them. And they’re very popular, for the moment,” he said.