February 9, 2008

NBC wimped out over "pimped out."

David Shuster said — about Chelsea Clinton — "Doesn't it seem like she's being pimped out in some weird sort of way?"



Now, MSNBC has suspended him, after pressure from the Clinton campaign:
Behind the scenes, Phil Griffin, senior vice president at MSNBC, took the criticism over Shuster's remarks from the Clinton camp especially seriously, and Tim Russert helped mediate the situation, according to sources.

But one high-level NBC source told Politico that apologizing was an act of cowardice on behalf of the network.

"This is at least the second time they've caved to the Hillary Clinton campaign," a source told Politico, referring to Chris Matthews' recent apology over remarks he recently made about Clinton that were widely denounced as sexist. "What does this do to journalism?"
Really, how bad is it to say "pimped out"? Is it "nappy-headed hos" bad? Did anyone think Shuster was literally calling Chelsea a whore or even making any reference to her womanly virtue? "Pimped out" is a common colloquialism these days. According to the Urban Dictionary, which gives a good read on how young people use words, the connotations having to do with exaggerated fashion and style predominate.

Even if the clear associations with prostitution remain, we often make figurative references to prostitution in speech, and the cause of feminism is not served by requiring special limitations when we're talking about women. We ought to be able to call a female publicity hound a "media whore."

I've never watched "Tucker," the show Shuster was guest-hosting when he made the supposedly offensive remark, but if the conversation there is casual and slang is the norm, then saying "pimped out" about Chelsea should be taken in stride. Otherwise it looks as though NBC caved to the Clintons.

ADDED: Ugh! Here's Shuster groveling:



"All Americans should be proud of Chelsea Clinton"? Why? Because, sublimely privileged, she went to work for a hedge fund? And, generally, why should anyone be "proud of" someone else's children? Plus, Chelsea isn't a kid anymore! I think saying "All Americans should be proud of Chelsea Clinton" is offensive. Please fire David Shuster.

AND: Out in the real world today, I had an encounter with the word "pimp." Plus, the dominant meaning of the word today — relating to style — may be the original meaning, according to the Online Etymology Dictionary:
pimp

1607, perhaps from M.Fr. pimper "to dress elegantly" (16c.), prp. of pimpant "alluring in dress, seductive." Weekley suggests M.Fr. pimpreneau, defined in Cotgrave (1611) as "a knave, rascall, varlet, scoundrell." The word also means "informer, stool pigeon" in Australia and New Zealand and in S.Africa, where by early 1960s it existed in Swahili form impimpsi. The verb is attested from 1636. Pimpmobile first recorded 1973.

MORE: The Moderate Voice has a big roundup of the commentary, which does not just break down along partisan lines. For example, Jane Hamsher said:
It may surprise everyone but I actually wasn't bothered by [what Shuster said]. The phrase is ubiquitous, I use it all the time and although it is a loaded term my initial impression was that in the wake of all the truly awful sexist stuff that's come down the pipeline from MSNBC over the course of this campaign, much of which I have personally railed about, this just didn't fall into that category.

At first I thought it might be because I know Shuster and don't think he has the women's issues that many on MSNBC seem to have, and maybe that was affecting my assessment of the situation. But I wrote a post recently about Ben Affleck appearing at a press conference for the SEIU in Boston, and shortly after it went live someone involved in helping me put together the story sent me an email wondering what the hell I was thinking linking to a headline that said something on the order of "Boston Mayor Pimps For Healthcare Workers." I wasn't sure what they were upset about either at the time, but after a moment I realized that the term probably didn't strike others as being as inert as it did me so I changed the link.

I understand that this situation is different, we're talking about a young woman and Hillary Clinton has been on the receiving end of a lot of really misogynistic and disrespectful shit from MSNBC and that on the heels of that, a comment which overtly compared her daughter to a prostitute probably did not sit too well. Still, if you asked me, I'd say that while I certainly understand that others might feel differently, for me this was a minor infraction.
And if anyone thinks my comment here is partisan, remember that I just defended Randi Rhodes (and I've been arguing the free speech side of nearly every dispute over the 4-year life of this blog).

120 comments:

Ron said...

She's an adult, she's been drawn into the campaign by mom, and with all the mud being slung around, it's a bit galling to pretend she needs the protection she may have had when she was considerably younger!

Today the networks, tomorrow the bloggers!

George said...

Crispy Frickin' Chicken....on sale at the Sheetz chain of gas stations...

The Night I Totally Lost My Sh*t....headline I saw in the new issue of Women's Health magazine...

The politicians have yet to catch up with how the common folk are speaking.

Either that or they know what vulgar cads we are, and are playing the worst offenders for their benefit.

Fen said...

Its not the first time I've heard the line re Chelsea. The background is that Hillary didn't want her getting tarnished by dirty tricks so she kept her out of the campaign, but then changed her mind and brought her in to help once her poll numbers started to drop.

Pimped out?

Mom: "I don't want my daughter subjected to any of this - unless she can get me a 3 point bounce on Super Tuesday..."

Dad: "Put some ice on that, sweetie"

rhhardin said...

As Imus said, starting his radiothon in April, that he wasn't sensing a lot of courage among the bosses, so they have to raise $100M.

Still, Sharpton isn't involved yet, to caving is awfully premature. I can see caving once there are angry minorities picketing your limo. There are limits to what the media can stand.

They can't risk their moron audience.

Bissage said...

No stage mom ever believes she’s whoring out her kid.

Goatwhacker said...

The term "pimping" has been used to refer to exploitation that is not necessarily sexual for a long time. I remember it being used in a non-sexual way at least twenty years ago in graduate school. It's very likely Chelsea herself knows this.

The Clinton campaign has jumped at the opportunity to appear wounded, an approach that traditionally has worked well for Hillary.

rhhardin said...

I'd have instantly changed the MSNBC tag to ``The Network the Clintons won't talk to'' and gone for audience.

Irene Done said...

Making an issue of this remark is a clever move, isn't it? Isn't it all part of Hillary's strategy of getting and keeping the female vote? I guess we're supposed to be impressed by a mom who's bravely protecting her daughter.

Which sorta confirms and adds a new angle to Shuster's characterization.

Pogo said...

Toe the line, MSNBC.
And get used to taking orders like this for 4 years if Hillary gets elected.

In another time and place, Hillary would have posters of herself on every wall, and would speak to me each morning from my TV admonishing me to be a better citizen, and punish those who dare to disagree.

And they thought Bush was some sort of dictator.

Fen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Fen said...

I think saying "All Americans should be proud of Chelsea Clinton" is offensive.

It will be even more delicious next time some NBC hack brags about Speaking Truth To Power.

Savy move by Hillary though. Shuster wasn't the target. The target was all the other "journalists" who will now check themselves before they ask Her Majesty any tough questions.

P. Rich said...

Billary are pimps, when they aren't otherwise engaged in whoring. The truth hurts, I suppose. Pathetic. NBC should have told them to take a long hike off a short pier but lacks the courage and integrity, and really supports the campaign anyway. NBC's politics make the remark a screw-up, not the language used.

Randy (Internet Ronin) said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
AllenS said...

Bill and Hillary!? constantly prostituted the Lincoln Bedroom.

Balfegor said...

She's an adult, she's been drawn into the campaign by mom, and with all the mud being slung around, it's a bit galling to pretend she needs the protection she may have had when she was considerably younger!

I guess. But she seems, unlike her parents, a reasonably respectable person, so "pimped out" still strikes me as a bit offensive, in a way that it wouldn't be if applied to, say, Bill Clinton. For whom the term is dreadfully appropriate. On the other hand, the speaker is just a journalist, so who would expect him to know better?

fstopfitzgerald said...

Wowie.

I kind of suspected this would bring out the absolute worst in Ann's regular commenters, but you guys have really lived down to my expectations and then some.

Really -- who could have guessed that to a person you'd be such unutterable pigs?

A free speech issue? Yeah -- that's the ticket. My god,you guys are beyond parody.

I await an Ann post on Limbaugh making fun of Michael J Fox for faking his Parkinson's symptoms. The loathesome snideness forthcoming from such enlightened specimens of humanity as Fen and Bissage would be wondrous to behold.

Fen said...

fstopfitzgerald: [hateful little tantrum]

I see our public schools have replaced reading comprehension with self-esteem training.

Can you explain what exactly you are upset about?

rhhardin said...

The Clinton objection is that it shows insufficient respect for the elder Clintons ; nothing about Chelsea.

In particular they object to the idea that they're do-anything trailer park lowlifes.

But they didn't just fall off the trailer park. They know how to get things done in the modern east coast culture.

rhhardin said...

They are in fact trading on Chelsea's child image, whatever her age.

Bob said...

Limbaugh actually got in trouble years ago for insulting Chelsea on his TV show, back when Clinton was president, so I'm sure when he heard of Shuster's remark, he probably thought uh-oh, you stepped in it now; insult conservatives all you want, but don't insult a Clinton.

fstopfitzgerald said...

Bob said...

Limbaugh actually got in trouble years ago for insulting Chelsea on his TV show, back when Clinton was president


Called her the White House dog.

Speaking of borderline sociopaths, I'll bet all the regulars here got a huge laugh out of that one.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Either Chelsea Clinton is a grown up woman with a mind of her own who has decided to support the campaign of her mother (parents depending on who is really running for President)....... Or she is a retarded adult who has never grown up and needs constant protection from the big bad world. Which is it?

Why should I be proud of her anyway? I don't ever think about her unless she is forced into my view and she has no effect on my personal life and I have no emotional investment in her.

There is a show called Pimp My Ride https://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=6329595&postID=543033019396001081 I don't' believe we are talking about whoring out your cars. People need to chill out.

BTW: could someone show how to make a link so I don't have to past the whole url?

SGT Ted said...

You lefties really need to take off the Clinton kneepads. If a conservative politician threatened a news station you'd be all about the free speech.

garage mahal said...

Really -- who could have guessed that to a person you'd be such unutterable pigs?

Starts with the hostess. You see, Chelsea works for a hedge fund! Duh. That means she is a slut and deserves whatever insult comes her way. Ann's version of feminism if you will. Boys will be boys ya know! She had it coming. And she's a Clinton more importantly.

rhhardin said...

links: hard to illustrate because the system turns your illustration into a link!

Let ( stand for left angle bracket
Let ) stand for right angle bracket

(a href="http://home.att.net/~rhhardin/index.html") text you want in the link (/a)

and it works in the middle of running text. Remember to replace ( by left-angle-bracket and ) by right-angle-bracket.

MadisonMan said...

Professor Althouse, are you whoring out your sons when they appear on this blog, or when they add comments?

I didn't necessarily find the pimping out line offensive -- tacky and tasteless, yes, but this is cable TV. I found the background laughter while it was being asked pretty disgusting as well. It was like listening to shock radio. If Clinton doesn't want to debate on a station that's trying to be shock radio, I can understand that. Why participate in MSNBC's race to the bottom?

rhhardin said...

Limbaugh apologized for the Chelsea remark. I may not remember right, but I think it was something done by staff, not Limbaugh ; or maybe that was another apology.

Chelsea was butt-ugly, you have to admit. I think huge restraint was shown on the right.

Who got in trouble with which President for referring to his ``semi-beautiful daughters''? I think President Johnson but I don't know who the perpetrator was.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Sorry for the bad link :-(

This groveling by people who make off hand remarks that can be taken as offensive by the overly sensitive, the perpetually offended and by people like the Clintons who excel in flipping from attack to victim mode as it suits their needs, should be stopped before we all have to wear muzzles.

We are all already walking on egg shells lest we make some politically incorrect remark at work, be accused of sexual harassment or accused of being a racist by innocently using a word that the uneducated have no familiarity with (niggardly).

As a society, we need to suck it up and quit being such weenies.

rhhardin said...

People who feed birds already know that niger seed is being marketed as nyjer seed nowadays.

I recommend the inverted feeder, to keep out the house finches, who unlike goldfinches have difficulty eating while hanging upside-down.

fstopfitzgerald said...

Dust Bunny Queen said...

This groveling by people who make off hand remarks that can be taken as offensive...should be stopped before we all have to wear muzzles.

As a society, we need to suck it up and quit being such weenies.
9:37 AM


You're right. When Rush Limbaugh makes fun of Michael J. Fox's Parkinsons symptoms, we should not only defend the draft dodging junkie -- we should encourage him.

fstopfitzgerald said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
TMink said...

Did nobody tell her that politics is a full contact sport? Since her parents are some of the hardest hitters in that arena, how can this be anything other than hypocricy on their part?

Trey

michaele said...

Ooooo, something eery just happened and I can't figure out why and how. As I was reading this posting and getting ready to hit the "play" for the David Shuster apologizing bit, suddening Barack Obama's voice came boomimg out of the speakers. I couldn't figure out what was open to access what sounded liked a wildly enthusiastic rally. Turns out it was from a post of Althouse's about Hillary copying Barack's slogans. I still don't understand how that speech of his got activated. Since he mysteriously controls computers, how can he lose the election?
( And, even wierder, it's not the computer I regularly use. My laptop just went in for repair and I'm hopping on my husbands who never visits blogs.) Barack is all powerful even though the Clintons make weenies of news organizations

Dust Bunny Queen said...

ftsp: poster boy/girl for the perpetually offended.

Mark said...

As has been written elsewhere, this is really about attacking the Clintons with a standard applied to no one else. I'd happily support almost anyone before Hillary but there is nothing "unseemly" about an adult son or daughter working on behalf of his or her parents campaign...except if she's a Clinton. If MSNBC had leveled these comments consistently and had attacked Bush, Cheney, Edwards, Romney, McCain, Kerry, Gore, various Kennedy members, and half of Congress and almost every Govenor over the years than the comment would have been fair...but it is only "unseemly" if the Clintons do it.

TheBronze said...

David Shuster's a faggot.

SMGalbraith said...

Shuster's line was gross, juvenile and unacceptable.

This isn't the schoolyard; it's supposed to be a major news network.

Second, he's MSNBC's national correspondent and not a talk show host giving his or her opinion. He's not Jon Stewart, for crissakes.

Third, why MSNBC allows its correspondents or reporters to host opinion shows and give their opinions on the program baffles me. Well, ratings is the best explanation but have you seen the latest numbers for this network?

Nah, Shuster was way out of line here.

SMGalbraith said...

Hey, why isn't Chelsea in Afghanistan anyway?

Don't her parents support the war there? Like the Bush twins?

[Boy, it's easy pretending to be a sanctimonious lefty; no thinking is needed]

cobaltbob said...

Mediamatters.org, Hillary's shill-site, is screaming bloody murder, and has a long list of recent MSNBC transgressions along this line.

Somehow, Joe Scarborough's comment regarding Fred Thompson's wife ("You think she works the pole?") wasn't one of them. You would think that this one would have made their Top 10 list. But I guess it's easier to overlook politics as usual when it's slamming someone you don't like.

Blatant hypocrisy. Same sh*t, different day.

Elmer Stupp said...

Mr. Shuster's comments were rude and tasteless. He should apologize profusely.

betsybounds said...

Actually, Rush Limbaugh didn't make fun of Michael J. Fox or accuse him of faking his symptoms. He suggested that Mr. Fox had perhaps "gone off his meds" so his Parkinson's symptoms would be exaggerated for maximum political effect. That's not at all the same thing as mocking him or saying he faked it.

You may disapprove of what Limbaugh said, but at least let's be clear about what he DID say.

La Mano said...

Why should I be "proud" of Chelsea Clinton?

Imagine the outcry if he had called her niggardly.

fstopfitzgerald said...

betsybounds said...

Actually, Rush Limbaugh didn't make fun of Michael J. Fox or accuse him of faking his symptoms. He suggested that Mr. Fox had perhaps "gone off his meds" so his Parkinson's symptoms would be exaggerated for maximum political effect. That's not at all the same thing as mocking him or saying he faked it.


Uh...yes, it is. Are you fricking nuts?

Good grief.

David Navetta said...

What I find extremely funny are the rightwing blowhards on this board, who if in the same situation as the Clintons would probably voice the same concerns and complaints to defend their own daughter. THINK PEOPLE.

NBC is a news organization. How this qualifies as "news" is beyond me. It was inappropriate and sorry no similar comments have been made by any major news organization about other politicians' sons or daughters.

Oh well, I guess here is little hope when I am talking to a group of people who think a 5 year old is fair game because his parents are in favor of universal health insurance.

Middle Class Guy said...

This is getting ridiculous. Does Hillary Clinton have so much power that she can force the media to apologize for every perceived personal slight? Does she have a political correct cop to parse very comment made and determine if it is offensive or an attack?

MSNBC and the rest of the media are cowards. They have been walking on eggshells during this whole Clinton campaign. There were reports that the Clinton campaign early on, made it forcefully known that they would brook no negative or attack style comments from the media. They would retaliate by denying access to them or their campaign. Access is more important to the media. The self proclaimed overseers and watchdogs have been turned into tea cup poodles by the Clinton war machine. It is a national shame and an embarrassment.

Why should America be proud of Chelsea? What has she done? Is her childhood in the White House considered an accomplishment? Is it experience? Did she have input on public policy on pre teen and teen age living? The Clinton machine is very good. I will bet they wrote the apology and demanded it be read word for word.

They put their daughter on the street. She is an adult. She gets treated like anyone else. I think the Clintons owe the media and the country an apology.

David Navetta said...

One further thing to note. I suspect that the Clinton's were more pissed off with Shuster's response to them than the comments themselves. If a similar email chain had happened with a rightwing darling rightwingers would be tripping over themselves about the evil "MSM."

David - how hard is it for someone, anyone, in the vast MS/NBC universe to contact any one of us at the campaign for comment about Chelsea before going on air and saying that she is being "pimped out" ? It's absurdly offensive. And what the hell does that even mean?

I just don't get MSNBC - does GE not allow you to make toll calls? What's the problem.

Philippe Reines
Press Secretary
Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton



-----Original Message-----
From: David Shuster
To: Philippe Reines
Date: Thu, 7 Feb 2008 8:51 p.m.

Nice to hear from you, philippe.

It is a fact that chelsea has made calls to superdelegates, as your campaign colleagues have acknowledged. It is also a fact that the campaign has reacted quite harshly to any media who have sought to interview chelsea. That was the point. By slamming any reporter who seeks to chat with chelsea while simultaneously having chelsea do campaign tasks such as trying to convince super delegates to support her mom, that's the reference.

Chelsea is polite and does a fine job of saying "I don't want to talk.". But for campaign staff to then jump down the throat of a reporter who seeks to talk to chelsea...that's an issue.

--------------------------
Sent using BlackBerry



-----Original Message-----
From: Philippe Reines
To: David Shuster
Date: Thu, 7 Feb 2008 9:00 p.m.

Since you guys asked for the transcript - here specifically is what David said on air:

SHUSTER: "But doesn't it seem like she's being--but doesn't it seem as if Chelsea is sort of being pimped out in some weird sort of way?"

I have a hunch that such offensive and unacceptable language was never used on MSNBC's air about Karenna Gore, the Bush twins, Venessa & Alex Kerry, Kate Edwards, the Romney sons - or any other adult offspring who chose to campaign on behalf of a parent.




-----Original Message-----
From: Philippe Reines
To: David Shuster
Date: Thu, 7 Feb 2008 9:16: p.m.

David - I want to make sure I'm crystal clear here - you're saying that because she doesn't grant interviews and makes calls on behalf of her mother, you are right to say that she is being pimped out?

I don't need to read a the whole transcript for context, you were way out of line. Nobody's jumping down your throat about asking for an interview or talking about calls she made. And you know it.

There is simply no excuse for being so offensive.

By actually rationalizing your behavior rather than accepting responsibility and apologizing, you become the poster child for everything wrong with tv journalism, and it's a shame your NBC colleagues have to be associated with this (expletive).



-----Original Message-----
From: David Shuster
To: Philippe Reines
Date: Thu, 7 Feb 2008 9:29 p.m.

No. That's not what I'm saying. And if you bothered to look at the transcript and saw all of the glowing things I said about chelsea and the way she was raised, you would know that.

The issue is not her making calls. As + said on the air, I have no problems with that what so ever. The issue is not her refusing interviews. The issue is that the campaign has come down hard on reporters who merely sought to ask chelsea questions. You can't have it both ways. Reporters have long respected the clintons desire that we avoid chelsea and let her have her space. But to get angry at reporters seeking to talk to her now is patently unfair. And you know that.

--------------------------
Sent using BlackBerry



-----Original Message-----
From: Philippe Reines
To: David Shuster
Date: Thu, 7 Feb 2008 9:49 p.m.

I think we've each said what we have to say on this matter. Based on this email exchange, we're assuming two things:

1) You are not disputing that you said on air: "But doesn't it seem like she's being--but doesn't it seem as if Chelsea is sort of being pimped out in some weird sort of way?"

2) You have no intention of apologizing for the above.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

He suggested that Mr. Fox had perhaps "gone off his meds" so his Parkinson's symptoms would be exaggerated for maximum political effect. That's not at all the same thing as mocking him or saying he faked it.

Uh...yes, it is. Are you fricking nuts?

Uh....no, it isn't. Are you disingenuous or unable to distinguish between "making fun of" and speculating that Michael J Fox was used and/or allowed himself to be used to forward a political viewpoint?

If you want to argue a point and cast aspersions on people, at least try to be honest about what the person actually said. If you can't do that....no one will ever take you seriously. As they don't do now.

A Diddy said...

Professor, your attitude is truly enlightening. Of course it's fine to refer to "pimping out" while discussing Chelsea Clinton. It's in the Urban Dictionary!!

It's also fine, of course, to say that John's IM's are dumbass, right?

Hey, it's in the Urban Dictionary!! Plus, you post his IMs and ask for comments.

You aren't going to wimp out now and erase this now, are you?!

betsybounds said...

fstopfitzgerald,

No, it's not. And I'm not "frickin' nuts," sir. A conscious decision not to take symptom-suppressing medication to increase apparent symptom intensity is not the same thing as faking symptoms. Rush suggested Fox had done the first, not the second. They are different.

Likewise, Rush's suggesting that Fox had done the first of the above is not at all the same thing as making fun of him (or mocking him, or taunting him) for having said symptoms.

Good grief, indeed.

Mister Snitch! said...

Wow, everyone has entirely missed the real motivation for all this. Why did the Clintons press this issue? Because it's the sort of PC, nappy-headed-ho remark they calculated they could win. What did they win? Not the firing of one reporter - that's incidental. This reporter serves the same purpose as cruxifictions did on the road to Rome. Bodies hanging on crosses, and heads on pikes in public places, were a reminder to the people (or, in this case, the media) NOT to mess with the powers that be. This incident is a tool the Clinton machine is using to remind the media that, when they cover the Clintons, THEY ARE COVERING PEOPLE WHO CAN DESTROY THEIR CAREERS. These reporters may as well be covering their bosses.

That is the entire reason for this. It has nothing to do with moral outrage, Chelsea, or anything else.

Middle Class Guy said...

Fen said...
fstopfitzgerald: [hateful little tantrum]

I see our public schools have replaced reading comprehension with self-esteem training.

Can you explain what exactly you are upset about?



fstop is upset because he was not killed at birth. He has an unnatural affection for Bulwer-Lytton and quaint, esoteric phrases. He was not schooled. When the education system realized what they had, they stuck him in a corner like a plant and left him there for six hours a day. He is a self loathing, self hating little squib who projects these traits to the rest of us.

Meade said...

Shuster has nothing to apologize for.


................................................................................

dust bunny queen said...
...BTW: could someone show how to make a link so I don't have to past the whole url?

Okay, but I usually only do this for people who ask nicely.

SMGalbraith said...

Meade:
Shuster has nothing to apologize for.

Forget about the specific individuals here (Chelsea, the Clintons).

Do you think it's acceptable for a network news correspondent to characterize the use of a candidate's daugher in a presidential campaign as "pimping out their daughter"?

Is this the level of discourse, is the type of language you would want your or our news reporters using?

If this was the Daily Show, fine. But this was a news correspondent on a major cable news network.

I just think it's completely unacceptable.

fstopfitzgerald said...

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Are you disingenuous or unable to distinguish between "making fun of" and speculating that Michael J Fox was used and/or allowed himself to be used to forward a political viewpoint?


It was Rush Limbaugh, talking about Michael J Fox in the context of a closely contested election.

Of course he was making fun of Fox's disease. And he was unambigously suggesting that Fox had gone of his meds to deliberately look bad. He wasn't speculating, even if he said maybe or perhaps or whatever weasel word. He meant what he said and all his wingnut listeners knew exactly what he was saying.

Go watch the clip. There's not even a question about what he was doing.

You're a real piece of work, lady. Apparently there isn't any piece of right-wing scumbaggery you can't rationalize or pretend didn't even happen.

Middle Class Guy said...

Please fire David Shuster.



David Shuster should not be fired. Those above him who forced him to apologize should be fired, publicly and in the most humiliating way imaginable.

The definition of courageous media is yellow bellied coward.

Anthony said...

Reminds me of when Bill was running the first time. He put Hillary up on the stage with him and made her out to be co-president (I think he used that actual phrase at one point). Then after the Repubs criticized her, Bill got all huffy and protective because those nasty conservatives had the nerve to go after his poor, innocent wife.

Such fakers.

Meade said...

SMGalbraith:
"Pimping out their daughter" was exactly what her narcissistic personality disordered parents were doing so, no, I have no problem with a news correspondent on a major cable news network describing, as accurately as possible, what the Clintons were doing.

Unfortunately, those least able to see it tend to be NPD Baby Boomer parents themselves.

It's the nature of the disorder.

fstopfitzgerald said...

Hmm. The same wingnuts who habitually criticize liberals for contributing to the coarsening of the culture are now defending Shuster's use of the phrase "pimped out".

Irony is truly dead....

Middle Class Guy said...

fstopfitzgerald said...
It was Rush Limbaugh, talking about Michael J Fox in the context of a closely contested election.


Do you have some unnatural infatuation or affinity for Michael J. Fox? Did you dream about him when you were a child?

He is only a celebrity, a guy who used to read cue cards. He is only one of many who have a disease. If you are in the public and you enter the arena of politics to push an agenda, you deserved to get slammed once in a while. It is not fair, may not be appropriate, and may be offensive. Tough. That’s life in the real world, not the celebrity bubble.

MJ Fox, who cares?

SMGalbraith said...

"Pimping out their daughter" was exactly what her narcissistic personality

Why couldn't he just say "use" or "send out"?

He could have made the same point without the baggage that "pimping" does.

Look, the Clintons are about as amoral as the Borgia brothers. I carry no brief for them.

I think it is unseemly, unprofessional and unwise for a national correspondent to use such language.

And I'm no fan of Shuster's, that's for sure.

SMGalbraith said...

The same wingnuts who habitually criticize liberals for contributing to the coarsening of the culture

And the same leftwing trash who use the "f" word in every other sentence, who defend the most sickening of images in our culture as being "art", are now concerned about the use of the word "pimping."

If their sanctimony here gets any higher, tears would start pouring through my computer speakers.

Turn it down a couple of notches, Saint Fitzgerald of Piousness.

Meade said...

Why couldn't he just say "use" or "send out"?

He could. But "pimped out" is more precise. The phrase offends you and others. Why?

What should truly offend is the Clintons' behavior.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

And he was unambigously suggesting that Fox had gone of his meds to deliberately look bad. He wasn't speculating, even if he said maybe or perhaps or whatever weasel word.

And, just how is this "making fun of" or "mocking" MJ Fox? I think you need to get back to high school (which I don't think was very long ago for you) and obtain some reading comprehension skills.

If you are debating and use a term, such as "making fun of" or "mocking", then you need to be able to back that up with facts and not just your personal warped interpretation of actual words. You might also look up the definition of the words.

fstopfitzgerald said...

SMGalbraith said...

The same wingnuts who habitually criticize liberals for contributing to the coarsening of the culture

And the same leftwing trash who use the "f" word in every other sentence, who defend the most sickening of images in our culture as being "art", are now concerned about the use of the word "pimping."

If their sanctimony here gets any higher, tears would start pouring through my computer speakers.


I'm not concerned about the use of the word pimping per se. Nor do I particularly give a crap about the alleged coarsening of the culture.

I am amused about the hypocrisy of the use of the word pimping by people who complain about the coarsening of the culture and blame it on liberals.

Like I said, irony is dead.

Bender said...

You're a real piece of work, lady. Apparently there isn't any piece of right-wing scumbaggery you can't rationalize or pretend didn't even happen.

fstopfitzgerald, you misogynistic pig. How DARE you compare Dust Bunny Queen to a used condom. You owe her an apology.

fstopfitzgerald said...

Dust Bunny Queen said...

And he was unambigously suggesting that Fox had gone of his meds to deliberately look bad. He wasn't speculating, even if he said maybe or perhaps or whatever weasel word.

And, just how is this "making fun of" or "mocking" MJ Fox?


Wowie. Somebody needs to ask the Wizard for a brain....

SMGalbraith said...

What should truly offend is the Clintons' behavior.

How about both behaviors?

Anyway, how do we know that Chelsea didn't volunteer? It's certainly possible that she made the decision herself with no pressure from her parents.

If Shuster had evidence that Chelsea was somehow forced or pressured to campaign for her daughter - and he presented none - he might, might have a reason to use a harsher term than "sent out".

What evidence did he produce that she was coerced or ordered out, "pimped" if you will.

I have no doubt that the Clintons wouldn't pressure her; it's that Shuster - the MSNBC national news correspondent after all and not a commentator - didn't present any.

Middle Class Guy said...

“Wolfson also raised the possibility that Clinton would no longer participate in an MSNBC debate, scheduled for Feb. 26.”



There is the reason for the apology and the cowardice. Does anyone really care if Hillary participates in the debate? It will make her look bad and Obama look good, especially if he shows up. The people who run the media are real poltroons. The Hillary camp has no shame, morals, or ethics, just like the candidate.

I would have ignored the campaign and let the issue die. If they backed out of the debate, I would have aired an Obama love fest show. Cowards.

betsybounds said...

fstopfitzgerald:

My, my. Aren't you the clever boy.

Goatwhacker said...

The comments seem to be falling into the usual party lines. Shuster's comments were unseemly and he could have made the same point with different verbiage. The Clinton campaign's apparent shock seems overdone and they are using the event to their benefit.

SMGalbraith said...

If Shuster had evidence that Chelsea was somehow forced or pressured to campaign for her daughter

Campaign for her mother, of course. Not daughter.

William said...

I listen to Limbaugh all the time. When he mocks public figures I dislike, I enjoy him. When he mocks people I like or feel sympathetic to (e.g. John McCain), I get angry and switch stations. We all have double standards regarding the criticism of people we like or dislike. Wouldn't many of the people criticizing Schuster find his remarks trenchant if they were applied to the Bush twins? Wouldn't many of the people supporting Schuster find his remarks repugnant if they were applied to the Bush twins. That said, his remarks were out of line, his apology was grovelling, and NBC's punishment was disproportionate.

Meade said...

"The Clinton campaign's apparent shock seems overdone and they are using the event to their benefit."

Or in plain modern language, they are, as the kids say, pimping out the event to their own benefit.

Karl said...

In the old days, if such a comment was ever made by a reporter, they would have been put in their place immediately for lack of respect, the candidate would be seen as strong and morally correct, and the audience would have shamed Shuster.
Instead, between bouts of public crying, we have a response or threat, hours later by the thin skinned candidate's spin machine.
And we are to see her as a potential world leader? How about we start with an adult reaction? Perhaps they needed time to poll it?
I am neither proud nor ashamed of Chelsea, it's more of a pity I feel. She can have her hedge fund, and her parents.

MikeinSC said...

Hmm, John Kerry and Edwards mention that Cheney's daughter is a lesbian. Conservatives complain and are informed that since she involved herself in the campaign on Cheney's side, she is fair game for criticism.

And HOW many times has Olbermann made similarly rude comments about the Bush twins?

David Schuster --- who is about as anti-Republican as a "news" guy can hope to be --- mentions that the Clintons are pimping out Chelsea.

Chelsea involved herself in the campaign --- but SHE is off-limits.

Intriguing.

Oh, and about this:
It was Rush Limbaugh, talking about Michael J Fox in the context of a closely contested election.

Fox admitted that he would get off his meds to make his symptoms worse in the past. It's not like Rush pulled it out of thin air.

fstopfitzgerald said...

Bender said...

You're a real piece of work, lady. Apparently there isn't any piece of right-wing scumbaggery you can't rationalize or pretend didn't even happen.

fstopfitzgerald, you misogynistic pig. How DARE you compare Dust Bunny Queen to a used condom. You owe her an apology.


You're right, my friend. I crossed the line with that one.

If I ever see Dust Bunny Queen I will offer to buy her a drink to make up for it. A vinegar and water might be nice.

garage mahal said...

"The Clinton campaign's apparent shock seems overdone and they are using the event to their benefit."

Indeed. How dare they actually defend their daughter after being called a whore on national television. Maybe Ann could enlighten us how Chelsea should just take it.....and probably enjoyed it anyway. And did she even report it right away??

MikeinSC said...

Her parents are pimping her out. Don't be upset that others have noticed it.

John said...

Really, how bad is it to say "pimped out"? Is it "nappy-headed hos" bad? Did anyone think Shuster was literally calling Chelsea a whore or even making any reference to her womanly virtue?

Did anyone really think Imus meant that those basketballers were whores?

stupid

Ignorance is Bliss said...

All Americans should be proud of Chelsea Clinton"? ...why should anyone be "proud of" someone else's children?

Someone else's children? Don't you understand that it took a village to raise that child?

Please, try to keep up.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

If I ever see Dust Bunny Queen I will offer to buy her a drink to make up for it. A vinegar and water might be nice.

Actually, I drink a glass of unfiltered cider vinegar mixed with water every morning. Good for the cholesterol and digestion doncha know. :-)

Ann Althouse said...

On the subject of whether Shuster could have picked a better word: Yes, of course. "Exploited" would have done the trick. (Can we say "done the trick"?) The issue, however, is whether the uproar over the word he did use is justified. I am saying no to that.

And I don't think he was playing the role of a news correspondent when he said that. He was a news commentator, right?

SMGalbraith says: "What evidence did he produce that she was coerced or ordered out, "pimped" if you will."

Is that how pimps operate? I thought they had more devious techniques.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

How dare they actually defend their daughter after being called a whore on national television.

When in reality, they were being called the pimps.

The whole thing is being blown out of proportion for distraction purposes.

Kirk Parker said...

rhhardin,

You can get the <angle-brackets> to show up by writing the "html entity" code for them: &lt; for < and &gt; for >. (The entity codes here stand for "less-than" and "greater-than" so they're fairly mnemonic.) Similarly, &amp; is the ampersand, which I used to create the written-out html entities (the bolded parts above.) The code for ampersand, in turn, is written for display purposes as &amp;amp; and so on ad infinitum.

SMGalbraith said...

Is that how pimps operate? I thought they had more devious techniques.

I'll defer to the expertise of others, but I assumed that pimps ordered their, er, "staff" out each evening.

Coerced, ordered, forced.

And if the "staff" didn't follow, they would be beaten, thrown out, cutoff, et cetera. Not your ideal working conditions.

It's non-union work, as far as I know.

Middle Class Guy said...

MSNBC has demonstrated not only cowardice, but hypocrisy in forcing Matthews and Shuster to apologize. Keith Olbermann makes vicious, poisonous, vitriolic, and hate filled statements on a nightly basis. He never has to apologize to anyone. Mr. Olbermann is consistently allowed to spew his rage and hatred unfettered. MSNBC cares not what he says. The executives who created this PC mess should be fired by the parent of NBC. If Jack Welch were still running GE, this probably would not have happened.

fstopfitzgerald said...

Why is Chelsea Clinton so ugly? Because her father is Janet Reno."

-- Sen. John McCain, speaking to a Republican dinner, June 1998.


Shuster's a piker compared to this asshole.

Meade said...

Ain't it the truth babe?

Cedarford said...

Another Al Sharpton-Jesse moment of faked outrage along with various punishment - contrition - forgiveness theater applied to keep media types in line and PC.

And the civil rights crowd got the whole act from the communists who started the NAACP and the later on Euro transplants Herbert Marcuse - who got it from their ancestors - the Bolshevik Jews and West Europe Jewish COMINTERN radicals who took their experience in European drama and theater to create Revolutionary Theater in the early Soviet Union. Where the stakes were played for real, and consquences far more severe than in America.

Fail the audition then in front of a Soviet - and you may just not get simply the PC apology & ritualistic humiliation tour of going out and saying how sorry you were for thinking there was free speech..Or you lose your career and access to the fresher beets and pig's knuckles. But get more, possibly lots worse.

You possibly got re-education camps, the Gulag, or even the bullet to the back of your neck for the most minor of transgressions that even hinted that you were a class enemy or reactionary.

Denunciations - Denials - Group Anger & Outrage - Admission of Error - Judgment By Group - Punishment by Triad (Powers that be for Angering the Group) - Apologies - Sentence...

It has a long history. Some say the Bolshevik Jews didn't invent it but took it from the Inquisition. Where it was intended on ferreting out false conversions to Christianity - after Jews had a choice of conversion or expulsion for collaborating with the Muslim invader in Spain.

**********************
It appears the only difference between the Clintons and other campaigns is that other campaigns do not insist on a shield of immunity for family members active in the campaign.
Despite a little initial clucking about not pressing the "family" of Edwards, Obama, Romney - the candidates themselves said Elizabeth, Michelle, Anne, the 5 Romney sons were active and would take questions....and there was none of the Clinton's lip-quivering How-Dare-You!!!! high dungeon when some reporter went after something family on the campaign trail said.

There is a difference. Between being a vacantly grinning John McCain trophy wife not getting involved other than showing up to adore her man in public, and so getting a media "pass". And Chelsea Clinton. Actively leading rallies, giving speeches, making donor and Superdelegate calls to put the screws on Obama, then saying the Clinton policy is a child like her (25??) should not be interviewed.

And there should be no difference. We are not talking about Obama's young kids or the dog-hanging son of Huckabee not mixing it up with crowds in Huckabees campaign, who thus has nothing to do with Huck's candidacy.

Chelsea should be treated just like the 5 Romney sons who in that cheerful Mormon way, happily answer dumb reporter's questions of why if we are in Iraq and their Dad supports it - were they not themselves in the military. Anticipating Iraq. Meaning from ten to twenty-two years ago when they were of age to join, and didn't. Just like 9/10ths of their peers didn't.
Let Chelsea answer the dumb questions! Let her handle Schuster's dumb crack about pimping like the Romney's kids ridicule reporters who clumsily impugne their patriotism for not serving to help make their Dad look better 10-20 years after when they would have joined up, for his support of a War none of the 5 anticipated...

(Unlike Chelsea, actually, who could have enlisted at the peaak recruiting age of 18-22 right after 9/11.) Not that Schuster, after his punishment and contrition phase will dare ask her why she didn't join up after 9/11..

Clintons must be treated with higher respect than Romneys. It's in the new journalist rulebook somewhere...

************
rhhardin said...
People who feed birds already know that niger seed is being marketed as nyjer seed nowadays.


At least they didn't market it as "N-Word Seed".

I always thought, given Bush's malapropriate speech and mangled words, with certain big gaps in his knowledge, that he flubbed a great opportunity to shock the media and the Black Caucus in his SOTU address when discussing uranium in Niger.

I'm still waiting for the PC-driven noose ban. And how blacks will reconcile that with 90% of the monofiliament knots used in tying hooks and leaders are the same or variants of the hangman's noose. Noose ban, thus no more fishing for catfish and crappies?? An existential moment..

Saul said...

I saw it in real time and there was no reaction from any others on the show, because it was a nothing comment. This is more Clinton bullshit to draw away attention from Barack. Ironically, the other day I was thinking about how Bill IS A PIMP, so what does that make Hillary.

MadisonMan said...

Okay, I just listened to the apology. Barf. The word obsequious springs to mind.

I think SMGalbraith has it right: this Shuster guy is either a journalist reporting the national news, or he's making commentary. You can't do both. If Shuster has evidence that they're pimping out their daughter -- meaning they're paying her for this and she's doing it very unwillingly, he should produce it.

SMGalbraith said...

meaning they're paying her for this and she's doing it very unwillingly,

It doesn't have to be financial.

It could be emotional pressure.

Could.

Shuster, in his role as a commentator, presented no evidence of this.

Then, in his role as correspondent, he is going to cover the Clintons?

No can do. It's either one or the other.

Meade said...

Saul said...
... Ironically, the other day I was thinking about how Bill IS A PIMP, so what does that make Hillary?

a pimple?

SMGalbraith said...

Oy, Shuster's suspension should have been doubled just for that apology.

No, tripled.

Brings whole new meaning to the word unctuous.

James said...

betsybounds said...

fstopfitzgerald,

No, it's not. And I'm not "frickin' nuts," sir. A conscious decision not to take symptom-suppressing medication to increase apparent symptom intensity is not the same thing as faking symptoms. Rush suggested Fox had done the first, not the second. They are different.

Likewise, Rush's suggesting that Fox had done the first of the above is not at all the same thing as making fun of him (or mocking him, or taunting him) for having said symptoms.

Good grief, indeed.

Um, I just watched the video of Rush. He says that either Fox isn't taking the pills or he is "acting." Straight from the horse('s ass)'s mouth. Not to mention that those movements are actually often the side effect of taking the medication, as those who don't often become essentially immobile. So, in addition to being utterly classless, Limbaugh showed his complete lack of intelligence.

Meanwhile, Fox responded with class, simply saying that some people don't know the effects of the disease or the medication, and didn't take the bait to rip on Limbaugh (perhaps for his problems with not skipping his meds?)

Beth said...

I don't want to see press members fired because of complaints from politicians or officeholders. It makes Hillary look tyrannical, and I don't like it.

At the same time, she certainly should have protested the "pimping" remark. What's unusual about a candidate's adult daughter working for her campaign? And how does "pimping" explain what Schuster said is his real issue, that Chelsea isn't available to the press on demand? It was a stupid remark, and indicative of idiotic press coverage.

Middle Class Guy said...

Meade said...
Saul said...
... Ironically, the other day I was thinking about how Bill IS A PIMP, so what does that make Hillary?

a pimple?



Christ, I wonder what would happen if you gave her a little squeeze?

Meade said...

"It makes Hillary look tyrannical..."

and looks can be revealing.

Blake said...

To my ear, "exploit" (which is the most accurate term) sounds even worse. "Pimped out" has a more playful sound precisely because it's not literal.

But I do find it amusing that there's this sudden interest on the left about separating commentary from reportage, and how if Schuster holds those particular feelings he can't report on the Clintons. It doesn't seem to bother them when it's a right-leaning candidate who's being raked over the coals.

rhhardin said...

I'd expect Chelsea to be working for Obama.

MadisonMan said...

I think the apology by Shuster is very very close to a SNL parody.

MadisonMan said...

It doesn't seem to bother them when it's a right-leaning candidate who's being raked over the coals.

Perhaps you can enlighten me: When was a right-leaning candidate's offspring raked over the coals like Chelsea has been? As far as I can tell, Chelsea's only error in life was being born to Bill and Hillary.

MikeinSC said...

You mean besides the Bush twins?

Outside of them?

montana urban legend said...

I wonder how American society would have reacted if we'd fought for our independence from Queen Victoria, rather than from her grandfather, George III?

JohnG said...

At 27, Chelsea Clinton is five years older than Monica Lewinsky was when she earned her "knee pads". Hillary's people certainly pulled no punches in trying to discredit Ms. Lewinsky.

This is just another example of Hillary hiding behind gender whenever it's convenient. "Women are weak and therefore can't be criticized" seems to be the message.

How long before we have Chelsea shedding a tear in public about the hurtful comment?

But maybe I'm being too harsh. At 27, Chelsea is, after all, just a child. And, like 27 (and 37, and 47, ...) year-olds everywhere, in need of the nurture, wisdom, and yes, sometimes control that can only be provided by those with more experience and a more enlightened world view.

Kyle said...

Some post, some thread. Ample evidence that, if you hate someone badly enough, it becomes highly difficult to think honestly about any issue that somehow sprouts a connection to the hate object.

You can still try to think straight, of course. You can try to be honest. Or you can be Ann Althouse.

In other words ... saying that a mother is pimping out her daughter is really very offensive indeed. Even if the mother is Hillary Clinton.

Trooper York said...

Beth you are normally so sensible. If Chelsea wants to get invovled in politics, she has to take a hit now and again. Politics ain't bean bag....she could stay out of politics like JFK's kids....you never hear Caroline getting invovled in politics....what...she did what....ok never mind.

rhhardin said...

Jesus is forced to apologize for an ill-considered parable

via The Imus Times

MadisonMan said...

mikeinsc, I do recall some snarky comments directed towards the Bush Twins when they were arrested for underage drinking. I don't think this is the same -- what crime is Chelsea being accused of?

Maybe you're thinking of some other example, though?

Trooper York said...

Well MadisonMan some left wing sites published pictures of a girl who looked just like Jenna in what we could call a Britney Spears getting into the limo shot. If you know what I mean(full frontal cootch). It was big deal for a while.

All I can say is....thank you.

dick said...

MM,

I would be thinking of all the calls for Bush to send his twins to war for one, the remarks that when they were having a good time they should have been doing something for the people, etc. Meanwhile did anyone ever say that Clinton should have sent Chelsea to Kosovo - and that war was not even supported by the Congress at all. The twins never treated people asking them questions the way Chelsea treated the school reporter; in fact they went out of their way to do something for the people by teaching and working with the underprivileged. See Chelsea do anything like that at all? Yet which one gets the kid gloves treatment, the twins or Chelsea - and she is older than they are. In addition she spends her life trying to be a Boomer while they spend theirs helping others. Which one is more worthy of support, the twins or Chelsea. YMMV.

MadisonMan said...

Now that Jenna and Barbara have settled down, I see very little negative press on them. Sure, there was lots when they were wild college students, but happily, like many college students who enjoy a tipple, they've emerged into adulthood whole. As they've behaved less like spoiled rich kids and more like productive members of society, their negative press has gone away. This should surprise no one.

Chelsea, on the other hand, did not do the wild college student thing. At least not that I know of. And she also has emerged as a productive member of society. Somehow, however, the negative sniping at her never goes away.

John Stodder said...

The loser in all this: Hillary Clinton. It was tin-eared to ask for an apology. David Shuster, seemingly reading a script written by an intern in Clinton's PR unit, reminded me of a POW making a statement at gunpoint.

Networks kao-taoing to the Clinton organization? An old story. But it's not charming anymore.

Fen said...

David Navetta: What I find extremely funny are the rightwing blowhards on this board, who if in the same situation as the Clintons would probably voice the same concerns and complaints to defend their own daughter. THINK PEOPLE. NBC is a news organization. How this qualifies as "news" is beyond me.

Take your own advice David. THINK.

Chelsea is working on the campaign trail. That means her actions will come under scrutiny by the media. She is in play.

Its not the same as attacking her because she's part of the first family and [through no fault of her own] living in the White House.

Besides, the comment was directed at Hillary for exploiting her daughter, not at Chelsea herself.

Fen said...

/bump

Shuster: "The issue is that the campaign has come down hard on reporters who merely sought to ask chelsea questions. You can't have it both ways. Reporters have long respected the clintons desire that we avoid chelsea and let her have her space. But to get angry at reporters seeking to talk to her now is patently unfair. And you know that."

Fen said...

MM: When was a right-leaning candidate's offspring raked over the coals like Chelsea has been?

I'm a bit confused. When has she been raked over the coals?

All I remember is her taking some heat for verbally abusing her secret service detail.

And again, the remark was aimed at Hillary not Chelsea.

Beth said...

trooper, my head's still on straight. Of course she'll take some heat, but that doesn't make his remark less stupid. If he meant to complain that she's off limits to the press, then that would have been a perfectly reasonable thing to do. But his remark was just silly and snipish. If she's being "pimped" by campaigning for her mother, then every political family member who campaigns is as well. If the press takes a fair shot, then good for them. But just carping for the sake of carping is stupid.

Michael said...

Same thing, different day. Those who hate the Clintons want them to shut up and ie and those who like them want them to have complained even more.

Can we just deal with policies???

Michael said...

"Limbaugh actually got in trouble years ago for insulting Chelsea on his TV show, back when Clinton was president"

LOL, good one!

Ummm......WHEN did he "get in trouble" - oh DO tell!?

I sure as hell never heard about it, he was defended by every wingnut in the country, LMAO!

pat said...

Sexist comments like this about Chelsea didn't occur to journalists apparently during the Romney campaign, nor the Bush, nor Cheney campaign.

Isn't this a sampling of the 10 year long campaign/conspiracy to bring down the Clinton's?

Since Chelsea alone has been singled out for this disgusting remark, shouldn't she be suing for defamation as a family member, not the candidate, and a private person?

There is no excuse for this kind of sexual harassment.