MSNBC Host Suspended For Hillary Clinton “Pimp” Remark

MSNBC guest host David Shuster was suspended by MSNBC today after making the following remark about Chelsea Clinton:

SHUSTER: Bill, there’s just something a little bit unseemly to me that Chelsea’s out there calling up celebrities, saying support my mom, and she’s apparently also calling these super delegates.

BILL PRESS: Hey, she’s working for her mom. What’s unseemly about that? During the last campaign, the Bush twins were out working for their dad. I think it’s great, I think she’s grown up in a political family, she’s got politics in her blood, she loves her mom, she thinks she’d make a great president —

SHUSTER: But doesn’t it seem like Chelsea’s sort of being pimped out in some weird sort of way?

PRESS: No! If she didn’t want to be there she wouldn’t be there. Give Chelsea a break.

Clinton spokesman Howard Wolfson called the remark “beneath contempt” and disgusting according to the AP. Said Wolfson: “I, at this point, can’t envision a scenario where we would continue to engage in debates on that network.”

Media Matters reports that MSNBC has suspended Shuster and released the following statement: “Shuster, who apologized this morning on MSNBC and will again this evening, has been suspended from appearing on all NBC News broadcasts, other than to make his apology. He has also extended an apology to the Clinton family. NBC News takes these matters seriously, and offers our sincere regrets to the Clintons for the remarks.”


  1. John says

    I agree.

    Whatever else you might think about their marriage (or their politics), the Clintons have done a wonderful job with Chelsea.

    During the presidency, Chelsea never let the “daughter of POTUS” thing go to her head. By all accounts, Chelsea emerged from Stanford an intelligent and thoughtful young women. She has continued to keep her personal life very private. And most importantly…you will never, ever catch her binge drinking south of the border.

  2. Gregory says

    You’ve got to be kidding me, “beneath contempt”? Replace the word “pimped” with “prop” and that’s exactly what Chelsea is. The Clintons always speak of being such strong figures yet cry at first sign of blood. Is anyone else bored with this crap?

  3. John says

    You think if some idiot on talk radio said Obama was “pimping” out Oprah or Michelle, the racism charge wouldn’t start flying in earnest?

    Notice how folks who bash the Clintons always whine when the Clintons fight back? How dare they defend their daughter from a biased news anchor. Those evil, evil Clintons.

    It’s as if they’re expected to stand there and let their critics assail them. Other candidates are never held to the same “standard.”

  4. Derrick from Philly says

    Think of Edward R. Murrow. Now, think of that piece of shit, Shuster. Obama supporters don’t like the filthy crap that came out of his mouth anymore than Clinton supporters. Hate between Obama supporters and Clinton supporters is becoming dumber and dumber and dumber. Some of y’all don’t even make sense anymore.

  5. kirkyo says

    Oh, come one. The term “pimped out” is not meant to be taken in the literal sense.

    I always thought David Shuster was stand up reporter/commentator.

  6. Gregory says

    It might be that I’m from younger, but the word “pimp” no longer has the negative connotation that I believe the Clintons are responding to. Am I supposed to believe that Shuster is referring to Chelsea as a whore? He’s a much better reporter than that.

  7. RICH G says

    So some talking head (who is only on TV because he can fill an hour with wall-to-wall blather) uses the word “pimp” in the broadened sense of the word and immediately the “how dare he?” reaction explodes with full fury. What with their previous refusal to appear on Fox and now the blacklisting of MSNBC, the Hillary camp is so full of righteous indignation that it hurts their cause. I thought they were trying to tone down the “step on her toe and she’ll cut off your balls” image. I guess you’ll never hear Clinton call herself a “uniter”, but she’d better tone down the spite if she wants a chance at being elected.

  8. MIchael says

    Finally some accountability from the Misogynist Shithead News Broadcasting Corp. Whether or not “pimped out” is an offensive term in pop culture is not relevant here. These are supposedly “reporters” and should be held to a higher standard.

  9. queendru says

    The Clinton camp seized on this to get in some headlines today. That’s how they operate. They’re not the least bit offended.

    This host, who I’m not familiar with, slipped and used a common vernacular that has nothing to do with prostitution.

  10. James C. says

    I agree with Kirkyo that Shuster is, by and large, a fine journalist aside from this comment. He did bang up work covering the Plame/CIA leak case and frequently called out blowhards like Chris Matthews, Joe Scarborough, and Tucker Carlson when they tried to gloss over the injustice done to Plame, Joe Willson and national intelligence efforts by the Bush administration. He also has helped Keith Olbermann frame many of the errors in managing the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. He is generally a reporter who backs up what he says with facts rather than opinions.

    This is a real shame because he was on his way up at NBC. BTW he was probably suspended because he does not have his own show and is not a ratings generator for the network like Gibson is for FOX. So an apology would not have been enough. Plus, MSNBC has been positioning itself as a liberal alternative to FOX. They need Dems and their surrogates on to attract viewers. FOX does not. Cold, hard business unfortunately.

  11. DTanner says

    I am a staunch Obama supporter who finds the “pimped out” statement deplorable. Unfortunately our language has become so loose and free that we fail to care about word choice at all.

    Yes, I understand his meaning. Yes, I realize that he was attempting to connect with those of us in the brain dead public. Yes, I understand that he was not attempting to insult.

    I also understand that he is a highly paid commentator(entertainer) who should have a stronger command of language than the average teenager. If he and Don Imus are the best we can get for a several million dollars… Give me high school- adult censored press.

    (All this from a Obama-maniac, lefty.)

  12. Sick 'n' Tired says

    What it smacks of is sense.

    If you watch even the trashiest of news channels in other countries you’ll never come across people talking like that. The most annoying thing about the American media is the complete lack of professionalism that seems to be acceptable to a large swath of the public. Watching the news, even on ‘respectable’ channels, can be painful.

    Reporters and commentators should at least try to be impartial and objective – more often than not in the US they seem to be encouraged to give opinions without the need for evidence backing them up.

    It wasn’t an insightful comment, it wasn’t a funny comment, and it wasn’t as if he couldn’t have put it another way. The Clintons may or may not have been genuinely offended by it, but WE should be. Using language like that about any individual and purporting to be a serious journalist is just offensive.

  13. says

    If he was not attempting to insult he would not have used insulting language.

    We all know what “pimped out” means — and there’s nothing “generational” about it.

    But you Obamaniacs and obsessive Clinton-haters have no limits. I’ve no doubt had Schuster called her a “fucking cunt” you would have said “Oh get over it.”

  14. Gregory says

    Very good point, Ehrenstein. I’m sure all us Obamaniacs love hearing someone call the ex president’s daughter (or any female for that matter) a “fucking cunt”. Way to keep your perspective. Don’t forget to Rock the vote!

  15. D Tanner says

    Ehrenstein, I am speechless.

    The language itself is indeed generational, as anything out (spaced out, pimped out, wimped out) is a modern phenomena used primarily by younger people in casual conversation. I could have said common talk, but most 80 year olds don’t use such whacked out language. Sure many of us 30++++ use the same language, but I guess this admission would be wimping out on my point. IT AIN’T professional.

    Schuster used the term in the context of ‘exploit’, which I contend was not to insult but to convey contempt of the “exploitation” of Chelsea, but this is my opinion. Direct insult or not the language is not appropriate for a news show (infotainment or not).

    I am fairly certain that Clinton supporters, Obama supporters, and the majority of the American news watching public would agree that trash talk is not the reason we turn on the news.

  16. says

    How is supporting her mother’s candidacy “exploitation”?

    Would you say that Obama “pimped out” his wife Michelle?

    After all such language is “a modern phenomena used primarily by younger people in casual conversation,” right?

  17. D Tanner says

    I would not use pimped out in reference to anyone, especially females. It is vulgar.

    I do not agree with his word choice, which is the point of his suspension; I do not condone the use of trashy language; I do not like it’s use even among young people, common folk, poor folk, rich folk, illiterate folk, or anyone and especially in formal public setting in reference to a female; I do NOT think Schuster was making a valid point, as most family members support one another.

    The whole affair is about inappropriate, unprofessional, unnecessary, offensive language and NOT Clinton, Obama, or anyone else.

    Hopefully, this clarifies my position on the matter.

  18. nic says

    is there really any question as to the meaning or intent? does the combination of the words “unseemly” and “pimped out” suggest a generational shift in connotation? if so, this is a depressing state of affairs. i cannot excuse a knuckle-dragging abuse of our language anymore than i can accept its knuckle-headed apologias. i like words and the effectual use thereof; that’s why i use them somewhat frequently.

  19. says

    can’t wait to hear the rant on “morning Joe” on Monday. This is going to be fun. Shuster was there for the entire show on Friday because Joe took another one of his “days off”. I swear the man takes more days off from his own show more than, well, a madame!

    oops! is that now PC?

  20. Jeff NYC says

    Schuster did NOT use the phrase meaning to “exploit”–he would NOT have used that phrase about Romney’s children, for instance. MSNBC has been showing the same contempt for the Clintons that the far right and the derisive Obama supporters have been showing. He used the phrase deliberately to diminish, derogate and dehumanize the Clintons once again.

    I repeat, many other candidates children have worked for their parents. That is NOT exploitation of pimpery.

    The ones who should REALLY be ashamed, however, are Chris Matthews and all the immature namecalling Obama supporters.

  21. says

    I think the bottom line here is not how the word is being using colloquially. The fact of the matter is that if David Schuster had said that Obama was pimping Michelle or Oprah, then the blogsphere and Al Sharpton would have blown up just like they did when Don Imus said “nappy headed ho.” “Ho” is certainly used much more mainstream now, too, but try making that argument.

    The facts are that because it is Hillary and she is a women, you all accept a lot more. Misogyny is just as disgusting as racism. It is just easier for the people to do it subtly.

  22. dmherzer says

    I’ve been thinking the same thing about the Clintons’ “use” of Chelsea. If she can shill for her corrupt parents why can’t anyone ask her highness any questions? Chelsea needs to have the media grill her like a steak…if she handles it then she will have earned her right to campaign for her madame er I mean her mother.

  23. How very sad u r says

    Thanks for proving that all you have is hatred. It’s the ONLY thing that drives people like you. You and queendru have nothing in you hearts except hate. I truly pity people like you.

  24. Michael says

    So if I pimp out my Truck I’m making it a whore? Get real, everyone knows the meaning of that term in todays language. Besides didn’t Chelsea have lunch with a 21 year old pimply boy who is a super delegate? Hmmmmmm, why didn’t Hillary or Bill go to that?

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