Saturday, February 09, 2008
"Pimped Out" Scandal
This is a pretty interesting story about an MSNBC Washington correspondent who's been suspended for saying on air that the Clintons were "pimping out" their daughter Chelsea in Hillary's battle to win the Democratic nomination.
Others may feel it's a terribly sexist and offensive thing to suggest about Chelsea Clinton, but to me, I don't get what the big deal is. The verb "to pimp" or "to pimp out" is common slang, it's totally in the vernacular, there's even a highly rated TV show called "Pimp My Ride" -- the word has utterly lost any sting it used to have. As so often happens with language, "to pimp" has evolved to mean something really quite innocuous.
Urban Dictionary even describes the term this way, meaning it really bears very little resemblance to anything prostitute-related:
Pimp out: A term used to describe massive modification of something to make it standout and look attractive.
The term is derived from the way pimps modify their cars with various colors, lights and other hardware.
Drummer to Pianist: "Damn, your keyboard is totally pimped out! What's all that LED lights and glowing buttons!"
Geek: "I've pimped my computer out - Now it has a transparent side and florescent lamps inside it."
The suspension is already causing people to accuse MSNBC of caving to pressure from the Clintons. If so, apparently the Clintons are both 70-year-old church ladies who haven't paid any attention to pop culture in the past 20 years.
I know the subtext here -- the Clintons are always accused, usually unfairly so, of being insanely manipulative and ambitious in their bid for the nomination, and perhaps they just got fed up and felt it wasn't fair to Chelsea and so complained. But on the face of it, this seems like fair comment to me from someone who used a modern-day bit of slang to describe Chelsea's often well-timed and well-planned appearances on the campaign trail.
UPDATE: Thanks to a commenter who sent us a link to this very funny photoshopped picture: