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.