ABC's Kate Snow Tags Along With Spotlight-Hating Chelsea Clinton

ABC reporter Kate Snow continued her long history of delivering generous Clinton spin during a segment on Friday's "Good Morning America." The GMA correspondent followed Chelsea Clinton as the former first daughter campaigned for her mother, repeating talking points along the way. Snow announced, "To be honest, [Chelsea] doesn't like cameras much. She let us tag along, but takes no questions." Later Snow repeated, "She doesn't want to be in the spotlight." The ABC reporter, who often covers the Clintons, didn't ask the obvious question: If Chelsea doesn't like the spotlight or cameras, why, exactly, did she allow ABC to follow her around with a camera crew?

GMA did balance the piece on the Clinton daughter with a sympathetic take on Mike Huckabee's wife, Janet. (At one point, reporter Claire Shipman asked about Mike Hucakbee's "legendary guitar playing.") However, Snow has developed a pattern of vigorously lauding the actions of various Clintons. On January 7th of 2008, she praised Hillary Clinton for seemingly ordinary actions. "No subject is too small. No issue too dense," Snow raved. In early October of 2007, the ABC reporter complimented the much derided laugh of Chelsea's mother, labeling the New York senator "the master of a shrewd political skill, disarming her critics with a gleam in her eye and a roar straight from the belly."

That same month, Snow extolled the strength of the Clinton marriage: "On the eve of [Hillary's 60th birthday,] Hillary is trumpeting the strength of their marriage."

During Snow's segment on Friday, she referred to Chelsea's reticence with the press as a "hard and fast rule to protect her privacy." Apparently, this also extends to snubbing a nine-year-old reporter from Scholastic News. That event, which of course Snow didn't mention, occurred in December.

It should be noted that the January 18 "Good Morning America" actually displayed some balance. In addition to the Clinton piece, the show featured a friendly and complimentary segment on a Republican family member, Janet Huckabee. Reporter Claire Shipman seemed enamored of the outgoing former first lady of Arkansas. After praising Mike Huckabee for his guitar playing, the GMA reporter closed the report with unabashed adulation for Mrs. Huckabee: "You know, her straight shooting style and her sense of humor got her dubbed the queen of fun in Arkansas. And goodness knows...Washington can always use a dose of that."

A transcript of the Chelsea Clinton segment, which aired at 7:31am on January 18, follows:

DIANE SAWYER: But first, we have an exclusive behind the scenes access to Chelsea Clinton who is on the campaign trail. We've seen her out there but she's been a quiet but steady presence standing next to her parents. Well, now she's branching out on her own. She's starting to talk and she's going to meet with voters one on one. Weekend anchor Kate Snow found Chelsea has come a long way from the young girl in braces that we remember from the Clinton years at the White House.

KATE SNOW: We caught up with Chelsea Clinton and her new mini-van sharing campaign trail buddies in Nevada. You might recognize Amber Tamblyn, you know, "Joan of Arcadia" and here comes America Ferrera, better known as "Ugly Betty."

AMERICA FERRERA: So, this is just like a sneak, surprise attack.

SNOW: For weeks now, Chelsea has been doing these kind of stealth campaign stops for her mom. No advance warning. No cameras in tow. To be honest, she doesn't like cameras much. She let us tag along, but takes no questions. It's her hard and fast rule to protect her privacy. But if a voter has a question --

CHELSEA CLINTON: Do you have any questions about my mom's campaign?

SNOW: --well, that's different.

CLINTON: Are you all planning on caucusing on Saturday? And what my mom said was -- Expand Pell grants. She's working hard on that.

SNOW: For 15 minutes, she's in a deep discussion with Anthony and Chris about gay rights. I mean, you remember her like the kid in braces at the White House. Right?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Exactly.

SNOW: And now?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You're kind of seeing somebody looks like us. So, it's very easy to relate to somebody like that.

CLINTON: I'll see everybody on February 6th.

SNOW: She is a 27-year-old who sips iced coffee, is taking time off from a high powered hedge fund job in New York.

SECOND UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You look incredible. I love what you're wearing.

SNOW: But she's also the only person in history who could become a first daughter twice over.

AMBER TAMBLYN (Actress, "Joan of Arcadia"): It was really cute today. We sat at this rally where President Bill Clinton was speaking and she set next to America Ferrera and I. And he was answering questions of students in the audience. And she would go, "Dad, dad." And she would say, "Don't forget about--" And she would, like, add something. And it was really cute to watch their dynamic.

SNOW: Last stop of the night, a rally with her father in cold Las Vegas. Chelsea Clinton comes but she stands in the crowd. She doesn't want to be in the spotlight. But in this family, she doesn't always have a choice.

BILL CLINTON: Say hello to our daughter!

SNOW: The Chelsea caravan rolls on through Nevada. Next stop, South Carolina. For "Good Morning America," Kate Snow, ABC News, Las Vegas.

SAWYER: It's a new role. Dad, dad, you didn't mention health care. Dad.

Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock
Scott Whitlock is the senior news analyst for the Media Research Center and a contributing editor for NewsBusters.org