Hot on the heels of his race-shaking quasi-announcement of his pseudo-candidacy, Mike Huckabee sucked up a lot of media wind with an excerpt from his new book, God, Guns, Grits, and Gravy, in which he slammed pop superstar Beyoncé, and called her husband a pimp:
“Beyoncé is incredibly talented — gifted, in fact. She has an exceptional set of pipes and can actually sing. She is a terrific dancer — without the explicit moves best left for the privacy of her bedroom. Jay-Z is a very shrewd businessman, but I wonder: Does it occur to him that he is arguably crossing the line from husband to pimp by exploiting his wife as a sex object?”
That bit of vomit-inducing moralizing is part of a broader theme in Huckabee’s book — the clash of cultures between what he calls the “Bubble-ville” of New York, Washington, and Hollywood, and the “Bubba-land” of God, Guns, Grits, and Gravy. Huckabee’s criticism, which he extended to President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama for allowing their children to even listen to Beyoncé, has set tongues wagging for the past week, but the obvious subtext has been all but ignored by the mainstream media.
For whatever reason, Huckabee thinks Jay-Z is a “pimp” for promoting his wife’s career, yet he doesn’t seem to have a problem with other musicians who promote female family members with even more notoriously sexualized acts. Take Billy Ray Cyrus, for example, who has wholeheartedly embraced daughter Miley’s de-Hannah Montana-ization. Now, who’s this playing bass with Billy Ray, and not calling him a pimp?
If the choice of the word “pimp” to describe Jay-Z wasn’t clear enough for you, or the subtle demarcation between “urban” America and real America, maybe the way he explained his double-standard on explicit lyrics to Jon Stewart on The Daily Show will do it for you. After Huckabee likened Beyoncé to a “stripper,” Stewart brought out a clip of Huck playing bass for draft-dodger Ted Nugent as he sings about “mak(ing) that pussy purr” on Huckabee’s own Fox News show. Once you recover from Nugent’s “I like to scratch that beaver” ad-lib, check out Huckabee’s explanation for the disparity between his reaction to Beyoncé and his approval of Nugent:
“When Ted Nugent did that song, 1978, it never got nominated for a Grammy. He didn’t perform it on national television. In fact, you know the song of the year that year was? It was a tie between Evergreen and You Light Up My Life. And John Denver hosted the Grammys. My point is, that song, it is an adult song, geared toward adults.”
Set aside the fact that Nugent did perform the song on Huckabee’s own show, and that Huckabee is of course wrong, Nugent did perform the song on national television in 1978, and that Beyoncé albums come with an explicit content label, whereas Nugent’s did not, what makes Huckabee think Nugent’s music was geared toward adults in 1978, when Nugent’s own penis was not? Here’s Nugent talking about his 1978 “romance” with Pele Massa, the 17 year-old girl he took legal guardianship of, as well as his regular M.O. for underage procurement:
“I got the stamp of approval of their parents. I guess they figured better Ted Nugent than some drug-infested punk in high school.”
For whatever reason, Mike Huckabee thinks lawfully and traditionally married Jay-Z is a “pimp” for promoting his wife’s pop career, yet has no problem with Ted Nugent, who literally preyed on underage girls for sex by securing their parents’ assent. The next person to interview Huckabee should ask him for a better explanation.