Saturday, February 09, 2008

They now had more important things to say

Maybe I'm wrong, but I'm having a hard time getting worked up about the David Shuster faux pas:

Tasteless, to be sure. But like many words, pimp has morphed over the years into something different:
In the first years of the 21st century, however, a new meaning of the word has emerged in the form of a transitive verb which means "to decorate" or "to gussy." The instigation for this new definition stems from Pimp My Ride, an MTV television show. Although this new definition paid homage to hip-hop culture and its connection to street culture, it has now entered common, even mainstream commercial, use.

The biggest problem I have with MSNBC's coverage of politics is not Shuster, who has been somewhat reliable as a critic of Right-wing hackery. It's the general tone of the big guys over there, especially Matthews, who, while not using such a charged word as pimp, still says things that are far worse in their between-the-lines meaning.

From the invaluable Digby:
My suspicion is that the bigger questions about all this have been lost on the MSNBC crew as they circle their wagons and get more and more defensive. They've sublimated their own discomfort(shame?)with this discussion by making it into a political/journalistic turf battle, when in fact, it's something much more psychological/sociological.

Matthews is somewhat deranged on this subject, because he sees the entire political system through some sort of gender prism, so he's a special case, but the other offenders could be caught up in this out of a sort of collegian loyalty which has morphed into outright hostility toward people who are "making" them feel uncomfortable with their own behavior. It snowballs to the point where nobody knows what's true anymore.

I almost feel bad for Shuster. He got bitch-slapped by Dan Abrams recently for correctly calling out Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-WarLord):
Shuster asked the right question of Rep. Blackburn and predictably the attacks followed. (Newsbusters) Whenever someone leaks info to right wing blogs—red flags should go up. Via Blue Texan:

Shuster’s apology [re: Marsha Blackburn] may have been premature. The tiny hamlet of Bon Aqua, Tenn., is where Bohannon lived in the months immediately prior to entering the Army. The Census Bureau places his home in Blackburn’s 7th Congressional District.

Media Bistro asks a good question:

Why did MSNBC rush Shuster to apologize? And, more importantly, who made him do so? Or did Shuster and MSNBC just not have the info (or didn’t do the research) that Scripps dug up?

We know that Scooter Libby isn’t around anymore to call NBC and complain to the Russert’s of the world—so who is the new contact from the WH that’s putting the heat on?


FishbowlDC hears that MSNBC General Manager Dan Abrams asked David Shuster to apologize for Wednesday’s Rep. Marsha Blackburn incident and even wrote the bulk of Shuster’s on-air apology…read on

Shuster's choice of words was bad, but the overall tone of MSNBC's coverage of politics, especially the Clinton family, is pretty rotten. Matthews has his man-crush on virtually every Right-wing blowhard, and admitted on Michael Jackson's L.A. radio show that he voted against Clinton (sorry, no link, but I heard the interview). And his overall creepiness toward women is legend. But he still has a job.

Meanwhile, Shuster, who has been doing a pretty good job lately, is out on his ass.

Makes no sense. He issued a lame apology, then a real one, now let's move on. After all, when Limbaugh infamously called Chelsea a dog, did he lose his gig?

And here's the lyrics YouTube, just for fun: