As Shakespeare’s Sister notes...
In one fell swoop, Hillary is cast as a madam who forcibly "pimps out" her own daughter, and Chelsea is cast as a pathetic, vulnerable, and mindless whore who has no control over her own life.
Hillary’s Communications Director, Howard Wolfson spoke with reporters earlier today about this – here’s part of what went down...
HOWARD KURTZ: Hi, Howard Kurtz here. Howard, as I'm sure you know, on MSNBC yesterday David Shuster was talking about Chelsea Clinton's role on the campaign. He was complaining about the fact that she calls delegates but doesn't talk to the press and then he said the following: "doesn't it seem as if Chelsea is sort of being pimped out in some weird sort of way." I'm told that MSNBC has apologized. I wonder if you had any reaction to Shuster's characterization and to the networks apology.
HOWARD WOLFSON: I'm not aware that they've apologized. I haven't received any phone call. I'm not aware that Senator Clinton or Chelsea Clinton has received any phone calls so I'm not familiar with any apology. Look, I think that the comment is disgusting. It's beneath contempt. And it's the kind of thing that should never be said on a national news network. There was an apology by another NBC news personality last month on air. I'm not aware that that person ever apologized to the Senator for anything he had said. And I think at some point you really have to question whether or not there is a pattern here at this particular network where you have comments being made and then apologies given. Is this part of a pattern? Is there something that folks are encouraged to do or not do? I don't know, but the comment was beneath contempt and I think any fair-minded person would see it that way. I'll say this. We've done a number of debates on that network. We had agreed yesterday to do a debate on that network. And I at this point can't envision a scenario where we would continue to engage in debates on that network given the comments that were made and have been made.
There’s a definite pattern in the way the MSM and the press treat powerful women in this society. But they’re not attacking Hillary here you guys – they’re attacking her daughter just as Rush did when Chelsea was but an 11 year old girl, by calling her a DOG on national television. So let’s put the shoe on the other foot here...
Imagine your outrage if someone had suggested that Barack Obama was pimping his two precious daughters by bringing them up on stage with him. John Edwards’ daughter campaigned for him all over the country and we heard not a peep. The Bush twins hit the trail for their old man and yet... crickets. The daughters of a lot of the GOP candidates are out there working for their dads and we hear not a word about pimping. Yet we’re seeing this hateful garbage spewed about Chelsea – I wonder if it has anything to do with the fact that she’s campaigning for her mother rather than her dad.
I don’t care who you back in this contest, there is absolutely no feckin’ excuse for making a comment like this over our public airwaves. Or even in person – face to face with someone. Come to think of it, I doubt Shuster would have the stones to say this to Bill or Hillary’s face. Guys like this are usually gutless cowards who say things like this behind the protection of a television camera.
If someone said this about your daughter, would you excuse the attacker or would you be calling for his head on a platter? Can any of you parents out there relate to the outrage Bill & Hillary must feel at what was said about their daughter?
As the mother of a 7 year old daughter I can’t even begin to describe my outrage over this. If Shuster ever said something like this about my little girl (child or as an adult) I can assure you - he’d lose a few teeth.
Word on the street now is that MSNBC has suspended Shuster. Here’s a statement they just sent around to reporters this afternoon...
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.
Both the Clinton and Obama campaigns accepted invitations from us on Thursday evening to participate in a February 26th debate. Our conversations with the Clinton campaign about their participation continue today, and we are hopeful that the event will take place as planned.
I have a thought or two on this but first, back to Shakespeare’s Sister ...
In the same world in which that woman turning sexism on its head is framed as Odd News, and in which that woman is called a bitch to the amusement of the other party's nominee, and is called a she-devil and depicted with horns, and is heckled by jerks demanding she iron their shirts, and is reduced to tea parties and her response to that demeaned as "really be[ing] on edge," and in which she is cast as a feminazi monster, and has her ability to withstand the rigors of the presidency questioned with an unflattering image, and has a nutcracker designed in her image, and finds her moment of candidly expressed emotion turned into a national story using dog-whistles once removed from "hysterical, " and is routinely accused of playing a victim and of playing the gender card, often erroneously, and is said to need a copy of The Rules, and is accused of having a career only because her husband cheated on her, and is subjected to the swill of online hate groups with names like "Hillary Clinton: Stop Running for President and Make Me a Sandwich" and "Hillary Clinton Shouldn't Run for President, She Should Just Run the Dishes," and is regularly featured in sexist political cartoons, and is challenged by a 527 calling itself C.U.N.T., and is called the Crybaby-in-Chief if she shows emotion, and can't bloody win no matter what she does, but only in the eyes of misogynist wankers because SHE'S. STILL. HERE.
(Go to the above link – they include hotlinks to stuff on just about every point in the above paragraph)
As for me... Yeah - nice start boys but this simply isn’t enough. Suspending Shuster is nothing more than corporate ass covering. You made Shuster apologize this morning but your advertising experts told you that you’d take a serious hit if you didn’t punish him. We’re still not satisfied dammit.
Your talking heads have been attacking strong women for years and if we make a big enough stink about it – you make them apologize to whoever they attacked over our public airwaves. Of course the woman on the receiving end of the attacks never gets a phone call, or goddess forbid, an apology in person by the offender. On rare occasion you suspend or fire their @ss (ooooooo!), but most of the time you allow them to remain on the air to continue spewing hate (Matthews), creating an uneven playing field for any woman who dares to enter into public service and makes a name for herself. Goddess forbid one of us tries to rise to a higher plane in public life. If we poke our head above a certain level you smack us down, belittle our work, copy our plans and claim them as your own, attack our children and accuse us of things we’ve never said or done.
This shit stops here – and it stops NOW!
Rather than suspend the offending asshole, maybe it’s time for a sea-change at your network. (Firing Matthews would be an excellent start.) Maybe you might want to get the word out to your so-called journalists and pundits that sexism will no longer be tolerated / encouraged / excused. Maybe you’ll actually offer up the facts rather than opinions. Maybe you’ll make it clear to your "news" department you want them to report on this race for the White House without commenting on appearance or motive – and instead focusing on the merits of each candidate. Tell us about their record – ask the hard questions regarding their plans for our future.
Don’t give us Chris Matthews, Tucker Carlson, David Shuster & Tim Russert – give us real reporters in the tradition of journalistic icons like Walter Cronkite, Edward R. Murrow and Howard K. Smith.
You guys it's time we made our voices heard loud and clear. Email MSNBC at viewerservices@ msnbc.com to let them know that things need to change at their network. Let MSNBC know you’re not going to tolerate this shite any longer.
And to all you women out there... we need to make our voices heard in the voting booth and at the caucuses by getting out there and voting for the woman MSNBC and the rest of the MSM & press have been attacking relentlessly for the past 16 years!
Rise up and say ENOUGH! It’s time we and our daughters were treated with respect, honesty, and fairness.
We deserve nothing less!
Start by sending Hillary some money - DONATE NOW!
U P D A T E
Ya know I had to step away for a while so I'm just seeing some of the gymnastic contortions down thread, posted by people intent on excusing this sexist shit.
To those of you making those excuses... you're just proving my point regarding the way this shit's been tolerated. Especially in this community of so-called progressive activists.
The hypocracy I'm seeing here tonight is sickening. There's no way in hell you'd be making these excuses if this attack had been directed at Obama and his family. I thought I'd see a few people defend this guy for calling Chelsea a WHORE but I never thought I'd see it taken this far.
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