Omid Memarian

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

David Shuster: Chelsea Clinton "pimped out" remark

There has been enough debate about David Shuster's statement on Chelsea Clinton t. To a large extent, it seems this "statement" could be interpreted in different ways. Although, I think there was an obvious will to disregard Clintons, which seems odd and bizarre for Shuster's show. I think between Mtv and MSNB he has chosen the wrong one. I asked my friend Charlie, whom I like his opinions, to give me some input about this and below is his response:
“The verb "to pimp" literally means to provide prostitute sexual services (usually women,, but not always) for customers. The person, a pimp, is the man who keeps prostitutes, takes the money that they make, and gives a little back to the women who do the work.

Now the MSNBC anchor was not trying to say that Chelsea Clinton (a woman) was actually a prostitute. But he was trying to be cool and hip in using this lower-class slang, and he was certainly aware that using that language was degrading to the Clinton candidacy. (Chelsea has been calling super delegates to try to convince them to vote for her mother at the Convention and Shuster was trying to say that doing that wa inappropriate.)

I support Barak Obama, but Shuster's use of the word "pimp" was way over the top. In looking at the tape of shuster's comment, the comment was made in an offhand way, but if you see the full tape (link below), which starts with his apology, you will see that the two other observers thought it was perfectly OK for Chelsea Clinton to work for her mother.

American ways can be pretty confusing, and we are so big, with so many different groups and regions that often greatly disagree with each other. (Remember we did have a real Civil War from 1861-1865 in which over 600,000 soldiers died, from both sides.) We have avoided that level of violence since then because it would be bad for business and the economy in general. And there has usually been enough work so that those who wanted to, could get ahead. That is not a very elevated rationale for stability, but it tends to work. (The major exception of course involves the African Americans until pretty recently, who were viciously suppressed by both official and private-level violence.)


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