I caught this snippet of MSNBC’s Countdown (sans Keith Olbermann, sadly) last night, and something about it struck me as… odd.
Sadly, WordPress won’t embed it, so you need to follow this link to watch it.
Symphony music. “A royal wedding.” “Versailles-style mansion.” (And what is Andrea Mitchell doing wearing a fluffy pink scarf?)
“Chelsea, the Clintons’ only child, has come a long way from the teenager who grew up in the White House. Today, she has an elegant poise and style, and an impressive career as a hedge fund manager to match. A bride who knows who she is, and what she wants on her big day.”
Hmmm. “Come a long way,” huh? Oh, right. That’s code for, She used to be ‘unfortunate looking’ but she got the curls straightened and some blond highlights put in so now she’s pretty!
Admittedly, that is quite a transformation. But come on, guys, you don’t have to be so blatant. Or, maybe you do.
In 1998, John McCain made a joke. The AP reported it, but few major newspapers divulged the joke itself, saying only what happened surrounding it. Salon chose to include it, with a hearty scolding for other media entities.
“Why is Chelsea Clinton so ugly?
Because her father is Janet Reno.”
Wow, John. That’s. That’s just wow. Good job. Real shame about losing the presidency, we could do with an upstanding misogynist like you at the helm. More examples of McCain’s humor can be found here. (Look, it’s Rachel as a guest!)
The MSNBC report is acknowledging that, hey, Chelsea was no looker once upon a time. But now she could be a movie star, you guys! Like, totally! And her wedding is gonna be the bomb. Sorry, what’s that? This isn’t the ’90s? Sorry, I thought we were going retro, what with the insensitivity and references our younger readers won’t understand. (If you don’t know what Janet Reno looks like, Will Ferrell didn’t need much in the way of makeup or a wig to impersonate her on SNL. …WOW, that clip is way funnier now than it was back then. Blitzer, Amanphour and Helen Thomas!)
Chelsea Clinton was was only a year or so older than Malia Obama at the time her father was inaugurated. Chelsea is a good few years older than me, but it still felt cool to know there was a first daughter in residence.
But Chelsea has always been a very private individual. She has conducted her life with a minimum of publicity, and it’s clear she wants her wedding to be that way as well. Weddings have a habit of getting out of hand, though, so I’m sure plenty will get out to tantalize the media. I find it interesting that her wedding is being described as ‘royal,’ while Jenna Bush’s wedding, performed in 2007 while her father was still a sitting president, did not get similar accolades.
What about Chelsea and the Clintons makes this such a big to-do? Yeah, I know, I love Bill and Hillary Clinton. I’m sure people have been waiting for this wedding for a very long time. But, crimity, who is this report appealing to?
I expect better of MSNBC than, “Ugly duckling first daughter now a pretty, pretty princess!”