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Clinton writes NBC about newsman's Chelsea comment

February 9, 2008 |  8:07 pm

MSNBC correspondent David Shuster may or may not hang onto his job, following his distasteful comment about former First Daughter Chelsea Clinton.

But this much seems safe to predict: Even if Chelsea's mom relents on her threat to boycott future debates on the cable network, Shuster won't be one of the questioners.

Her campaign aides quickly made clear their furor over the journalist's remark. Hillary Clinton followed up with a letter today to the head of NBC News, Steve Capus. The Times' Pete Nicholas, our primary Clinton reporter, was among those who received a copy, and here it is:

"Thank you for your call yesterday. I wanted to send you this note to convey the depth of my feeling about David Shuster's comments.

"I know that I am a public figure and that my daughter is playing a public role in my campaign. I am accustomed to criticism, certainly from MSNBC. I know that it goes with the territory.

"However, I became Chelsea's mother long before I ran for any office and I will always be a mom first and a public official second.

"Nothing justifies the kind of debasing language that David Shuster used and no temporary suspension or half-hearted apology is sufficient.

"I would urge you to look at the pattern of behavior on your network that seems to repeatedly lead to this sort of degrading language.

"There's a lot at stake for our country in this election. Surely, you can do your jobs as journalists and commentators and still keep the discourse civil and appropriate."

  -- Don Frederick