NBC’s rental of Chelsea Clinton as a “special correspondent” in that news division was widely known as an practice in this firm cynicism when it to be announced in November 2011.

Now a price tag has been hung on that scandal, through Politico’s reporting that Clinton has actually been paid a salary of $600,000. The network hasn’t confirmed the figure, but it hasn’t denied it either, and also responded come Politico’s concerns by asserting that it “continues to gain a wonderful working relationship with Chelsea, and also we are proud of she work.”

It’s that last component that’s an especially head-scratching, for together a news correspondent because that NBC, Clinton hasn’t done anything to be proud of. Quite the contrary. The disclosure raises the obvious question that NBC’s goal in providing a human without any type of measurable journalistic or broadcasting endure or any specific public following a high-profile job and also apparently paying her a top-echelon salary.

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The answer is equally obvious. Plainly, it was done to curry favor with the Clinton family.


This was not NBC’s first effort to kiss approximately a an effective family, or the last. In 2009, the network hired George W. Bush’s daughter Jenna together a correspondent because that the “Today” show. Ultimately Meghan McCain, daughter that Sen. Man McCain, R-Ariz., and also Abby Huntsman, daughter of one-time GOP presidential optimistic Jon Huntsman, had actually gigs as political commentators ~ above MSNBC.

Clinton’s hiring to be announced through an extra helping of PR malarkey, however. To hear the native of then-NBC News chairman Steve Capus, Clinton stood for the 2nd coming of Nellie Bly. “Given her huge experiences, it’s together though Chelsea has been preparing for this opportunity her entire life,” the said.

Clinton’s hiring only underscored the stunting the network news. Talented and experienced journalists have actually been laid turn off by the cartload. Valuable airtime, especially on the morning shows, has been turned end to celebrity reporting and also in-house promotions thinly disguised together news. Initial reporting is turned end to freelancers (no benefits necessary, nothing you know) or to local affiliates. What’s happened to the money saved? It’s gone to fatten the bottom line and also to finance stunt hiring like Clinton’s.

And how has actually that operated out? If journalism is characterized as publishing details that the topics of her reporting don’t great to be made public, then it’s difficult to find any kind of journalism in Clinton’s oeuvre whatsoever. Every piece we reviewed showed up to be painstakingly engineered to give no offense to anyone. Even the most rabid anti-Clinton conservatives searching for an objectionable or contrary minute of reporting in Chelsea Clinton’s portfolio would certainly come up empty-handed.


Clinton’s debut piece around a son welfare nonprofit in Arkansas run by one energetic woman named Annette Dove increased issues around the duty of society and government in consigning these children to the wayside, but those were buried deeply in ~ its syrupy emphasis on the an individual struggles that Dove’s clients and also herself. The sounded like an advertising for George H.W. Bush’s “thousand points of light” dodge -- that needs government social policy when world like Annette Dove room willing come bankrupt themselves to fill in the gaps?

That early stage appearance finished inauspiciously, degenerating into a companionable chat in between Clinton and “Rock Center” organize Brian Williams about her difficult upbringing. Williams: “Tell us just how you gained from her life as it was, say, yesterday, come a life here with us and doing this.” (One would think her life had followed the bottom trajectory the the heroine of “Orange Is the new Black.”)

Matters went downhill from there. Clinton go a couple more uplifting pieces about people “making a difference,” then suddenly, choose water detect its very own level, she was under to fawning celebrity profiles.

She told us exactly how Stella McCartney, the fashion designer daughter that Paul McCartney, has actually “taken tremendous risks for her principles, including making clear to Gucci from the start she would not work-related with leather.” There to be an interview with young-adult writer Judy Blume, who v 80 million books in publish surely remained in desperate require of the spotlight that only Chelsea Clinton and also “Rock Center” could train top top her.

Last April came the scraping that the bottom, an completely canned interview with GEICO’s trademark gecko, the segment pull on up as “a look at at some of the most renowned television advertisements.” A rental that started out as merely cynical had become its own parody.

None of these segments could have led to her topics a moment’s lost sleep. They to be pre-produced, pre-scripted and also fake from start to end. NBC put “Rock Center” out of that is misery around two weeks ~ the gecko thing aired. But Clinton was maintained on, law the occasional piece for various other NBC News outlets.

Perhaps the most disturbing facet of Clinton’s career at NBC is its contrast with her own parents’ experienced legacies. She father was president, a job you don’t achieve by playing things safe. She mother’s career has actually been a great in the genuine search of principle, political hazard be damned.

Early in she legal career, hilary Rodham became a groundbreaking advocate for children’s legal rights, developing a document that deserve the admiration of the thinking-person’s conservative, Garry Wills. Throughout her husband’s first presidential term, she take it on health care reform, really nearly the least-safe concern in publicly policy. After being outmaneuvered because that the democratic presidential nomination through Barack Obama, she accepted the task of secretary the State, an extremely well-stocked minefield because that anyone aspiring to higher office. She acquitted it s her well, notwithstanding the ideal wing’s incessant prattling around Benghazi, Libya. And also she remains among the most admired women in American life. Interviewing the GEICO gecko? no Hillary Clinton’s style.

We’ve criticized Abby Huntsman for she take on society Security and also Medicare, however to her credit at least she has actually a take and hasn’t been afraid to air it on MSNBC. She’s joining a nationwide debate. The can’t be stated of Chelsea Clinton in her NBC career.

One can’t yes, really blame Clinton because that grasping at the main chance the a lush market from NBC News; that’s the American way. However if she goal to be to accomplish a better public prominence, the an outcome is she watch diminished. (So walk NBC.)

Clinton is clearly an intelligent person. It would be shocking if she no have helpful insights ~ above the worries that have actually animated her parents’ political careers. NBC News has turned the end to it is in the wrong communication to show them. If she yes, really does want to do a donation to bettering society, as was argued by the fatuous PR bordering her hiring, she should offer up the NBC deal and also turn her emphasis to honest work.

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Updated at 12:08 p.m. PDT: This write-up has been revised. Throughout the modifying process, changes were made to the headline and text.