NICE to see that Olbermann could get around to covering the David Shuster story. It'd be nicer if, after two such "controversies" involving MSNBC "talent" in as many months, the token liberal on the Network That Used To Bring You Imus, the Network That Paid Tim Russert and Brian Williams to Think Up Those Questions, could have assigned the story a number, and talked about it, instead of slipping it in sideways and giving Shuster a big sloppy one before adding that We, of course, moderately deplore what he said. And what would have been really nice is if the Shuster story hadn't come four minutes after a third-hand retake on Bill Clinton's remarks of two weeks ago.
I have a few questions.
• What's it take to get fired from MSNBC? Calling a sponsor a nappy-headed pimp?
• How does "pimped out" come to be part of David Shuster's on-air vocabulary, anyway, and please, don't tell me it's because Atrios and Jane Hamsher think it's perfectly ordinary. There's language, and there's public language, and there's the public language of journalism, actual or mock. David Shuster is not Dale Earnhart Junior uncorking a "Shit!" on his team radio, forgetting that he's also on the air. He's a guy hosting a putative show about politics. Would it be excusable if he'd said John McCain "gave Bush a blowjob"? I believe that "temporary" would have been left off the press release about his suspension.
• No, it ain't hypocritical, motherfucker. I have no problem with rough talk, obviously, but then I'm not getting paid and I have zero responsibility to the public. NBC does, and it and the other nets have gone far too long without being held accountable. Though that language would be inappropriate aimed at anyone--even someone charged with promotion of prostitution--the fact that it was aimed at Senator Clinton and her daughter is absolutely part of the issue. Because they made it so.
• And what about the fact that Shuster was entirely full of shit? Bill Press was right there saying, "The Bush Twins campaigned, too," which shouldn't even be necessary, and Shuster still couldn't keep his foot off the gas. It's stupid shit, and it wouldn't have been said about any media darling.