NBC News President Steve Capus announced this afternoon that MSNBC’s David Shuster would be suspended from appearing on all NBC broadcasts because of his “irresponsible and inappropriate” remarks — I would call them disgusting and sexist — suggesting it was “unseemly” that 27-year-old Chelsea Clinton is campaigning for her mother, and then characterizing it as “being pimped out.”
After Shuster’s damaging remarks on-air, the National Organization for Women and others called on Capus to take action. After all, NBC has had a track record of employing sexist on-air personalities and for taking its time to deal with their behavior.
NOW applauds Steve Capus and NBC for taking such swift and decisive action. NBC must have learned something about the public response to sexism and racism when Don Imus made those outrageous remarks about the Rutgers women’s basketball team and women responded in fury. Then in January, MSNBC’s Chris Matthews apologized on-air after weeks and weeks of repeated sexist remarks about Sen. Hillary Clinton. It took a coalition of women’s groups protesting outside MSNBC, and a deluge of angry emails from Media Matters, before Matthews apologized. Now, it’s Shuster’s turn; only this time it took NBC less than 24 hours to respond appropriately.
Media misogyny has reached an all time high, and Shuster’s remarks are only the latest example. And despite their quick response, there is a pattern at MSNBC: insult, apology, insult, apology. Starting now, let’s just skip the insults and go straight to the news.
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