Sunday, February 10, 2008

Pimp My Candidate

I was going to call this post, "Do Two Wrongs Make a Right?" I am of course referring the David Shuster MSNBC flap where Shuster got suspended for saying the following about Hillary and Chelsea Clinton:
"There's just something a little bit unseemly to me that Chelsea's out there calling up celebrities, saying support my mom ... doesn't it seem like Chelsea's sort of being pimped out in some weird sort of way?"
I'm of two minds regarding this situation.

In the first place it used to that children of candidates were out of bounds. It also used to be the rule that politics ended at the waters edge in the US. Not any more.

Who can forget both Democratic candidates in 2000 going out of their way to point out that Dick Cheney's daughter was a lesbian? Cheney's daughter wasn't even front and center in the campaign like Chelsea Clinton has been this year. This is the same Chelsea Clinton who has been Page 6 fodder for doing things like hanging out with Maddona, Gwyneth Paltrow and going to Versace fashion shows.

This year she is paraded in campaign commercials wearing sensible clothes playing the role of darling daughter. There does seem to be a disconnect between appearance and reality. Plus if you are going to use your daughter as a campaign prop and that daughter is over 21 - doesn't she become fair game? I have no problem with Chelsea calling her Hollywood friends on behalf of her mom but I guess I do have a problem with the Clinton campaign at the same time having Chelsea play the role of down-to-earth shy doting daughter on TV ads. It's just so phony and its the phoniness that is off-putting.

In regard to Shuster's comment regarding "pimping" - I am reminded of a couple of years ago when my wife walked in on my daughter watching "Pimp My Ride" on MTV. My wife went all Sheila Broflovski until I explained it wasn't what she thought. The word "pimp" has changed and so has its meaning. I also must say that seeing how Bill Clinton tried to persuade the nation that oral sex isn't really sex - the sensitivity to the word "pimp" from the Clintons rings kinda hollow. Millions of kids were exposed to the idea of blow jobs via the nightly news covering the Clinton White House but yet now they get in high dungeon because someone used the word "pimped"? Methinks they doth protest too much.

However, having said that - the discourse in this country has been dumbed down and brought down to the lowest common demoninator and I wouldn't mind seeing the level of dialogue raised to at least an adult level. I'm not holding my breath though. In fact I'm guessing NBC may want to string out this "controversy" so that when the writers come back to SNL that they can have a field day with it.

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