Pimp Gate Update: Hillary’s Hypocritical Letter to NBC News Prez

The "pimped out" controversy surrounding MSNBC's David Shuster - destined to be called "Pimp Gate" - took a turn for the bizarre when Democrat presidential candidate Hillary Clinton sent a letter to Steve Capus, President of NBC News.

Published for all to see at the Washington Post's "The Trail" blog Saturday, the letter demonstrated a disturbing number of hypocrisies and double standards inherent in today's liberally biased media.

See if you can find them all (emphasis added to assist your search):

Dear Mr. Capus,

Thank you for your call yesterday. I wanted to send you this note to convey the depth of my feeling about David Shuster's comments.

I know that I am a public figure and that my daughter is playing a public role in my campaign. I am accustomed to criticism, certainly from MSNBC. I know that it goes with the territory.

However, I became Chelsea's mother long before I ran for any office and I will always be a mom first and a public official second.

Nothing justifies the kind of debasing language that David Shuster used and no temporary suspension or half hearted apology is sufficient.

I would urge you to look at the pattern of behavior on your network that seems to repeatedly lead to this sort of degrading language.

There's a lot at stake for our country in this election. Surely, you can do your jobs as journalists and commentators and still keep the discourse civil and appropriate.


Hillary Rodham Clinton

Let's begin with the first bolded sentence: "Thank you for your call yesterday."

Isn't that special? The president of NBC News called a candidate for president. Wouldn't you have liked to be a fly on the wall to hear that conversation?

Next: "Nothing justifies the kind of debasing language..."

Hey, Hillary: What about the debasing language towards America's current president that emanates from MSNBCers on a daily basis? Does anything justify that?

"I would urge you to look at the pattern of behavior on your network that seems to repeatedly lead to this sort of degrading language."

Yes, Hillary, that's what all of us at NewsBusters have been saying for years. However, as you castigate Capus, why not take the opportunity to point out ALL the degrading language so prevalent at this network, and not just the rare sexism?

After all, according to ABC's Jake Tapper, this is what you really found offensive about this episode (emphasis added):

After some conversations with folks at the Clinton campaign, I can offer some clarity -- maybe -- on what they're asking NBC/MSNBC to do.

And despite Clinton's letter, saying David Martin Shuster's apology and suspension was not sufficient, Clinton's goal is not for NBC to fire Shuster, he and his fans will be happy to hear. Until Thursday, the Clinton campaign had no issues with Shuster, I'm told.

The campaign says it has more to do with what it sees as a sexist, locker room, on-air atmosphere at MSNBC.

A look over at Clinton front-organization Media Matters confirmed sexism as Hillary's primary concern (emphasis added):

This afternoon, NBC News President Steve Capus issued a statement calling Shuster's comments "irresponsible and inappropriate" and announcing that Shuster "has been suspended from appearing on all NBC News broadcasts" other than to make another apology, which aired tonight. Shuster then offered a more complete apology at the beginning of the February 8 edition of Tucker.

Capus' statement is the best sign yet that NBC News is beginning to take seriously the lengthy pattern of inappropriate comments about women made by NBC and MSNBC reporters. (NBC News did not issue a statement about Matthews, allowing Matthews' overly narrow, on-air quasi-apology to stand as the closest thing to an official statement.)

But apologies and statements and even suspensions don't mean anything unless they are followed by an actual change in behavior.

Notice how closely Media Matters's text mirrors Hillary's letter to Capus? Of course, given Media Matters's ties to the Clintons, this shouldn't come as any great surprise.

That said, the truly unfortunate revelation from this entire incident is just how beholden media in this nation are to the Clintons, which not only makes their defeat in November more difficult, but also more imperative.

After all, when the Pimp Gate dust settles, Americans truly paying attention will learn that employees of MSNBC are allowed -- nay, encouraged! -- to debase a Republican whenever the whim overcomes them.

However, if someone dares say anything negative about a Clinton, the offending party will be forced to apologize, be suspended, and the head of NBC News will personally beg the former first family for forgiveness.

Is this really the best General Electric, one of the world's largest corporations, can add to journalism in this country?

Campaigns & Elections 2008 Presidential NBC MSNBC Media Matters Chelsea Clinton
Noel Sheppard's picture