Hillary's righteous anger, Bill's obliviousness – UPDATED

Hillary Clinton has every right to be seriously teed off at MSNBC and David Shuster:

In a conference call with reporters, Clinton communications director Howard Wolfson Friday excoriated MSNBC’s David Shuster for suggesting the Clinton campaign had “pimped out” 27-year old Chelsea by having her place phone calls to Democratic Party superdelegates on her mother’s behalf. Wolfson called the comment “beneath contempt” and disgusting.

Well, that’s absolutely right, and the decline in professionalism within the mainstream media continues. Shuster’s comment was tasteless and classless. It’s not how you refer to the daughter of an ex-president and sitting senator. It’s not how you talk about anyone’s daughter.

President Harry Truman threatened to punch a reporter in the nose for much less.

I expect Shuster has just helped Hillary’s coffers get filled with the donations of outraged parents. His gaffe was inexcusable and Mrs. Clinton will use it to her advantage, which is not a bad thing when you’re ringing up $500,000 in parking bills. She does not reassure about managing our money, does she?

Bill Clinton, however, will likely overdo – somehow – and end up making the net effect a wash. He is running around saying he has learned his lesson from his excesses in Nevada and S. Carolina:

Clinton also said that everything he said in South Carolina about Illinois Sen. Barack Obama was “factually accurate,” but a lot that has been said about what he said is “factually inaccurate.”

“I think the mistake that I made is to think that I was a spouse like any other spouse who could defend his candidate,” Clinton said, referring to his wife, New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, who is waging a hard-fought contest with Obama for the Democratic nomination.

He’s still splitting hairs and language, which shows he hasn’t learned much, but yes, it is good that he figured out at as a former president he is not like any other spouse. Nice to see him tuned in.

UPDATED: Ann Althouse says Shuster should be fired for saying “all Americans should be proud of Chelsea Clinton.” I agree that that was just gag-inducing obsequience.

And so is this. MSNBC cancelled programming to air a 1 hour Hillary bio? Too much. Way over the line. A typically overplayed hand.

Wow, a lot of people disagree with me about Shuster’s comment being tasteless and classless. It seems to me that adult children of candidates should be able to campaign for their parents without hearing that they’ve been “pimped out.” As I said elsewhere, if – when the Bush twins did their little skit at the RNC convention Shuster had said they were being “pimped out” what would your reaction have been?

IMHO dislike of the Clintons should not color a matter of basic civility. Shuster was rude. He apologized. The network suspended him to cover their rear ends. That should be the end of it. If Hillary “punishes” MSNBC by not debating she’ll look like she is afraid to debate and looking for an excuse.

Captain Ed: As for David Shuster, he deserves a short time in the penalty box for using a prostitution term to describe anyone on a news show. It’s not just offensive — which it is — but it’s intellectually lazy and a lame attempt to sound “down wit’ it”, something of which we don’t need any more from television.

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About Elizabeth Scalia