In Wake of Gore Son Arrest, 'Today' Highlights Foibles of GOP Kids, Praises Chelsea
H/t NB reader PawpawN.
As noted here, MSNBC's John Ridley went off on Al Gore this morning, suggesting he should hug his kid rather than the planet, save his son, not ice caps. But NBC's "Today" offered up a more predictable MSM response, as the show sought to downplay the Gore incident by pointing to Republican politicians whose kids have caused trouble, while praising Chelsea Clinton as unusually mature.
Introducing the segment, Meredith Vieira shifted the spotlight from Gore's situation to the broader issues.
'TODAY' CO-HOST MEREDITH VIEIRA: And now to politicians and their children. It's tough being a parent, and as former Vice-Pesident Al Gore learned this week, it's even tougher when you're in the public eye and your child makes a big mistake.Aww.
NBC reporter John Yang, who narrated the segment, was also in an understanding mood.
YANG: The arrest of his son and namesake on drug charges is giving former Vice-President Al Gore a lesson that millions of parents have learned before.Cut to a clip of presidential historian Allan Lichtman, happy to let Al off the hook: "There are things you can control, and things you can't control in your own children's conduct." Roll footage of the Bush daughters, including the shot shown here of Jenna.
YANG: The saga of Al Gore III is just the latest example of politicians being embarrassed by their children, something that seems to be part of the political landscape. President Bush's twin daughters gained notoriety with citations for underage drinking.But there was a bright spot in Yang's tour of enfants terribles.
YANG: Some seem to behave better than their parents. Chelsea Clinton seemed to literally hold her parents together at the height of her father's Monica Lewinsky scandal. For the most part, voters don't seem to hold politicians responsible for the sins of their children. Ronald Reagan's popularity didn't suffer when his daughter Patti Davis publicly denounced her parents as dysfunctional. [Note: as FR readers have reminded me, Chelsea had her own alcohol-related run-in, but "Today" chose to overlook it.]
As a clip rolled of Rudy Giuliani's first mayoral inaugural, where his then seven-year old son Andrew was a bit rambunctious, Lichtman observed: "We should judge politicans according to how well they serve the public interest, not necessarily how well they order and manage their own families."
That set Yang
up for one final, snide swipe at a Republican.
YANG: A thought that should come to some politicians as a great relief.Let's review. Al Gore III was arrested for speeding 100 MPH with pot and a variety of other drugs in his car. Yang equates that with the Bush girls drinking -- but not driving -- while underage, with Patti Davis making a statement about her parents, and with the harmless antics of a young boy. But it's all good in service of diluting Al's embarrassment in a sea of moral equivalence.
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