Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Pimp My Douche Bag

Did Clinton react honestly
to a swipe at her daughter and a pattern of unfair treatment?


Did she seize upon a sympathy peg to coldly exploit it?

Who's the bigger douche bag? Hillary Clinton or Steve Capus?


This incident exposes the myth of the free press and shows the penchant so-called news executives have to kiss powerful ass.

L'Affaire Shuster: Big Camel, Big Straw

Huffington Post

The arc of l'affaire David Shuster has been interesting to observe,* from shock and outrage to debate over whether it merited suspension to the release of the letter from Hillary Clinton to NBC President Steve Capus and the email exchange between Shuster and Clinton staffer Phillippe Reines, to the Monday-morning quarterbacking (i.e. "Give Shuster a break!" on The View to "MSNBC is a pit of unfettered misogyny!" on Media Matters) and, of course, to the backlash back at Clinton, who either reacted honestly to a swipe at her daughter and a pattern of unfair treatment or seized upon a sympathy peg and coldly exploited it, depending on which excitable commenter you read on which blog.

There's a lot to it — and I do think it's fair to look at the situation in the larger context. Here's the question I asked myself when I heard about Shuster's suspension from MSNBC for wondering on-air if Chelsea Clinton had been "pimped out" for her mother's campaign: Would this have happened without Chris Matthews? The this here is two-pronged, referring to the suspension and to the remark itself, but the answer to both questions, I think, is no.

There are three issues here: (1) Shuster's remark as inappropriate because it was sexist/sexually implicative; (2) Shuster's remark as inappropriate because it reflected a bias against the Clintons; (3) Shuster as scapegoat for greater issues at MSNBC.

Let's examine them in turn. I don't think anyone who heard that comment thought Shuster was suggesting that Chelsea Clinton was selling her body to superdelegates and turning the proceeds over to her mother. The use of the word pimp as a verb has entered the vernacular in recent years, thanks to shows like MTV's Pimp My Ride and songs like Jay Z's "Big Pimpin'." See Urban Dictionary for the recent alternative definition:

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