Punks a Punking, Pimps a Pimping

Slammed, I am, tending to an injured mare, figuring out what to do with multiple downed trees, and having both cars break down the same day. But I couldn’t not check in to opine on two things:

“One Punk Under God” This is a documentary shown in parts on The Sundance Channel. It follows the son of Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker, Jay, as he struggles to keep alive a small ministry while reconciling with his dad. I’m sure many of you are already familiar with this series, (I am seldom on the leading edge of ANY pop culture) but i watched an episode last night and now I’m hooked. In last night’s show, Jay visited his mom, and then went back to his church to proclaim that it is morally wrong for Christian churches to deny rights, and access to the church, to Gay Christians. In doing so, he is expecting to lose his major funding source, as so far unnamed “conservative entity.” Anyway, I’m hooked.

David Shuster, one of MSNBC’s better reporters, uttered a phrase so blatantly pejorative, so hopelessly stupid, so completely unprofessional, that it totally boggles the mind. I like Shuster, as I said above, he is a first rate reporter, and I hoped he would ultimately replace that spoiled frat boy, Tucker Carlson. He apologized several times on the air, but it didn’t seem that he understood what consequences might follow. He has been “suspended” by MSNBC, whatever that means.

His career may not survive. I hope it does, just as I hoped Imus’s career would go on. I wonder how much the “culture” of MSNBC encourages this kind of thing? Ratings rule, and much like blog posts, there can be a footrace to the bottom resulting from the need to create controversy. Its a disturbing trend. In my opinion, he had every right to question the Clinton campaign about Chelsea’s activities, since she is actively campaigning. She is 28 yrs old, which is old enough to know that participating in a national campaign means attention from the press. She is indeed “fair game.”

Shuster is smart, smart enough to have been able to make his point without resorting to disparaging street slang. Chelsea endured brutal attacks during her father’s Presidency, all of them unfair and rather pointless. I understand her parent’s anger at Shuster, but only for his choice of words, and its implications, not for drawing attention to the fact that she is shielded from questions from reporters.

Someone I know and love contacted me yesterday and was furious that the Obama campaign had not issued a statement calling for Shuster to apologize. They felt that the failure to do so was proof that the Obama campaign is “just as dirty as any politician’s campaign.” I didn’t agree, but I’m curious if others might see that point. Anyone got a link, or opinion?


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19 responses to “Punks a Punking, Pimps a Pimping

  1. democommie


    If he had something about the Bush twins (who have given the Hilton girls a run for their money at times) he would be shitcanned–instantly. MSNBC has folks like Chris “Tweety” Matthews who was so far up Bushco’s ass that it’s amazing his hair stayed blond. The Cheneys, the Bushes, Rick Santorum, Larry Craig, and so many other really unsavory republicans have done or said really nasty stuff and, largely, gotten a pass from the MSM. Hillary Clinton, who is not on a list of people I’d want to be “Lost” with, is fair game–Bill, too. But, until they decide to give equal treatment to the drug addicts and partiers on the right, they need to lay off Chelsea.

    If Obama had made a statement, other people would have said that he was piling on or trying to bask in the reflected outrage. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

  2. I gotta say I think it’d be hard for Obama to demand an apology for every public attack (however inappropriate) on the Clintons. He’s have no time left to campaign.

    I think if it were an on-going attack campaign, it might be nice of him to issue a statement, but a single comment?

  3. Hogwash.

    This is big-boy politics. Chelsea should go back to her 300k a year gig with the hedge fund if this is too harsh for her.

    Shuster meant no more offense than Kelly Tilghman meant with her “lynch” comment regarding Tiger Woods. The verb “pimp” has expanded its definition to not only mean “selling something in a public forum”, it also means to “customize an automobile”. When some celebrity appears on a chat-show, it is a common phrase among television people that the person is there to “pimp” their product.

    Hillary’s poll numbers get a boost whenever she can don the mantle of the victim. This is no difference.

  4. democommie


    I don’t like engaging you, because it’s generally pretty pointless.

    However. This guy wasn’t on Opie and Anthony in morning drive time. How about if said something about Bush’s loony religious justifcations for the war on Iraq? How about if he had made jokes about Cheney shooting somebody in the face. I’m not saying other folks don’t do that on a pretty regular basis. I’m saying that this guy is supposed to be a professional journalist. I don’t think any stylebook that’s currently in print would say that a use of the word, “pimp” in any context where it isn’t used to indicate the practice of managing prostitutes is professional.

    I gather you don’t like Chelsea, that’s fine. I don’t like the Bush twins or any of the other members of that sick family. I can say what I like about them, you can say what you like about Chelsea or anyone else. Neither of us is (or, in my case, ever likely to be) a paid, professional journalist.

    David Schuster IS a paid journalist; obviously his professionalism is subject to question. Kelly Tilghman is not only unprofessional, she’s an idiot. To be in the business of reporting, even in a “soft news” mode like golf commentator, places an obligation on the reporter to use at least a modicum of taste and intelligence, neither of which was displayed. “Lynch” is a word that, obviously, is loaded when it’s used in any context that involves a black man.

  5. I don’t like engaging you, because it’s generally pretty pointless.

    Then you’re really going to hate this.

    If he had something about the Bush twins (who have given the Hilton girls a run for their money at times) he would be shitcanned–instantly.

    As they say on the wikipedia, “citation needed”. You would know this how? Of course, your comments are dependent on a whole lot of “ifs”.

    MSNBC has folks like Chris “Tweety” Matthews who was so far up Bushco’s ass that it’s amazing his hair stayed blond.

    The lefties think Matthews is a Bush stooge and the righties think he’s a Democrat stooge. Looks like he’s pissing off the right people.

    The Cheneys, the Bushes, Rick Santorum, Larry Craig, and so many other really unsavory republicans have done or said really nasty stuff and, largely, gotten a pass from the MSM.

    Tell me more about this alternate Earth that you live on. On our planet, the so-called MSM filled two weeks worth of news cycles with Larry Craig’s cruisey behavior. The same MSNBC that has you all in a twist also has this guy named Keith Olbermann, who gives occasional commentaries that blast Bush, Cheney and their unindicted co-conspirators with both ironic barrels. You should watch it some time.

    How about if said something about Bush’s loony religious justifcations for the war on Iraq?

    That’s redundant. You don’t need “loony” and “religious” in the same sentence with “justifications”.

    How about if he had made jokes about Cheney shooting somebody in the face.

    Depends. Are the jokes funny? Of course, I’m a bastard descendant of Aaron Burr, so ALL jokes about the vice-president shooting someone in the face are funny to me.

    I gather you don’t like Chelsea, that’s fine.

    I have no opinion regarding Chelsea Clinton, other than: She isn’t fourteen years old anymore. She’s an adult and decided to campaign for her mother. The deal to leave her alone as an awkward teen has expired. She isn’t just showing up at a convention and making an awful speech like the Bush girls, but out on the stump working it like a pro. Shuster’s description was apt. A young fresh faced girl put out to work the unwashed masses so her pimp, er her mother, can bring in some coin and in this case, votes.

    Our elected officials are a Parliament of Whores who will do anything for a dollar or a vote. The Clintons, among others, have mastered this game and are not above manufacturing outrage when it comes to getting elected.

    Kelly Tilghman is not only unprofessional, she’s an idiot.

    Obviously, you aren’t a golfer.

    Kelly has to do three hours of live television about GOLF of all things. You try coming up with something intelligent to say after a couple of hours of “Nice putt”. She used admittedly a poor choice of words, but strictly unintentionally. If you were to look at this with out the rage colored glasses of the professional complainer, you might see that the only person who took umbrage was the so-called Reverend Al Sharpton who was looking for either some teevee exposure or a payday. Tiger Woods wasn’t offended. He and Tilghman are friends. I’ll use your “if” stratagem to make it easy for you to understand. IF Tiger was white, there would be no outcry and no accusations of “insensitivity”. As they are friends, she didn’t see him as Black Tiger. Just Tiger. So, her crime is treating someone like an equal.

    The horror!

  6. democommie

    Ah, Sarcaastro:

    It’s all your way of justifying the bullshit. If you didn’t have a dislike of Chelsea, you wouldn’t have thought to mention the “job” in such a way as you did.

    The MSM reported on Craig, they didn’t call him a lying, closeted, queen. The MSM did not make comments about the Bush twins that equated to them being hookers. I did not say the MSM didn’t cover those folks. I said they did not use a term like “pimping” when talking about the twins or make jokes about Cheney’s unfortunate lack of self-control with a firearm.

    Defend Kelly Tighlman till the cows come home; I did not say she didn’t know anything about golf. I will concede that she might be the smartest person doing coverage, ever, in her field. It doesn’t alter the fact that she’s supposedly a professional who obviously doesn’t know that the term “lynch” is an incredibly stupid thing to use when talking about any African American. Either that or she was looking for something to juice up the conversation. Al Sharpton’s idiocy has nothing to do with it. Clowns like Al will always be around. Tiger was not offended? because they’re friends? You’re certainly smarter than that, I hope.

    I’m done with this one, not because I concede anything but because it’s Mack’s blog and you can say what you like from here, but you ‘ll still be wrong.

    You love to be some sly, urbane, witty guy. I’ll spot you being smart but you’re completely full of crap on this thread.

  7. That’s a far leap for you to make, DC. But, if putting some kind of anti-Chelsea spin on this is what gets you off, so be it.

    My “problem” with her “job” (see, I can use unnecessary quotes too!) is that it is with a hedge fund. Ooops, sorry. “Hedge fund”. Do some research into the prevarications involved in the hedge fund racket and see who they are favoring for President this go round.

    Please use the term MSM as much as possible. It makes me feel like I’m arguing with a right wing nut instead of a left wing nut.

    The media didn’t call Craig a lying, closeted, queen. It was easy for anyone with the IQ of a fiddler crab to INFER that he’s a lying, closeted queen. Just as they didn’t call the Bush twins hookers, they however made it easy for any simpleton to INFER that they were drunken sluts.

    What you said is that they had largely gotten a pass. That sure is some “selective memory”. It’s almost like you are changing your story between comments.

    Shuster’s crime? He made the mistake of pointing out the obvious. He dared to point out that the Clinton campaign was appealing to the public’s goodwill toward their daughter by using her on the campaign trail . It plays right into the campaign’s hands. They, meaning the Clintons, are never as strong as when they are perceived as victims. Through her surrogates, every vote against her is a vote for misogyny. Hell, they are recasting her as the underdog against Obama as I type this. Despite a $100 million war chest and a thirty point lead in the polls six months ago.

    It isn’t as big of a leap as the ones you have made DC, for one to suspect that this ‘pimping’ furor is fueled by manufactured outrage by the Clintons.

    Never mind all that now. I’m just “justifying” my full of crapedness.

  8. democommie


    I can’t engage you, you’re too smart. I surrender to the smartest, most integrity filled man on the internets tubes.

  9. A few points. IMO, Shuster didn’t commit any crime. His mistake was being lazy and using a street term that some would say implied Chelsea is a prostitute. He’s smarter than that, but I think round the clock coverage is producing fatigue in both candidates and reporters. It isn’t the end of the world.

    DemoCommie, you are alway a polite guest, and I am very grateful for that. Sarcastro IS cynical, and likes to throw grenades at everyone, but I’ve come to respect his opinions even when I totally disagree with him.

    Sarcastro, your aversion to Hedge fund practices is news to me. I’m not implying that I wouldn’t share it, but I’m curious as to why you feel that way. Can you find time to elaborate?

  10. Victory is mine?

    The short version is that the hedge funds don’t want to play by the same rules as the rest of us. They get to claim income as capital gains and pay less taxes. They want the protection of regulated securities without having to abide by any, you know, regulations. Additionally, they aren’t shy about hitting up the Gubmint for bailouts when their investments go south. Risk vs. reward.

    Do what you will with your money and invest in whatever risky venture you like, but don’t come crying to me to pick up the tab because the billion dollars you lost in chinchilla farming went down the tubes.

  11. democommie


    Thanks. I do not share your view of Sarcastro, but that’s life.

    How do hedge funds differ from the S&L’s, the Subprime lenders or anyone else. Those folks all claim income as something that is taxed at a lower rate than “earned income”, correct? And when their business practices turn out to be Ponzi schemes they squawk for someone (usually the federal government) to bail them out with–surprise, surprise–someone else’s money.

    I don’t know anything about the structure of hedge funds v other models, but they seem to be a specialty of folks who I wouldn’t trust to give me the correct change for a beer and a hot dog.

  12. Nobody likes a sore loser, Commie. But, as for I don’t know anything about the structure of hedge funds v other models, but they seem to be a specialty of folks who I wouldn’t trust to give me the correct change for a beer and a hot dog.

    What’s with all of this hostility towards Chelsea Clinton? Or were you referring to John Edwards?

    Back on topic, Chez has my back over at Huffington Post.


  13. Well, shit. You’d think HuffPo would feature me by now…as i said basically the same damn thing.

    And hey Bud, Demo is cool people, letsfind a way to hash this out like friends. Otherwise, I’m giving your pickles to the homeless shelter. or Exador.

  14. We clearly have differing opinions about the definition of the word “cool”.

  15. nm

    Inquiring minds really, really want to know why you’re holding pickles for Sarcastro.

    My take on Chelsea Clinton and David Shuster: she’s fair game for being attacked as an adult working on a parent’s campaign for the presidency. But, given my vivid memory of the absolutely vile, and completely unfair, attacks on her during her father’s presidency, I personally bet that she cringes a little inside every time anyone says anything about her being a person with a body at all, let alone one that others look at. So I would try to be extra careful in the ways that I criticize her. And David Shuster, one of about two worthwhile reporters on MSNBC (I enjoy the hell out of Olberman, but he’s a commentator and not a reporter at all), ought to know better. He’s probably genuinely ashamed of himself right now, which is more than can be said for Imus any day.

  16. democommie


    Perhaps I’m mistaken ( I don’t have television and tracking Chelsea Clinton is not on my “to do” list) but I don’t think Chelsea is the only family member of any candidate who’s campaigning. Yet, somehow, she’s the one who was referred to as being “pimped out” by her mother. By the yardstick used to get the measure of Chealsea’s involvement in her mother’s campaign, the same could certainly be said about at least a dozen members of the Bush family, John McCain’s wife, Mitt Romney’s sons, etc.,.

    It’s not simply the term, it’s the off-handed callousness and the failure by the correspondent to immediately offer an apology. Those of us who are just noisemakers on the blogs are not held to the same standards, certainly, as are professional journalists. Now, then; if he meant it to convey a distaste for a practice that he thinks is unseemly he might have thought about it a wee bit more. But, my, it was spicy–and if Hillary hadn’t flipped out (or at least acted as if) it would have been laughed about over a few beers or Grey Goose martis.

    Like I said, I may well be wrong about Chelsea; but, if she was my child and was working for me, in any capacity and someone made a comment like that in a public forum I’d want more from the gentleman than an apology.

  17. Your real question, nm, is why isn’t Mack holding any pickles for you?

  18. nm

    Sar, no, I hate most pickles. Unless he’s got some pickled tomatoes … mmmmm.

    Democommie, we’ve seen Elizabeth Edwards bashed for “using her illness” to benefit her husband’s campaign, and we’ve (thankfully) seen a million jokes about Romney’s sons enlisting now that they aren’t serving the country by helping their father get elected. Obama’s kids are still kids, and I don’t think that McCain has children campaigning for him. How is saying stuff about Chelsea Clinton any different? What was said passed the boundaries of good taste, but I don’t see why she ought to be immune from comments.

  19. democommie


    Where was the bashing done? Not, I think on MSNBC. I don’t watch the tube much at all, but I’m guessing nobody that’s taken very seriously as a journalist would want to jeapordize their career by saying Mitt or any other candidate was “pimping out” his children. And what I said applies across the board; Barbara and Poppy Bush, all theother wives and other family members. When I hear that it’s open season on all of them, then we’ve got an even playing field.

    I’m not trying to pick a fight here; it’s just that I see a fundamental difference between what goes on in the blogospere and what occurs in “respectable media”. David Shuster’s words and his subsequent actions were wrong–it’s that simple.

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