The graphic anecdote was made Thursday night while Shuster acted as substitute host on MSNBC's Tucker video and transcript at Media Mattersâand noted there was something "unseemly" about the Clinton daughter contacting celebrities and Democratic National Committee superdelegates. "Doesn't it seem like Chelsea's sort of being pimped out in some weird sort of way?" he asked a guest.
Not really. There are numerous recent examples of adult sons and daughters campaigning for parents, such as Mitt Romney's five sons, the Bush twins, or, Kate Edwards or Karenna Gore. Regardless of where you stand on Clinton or Sen. Barack Obama, "pimping" is probably not the best word you want used to describe your daughter's work. The term has become ubiquitous across pop cultureâsuch as MTV's Pimp My Rideâbut that doesn't make it right. It's still distasteful and disrespectful. Progressive blogger Taylor Marsh probably speaks for many feminists, noting Chelsea Clinton is "not some chick robot turning political tricks for her mother, showing cleavage and thigh, while hoping to get cash for some hustler."
Shuster's quasi and faux apology the next morning on Morning Joeâwhose host, Joe Scarborough, is a former Republican congressmanâwas totally inadequate. More upsetting is the entire mail exchange between Shuster and the Clinton campaign, posted at the Politico, where the reporter "stood his ground" and refused to make a private apology.
Shuster's comments are part of a larger pattern of bias against women, blacks and gays by the all-white male anchor team at MSNBC and well-documented at Rod 2.0. Where to begin? Don Imus was fired for his infamous remarks against the Rutgers' women's basketball team. Tucker Carlson has been criticized for his remarks on Barack Obama's bi-racial heritage, and, was forced to apologize to gays after boasting about "beating up" a gay man who made a pass at him. Then, of course, there is frat house chairman Chris Matthews, whose on-air antics are well-documented and was recently forced to make another on-air apology. If you don't speak out against the offensive language used to describe Hillary and Chelsea Clinton, make no mistake, you're giving license to describe Michelle Obama and her daughters in the same manner.
The Mess at MSNBC [Media Matters]
Shuster Falsely Claimed Chelsea [Media Matters]
NBC Makes News on Clintons [NY Times]
Reporter Initially Defended Chelsea Comment [Politico]
David Shuster Says Chelsea "Pimped" [Taylor Marsh]
Some Background ...
All White Panel on MSNBC's Tucker: Is Obama Black Enough? [R20]
Tucker Carlson Says He Assaulted Man [Pam Spaulding]
Matthews on Giuliani: The Country "Wants Fascism" [R20]
Matthews on Hillary: "How Many Times is She Going to Be Confused by Men?" [R20]
Matthews is Obsessed with Hillary's Sex Life [R20]
Matthews and Newsweek: Mitt Romney is "Buff" [R20]