Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Is There Evidence Supporting The Allegation That Ed Schultz Is A Wife Beater?

Upon my tongues continual slanders ride; The which in every language I pronounce; Stuffing the ears of men with false reports ~ William Shakespeare, Henry IV, Part 2 (aprox 1599).

This is an allegation that came up in the comment thread attached to a recent commentary (SWTD #305) in which I wrote about msnbc canceling the Ed Show.

The allegation was made by a miscreant who calls himself Rusty Shackelford. This Conservative blogger has made the allegation many times before and will likely make it many times in the future [1]. The fact is, whenever the name "Ed Schultz" comes up in a discussion on a blog he comments on, he throws the allegation out. Although he doesn't frame it as an allegation. Instead he states it as if it is a proven fact. Even though there is zero evidence that Ed Schultz ever beat his first wife, Maureen Zimmerman, whom he divorced in 1993. The truth is that Ed Schultz is a happily married man who has been with his current wife Wendy for 17 years.

These spurious allegations stem from a temporary order of protection or restraining order that was granted because the situation "involved alleged domestic violence, harassment, stalking or sexual assault". Apparently Schultz's ex-wife requested one - and it was granted temporarily, pending a hearing.

The following hitpiece from The Daily Caller, a politically conservative news and opinion website based in Washington DC, discusses it.

Daily Caller: In 2004, Schultz got all the records from his divorce [from his first wife, Maureen Zimmerman] sealed - which [Schultz's lawyer] claims was for "financial reasons". The only documents that remain accessible to the public are the dates and subject of motions and hearings.

Nearly three years after filing for divorce, Zimmerman obtained an "ex-parte temporary protection order", prohibiting Schultz from contacting her. North Dakota family law attorney Mike Gjesdahl cautions that ex-parte orders are not findings of fact. "It is just a way to say freeze", he explained.

Temporary protection orders in North Dakota expire after 14 days, when the accused is entitled to a hearing. On Nov. 16, 1995, a hearing was held at Zimmerman's request for a regular domestic violence protection order, which a judge can issue for one month, one year or indefinitely.

There is no indication on the public docket on how the judge ruled. The tape of the hearing was sealed on Dec. 13, 1995. Zimmerman could not be reached for comment. Her divorce lawyer is deceased. (That Time A Woman Obtained A Protection Order From Ed Schultz by Betsy Rothstein. 2/20/2015).

All that is known is that a temporary restraining order was requested, it was granted temporarily until a hearing could be held, and (thirdly) a hearing was held. Was a regular domestic violence protection order granted as a result of that hearing? The article says "there is no indication on the public docket on how the judge ruled" [2].

Nobody (except those directly involved) knows why the temporary order was requested (and Maureen Zimmerman has not commented). Or if the judge determined during the hearing whether or not the temporary order should be extended, Or for what reason the order was granted or denied.

Another pertinent fact would be if the police were ever called to investigate any "wife beating". Surely the Daily Caller would have dug that up if they had been, right? But they did not, so this likely never happened. I therefore conclude that anyone saying Ed Schultz is a "wife beater" is engaging in some heavy-duty speculating. There is no proof that Ed Schultz ever laid a hand on his ex-wife, let alone "beat" her.

That Ed Schultz's ex-wife got a temporary restraining order against him might simply indicate there was an angry exchange and his ex-wife FELT threatened (and there was no physical altercation at all).

Or she could have filed for it for another reason, as this excerpt from Wikipedia notes.

Misuse of restraining orders is claimed to be widespread. Elaine Epstein, former president of the Massachusetts Bar Association, has remarked, "Everyone knows that restraining orders and orders to vacate are granted to virtually all who apply... In many cases, allegations of abuse are now used for tactical advantage".

A 1995 study conducted by the Massachusetts Trial Court that reviewed domestic restraining orders issued in the state found that less than half of the orders involved even an allegation of violence. Similarly a West Virginia study found eight out of 10 orders were unnecessary or false. The low burden of proof for restraining orders has led to some high-profile cases involving stalkers of celebrities obtaining restraining orders against their targets.

My suspicion is that the Maureen Zimmerman restraining order falls into the "8 out of 10 orders were unnecessary or false" category. Most likely (I think) she FELT threatened but wasn't really in any danger of Ed Schultz laying a hand on her *at all* (the order was unnecessary).

I will, however, concede that I too am speculating. The fact is nobody knows what happened. We do know, however, that 8 out of 10 orders are unnecessary or false. Which means that it is 80 percent likely the order Maureen Zimmerman requested was unnecessary or false.

And there is the fact that Ed Schultz has been happily married to his current wife for 17 years with zero evidence that he has ever "beat" her. Which there likely would be, if he were a "wife beater". Someone with an "anger problem" who "needs anger management" (another spurious allegation) who "beat" his wife wouldn't do it just once.

I therefore declare that the allegation is almost certainly false. In any case, the evidence supporting it is worse than flimsy. Anyone determined to continue referring to Mr. Schultz as a "wife beater" should at least add a qualifier to their allegation. I suggest "suspected", in that the person making them suspects Ed Schultz "beat" his wife... despite the available evidence not coming close to proving anything of the sort ever happened.

My suspicion is that anyone sticking to this virtually unfounded suspicion is doing so because they are a Conservative who hates Ed Schultz (for being a strong Progressive), and not due to the facts.

In regards to "wife beating", however, there is another individual who has had the same charge levied against him. This person is a pundit on a channel that Rusty Shackelford frequently touts the ratings of. And the evidence against this person is significantly stronger. According to a 5/18/2015 Gawker story "a court-appointed forensic examiner testified at a closed hearing that Bill O'Reilly's daughter claimed to have witnessed her father dragging [his ex-wife Maureen McPhilmy] down a staircase by her neck".

The case against O'Reilly isn't solely based on a restraining order being issued (which does not necessarily mean domestic abuse occurred). With O'Reilly we have court transcripts that support an allegation that a "beating" occurred. Allegations that say "Bill O'Reilly's [16yo] daughter saw him choking her mom".

Does this mean that Rusty Shackelford will henceforth refer to O'Reilly as a "wife choker"? Will he bring up these allegations (which are VERY likely true) whenever he is involved in a conversation and the name O'Reilly comes up? I doubt it.

Footnotes & See Also
[1] In a 6/23/2012 Rusty Shackelford comment from the blog of Willis Hart the idiot says, "Please prove to us that Ed Shultz's exwife did'nt accuse him of domestic violence. Prove that she did'nt have a restraining order issued against him because of his liquor filled rages. I'm here saying Ed Shultz was charged with domestic violence by his ex-wife... I'm here saying his ex-wife went to court and had a restraining order issued against him because she feared his alcohol fueled rages". Obviously Rusty lies, as he has ZERO personal knowledge of what happened (he wasn't there), nor could he have any 2nd hand knowledge of what happened, given the FACT that the court records are sealed.
[2] In regards to the temporary restraining order that Maureen Zimmerman requested, a 2/26/2015 Daily Caller article says "Schultz filed a sworn statement that the 1995 restraining order was issued without any allegations of domestic violence...". (Ed Schultz Convinces Judge To Hold Emergency Hearing Because MSNBC Host Thinks He Needs To Protect His Career by Betsy Rothstein).
[3] See also "WD An Apologist And Supporter of Domestic Violence" for many lies from the moron dmarks concerning the proprietor of this blog "lying about and defending Schultz' domestic violence". dmarks also, in regards to me saying "you have no idea if Ed Schultz beat his wife or not", replied "I know he did". This despite the court record being sealed.

Video: Evidence of Bill O'Reilly's anger problem for which he needs anger management. O'Reilly's profanity-laced outburst occurred at the conclusion of an episode of Inside Edition when O'Reilly gets confused by the phrase "to play us out". According to Wikiquote this meltdown was an "offhand remark to cameraman... late 1980s - early 1990s" (1:32).

SWTD #307

2 comments:

  1. Odd that both Ed Schultz's ex-wife and Bill O'Reilly's ex-wife share the same first name.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Oh Dervish, you must know that even the slightest whiff of something improper is tantamount to REVELATION if the accused is Liberal or a Democratic Politician, whereas even mountains of evidence, eye witness testimony and convictions in courts of law are suspect and probably evil liberal lies against conservatives and Republicans.

    ReplyDelete

Unfortunately comment moderation is necessary in order to screen out insanity from an idiot calling himself "Luke" of the "Words And Music" blog (a liar who has made bogus accusations that many others are stealing his posts) as well as homophobic hate from TOM of the blog "Stay A While" (actually the same person).