Carol Platt Liebau: Shuster <i>Should</i> Apologize

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Shuster Should Apologize

MSNBC's David Shuster has apologized to the Clinton campaign for having used a prostitution metaphor in discussing Chelsea Clinton's role in her mother's presidential bid.

Well, he should apologize. Not because the substance of his remarks was wrong (after all, it's been obvious for years that the Clintons' tendency to showcase their daughter is inversely correlated with their political fortunes) -- but because it's needlessly vulgar, unnecessary and wrong to associate any woman of good character with prostitution.

When people resort to cursing or swearing, they're really just emphasizing their inability to communicate in a more intelligent, coherent way. Similarly, when David Shuster resorts to analogizing a former First Daughter to a prostitute, it reveals a certain gratuitous vulgarity -- and incompetence at conveying a sharp, punchy point in a less unsavory way.

Couldn't we please keep the sexual references out of political reportage and dialogue?


Blogger Matt Brinkman said...

Carol claims, "it's been obvious for years that the Clintons' tendency to showcase their daughter is inversely correlated with their political fortunes."

Carol, can't you even restrain yourself from taking a cheap shot in a post criticizing the media for taking a cheap shot? Since when has it been considered anything other than natural for politicians' adult children in participate in their parent's campaign?

The most blatant politicization of children in this election season was Mitt Romney's use of his five sons , one of whom is younger than Chelsea Clinton. It is kind of funny how you never mentioned Mitt showcasing his sons in an attempt to bolster his political fortunes.

Despite rivers of words criticizing John McCain for his various failings, I never once heard you decry the fact that 23-year old Meghan McCain is campaigning. Given that you have thrown everything else up at the man, I take it that this wasn't a problem for you.

There are two distinct difficulties with what Shuster said. The first is the choice of words, which is be clearly out-of-bounds. The second, however, is his attempt to hold the Clintons to a different standard than every other candidate in the race. It's this atmosphere of faux-indignation that creates the environment allowing the media to make their sniggering puerile little jokes at the Clintons' expense.

These items are not going to go away until people accept that there are limits to acceptable discourse. As one of the active participants foisting outlandish double standards on the Clintons for political gain, Carol, you are part of the problem.

12:26 PM  

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