The outrage over MSNBC’s David Shuster’s remarks about Chelsea Clinton got him suspended and MSNBC threatened by the Clinton camp. Isn’t what John McCain said about Chelsea in 1998, when she was only 18, much worse? Apparently, the news media generally refused to print the “joke” that McCain told as part of prepared remarks before a Republican audience: “Why is Chelsea Clinton so ugly? Because her father is Janet Reno.”
Even trying to think as a sexist homophobe, I’m not 100% sure I get the joke, but that’s besides the point. McCain wasn’t ad-libbing here; he was giving a prepared speech that he, presumably, thought through beforehand. Is this kind of “humor” about an innocent 18 year old acceptable from the man who is going to be the Republican’s nominee for President? If “pimping out” Chelsea is out of bounds in ad-libbed comments, isn’t this much worse?
- David S. Cohen