Monday, February 11, 2008

Big Pimpin' On the Campaign Trail?

HILLARY CLINTON HAS employed her daughter, Chelsea, to make campaign calls to celebrities and other donors.

Not surprising, right?

Well, MSNBC anchor David Shuster asked on air, “But doesn’t it seem like Chelsea’s sort of being pimped out in some weird sort of way?

The Clinton campaign freaked out, writing a letter to the head of NBC News, Steve Capus (a 1986 Temple alum).

"I would urge you to look at the pattern of behavior on your network that seems to repeatedly lead to this sort of degrading language," Clinton wrote.

Shuster has since been suspended.

Is the Clinton campaign over-reacting? Don't we all know that "pimpin'" doesn't really refer to prostitution? Or do journalists need to stick to traditional language so as to not offend some people?

23 comments:

Jason Pearlman said...

It's not so much that they should worry about offending people, but they should take into account that most voters in this country are vastly stupid (or at least uneducated) and should take precaution so as to not influence these sheep-like voters.

Some people would just hear the word pimp associated with Hillary Clinton and that would be that; they would never vote for her, even without ever looking into her ideas, etc.

Besides, slang is so unprofessional. Today's slang isn't even cool, and kids don't watch the news or vote anyway (statistically).

Maggie said...

personally i think that she is over-reacting.

there is no reason for her to think that Shuster means that Hilary is actually 'pimping' her daughter.

slang in most workplaces may be inappropriate, but in journalism they are reporting to the people, who use slang, so i dont see a problem with what he said.
anyone could tell that he didnt actually mean it in a offensive way.

MoNiCaS said...

As a journalist, one has the chance to choose which words they want to use regardless of how others may interpret it. For Shuster to use "pimped out" to describe Chelsea Clinton was not wrong at all. I mean he probably just finished listening to Wired 96.5 and such but he has the right to use whichever words he wants. Political campaigns tend to blow things up to the extreme and have done such in this case. Because they are involved in politics, they should be prepared for the media to say things of this sort and they should not find it suprising that someone said such a thing about a Clinton family member. I mean there have many other things said about this family, so why is it that this comment is going to get a journalist suspended. Shuster could have used another word, but he chose not to and wanted to appeal to younger audiences and feel hip and modern. "Pimpin" does not only refer to prostitution, please, do you know how many ways young people use that word. A part of being a journalist is conforming to the modern-day lingo and stories and stay on top of the changing environment. I disagree with the suspension and am happy to see that Shuster published such a comment. The Clinton campaign just needs to chillll out.

Ariela Rose said...

I think the Clinton campaign is over reacting slightly,especially since Shuster didn't say that Chelsea was being pimped out in a very direct manner. However Shuster should probably not say any form of the word "pimp" and the name of a presidential candidate's daughter on air during the presidential race. I'm sure he can think of a different word to get his point across during this sensitive, very tense time.

David Hall said...

I think its funny I love it. Honestly I feel like Clinton's campaign was over once she started crying so if whe has to get her daughter to show a lil leg hey why not. Realistically people who actually vote wont care about that. Shit like that is what you hear on news that doesnt really count like vh1 news or mtv news.

David Hall said...

Showing a little leg in terms of her being "pimped". Just wanted to clear that up

Melissa Randall said...

It's not as if he used other deragatory phrases that may have been more offensive. A lot of words that are used commonly in today's society would been seen as extremely offensive, say...20 years ago. Hillary's being a tad overdramatic, (which doesn't appear to be much of a change from the rest of her campaign...fears over tears, sorry loyal Democrats.)

Brader Jimenez said...

I believe that Journalist have the right to an opinion."Freedom of press" right? However, in this day in age Journalist have watch what they say because almost everything is offensive,and its sucks because it kills the sense of humor. I guess you have no choice but to be a tight ass and stick to the book in order to cover your behind sometimes.

Caitlin Cherkin said...

I think Clinton and the Clinton campaign may be acting a bit harsh, but in a presidential election, a word like that can and will be taken and used against them. I agree with free press, but with certain things there is a line you shouldn't cross. Chelsea Clinton is young and her name is definitely out there, I think the Clinton Campaign is being wise using her to try and get Hillary votes.

Emily Shesh said...

It's really not surprising that Hillary has her daughter doing this kind of work, they have always worked as a family. I don't think that Shuster should have been suspended for this comment though. The Clintons have tried to present Hillary as a more lax, and likable candidate so I'm surprised she didn't she didn't break into "Big Pimpin'" after this remark.

caramelstar813 said...

Shuster should not have been suspended for his comment whether it offended Hillary or not because he did not mean to offend her or her family in any type of way. However, I don't think Hillary overreacted because she is not the type of person to joke around.

Becky Arden said...

It would be one thing if they said it on MTV, and another saying it on the news. I mean really, who/how many teens really watch the news? Not many. And isn't more the "adults" that are freaking out over this? Not to say we aren't adults, but we know pimping doesn't mean literally pimping someone out. But people who don't know the slang, like the people who watch the news everyday, won't realize not to take it literally.
I feel there is an over-reaction, but understand why there is so much controversy.

Rachel Wolkiewicz said...

It may have been unorthodox to use a term like "pimpin" with regards to Chelsea, but I don't think it deserved the reaction it got. However, since there is no bad publicity, Hillary might have decided to blow it out of proportion in order to draw more attention to her campaign, which has been faltering behind the continued strength of Obama's campaign.

Laura said...

Although Shuster probably could have chosen better words to get his point across, the Clinton campaign is seriously overreacting. In addition, if I were in Hillary Clinton's place, I would be using all my connections to obtain votes and funding, even if it meant putting my own daughter to work, "pimping her out," so to say.

Chris Naylor said...

I agree that slang words are not the most professional way of doing things, especially on a major news station like MSNBC, but seriously this a complete overreaction from the Clinton campaign. Just read how he put "pimped out" in context. He didn't call her a pimp or anything. In no way was he degrading Chelsea Clinton.

Demelza Davies said...

Although David Shuster didn't mean to be offensive to the Clinton family, the term he used to describle Hilary was upsetting to some. That being said, the Clintons had the right to complain. I feel that Clinton wasn't overreacting because she wants to keep her name clean to the media, and since anything small can ruin it, especially with the opinions people have concerning the acts of Bill Clinton and the forgiveness she so easily granted him, she needs to be very cautious.

Kevin Cook said...

I don't think this has anything to do with Clinton's campaign being over or not...because it obviously isn't. Also this can't be compared to MTV or whatever because that station is for joke shows like The Real World and TRL.

MSNBC is a news station. What Shuster said I don't think it was totally out of place. He was trying to be funny, but failed. But there's a difference criticzing someones campagain and their family. I don't think Clinton is as mad as she made it out to be. I think it was a great media tatic to react to the news because she would create more publicity. I mean if she were to honestly boycott the debate like she said she would she would be hurting herself. She's not stupid. She's saying it just to get more attention.

P.S. People have been using their kids, wifes, husbands, etc for years to gain more support no matter what they are running for. This really isn't a new tactic.

An-chan said...

the language a journalist uses should be geared towards their audiences. Since the the audience of political pieces is every American over the age 18, the modern slang that the entire audience cannot understand should not be used.

As for the Clinton campaign of course they over reacted, thats what people running for president do best. Blow everything out of the water.

Jasmine Louis said...

I think its hilarious that he chose those words.

However, it was very unprofessional. An MSNBC anchor should know better than to say something like that to describe a woman of that status. Because many people could take the word "pimped out" out of contex, he should've been more careful. Simple as that.

MSNBC probably thought it was funny too, but to set an example, they suspended him. Or else, they may have a lawsuit on their hands.

Christina Bridgwater said...

I don't think that Shuster should have been suspended. He did put forth his opinion but it shouldn't have been such a big deal. We all know what he meant by "pimpin". I think they're more angry that he realized what the Clinton campaign is doing.

Brett Strycharz said...

As a politician, I feel as though you have an obligation to make a statement when you are put into a position like this. Even if the politician views this as water under the bridge, you still are given an opportunity to show professionalism in publicly calling out language like this.

But from a consumer's standpoint, I see no problem with the language choice. This is allegedly a marketplace of free ideas, so all arguments and statements are valuable. If I find something that seems ignorant or myopic, I'll find another source for my information.

For this reason, I can understand why NBC would suspend Shuster. His remarks were viewed as diminishing the credibility and reputability of NBC News... so they are giving him a slap on the wrist.

A whole lot of nothing if you ask me.

Becky Cheung said...

In my opinion the Clinton campaign has the right to be upset over the "pimpin" comment. Journalists should be aware of the consequences of what they say and write. What may be funny to one can offend another.

However, Schuster's suspension was a bit over the top, I think that MSNBC could've dealt with him differently.

MSNBC probably felt pressured to take such an action on Schuster because of the magnitude of the person involved.

Shauna said...

I think it is important to remember that just because you or I may understand or even use the word 'pimp' out of the traditional context, Hilary Clinton wants to get the vote from us in addition to the people who use more proper language. Being described as a 'pimp' may be taken as a compliment by some college guy who gets alot of action, but I'm sure it is not complimentary sounding when heard referring to a possible Presidential candidate. It is just not a very appropriate thing to say if you are a news reporter with a large variety of people watching your show. Shuster outta know better.