Chelsea Clinton Hired By NBC News

In a rather obvious triumph of political and business connections, the former First Daughter will now be a special correspondent for NBC News:

NBC is to announce on Monday morning that it has hired Chelsea Clinton to become a full-time special correspondent for NBC News.

The appointment is immediate. Ms. Clinton will show up at the news division offices on Monday morning, said Steve Capus, president of NBC News, and will begin work on stories that NBC expects to use as part of its “Making a Difference” series, which runs on “NBC Nightly News.”

Ms. Clinton has been a national figure since her father won the presidency in 1992, but she has remained — first by her parents’ request and then by her own choice — largely out of the public eye.

Mr. Capus said an intermediary contacted him in July with word that “she was kicking around what she wanted to do next.”

Mr. Capus said he had met with Ms. Clinton and had a long conversation that began with a simple question. “I asked her: ‘What are you interested in doing?’ ”

Ms. Clinton told him, he said, that during her mother’s campaign for president in 2008, she had been moved by stories of people making personal contributions.

“What we talked about was if she were to come on board that’s the kind of thing she would be interested in doing. We knew she wasn’t going to do the lead story. But having somebody who was going to do really captivating feature assignments for the ‘Making a Difference’ franchise really kind of synced up,” Mr. Capus said.

Those feature reports, which have become popular on NBC’s evening newscast — and which may be added to NBC’s new prime-time newsmagazine program, “Rock Center With Brian Williams” — spotlight people who are making volunteer commitments to improve the lives of others in their community.

Mr. Capus said Ms. Clinton had said to him, “That’s the kind of thing, if this were to happen, that I would really like to do.” He added, “It’s not about Chelsea Clinton saying, ‘Here I am; I want to be a TV star.’ ”

Ms. Clinton, who was not available for comment, said in a statement: “I hope telling stories through ‘Making a Difference’ — as in my academic work and nonprofit work — will help me to live my grandmother’s adage of ‘Life is not about what happens to you, but about what you do with what happens to you.’ “

So, it’s not real journalism really, Clinton is being hired to do those annoying puff pieces that are one of the main reasons I rarely watch broadcast network news anymore. Nonetheless, I think it’s fairly clear that she wouldn’t be starting this job if her name were Jane Smith from Montauk, Long Island. Clinton is hardly the first of these, of course. The Bush twins, Meghan McCain, and even Luke Russert have all gotten picked up by one network or another for little more reason than they happen to have a famous last name.

FILED UNDER: Media, Quick Takes
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed for too young in July 2021.

Comments

  1. steveegg says:

    She might get the job if she were Jane Smith from Montauk, Long Island. She definitely wouldn’t if she were Jane Smith from Cleveland. Don’t dismiss the East Coast Bias.

  2. Rick Almeida says:

    Huzzah for our meritocracy!

  3. bandit says:

    What happened to her makey-fake believe job at the hedge fund? Too much actual work involved?

  4. KansasMom says:

    Can’t wait to see Chelsea, Luke Russert and Jenna Bush do a little round table on what it takes to succeed in modern America.

  5. Hey Norm says:

    During 15 years in the Television industry I saw a lot of people given jobs like this. Generally speaking they are short-lived and harmless.
    On the other hand…Liz Cheney being handed a position at State only because she was Dick’s daughter was actually dangerous. And the fact that she is invited on political shows to defend torture and her war criminal of a father is just as bad. Far from harmless, she actually does the nation harm.

  6. WR says:

    Not to trivialize the very real concerns of OWS that are apparent to everyone in America but Doug, this is actually a pretty good example of the kind of culture that the movement despises. It’s a statement that there are two classes of Americans — those who are granted access and power in all areas, simply because they’re of the top tenth of a percent. And then there are all the rest who, no matter their talent, will never get an opportunity because they don’t belong. It’s Calvinism taking of America.

    It doesn’t matter that Chelsea is a Democrat any more than it matters Meghan McCain is a Republican or that Luke Russert is a moron. They’re in the club. You’re not. So they will get the multi-million dollar salaries, and your Medicare will be replaced with a worthless voucher, since you’re a parasite.

  7. @WR:

    So what is your solution? Make it illegal for NBC to hire the children of the famous and powerful?

    Frankly, stuff like this annoys me, but if they want to ruin their brand even more by hiring someone with no journalism pieces to do stupid puff pieces on a news broadcast that fewer and fewer people watch, that’s their choice.

  8. Rick Almeida says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    I think you have the solution right there in your comment, the snide tone notwithstanding – market pressures.

    The traditional media are dying, and they keep throwing themselves anchors. No need to do much but stand aside and let them decay.

  9. @Rick Almeida:

    Exactly. I guess it’s also worth noting that with the exception of Luke Russert and the inexplicable decision to hire Meghan McCain as an “analyst” none of these NBC celebrity hire are actually doing hard news. Jenna Bush does occasional stuff on the Today Show I understand and I already described what Clinton will be doing. That’s an example of the entertainament–ization of the news. (And is Today really a news show anyway?)

  10. MBunge says:

    @Doug Mataconis: “if they want to ruin their brand even more by hiring someone with no journalism”

    Considering the performance of supposedly credible journalists, how much worse could Chelsea Clinton be?

    Mike

  11. Beilla Gans says:

    Thanks Steve. I thought I was the only misanthropist who squirmed at the “making a difference stories.

  12. WR says:

    @Doug Mataconis: Yes, Doug. That is their choice. No one is suggesting a law. It’s merely an observation of the increasing corruption of our society, something that is apparently is of no interest to a libertarian who doesn’t think there’s a single outrage worth objecting to, unless he has to pay a penny more in taxes.