Since when are we not allowed to call Hillary a pimp?

by twit


On Thursday’s “Tucker” on MSNBC, David Shuster, who was serving as guest-host of the program, made a comment about Chelsea Clinton and the Clinton campaign that was irresponsible and inappropriate. Shuster, who apologized this morning on MSNBC and will again this evening, has been suspended from appearing on all NBC News broadcasts, other than to make his apology. He has also extended an apology to the Clinton family. NBC News takes these matters seriously, and offers our sincere regrets to the Clintons for the remarks.

but the comment wasn’t about Chelsea. it was about Hillary being a pimp. Since when are we not allowed to call Hillary a pimp?

SEATTLE (AP) – A distasteful comment about Chelsea Clinton by an MSNBC anchor Thursday could imperil Hillary Rodham Clinton’s participation in future presidential debates on the network, a Clinton spokesman said.

so they better fire him quick and let that be a lesson to anyone daring to call Hillary a pimp. Even if she’s a pimp like there hasn’t been a pimp for a long, long time.

In a conference call with reporters, Clinton communications director Howard Wolfson Friday excoriated MSNBC’s David Shuster for suggesting the Clinton campaign had “pimped out” 27-year old Chelsea by having her place phone calls to Democratic Party superdelegates on her mother’s behalf.

um. what else do you call it? and isn’t everyone taking this all a little too seriously?

it was slang, and it was directed at the Clinton campaign, not Chelsea.

… and even as this unfolds, Chelsea is being pimped by the Clinton campaign as it crushes media opposition. The campaign has spun this as an issue about Chelsea, using her to distract from actual criticism.

thx drudge / Breitbart and thx Politico, for the emails from Shuster defending himself:

“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.”

I assume this means that Katie Couric is booking a flight to Mexico by now…

It is one thing to ‘mistakenly’ refer to McCain and Huckabee “sucking off” voters, but I think the accompanying hand gesture makes it a little tough to make a claim of mistake with a completely straight face…

UPDATE: and it’s not like McCain doesn’t say similarly-sounding things on occasion

UPDATE: from Jezebel on Feb 13, 2008:

UPDATE: From lestro on Feb 14, 2008: pimp pimpity pimp pimp

13 Responses to Since when are we not allowed to call Hillary a pimp?

  1. lestro says:

    does this mean Bill has to take the feather out of his big, purple hat?

  2. Jinksy says:

    I agree that Big Mama Clinton’s camp has blown Shuster’s comment way out of proportion. They are playing on the ignorance of the general public (or at least anyone who may have taken the comment at face value). It may have been a poor decision for Shuster to incorporate slang in his commentary, but this is ridiculous.

    He said that Chelsea was “being pimped out”, instead of saying she was “using her personal contacts for her mother’s political gain”. No one can argue that statement, but they are also trying to downplay Chelsea’s role (do the Romney kids know anyone from the View?) and protect her from the media.

    This would be a completely different story if in fact,Hillary was literally pimping out Chelsea.

  3. lestro says:

    so i just went over” and apparently the definition of the verb “to pimp” is: “to make use of often dishonorably for one’s own gain or benefit”

    sounds about right, actually.

  4. John Brown says:

    Hillary built up some fake rage in order to rally her female base. It’s bullshit. She didn’t mind “pimp”-talk when rapper-organized fundraisers were putting dough in her pockets.

    Shuster was a dummy, no doubt. Not a misogynist. Not thinking about Chelsea asking superdelegates if they “need a date”.

    Pimpgate is nonsense.

    John Brown
    Big Pimpin’ in Kansas

  5. Elisabeth says:

    I call her a pimp all the time! Pimp Pimp Pimp!

  6. geoffreyking says:

    Jinksy and Lestro, it all depends what country you’re in. In Britain “pimping” means prostitution in the literal sense and nothing else. Probably in some other countries too. In a globalised world things you think you can safely say in Middle-of-Nowhere, Arkansas, can end up being heard all over the world.

  7. twitterpaters says:

    so true, geoffreyking, and like John Brown pointed out, this controversy seems tailored to those who exist in cultural space that will believe the comment was directed at Chelsea, and that ‘pimp’ was used with its classical meaning.

    I’m sure everyone can agree that Shuster did not attempt to imply that the Clintons were actually selling their daughter as a prostitute for money. His actual quote is:

    “Doesn’t it seem like Chelsea’s sort of being pimped out in some weird sort of way?”

    I think you are right that the resulting ‘controversy’ shows that there is a huge gulf of ways the term can be interpreted by various groups. If it was so clear, the Clinton campaign would not have be able to exploit it as much as they have.

    People have, since back in the days of Wayne’s World on SNL, been making fun of Chelsea and saying mean things about her. This time, though, it really seems like the campaign, not Chelsea herself, was the subject of the comment.

    And the campaign seems to be doing a great job exploiting Chelsea ever since by trying to assert that the traditional meaning of ‘pimp’ was ever intended.

  8. k@th says:

    Interesting, but really, who cares how people who can’t vote in this election define the terms Americans are using with Americans in mind for a strictly American purpose? “Pimp My Ride,” is just one example of the re-definitions in popular culture on this side of the lexicon pond.

    The Clintons pimp themselves out, why not their daughter? No surprise. Just watching this political campaign requires a costco-supply of heavy duty condoms.

    And the devil didn’t even have to part with his gold fiddle.

  9. twitterpaters says:

    I think the point about living in a globalized world is a good one. I don’t think there is anything that exists solely in an Americanized bubble, and this election is for the most powerful political position on the planet, so I can understand how the rest of the world is interested in this election.

    As for comments from someone claiming to be in the country that gave us the origin of our language, I definitely welcome that kind of input because what is being discussed is the language used and how it is being interpreted.

    Since I want our next President to care about what other people in the world think, I care about what non-Americans are thinking now, especially if they have a different perspective that broadens the discussion and shines an additional light on the odd phenomenon we see unfurling in the news over this issue.

    As to the rest, tho, I think the ‘pimp my ride’ reference is a good point. Shuster probably shouldn’t have been watching such programming before he got on the air, but still…

  10. k@th says:

    When the topic is a “global” one, absolutely. The speaker should know their audience.

    However, and I say this having grown up in a country outside of this one, and spent almost as many years there, as here–were I to be observing with great interest some political campaigning going on in another country and following local commentary there, I would be interpreting what was being said through that country’s understanding of the usage of said terms. That’s really my only point here.

    Of course I want a president who is responsive to global concerns, providing we don’t trade our convictions in for a popularity contest trophy. I’m all for us backing our heavy, bully-ish tactics thus seen under Bush & Co., down from the rest of the world. Generally speaking, I love hearing what the rest of the world is thinking about us, it can be very enlightening and we should welcome the input. I just think this Chelsea thing is hardly relevant to put under a global microscope of language definition.

    And yes, there may be some slight bitterness way deep in my consciousness of having been corrected and embarassed in front of class as a small child that the “correct” way to spell “color” is “colour”… I had to suck it up then and when-in-Rome it, but must I in every circumstance?

  11. twitterpaters says:

    I suppose ultimately my point is that this isn’t a “Chelsea thing.” This is the Clinton campaign trying to make it a Chelsea thing in how they talk about it.

    The news media seems to be picking it up like it is a Chelsea thing as well. and who wouldn’t, after Clinton, Inc. went and got a guy fired.

    Icing on the cake, Clinton, Inc. is calling this sexist. I want to know since when is it sexist to call a woman a pimp.

    This is a Hillary thing. Not just that she’s a pimp, but that she seems so willing to obscure where the comment was actually directed and what it actually meant.

    I care far less, actually not at all, about her farming the elusive Chelsea out to the superdelegates to make a renewed plea. It is the appearance of a bold-faced disinformation campaign, handed to us like we’re all too disconnected to watch a video, read the actual quote, or understand that the guy only meant disrespect to the Clinton campaign, not Chelsea.

  12. Jinksy says:

    I don’t think the Clinton’s are looking at the “global impact” of the statement. I’m Canadian, and “pimping out” means the exact same thing here as it does in the States. And I agree with k@th, any country which can air MTV or “Pimp My Ride” or has access to the Internet, which I believe covers most of the world, has access to knowing what was said.

    Going back to my original point, the Clintons aren’t concerned that some couple in Germany think that Chelsea is a prostitute, they are covering their own butts, and trying to get sympathy from Americans.

  13. Wang says:

    Speaking of Chelsea Clinton:

    There is bad news about her father.

    It is opined that Bill Clinton committed racist hate crimes, and I am not free to say anything further about it.

    Respectfully Submitted by Andrew Y. Wang, J.D. Candidate
    B.S., Summa Cum Laude, 1996
    Messiah College, Grantham, PA
    Lower Merion High School, Ardmore, PA, 1993

    (I can type 90 words per minute, and there are probably thousands of copies on the Internet indicating the content of this post. Moreover, there are innumerable copies in very many countries around the world.)
    “If only it were possible to ban invention that bottled up memories so they never got stale and faded.” Off the top of my head—it came from my Lower Merion High School yearbook.

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