There are many lessons that can be learned watching Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew — a scheudenfraude-fest on VH1 where addicted D-Listers embarrass themselves in front of the camera in ways that the combined hidden camera might of Alan Funt and Ashton Kutcher could have never dreamed. But one stands out: It's seemingly impossible to undo the damage done to a child during his or her formative years.
Take former UFC champ Ricco Rodriguez, who was sexually molested as a boy. Or the WWE's Chyna, who was locked in her basement for hours and hours at time by her mother. Or Triple-X actress Mary Carey, whose mother was a schizophrenic and a drug addict. Or American Idol finalist Jessica Sierra, who grew up with a mother who abused drugs and walked the streets. Each one of them not only turned out to be addicted to something — alcohol, pills, coke — but for whatever reason they felt compelled to discuss their problems — and in many cases deny that anything was amiss — on television, in front of millions of people. Yes, they willingly opened the door to a life of finger-pointing, behind-the-back snickering, and mockery on The Soup.
Which brings us to Chelsea Clinton. The second she stepped out on the political stage — or placed a few phone calls to a few influentials — she was opening herself up for ridicule of the most harsh and mean-spirited sort. It doesn't matter that she's been a very private person up until now. It doesn't matter that she happens to be someone's daughter; hell, we're all somebody's kid, that is unless you're Joe Riley, who appeared from out of the void the day time itself began. It doesn't matter that she's not the prettiest filly in the barn. There will be no sympathy. There will be blood. If she's got a milkshake, we will drink it, and she will be left with nothing but backwash.
However, this is a truth that Hillary Clinton somehow forgot when her campaign called for the head of MSNBC's David Shuster after a comment he made about her daughter. Well, if you want to get technical about it, Shuster didn't really say anything about Chelsea as much as he posed a question about her two parents, but that's beside the point.
See, when Shuster asked, "[D]oesn't it seem like Chelsea's sort of being pimped out in some weird sort of way?" — no one should have batted an eye. Not only was it a perfectly harmless question — and quite honestly, one that rightfully could be asked — but he could have said a helluva lot worse.
Let's consider for a moment if Rush Limbaugh or Mark Levin or Glenn Beck or, hell, Rocky D had posed a similar question. Aside from the difficulty in deciphering the grunts from the snorts, I can guarantee you that if one of these blowhards had the opportunity to address Chelsea's shilling for her mom on MSNBC, it would be nastier than anything in Liquid Gold 9 with Mary Carey.
And yet, David Shuster was suspended from MSNBC. Even worse, he felt compelled to publicly flagellate himself for saying what many of us thought, offering this as an apology: "All Americans should be proud of Chelsea Clinton, and I am particularly sorry that my language diminished the regard and respect she has earned from all of us and the respect her parents have earned in how they raised her."
Geez. Not only is it off limits to say Bill and Hillary are pimping out their daughter, but we have to respect their parenting skills too. What's next? Giving a father of the year trophy to Daniel Baldwin?