A number of readers have written in to question, or much more than question, our latest headline on the Clinton/Shuster story -- namely that Hillary Clinton is demanding that Shuster be fired.
First of all, some have criticized Greg Sargent's reporting. But let me make this crystal clear. I personally signed off on the post and I wrote the front page headline myself.
Some have said that Clinton's letter to NBC wasn't written clearly or that she was saying that suspensions and apologies were not enough, that what was needed was a broader reevaluation on the network's part of its attitude to women and Hillary Clinton in particular.
Simply read the key passage ...
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.
Some readers seem to believe that Clinton is saying that it's not about suspensions or apologies. It's about MSNBC's need to reevaluate its pattern of behavior.
But there's a fatal flaw with this strained interpretation. Look at the actual words. If that's the case, why does she qualify 'suspension' with the adjective 'temporary'? That tells the tale right there. The alternative to a temporary suspension is a permanent one, which is clear English we call 'firing'.
I give the Clinton campaign the respect of knowing that they're no slouches with the written word. And the words in this letter were clearly chosen with great care. The point of that passage was that merely suspending Shuster was insufficient -- that he needs to be fired. That's what they meant. And I have little doubt that Shuster and the MSNBC execs understood the meaning the moment they read it. I think it would be wrong to shy away from making that clear.