Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Sometimes Good Things Do Happen to Extremely Privileged People

Having snapped up budding journalistic talents Luke Russert, Meghan McCain and Jenna Bush, NBC News continued their their hiring spree of America's best and brightest: (via Glenn Greenwald)
NBC announced Monday that it has hired Chelsea Clinton to become a full-time special correspondent for NBC News.

Chelsea Clinton will be a special correspondent for NBC News.

The appointment was immediate. Ms. Clinton will begin work on stories that NBC expects to use as part of its “Making a Difference” series, which runs on “NBC Nightly News,” said Steve Capus, president of NBC News. 
As ridiculous as this is, it isn't at all surprising. What is somewhat surprising is how candid NBC News was about their decision making process:
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.’ ” 
He's right, this isn't about her saying "I want to be a TV star". It's Steve Capus, the president of NBC news saying "Hey, you have a famous last name, I will find a way to put you on TV despite a complete lack of TV or journalism experience".

And hey, maybe she'll be smarter than Luke Russert (BREAKING: She will be), but that really doesn't matter. It's more the idea that the head of NBC news is bragging about seeking her out and asking "what she is interesting in doing" the way a team approaches a sought after free agent. But that's been the life of the rich and privileged in this country, it just isn't usually this obvious.


  1. if your dad had been president, your mom secretary of state you'd have to have a lot of...um...Integrity and self-reliance to make it on your own two feet without someone wanting to use you for your parent's name. but who has that kind of time in this economy.