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Friday, February 08, 2008

Pimped Out

MSNBC suspended David Shuster for his "is the Clinton campaign pimpin' out Chelsea" comment? This is the sort of thing that boggles my mind, but partly because (1) I am not offended by "salty" language and (2) have problems processing the hypocrisy of the modern world. As for (1), hasn't the word "pimp," and the verb, "to pimp," entered the 100% ironic lexicon by now? I mean, when was the last time you heard someone say "pimp" and mean it, um, literally? As in: "That dude Travis is a pimp, i.e., he has a stable of prostitutes he 'manages.'" (Hee hee, "manages." Like, with a pimp slap. Ooops. Maybe I'll get suspended now.)

As for (2), as many others have pointed out, MSNBC employs Chris Matthews. And Matthews steps over what shall ever hence be known as the "pimp" line on a regular basis. So to suspend Shuster, but let Matthews keep running his mouth . . . oh, lordy. Give me a break.

None of this is to "defend" Shuster's query. But the pimp did apologize.


At 10:16 PM, Blogger tenaciousmcd said...

Also relevant: Schuster is a kick ass reporter. He's tough, fair, and can smell bullshit a mile away. Those Clintons sure are acting like whiners. Hill will now debate on FOX but not MSNBC? Traitor!!

At 3:20 AM, Blogger fronesis said...

This is the first I've heard of this, since, as some of you know, I get all of my news from FFb. But if I might offer a brief linguistic analysis.

There's no doubt that the metaphorical use of pimp is widespread and well understood. I think the problem here is that this example is too close to the literal. If I say that you have 'a pimpin' car' then it's very hard to read this literally, since it seems so unlikely that I'm suggesting you somehow use your car as part of your job managing a ring of prostitutes. Same thing goes if I refer to a 45 year-old male as having 'pimped himself out': it seems more likely that I mean, metaphorically, that he has somehow allowed himself to be used by the system in some way, and very unlikely that he has literally prostituted himself.

But if you refer to a group of middle-aged managerial like people as 'pimpin' out' a young woman, a woman that many still think of as a child - well, for a moment at least that can be read literally. And I imagine this is exacerbated by the fact that Chelsea was the first daughter and therefore as close as one can get to royalty in america.

At 7:02 AM, Blogger Number Three said...

I like the lingusitic analysis of "pimping out."

I think one other interesting angle on this is that the Clintons kept Chelsea away from the political game for so long, and now, I think, they're trying to have it both ways--keeping her away from political metaphors, and yet deriving benefits from her participation. Not to say that the Shuster comment was an "attack" on Chelsea. I don't think Shuster meant anything negative regarding Chelsea herself at all. But if you;re going to put yourself out there . . . it ain't beanbag.

At 9:29 PM, Blogger tenaciousmcd said...

Hill has now called for Shuster to be fired. I'm starting to hate her.

At 10:02 AM, Blogger said...

get your 'pimped out.' shirts, hats, buttons, mugs, stickers, magnets, mousepads, and more at


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