Posted by: distributorcap | February 23, 2008

Pimping vs. Lynching

Two weeks ago, MSNBC Report David Shuster was suspended for making a remark about Chelsea Clinton’s role in her mother’s campaign. He used the term “pimped out” in reference to Chelsea’s phone calls to supporters and superdelegates in the Democratic Party. After the Clinton campaign protested and threatened MSNBC, Shuster apologized via a taped message and was suspended from his job for two weeks. For context, Shuster’s remarks came on the heels of Chris Matthews (also of MSNBC) accusation that the only reason Hillary won her Senate race in New York was because her husband had an affair.

On Thursday, Shuster returned to the air doing a canned piece on the New York Times story regarding the relationship between John McCain and lobbyist Vicki Iseman. I guess they are easing him back into the good graces of the viewers. Shuster served his suspension and said he had no regrets and has learned to “watch” what he says.

I can fully see how people, especially women would find Shuster’s choice of words (as opposed to choice of story) inappropriate and offensive. In light of the swirling storm, Shuster immediately apologized (as did Keith Olbermann for Shuster acting as an intermediary). I thought this apology was sufficient and that the suspension was really overboard, but that is just my opinion. (as a note, Matthews also apologized for his Hillary remarks.)

David Shuster is a first class reporter that has a lot of knowledge (and opinions) about inside-the-Beltway soap opera politics. His analysis of the whole Plame-gate mess was superb and not swayed by the bullshit coming out of the Bush Adminstration. Shuster’s discussion of what Chelsea Clinton did regarding her phone calls was accurate and worth reporting, but his choice of words was poor and ill-timed (in light of Matthews remarks). David suffered the consequences of his (and Matthews) actions and I felt his apology was heartfelt and appropriate.

Let’s contrast that against what Bill O’Reilly said about Michelle Obama the other night. Mrs. Obama has been receiving harsh criticism (especially from the wingut fuckers on the right) about her remark “For the first time in her adult life that she is proud of her country.”

First let me say that Michelle Obama did not say anything offensive to anyone. But she made the fatal mistake of offending pea brains on the right like O’Reilly who think that if you are not 100% jingoistic and completely swallowed in by the Republican form of patriotism you are a commie pinko islamofascist. Hey Bill – I am gonna tell you that I am NOT proud to be an American right now. When we have garbage like George W. Bush leading us down a cesspool to hell, when the whole world hates us, when we have a government that is non-functional and delusional and when we are destroying an entire country for the sake of a couple of barrels of oil – pride is not something that would sit in my brain right now.

In his discussion of the comments made by Michelle Obama, Bill O’Reilly took a call from a listener who stated that:

according to “a friend who had knowledge of her,” Obama ” ‘is a very angry,’ her word was ‘militant woman.’ ” O’Reilly later stated: “I don’t want to go on a lynching party against Michelle Obama unless there’s evidence, hard facts, that say this is how the woman really feels. If that’s how she really feels — that America is a bad country or a flawed nation, whatever — then that’s legit. We’ll track it down.”

So O’Reilly thinks it is OK to “lynch” Michelle Obama for not being proud to be an American (which is NOT what she said) and being “the angry black woman.”

David Tabacoff, O’Reilly’s toadie producer then got into the fray by saying:

“What Bill said was an obvious repudiation of anyone attacking Michelle Obama,” he said, according to Fox spokeswoman. “As he has said more than ten times, he is giving her the benefit of the doubt.”

Oh yea right, O’Reilly was defending Michelle Obama.

As much as “pimping out” is offensive to women, using the word “lynch” in reference to African-Americans is even more odious and disgusting.

It took a few days (and I would bet a few twisted arms) for this “heart felt” apology to come from O’Reilly:

“While talking to a radio caller, I said there should be no lynching in the case, that comment off Clarence Thomas saying he was the victim of a high tech lynching (he said that on 60 Minutes, you may remember). I’m sorry if my statement offended anybody. That, of course, was not the intention. Context is everything.”

That was his apology! Suspension — are you fucking kidding? – Bill got a trip to the Tonight Show. Does anyone really think that Roger Ailes, a hemorrhoid disguised as human would lose his cash cow for two weeks? And since when has integrity been a word that appears in the Fox News style book.

Say what you want about MSNBC – agree or disagree, they took action on Shuster. Fox News – I don’t know if laughing or crying is more appropriate. O’Reilly (and throw in Ailes) are the definitions of a despicable human beings. Their whole mantra is ignorance and anger. O’Reilly’s remarks are not made out of stupidity, but rather evilness. He is myopic, shallow, arrogant and truly an insult to humanity. I will “sort of” plagiarize Michelle Obama – I really ashamed as an American that we allow a piece of shit like O’Reilly to be given a vehicle to spew his hate and crassness over the airwaves.

And we wonder why this country is going to hell in a handbasket


  1. I am delighted to see the excellent David Shuster return to MSNBC.His suspension (and the piling on by the likes of Keith Olbermann and Dan Abrams) was ridiculous on the merits.The fact is, Billary and the Borg Queen are pimping out Princess Chelsea and the Borg Queen’s outrage and follwoing efforts to have Shuster fired and his career ruined, is selective and pathetic.In 1998, John McCain told a GOP audience the reason Chelsea is so ugly is because Janet Reno is her father. Yet, the Borg Queen considers McCain a “close friend.”In any event, soon we will have a Democratic nominee it ain’t gonna’ be Hillary Clinton. Thank goodness for that.

  2. America loves its crass hate. We are a nation of adolescents, after all. Oh, and don’t forget nipples and bare asses. I can’t remember if they’re good or bad. Faux outrage, but then I see all-but-pimping in advertising.America is a funny place.Now, if Merrill is out huckstering and hawking his wares, is he pimping Lynch?

  3. This all reminds me of a joke we used to tell in the newsroom when I was a reporter:”What’s the difference between a print journalist and a broadcast journalist?”Print journalists think broadcast journalists are shallow and broadcast journalists think print journalists have bad haircuts.What I’m really trying to say here is that any decent, professional journalist (or pundit) covering legitimate news should know what incendiary words to avoid using.It’s simply unacceptable to use words like pimp, lynch, whore, nappy-headed, faggot, dyke, retard, gimp, pussy, cripple, handicapped, harelip, etc.Television “newspeople” have made way for pundits- which I think is a word that means “a hack with biased opinions.”We know which ones have dicey reputations, yet still we watch then we react in horror when they say something ignorant.That’s on us as consumers, no?

  4. If they David Lynch’d her, I’d watch the movie but what the Fox?

  5. You can make anything into a controversy if you act indignant about it and have enough power to make people sell into it.

  6. Frankly, I couldn’t get whipped up about what David Shuster said. Pimped has become part of the vernacular that even the PTA mother use around here. And they’re not even saying like “let’s pimp out our kids for a few bucks to buy some vodka….”Nope, they’re saying it as in “let’s pimp out those Campbell’s soup labels so we can buy us some new playground equipment….”But we’re not tossing around the word lynch. Nope, not even here in Georgia.

  7. You know- I found that whole flap overdone from start to finish. He chose his words poorly.The O’Reillys/Hannitys/Coulters/Limbaughs say all kind of evil shit all day long with narry a thought to it by anyone.Then the minute Shuster did this the world goes mad.I also think this does show an ugly side to the Clinton camp- they need to simmer down.It was one thing having a lock on Chelsea when she was a kid. She is an adult now and people will take swipes.I am glad that Michelle Obama feels proud of her country, at least a little.I do not.

  8. Hi,I see you have a comment on Politits saying you are going to participate in the March 19th Blogswarm Against the Iraq War. Is it all right if we include your blog on the list of participating blogs?

  9. chris — his suspension was ridiculous — O Reilly and Rush have ssaid much worse — and no one blinks.i didnt know that about McCain, I remember than other right wing shitheads made fun of Chelsearandal — as always, right onkaren — again right on. in the newsroom at work there certain words, phrases etc that are flat out banned – period, even innocuous ones.dale – i wont Rush to judgement on thatck – yep — and the deep partisanship in this country constantly makes mountains out of Limbaugh ass pimplesdcup — exactly my point. pimping is no big deal of a word — but it is totally “banned” in the newsroomfran — shitheads like O’Reilly LOOK for reasons to hate and one sniff on unpatriotic in their eyes is enough the get a ball rolling. O’reilly should rot in helllibhom — absolutely, will leave a note on your blog

  10. Thanks, you have been added to the list of blogs.

  11. The “validity” of the comments aside, MSNBC should have told the Bitch campaign; “go ahead. Cut your own throat. Sue us.” Michelle Obama should have kept her face shut. If she didn’t know she would be pouring gas on a flaming idiot, then perhaps Obama should bow out.There is a thing called “Freedom of Speech.” No matter who makes the “speech.” There is also a thing called “Freedom of the Press”, and we’ve watched it become nonexistent because of bowing to threats such as this. The viewing, and reading public will decide if the comments were inappropriate, and register their complaints by not watching the channel, or reading the paper.The suspension of Shuster or anybody else should never happen, short of death threats being made. Again, the viewing public will dole out what, if any, “punishment” he should get.But as we all know, Bush, for some reason, has all the MSM cowering in fear, and in his pocket. The Bitch only proved conclusively she is nothing but Bush Lite.

  12. Wow, there are a lot of times when I’m grateful that I don’t have cable. Tweety comes to mind, & O’Reilly also.

  13. I agree with FranIan, the Clintons have positioned their daughter into the media with Hillary run for President. On the other hand, Michelle Obama is out there for her husband is is fair game as well.What I find unacceptable is the fact that not once but twice now Obama has taken the stage and people have been allowed to enter where he’s appeared with no security check what so ever.Sticks and sones can break your bones and maybe even kill you.Words hurt, but I guess it depends on who’s saying them.To leave a man unprotected who is running for President is foolish and dangerous and most of all deadly.

  14. DCap – This simple contrast you’ve drawn for us just goes to show how deeply ingrained the “Love America – wrong or right” mentality is among Bill O’Reilly and his target audience. I picked up on the fact that Bill would go on a lynching party if he could, and is probably amongst those millions of white, middle-aged American men who want to see a return to Jim Crow-era laws. Personally, I think David Schuster deserved a suspension, not because he inappropriately used the word “pimping” in the context of Chelsea Clinton (we’ve all “pimped somebody in our lives, heven’t we?), but because he was trying to be “hip”. Nothing makes me cringe more than seeing suit (and I’m one) use words my daughter or son would use in normal conversation. Next thing you know Schuster will be riding in a pimped out car that bounces and is low to the ground, while listing to 50-Cent.

  15. I’m indifferent to David Shuster’s return. I thought he was your basic MSM bullshit artist when he was with NPR and he’s more so now with NBC. I don’t believe in censorship so I don’t think he should have been punished. I would like to have heard a fuller explanantion from him about what this “pimping Chelsea Clinton out” jazz was all about.I’ve been on this topic before, but “lynch” is a far worse word than people realize. It was not a matter of vigilante justice. It was slow, cultural sadism for maximum entertainment value. I don’t believe Bill O’Reilly should be censored either. I’d also like to hear him explain exactly what he meant.I can’t really find too much fault in anything Michelle Obama has done, said or studied in school. And it is hard to FEEL American if you are from an immigrant family and depending on how one leans as an African-American it could be much harder. Who is anybody to judge?

  16. Shuster’s comment was inappropriate and insensitive. His apology appeared heartfelt and sincere. A sanction was appropriate, but this one was more severe than the offense warranted. O’Reilly’s comment was racist and hateful. He should be fired for it, but will probably get a raise from the Bush/GOP Reichsministry of Propaganda.

  17. I think the Shuster comment reaction was madness. It is clear that he didn’t literally mean the campaign was selling her for sex, rather than using her for political gain. That some folks got in such a tizzy is disappointing. At the same time, while I think the Michelle Obama comment is overblown as well, I think it is clear that O’Reilly didn’t actually use lynching to its historical meaning either. Perhaps they should have chosen their words better, but we also need to become a lot less sensitive about these types of situations. The debate should be about the meaning or intent, rather than the wording.

  18. It’s going to get worse after the nominees are chosen.But I do feel bad for Chelsea, I mean, she couldn’t help it that those people are her parents, wow that must really be bizarre.

  19. When someone like Shuster uses a word injudiciously, it’s an aberration in a long and respected career.When someone like O’Reilly uses a word injudiciously, it’s part of a long and disgusting career of disgusting hate-mongering and intentionally inflamatory bullshit.I could roll my eyes at Shuster’s remark and move on, but O’Reilly ought to be publicly mocked and outed as a total ass-hole every time he does something like this.Because that’s what he is.And for the record, I’m disgusted by the actions of my government, embarrassed by the attitudes and ignorance of many, many Americans, and ashamed of what my country represents in the world.But there’s a copy of the U.S. Constitution sitting right here near my elbow, which I’d willingly die to defend.Go ahead, O’Reilly, tell ME I’m not an American.

  20. Damn, I was going to use “harelip” in my next post.

  21. Well said, DCap. The Bill O’Reilly’s of the world get a pass when they’re the ones who do this stuff all the time. It is reprehensible.

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