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Remember the hands-off policy on Chelsea Clinton? The media and Hollywood proscribed any coverage of their friends’, Bill and Hillary’s, kid.
Prior to Inauguration Day, Laura Bush, on NBC’s “Dateline,” appealed to the media to give her daughters “the same courtesy they afforded Chelsea Clinton.” And in an interview with Barbara Walters on ABC’s “20/20,” the then-president-elect warned the media that his daughters aren’t fair game. “And I mean that.”
But, not even a month into the Bush presidency, unlike Chelsea, there’s no such luck for Jenna and Barbara Bush, twin daughters of George W.
Recent events at Cable’s Comedy Central indicate that Hollywood is planning to savage the Bush daughters with a vengeance. While the network has since retreated due to public outrage, it had planned to depict the Bush daughters as “hot and sexy lesbian lovers” engaging in oral sex in its new animated “comedy,” “That’s My Bush.”
(Interesting that oral sex would be a theme in a series on the Bushes, not the Clintons.)
Matt Stone and Trey Parker, creators of the tasteless animation series “South Park,” were desperate for a new hit, with the formerly hot cartoon’s ratings sinking. And with, “That’s My Bush,” they are attempting to use the Bushes as their ticket out of ratings hell. Stone
boasts that the show will be “barely legal.”
And it’s interesting to note that, despite their previously announced intention to viciously and perversely satire the Bush daughters, Stone and Parker are the hottest animators in Hollywood. They’re referred to in trade magazines as “TV whiz kids” and fought over by various broadcast networks, including NBC’s in-house production company and former super-agent Michael Ovitz’s ATG Group, according to the New York Post. This is the way Hollywood rewards disgusting attacks on a conservative Republican President’s daughters.
Compare that with the repercussions of a 1992 episode of “Saturday Night Live.” In a “Wayne’s World” skit, following that year’s presidential elections, Wayne, played by Mike Myers, and Garth, played by Dana Carvey, read a “Top Ten List Why We’re Happy Clinton Was Elected President.” Wayne and Garth, teen-age boys goofing off in their basement, read off such reasons as “The Gore Daughters. … If they were president, they’d be Babe-raham Lincoln.” The next reason was “Chelsea . … Well, she’s a babe in development.”
That’s a lot tamer than what Stone and Parker planned for the Bush daughters. But NBC, Myers and Carvey publicly apologized to Chelsea and Hillary Clinton, as did SNL Creator and Executive Producer Lorne Michaels. No such apologies from Comedy Central or Stone and Parker, who’ve instead been elevated to Hollywood’s hottest creative comedy.
And it’s no coincidence that Comedy Central is one of the MTV Networks. You know, MTV, the network that pushed boxers-or-briefs Clinton for president in 1992 and ’96. The same MTV that tried the same push for Al Gore, featuring him, with rock star-like status, in its biased “Choose or Lose” coverage during the 2000 presidential campaign. The network chose and lost, showing its true colors by refusing to hold an inaugural ball this year, despite having held one with its parent company, Viacom, for both Clinton inaugurals.
And this isn’t the first tinge of double standards in coverage of Republican families occupying the West Wing. The fact is, Chelsea Clinton was a public figure if there ever was one. Her parents pathetically used her in their campaigns for power whenever convenient.
Whether it was using 12-year-old Chelsea in a propaganda film at the 1992 Democratic National Convention, showing her at play with Bill and Hillary, commenting on what great parents they are. Or whether it was using her on the 1996 campaign trail. Or as a sympathetic figure during the Monica scandal. Or to campaign for Hillary in the New York Senate race.
Yet, the Clintons had it both ways. They were allowed to use Chelsea as a public figure, while insisting the press keep its hands off. Even when she accompanied Hillary on a tour of Africa and publicly told destitute, malnourished illiterate African teen-age girls that our country was as bad because “we have problems like racism.”
The fawning spanned the Democratic White House to the Gore daughters. Especially privileged Karenna, who was toasted and fawned upon as the smart, beautiful role model for all young American women, everywhere from MTV to Talk Magazine, to Dianne Sawyer, to the Washington Post.
In contrast, you barely saw the Bush daughters until the inauguration. They were not on the campaign trail nor in a campaign video, and you won’t see them denouncing our country in Africa. But, still, it’s doubtful you’ll see articles, like the October 2000 Ladies Home Journal’s, “The Ten Smartest Things Chelsea Has Done,” about the Bush daughters. Just like you didn’t see hot lesbian lovers animations about Chelsea or the Gore daughters.
And then there’s Mary Cheney, daughter of Vice President Dick Cheney. She was outed as a lesbian, right after her father was selected as Bush’s running mate. She was much less of a public figure than Chelsea Clinton. But the media — including such revered institutions as ABC’s Cokie Roberts, the Wall Street Journal, and Washington Post — used any excuse to continue running the story, with Roberts even ambushing Mrs. Cheney about it on a live, national, “This Week” broadcast.
Attention, politicians: If you’ve got kids, think twice about running for the White House. Unless you’re a Democrat.