NBC Hires Chelsea Clinton as Full Time 'Nightly News' Correspondent

The media's adoration for Chelsea Clinton has reached a new phase. The New York Times reports "NBC is to announce on Monday morning that it has hired Chelsea Clinton to become a full-time special correspondent for NBC News."

And there's no delay "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.”It sounds nothing like the smaller role NBC awarded another presidential daughter, Jenna Bush Hager, who occasionally reports for Today.

On August 31, 2009, the Times buried an item in the "Briefly" section on Jenna Bush Hager:

The idea came up, said the executive producer Jim Bell, after she appeared on the show to promote one of her two books. Ms. Hager, 27, said, ''It wasn't something I'd always dreamed to do, but I think one of the most important things in life is to be open-minded and to be open-minded for change.'' Mr. Bell said Ms. Hager would not be covering politics but would probably report on education, working out of NBC's Washington bureau, while continuing as a reading coordinator at a school in Baltimore.

By contrast, this is like the daughter of the King and Queen was appointed. Notice how NBC quickly obeys an "intermediary" in offering her a future, whatever she wants, really:

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.’ ”

One person close to Ms. Clinton said she had been quietly raising her profile for some time, though the public had not been completely aware of it.

This is coming full circle for people who remember Team Clinton pressuring NBC and  Saturday Night Live to censor out the "Wayne's World" jokes about "rooting for" Chelsea while they called the Gore daughters "babes."

The person also said that Ms. Clinton had said she intended to donate all the money she earned from NBC to the Clinton Foundation and the George Washington University Hospital in the name of her grandmother, who died this month...

Might this be the start of a full-time television career for Ms. Clinton? Mr. Capus said, “We both want to see how this goes. It will be full time for the near-term future. But I hope it’s the beginning of a nice, long-term relationship.”

[Hat tip: Seton Motley]

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis