Shuster to Return to MSNBC Prior to Democratic Debate in Ohio
Anchor Had Been Suspended for Making ‘Pimped Out’ Comment About Chelsea Clinton
By Marisa Guthrie -- Broadcasting & Cable, 2/14/2008 10:51:00 AM
The Clinton campaign had threatened to boycott the debate, but with Sen. Hillary Clinton (N.Y.) feeling the heat from now-front-runner Barack Obama (Ill.), Clinton needs the exposure the debate will generate as much as, if not more than, MSNBC does.
The suspension for Shuster -- who made the comments Feb. 7 while guest-hosting Tucker Carlson’s show -- will amount to two weeks. He was seen briefly on the air on Feb. 8 to apologize for his remark.
NBC News has been the target of a healthy amount of criticism this political season from traditional media pundits, as well as those in the blogosphere.
Media Matters, the Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit organization that monitors U.S. media, has kept a running tally on what the watchdog group perceives as Chris Matthews’ misogynist commentary about Hillary Clinton. In January, Matthews -- a former aid to Democratic luminaries including Tip O’Neill and a speechwriter in the Carter administration -- was compelled to apologize for linking Hillary Clinton’s political success to public sympathy for her husband’s philandering.
“There are few people in the country who [care] about politics as much as Chris Matthews,” said Steve Capus, president of NBC News, adding that when Matthews and Shuster “crossed a line,” the network “acted immediately.”
Still, the intensity of the blogosphere and the dramatic nature of the 2008 presidential campaign have combined to put cable news under a microscope.
“Everybody is under immense and immediate scrutiny,” Capus said, “and in some cases by those who are objective and in some cases by those who are not so objective. I don’t give them any more importance than they deserve.”
Cable news, he continued, “is something that is built on energy and being provocative and pushing the limits at times. People know that when they tune in to Matthews, they're going to get real conversations and sometimes provocative conversations that get to the heart of political matters."
I spent many years watching MSNBC with David Shuster being one of my favorite reporters. However, I now question anything he has ever reported on. Half-truths are the same as telling a lie in my book. FOX news made a practice of telling half-truths so I don't believe anything I hear on that network. Now with the slanted coverage on MSNBC I wonder how much of the full story I have missed out all these years. I no longer trust anything they report on because I just don't know if they are telling the full story. In my book MSNBC is on the same level as FOX news. Give me the Jim Lehrer News Hour that is the only national news I watch. I'm really distressed at MSNBC and I feel their low ratings will only get lower. Half-truths are lies.
Kevin Mc. - 2/21/2008 11:33:00 AM EST
This was ridiculous!! I am a big fan of David's and am outraged he got suspended. MSNBC needs to grow a back bone. Hilary needs to get out of the race if she can't take a simple comment like this about her daughter. She can put up with her husband cheating but not this, please!!
Tiffany Witgen - 2/19/2008 11:57:00 AM EST
I have to agree with the last comment made, Chris Matthews is so oabvious a Hillary hater that he actually smiles when he can report negatively on Hillary which he makes sure that 3/4 of his show is based on her. And David Shuster should be suspended til after the campaign is over.
Evelyn Amaile - 2/18/2008 6:56:00 PM EST
My husband and I have watched Hard Ball and Countdown almost everynight since George Bush became President. I have to say that I frequently turn it off these days because of the obvoius negative slant these shows have toward Hillary Clinton. I thought Chris Matthews was about to cry when Hillary won in New Hampshire! I've always admired these shows for their blunt and truthful assessment of what is taking place in polictics today. Shame on them for making Hillary Clinton campaign against the media as well as against Barack Obama!
Vicki McKenzie - 2/16/2008 5:10:00 PM EST
I spend a good deal of time watching MSNBC at 5PM daily. I do not know Chris Matthews or David Shuster personally..but they are very good. The word "pimp" is not used by us older folk as the way Shuster intended..we use it as it was truly meant to be used the outrage is ridiculous. When you are a public figure you can expect anything and have to take it.E I hope he lost no pay. I have had to suspend news people in my day as I ran radio stations..I never attacked their paychecks..I am a former NBC VP WMAQ RAdio Chicago
Burt Sherwood - 2/15/2008 9:30:00 AM EST
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