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Clinton's Fight with MSNBC Continues, but where is Obama?

Update: This afternoon Hillary Clinton accepted the invitation to debate on MSNBC with Obama. The debate will be held in Cleveland, Ohio on Tuesday February 26th, exactly one week before the all-important March 4 primaries in Ohio and Texas.

Clinton had previously indicated reluctance to debate on MSNBC, as outlined below.

---original post begins here---
Published: Feb 10, 08 11:00 AM


Clinton's Fight with MSNBC Continues, but where is Obama?

Chelsea.jpg

Hillary Clinton continued in her pursuit of NBC/MSNBC over anchor David Shuster's patently sexist comments last Thursday describing the Clintons as having "pimped out" Chelsea Clinton, increasing the effort Saturday with the announcement that she's not satisfied with the "indefinite suspension" of Shuster by the network.

Perhaps she suspects, as I do, that an "indefinite suspension" translates into "we'll keep him off the air until the firestorm dies down." What NBC is doing, in my opinion, isn't an apology with corrective action -- it's nothing more than a damage control effort designed to take Shuster out of the spotlight long enough to quiet the firestorm building against them.

What I don't understand is why Barack Obama is silent on all of this?. I can't find one comment from the Obama camp condemning the sexist remark.

What's worse is that Obama is apparently not a gentleman enough to stand up to NBC and stand with Clinton on this issue.and offer to reschedule the debate to another network. I suspect that there are lots of Ohio media venues where the debate could be held instead of MSNBC but apparently Obama's message of hope and change is nothing more than empty campaign rhetoric, and when it comes time to stand up and do the right thing for women in this country, Obama hides - in effect supporting the mistreatment of women by NBC/MSNBC, and choosing instead to seek the road that leads to political gain for himself.

Nothing would make Obama happier than not having to debate Clinton, and to hell with standing up for the fair treatment of women.

This is yet another excellent chance for Barack Obama to demonstrate that he really does stand up for progressive change by speaking out against the sexist remarks made by the network -- in concert with Clinton -- by doing what any real progressive Democrat would do in this instance. Stand up and "do the right thing"and call MSNBC onto the carpet right along with Clinton.

Instead Barack Obama's doing exactly what a Karl Rove-coached George Bush would do in this instance -- nothing, standing silent and doing absolutely nothing - letting it devolve into a partisan battle where only Clinton Democrats are condemning this atrocity, while Obama Democrats do nothing -- or worse -- mock Clinton for standing up against the media giant.

Obama's "championing of change" is once again turning out to be nothing more than empty campaign rhetoric from an empty suit.

Who's surprised by that? Certainly not me...


Note: Wizbang Blue is now closed and our authors have moved on. Paul Hooson can now be found at Wizbang Pop!. Please come see him there!

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Comments (28)

Joe:

You're the only liberal I've seen who actually is upset by the comments. Every other liberal I've talked to thinks Hillary is going waaaaaay overboard. just like extreme liberalism in general.

Lee Ward:

Don't confuse Obama supporters with "liberals," Joe - many of them are in fact Republicans and moderates who voted for Bush, and are Obama supporters because they don't want a true liberal in office.

They're anything but progressives, as this issue demonstrates.

Steve Crickmore:

Lee..I agree, I think Hillary is going over the top on this...Chelsea is 27 years old..Hillary is known for swearing like a bargee..'dressing down' others in much more loaded terms than 'pimped out'. It's 'Hard Out Here For A Pimp' is the reigning Academy Award Song.

"There is a lag between the traditional use of the word 'pimp 'to the updated multiple meanings used in popular culture."...Racine, Wisconsin went through this in 2004 when it named a teen library program was called "pimp my cart"..See 'New Definition for "Overreacting Sheltered White People"

ryan a:

I agree completely with Steve C. This is a huge overreaction by Clinton and her cadre, IMO.

It may not have been the best phrase choice of all time, but it also wasn't something that necessitated this kind of massive overreaction.

Steve Crickmore:

Maybe it is also because Hillary consistently uses the powerful language of a macho prize fighter that sometimes I feel she wants it both ways. Yesterday in Maine..

When I think about running against Senator McCain, if I'm so fortunate to be the Democratic nominee -- you'll never have to worry about being knocked out of the ring. I think I can go toe to toe with John McCain every single day," Clinton said to cheers while speaking to a capacity crowd at a University of Maine student center.

Is this what Democratic America really wants? It is the language of 'the old politics'. But then anyways, to use her terminology when she is a corner or on the ropes, she becomes very sensitive to the 'sexist' or assertive use of language and charges her opponents quickly with throwing mud" such as when Edwards questioned in a debate whether "she could restore trust to the White House".

John S:

Perhaps Obama notes that despite a poor choice of a commonly used slang term, the charge by MSNBC is ABSOLUTELY TRUE. I suppose Chelsea will still claim that she cannot talk to the media, while acting 100 percent as a campaign spokesperson.

mantis:

Don't confuse Obama supporters with "liberals," Joe - many of them are in fact Republicans and moderates who voted for Bush, and are Obama supporters because they don't want a true liberal in office.

Wow, you really have become quite delusional this election, haven't you? Maybe politics is a bit much for you to handle.

Codekeyguy[TypeKey Profile Page]:

When a popular cable show is called "Pimp my ride" and simply refers to dressing up a car, and the colloquial use is to "dress up", it seems to me that Chelsea is definitely being used to "dress up" the campaigning of "Da Boss", so she is in fact being "pimped out". Schuster called it right.

Lee Ward:

Mantis -- I guess you aren't well read, are you.

Codekeyguy - Mantis probably agrees with you (he's not well read) but people aren't objects, and while no one believes the Clintons were literally selling their daughter, the use of slang that suggests it is highly offensive.... unless you happen to hate Hillary Clinton, and obviously there are a lot of men that do.

ryan a:

Lee,

If you read the article that you posted, you will note that it is talking about the appeal that Obama has for SOME Republicans. Your insinuation was that somehow, because of this broad appeal, Obama is not a "true liberal" (post #2 above). However, according to the link you provided:

The one thing that will keep Obama's appeal from translating into widespread support among Republicans is that he is, on almost every issue, a conventional liberal. And while rhetoric and character matter a lot, politics is finally and fundamentally about ideas and philosophy. Whether we're talking about the Iraq war, monitoring terrorist communications, health care, taxes, education, abortion and the courts, the size of government, or almost anything else, Obama embodies the views of the special-interest groups on the left.

So you can disagree with the author about where to position Obama on the old Liberal-Conservative slide ruler.

...and while no one believes the Clintons were literally selling their daughter, the use of slang that suggests it is highly offensive.... unless you happen to hate Hillary Clinton, and obviously there are a lot of men that do.

Yes, yes. The reporter used slang to suggest that Hillary is farming her daughter out for the campaign. In the same way that many politicians use their families for their cause. I still think Clinton and co. completely overreacted about this, and I think you have as well. I agree that the word choice could have been better...but after watching the actual report on Youtube, well, it was clear that it was really a very minor issue. Talk about blowing things out of proportion.

mantis:

Oh, gee, Peter Wehner writes a column called "Why Republicans Like Obama," therefore he must be a stealth Republican, right? Well, if one Republican says some other Republicans like Obama, he certainly can't be a liberal (or progressive, if you like), can he?

Well, let's look at some other things I've read. I've read the results of the primaries thus far, and they're illuminating on this point. Thus far, Obama has gotten the majority of votes from Democrats in seven closed primaries/caucuses: Alaska, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Kansas, Louisiana, and Maine. Compare this to only five closed contests, including Florida, for Clinton. Gee, that seems to shoot a bunch of holes in your assertion that Obama supporters aren't liberals or Democrats. And how about this, where Newsweek is reporting that Democrats are satisfied with the candidates as nominee in the following numbers:

Hillary Clinton: 84%
Barack Obama: 84%

Will you look at that! Democrats are satisfied in the same overwhelming numbers (especially compared to the Republicans satisfaction with their choices) with both candidates. I guess the 84% that like Obama are really just Republicans and Independents, right Lee? Let's not forget Obama's ratings from various liberal interest groups (guess what? He gets high marks from all of them).

This isn't a historic election just because the Democrats will have either a woman or a black man as their nominee, it is historic because the Democrats for the first time in many years have put forth two very strong candidates that are both very popular in their party. I was very disappointed with the party when they put forth that mope Kerry in 2004, and couldn't even bring myself to vote for him (no, I didn't vote for Bush, and my vote made little difference here in Illinois). But this year, I would be happy to vote for either of the Democrats, along with 84% of Democrats (probably the first time I agree with that many Dems).

And what's very nice about this primary contest is that most Democrats, and even a good number of leftie bloggers, recognize the strength of both candidates and are not engaging in the idiotic squabbling the Republicans are (you're candidate is not a "real" conservative, etc.).

That is, except for you. You feel the need to demonize Obama because you prefer Clinton, trying to make him into a Republican, posting hilariously unbelievable claims of very dubious origin (I don't believe this rumor, but I'm very willing to spread it around), attacking him and his supporters constantly, and generally making an ass out of yourself.

Of course, his campaign has already been asked about the "pimped out" comment, last week:

Bill Burton, a spokesman for Obama, called Shuster's comments "deplorable" and said they had no place in the political process.

But that's not good enough for you; you have to try to make the comment by some dumbass at MSNBC into Obama's problem. Apparently you think that Obama is not a liberal and is in fact a woman-hater because he won't actively campaign for his opponent. Idiotic.

If anyone is going to ruin this election for the Democrats, it will be people like you. Keep up the good work.

Lee Ward:

Both ryan and mantis challenge the WaPo/Whener article as being unimportant - but it only one indicator of the trend of a small but meaningful anti-Hillary, increasing misogynistic sector of independents and conservatives. Ryan, thankfully, makes this argument in a lot more efficiently with more cogent verbiage and less vitriol than the preying one, but they both echo the same sentiment.

But I think it is meaningful and significant. I've got a post hitting the front page in 10 minutes that discusses it more, and explains why I think it's significant and it "matters"...

mantis:

That's it? That's your rebuttal? Weak, very weak.

Lee Ward:

beep!

And in case you haven't noticed, mantis, I don't consider your foaming at the mouth blatherings worth rebutting , but your entitled to your opinion, so blather away...

mantis:

The reason you must dismiss my argument as "foaming at the mouth blatherings," and will not attempt to rebut it, is because you know it is correct. You've never been an honest debater, and you still aren't.

Lee Ward:

It's shame you've turned into a ankle-biting little troll... but if my posts give your otherwise apparently meaningless little life some purpose, rock on.

mantis:

I haven't turned into anything. I deplore bullshit, no matter who's slinging it, and you're slinging a lot these days.

Btw, if you think calling me names or other such derisive comments will get a rise out of me, you're wrong. Have fun trying, though.

ryan a:

Lee,

Both ryan and mantis challenge the WaPo/Whener article as being unimportant - but it only one indicator of the trend of a small but meaningful anti-Hillary, increasing misogynistic sector of independents and conservatives.

I never said the article was unimportant, I was saying that it was clearly describing Obama as a liberal. Clearly. Clearly. Clearly.

The article did not prove the point that you were trying to make with it. And that's what I was pointing out.

And here's some advice: as the editor of this site it might be a good idea to refrain from lowering your standards of debate/discourse like this. In my opinion you're way out of line in the way that you're interacting with Mantis. You sound just like some of the Wizbangers of the old days who went around attacking commenters who disagreed with them. Not a great model to follow, IMO.

Basically Lee, Mantis took you to the cleaners and backed it up with logical argument. Your reply was little than immature ad hominem nonsense, and it doesn't serve you or your site very well. You at least consider finding ways to disagree with people in a reasoned and rational manner--that's the general point of political debate and discussion as I see it. Otherwise it's just name calling.

I understand the fact that you support Hillary, as do many liberals out there. But there is no need to try to go around sabotaging those who support Obama based upon your political convictions. Political analysis requires a certain measure of insight and thought. Your original post here was a very weak attempt at throwing Obama under the bus--disguised in a feigned concern about what some TV reporter said about Hillary. If you're going to do political analysis or commentary, then at least try a little harder at achieving a measure of balance and rigor. Just a suggestion.

ryan a:

correction.

This sentence: You at least consider finding ways to disagree with people in a reasoned and rational manner--that's the general point of political debate and discussion as I see it. Otherwise it's just name calling.

Should read:

You should at least consider finding ways to disagree with people in a reasoned and rational manner--that's the general point of political debate and discussion as I see it. Otherwise it's just name calling.

It happens...

Lee Ward:

"I never said the article was unimportant, I was saying that it was clearly describing Obama as a liberal. Clearly. Clearly. Clearly."

Liberals "is" as liberal "does", and I think Obama is showing he's less than liberal and progressive by not stepping up to the plate on this issue.

When you have Republicans who would vote for Obama over McCain in that matchup, but would vote for McCain over Clinton in that matchup, their oBama support is not indicative of a liberal or progressive ideology as much as it indicates an anti-Hillary stance.

Anyone who would choose to support McCain and support the continuance of the Iraq war for another 100 years rather than vote for Clinton is not a liberal.

and why are these non-liberals choosing Obama over Clinton, but stand ready to vote for McCain if needed?

Mantis has turned into a troll. That's not my problem. He asks twenty questions and when you go through all of the work of linking and showing him he asks twenty more. I don't have the patience to deal with his dishonest arguments and ad hominem attacks. If he addresses the issues in the post I'll discuss it with him. Otherwise he bite ankles all he wants....

ryan a:

Mantis has turned into a troll. That's not my problem. He asks twenty questions and when you go through all of the work of linking and showing him he asks twenty more. I don't have the patience to deal with his dishonest arguments and ad hominem attacks. If he addresses the issues in the post I'll discuss it with him. Otherwise he bite ankles all he wants....

Reel it in man. Mantis is no troll and you know it. Mantis disagrees with you, that's what's happening. There is a difference. Your assertions of late have become pretty damn one-sided, and in this case you aren't willing to listen to other viewpoints.

If you want to start creating some kind of dialog in the posts that you write, then you're gonna have to find ways to engage with the people who read them. At least, if engagement and discussion is something that you want around here. If all you want is to post and have everyone agree with you, well, don't expect to gain readers.

mantis:

If you disagree with Lee, and provide facts to support your arguments, you're a troll. Like I said, he'd fit in quite well with the Republicans.

SCSIwuzzy:

Now I likely will be labeled as a troll, but I must say I find the interplay on Blue lately to be quite interesting.

How is Obama not a liberal? He's ranked the most liberal senator, based on his voting record in 2007. In his 3 years in office, he's consistently scored more liberal than Sen. Clinton (and if I read Lee correctly, she is the authentic liberal in the race). Both have "gone up" in the rankings in this time, between the 2006 change in the senate's lineup and endearing themselves to the left as preparation to run.

Sounds to me like Obama is playing Trotsky to Clinton's Stalin when I read Lee in the last few days.

Anyway, to comment on the pimp comment, was this really so much worse that Keith Oblerman saying the same thing about a US Army general?

Personally, I don't like the term, and find the title of shows like "Pimp my Ride" enough to not watch them. It is the kind of term that should always be considered negative and defamatory.

However, I would never have heard of the incident had the Hillary campaign not made a stink about it, and gotten Shuster kicked off the air. I don't think Obama needs to defend the Clintons, they can do that themselves. They play the victim card all too well, and the last thing he should do is validate their tactics. If asked to move the debate or the like, by all means he should take a moment to chastise MSNBC.

Lee Ward:

Obama is a liberal, although less liberal than Clinton in my view. remember, we're judging their role as president, not their voting record as Senators.

However, as everyone except mantis acknowledges, there are a number of non-liberal moderate and conservatives now in the Obama camp - and since those supporters are not liberals in ANY sense, they are supporting Obama over McCain, but some would chose McCain over Clinton.

The fact that Obama has remained silent while women in this country are denigrated as they have been by David Shuster, further underscores the fact that when Obama has something to gain - he abandons the liberal side of the argument post haste.

I can assure you that John Edwards would be speaking up against Shuster's remarks - Obama is apparently just plain too slimy - and not progressive enough to stand on those principles.

With Obama this close to the White House, Progressive values are set aside for personal gain.

SCSIwuzzy:

Are either Sen. Obama or Sen. Clinton speaking out about the denigration of women of women under, I dunno, the Taliban or Iraq when the Baath party were in power?

Where was Hillary Clinton when William Clinton fooling around on her? Controlling the "bimbo eruptions" if my memory serves. How was that standing up for denigrated women?

Both Obama and Hillary are political animals, and they can both be counted on to act in their own interests.

As for Edwards, didn't he have some pointed words about Hillary crying? Implying she was too weak to be President as a result?
But that wasn't slimy, not at all.

Lee, clearly you like Hillary, and like her a lot. But making desperate and dishonest arguments to denounce her opponent as less than ideologically pure is exactly why I likened you to Stalin's supporters going after Trotsky.

Lee Ward:

Obama is indeed much less progressive than the image he's pawned off on the American public, but he won't show you that side until after he succeeds (or not) in getting the nomination.

ryan a:

The fact that Obama has remained silent while women in this country are denigrated as they have been by David Shuster, further underscores the fact that when Obama has something to gain - he abandons the liberal side of the argument post haste.

Damn Lee, you sure are trying to run as far as you can with that non-event, aren't you?

Seriously, if you're going to rail on Obama about not supporting women, well, you better come up with something a little better than this nonsense.

I do not expect Obama, or Hillary, or Edwards, or anyone else to respond to every little stupid remark that some reporter makes. Sorry, but this all sounds a little too disingenuous to me. Hillary is known for being pretty damn tough, and I have a difficult time believing that she is so offended by the offhanded comment by Schuster.

I do believe that she thinks she can get some political mileage out of it. And it's apparently working pretty well with you.

It seems to me that she should have just ignored what Schuster said as inconsequential, which is what it was IMO.

bacaangel[TypeKey Profile Page]:

Obama does not have to comment on every argument Hillary wants to promote for her own personal gain when he has to be about the people's business.

Also below excerpts about Obama's Senate record to educate themselves and others that Obama is more than just rheteroic.

Excerpt from:
Judge Him by His Laws,
By Charles Peters
Friday, January 4, 2008; Page A21
(WashingtonPost.Com)

"People who complain that Barack Obama lacks experience must be unaware of his legislative achievements. One reason these accomplishments are unfamiliar is that the media have not devoted enough attention to Obama's bills and the effort required to pass them, ignoring impressive, hard evidence of his character and ability.
Since most of Obama's legislation was enacted in Illinois, most of the evidence is found there -- and it has been largely ignored by the media in a kind of Washington snobbery that assumes state legislatures are not to be taken seriously. (Another factor is reporters' fascination with the horse race at the expense of substance that they assume is boring, a fascination that despite being ridiculed for years continues to dominate political journalism.)"
***************************************

(Below Excerpts from Blog: Obsidian Wings, Hilzoy)

Barack Obama kept popping up, doing really good substantive things. There he was, working for nuclear non-proliferation and securing loose stockpiles of conventional weapons, like shoulder-fired missiles. There he was again, passing what the Washington Post called "the strongest ethics legislation to emerge from Congress yet" -- though not as strong as Obama would have liked. Look -- he's over there, passing a bill that created a searchable database of recipients of federal contracts and grants, proposing legislation on avian flu back when most people hadn't even heard of it, working to make sure that soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan were screened for traumatic brain injury and to prevent homelessness among veterans, successfully fighting a proposal by the VA to reexamine all PTSD cases in which full benefits had been awarded, working to ban no-bid contracts in Katrina reconstruction, and introducing legislation to criminalize deceptive political tactics and voter intimidation. Imagine my surprise, then, when I heard people saying that Obama wasn't "substantive". Curiously, Obama has an actual legislative record, and so it is possible for us to see both how he approaches bipartisan cooperation and what results it yields. And it turns out that Obama does achieve results by working with Republicans, and doesn't tend to compromise on core principles.

(You can real the whole article from the blog listed above.)


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