The tweet was sent on Monday from the official account for Schultz's MSNBC program and it included an observation that, by itself, appeared to minimize the plight of the millions of Jewish interned and killed during the Holocaust.
"Gay people were really the ones being persecuted in Hitler's Germany," read the tweet, which included a screengrab from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum's website.
It was promptly deleted, but conservative journalists picked it up.
"The MSNBC host Godwined himself before anyone else even said a word with a tweet where he informed the world of who was the 'real' target of Hitler's Final Solution," wrote Breitbart's Warner Todd Huston.
"Waiting for Ed Schultz to explain that Irish indentured servants were the real victims of slavery," snarked National Review's Jonah Goldberg.
Matt Drudge blared the news to his legions of dedicated followers.
MSNBC HOST: Gays 'really the ones being persecuted in Hitler's Germany'... http://t.co/g7kXpfdc7b
— DRUDGE REPORT (@DRUDGE_REPORT) May 13, 2014
Was Schultz really suggesting that homosexuals, and not Jews, were the major targets of the Third Reich?
A subsequent tweet from the "Ed Show" account offered a clue of what Schultz (or his team) was trying to say. It provided a preview of an upcoming segment on the program about Rep. Louie Gohmert's (R-TX) comparison of LGBT advocates to Nazis.
NEXT on #edshow → @replouiegohmert compares #LBGT advocates to... http://t.co/m9Gl1Vwx2F #Pretenders #teamedshow
— Ed Schultz (@edshow) May 12, 2014
In a floor speech last week, Gohmert complained that opponents of same-sex marriage have been labeled "haters." He said Nazis also gave those they persecuted similar labels.
When Schultz addressed Gohmert's comments on-air, he used identical language to the deleted tweet and cited figures from the Holocaust Memorial Museum.
"Louie is a little short on his Nazi history. Gay people were really the ones being persecuted in Hitler's Germany, according to the United States Holocaust Museum," Schultz said. "Between 5,000 and 15,000 gay men were interned in concentration camps in Nazi Germany. These prisoners were marked by pink triangle badges. According to many survivor accounts, homosexuals were among the most abused groups in the camps."
"If Louie Gohmert thinks he's being persecuted the same way the Jews were being persecuted, he can keep on pretending," Schultz continued.