Is it just me, or have we become a culture where every day our front page news must include the latest adult who is mortally offended by "comments" made by another adult? There can no longer be any doubt about this extremely sad fact. Political correctness is destroying human communication each and every day. We've lost our spine, our sense of humor, our sense of sarcasm, and ultimately, our sense of what it means to have a free exchange of social commentary.
Observe the latest controversy over comments made a few days ago on MSNBC. In what I believe was said in a spirit of jest and inquiry, MSNBC Anchor David Schuster wondered out loud if the Hillary Rodham Clinton campaign was now "pimping out" daughter Chelsea Clinton to make telephone calls to celebrities and Democratic party "superdelegates" on behalf of her mother who happens to be running for President.
I'm not sure I understand why these thoughts out loud were so horrible that David Schuster had to be temporarily suspended from appearing on all NBS news broadcasts. There is one exception here. And it is of course ok for his face to appear on NBC news for the purpose of him apologizing. David Schuster is the latest victim to fall to the politically correct thought police. The bodies (and careers) are piling up.
Unfortunately, the public is somewhat of a victim here too. We have been so dumbed down to accepting the "confessional" philosophy that runs rampant today. It's beyond ridiculous that a regular form of media entertainment is listening to a plea of forgiveness and mercy from adults for of all things - "comments." Is the best we can do? Is this really where we want to be? It's pathetic.
Interestingly, a lot of the news reports are including this fact: Chelsea Clinton is actually a 27-year old adult. I could see the Clinton campaign getting all riled up if Chelsea was still a child and over the airwaves you have a news Anchor suggesting Chelsea was being "pimped out." Fair enough. You would expect a heated challenge to that comment.
But it appears that no one wants to accept the reality that it is 2008, and Chelsea is all grown up now. She's an adult. I think she will survive the "pimped out" comments. After all, it's just an opinion. She won't need therapy and surely will not have to feel the need to sue MSNBC Anchor David Schuster for slander. Well, let's hope not.
It might take some folks a while to calm down. For example, Clinton communications director, Howard Wolfson. In regard to Hillary still appearing on the upcoming MSNBC debate against surging Barack Obama, he "can't envision a scenario where we would continue to engage in debates on that network." The "pimped out" comments for Wolfson are "beneath contempt." Hmmm. I have a feeling he thinks that the comments were more contemptuous than many of the things that Hillary and Bill have done in and out of public life for the last quarter of a century.
I find it moronic in a way that the Clinton campaign can get so flustered over comments made which really were directed at Chelsea. Again, she is an adult. It was said, and I believe everyone concerned has the power within them to shrug it off and move on. I'm sorry, but words are not always dangerous weapons that can kill. If Bill and Hillary can get so sidetracked over these comments, how in the world are they going to behave in the house they oh so want to occupy again?
We need to decide where we as a culture want to go from here. It's long past decision time. And despite this latest controversy over comments during a Presidential race, we can leave presidential politics out of it. It's about deciding if we are a nation of adults or a nation of adult children. We have been acting and reacting to words like adult children, rather than like the adults which we all are. The entertainment world and the world of ideas for that matter is rough stuff.
And I don't know about you, but I like to hear some thoughts out loud. I like to hear people say what comes right to them from time to time. I like the free flow of comments. Sure, some things get said that should have stayed in the proverbial vault, but so what? We're human beings, and certainly when our mouths get moving, we can be less than perfect. We can be controversial, and perhaps right or wrong.
Let's not forget something important. We're talking about the Clinton campaign here. Hello? These are folks that can't accept any reality that does not fit into what they want right now, or in the future. The Clinton campaign can't accept the reality that black people in states other than just South Carolina are voting for Barack Obaba (or someone else) because they want a President more honorable and fresh than yet another Clinton. The Clinton campaign can't accept the reality that most thinking Americans don't want the government to totally take over the entire health care industry.
And perhaps most amazingly, they refuse to accept the simple reality that, yes, Chelsea Clinton is all grown up now. She's a 27-year old. She's an adult. She can handle MSNBC Anchor David Schuster just fine. I mean, how many people actually heard David Schuster's "pimped out" comment live anyway?
I mean, it's not like he was on the FOX news channel.
Tony Zizza is a columnist who lives in Hermitage, TN. He writes frequently about popular culture. His columns have appeared in The Manchester Union Leader, The Sunday Paper and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution newspaper. Reach Zizza via email: firstname.lastname@example.org