MSNBC and "pimping"

Matthew Hoy
By Matthew Hoy on February 11, 2008

MSNBC suspended reporter/TV personality David Shuster on Friday after he asked the deeply insightful question regarding Sen. Hillary Clinton's use of daughter Chelsea in the campaign: "Doesn't it seem as if Chelsea is sort of being pimped out in some weird sort of way?"

MSNBC's decision to suspend Shuster tells us a lot more about MSNBC than it does about Shuster.

From working at the corner Alpha Beta supermarket as a teen to various newspapers as a college grad, I've always taken note of what it takes to get fired from various jobs because curiously -- aside from the supermarket -- incompetence alone never appeared to be sufficient.

Since Shuster's suspension -- and before -- bloggers and other media-watchers have been noting that MSNBC seems a lot more concerned about Shuster's use of the term "pimping" than it does about more serious journalistic sins.

Over at JustOneMinute, Tom Maguire had long noted Shuster's downright false, partisan and biased reporting. Reporting that never prompted on-air corrections or apologies, let alone a suspension.

So often I find myself asking - is it true, or is that a report from David Shuster? In the brutally competitive world of television news David Shuster of NBC has hit upon a winning formula - make stuff up that appeals to his left wing audience. Below I have highlighted five dubious reports, all related to the Plame case and all slanted against Bush and Cheney. In multiple misadventures with Keith Olbermann and Chris Matthews Mr. Shuster has

(1) edited away a key qualifier to make it appear that Cheney authorized the Plame leak;

(2) misrepresented the contents of a the publicly-available portion of a National Intelligence Estimate;

(3) walked out of a courtroom with "news" everyone else missed, attributing to the Libby defense announcements made by the prosecution (and later clarified);

(4) aired an "exclusive" originally broken by Raw Story but confirmed by no one else; and

(5) again walked out of a courtroom with "news" everyone else missed, turning a Fitzgerald metaphor into a literal charge.

Maguire goes into each of those charges much more in-depth, but each of these "sins" is far worse than his "pimping" comment.

But let's give MSNBC the benefit of the doubt. Maybe there's some internal standards document that outlines the prescribed punishment for on-air use of "pimp" is a public apology and a suspension.

If that's the case, MSNBC "star" Keith Olbermann should've been suspended quite some time ago, as Olbermann Watch notes:

For those of you who can't stand to watch the clever video, Olbermann accuses President Bush of "pimping" Gen. David Petraeus in his appearance before the Congress last year.

MSNBC's kowtowing is as biased and one-sided as its reporting.

Journalism. Wound. Self-inflicted.


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February 2008



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