Our Awesome Meritocracy

Just fucking shoot me:

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 oon 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.

Maybe she can do a roundtable debate show with Luke Russert and Meghan McCain as the other panelists.

All I have to say is I hope I am dead before the Trig Palin Power Hour Comes to Fox News.

101 replies
  1. 1
    Nutella says:

    She’s got the qualifications for this kind of job: We’ve all heard of her. And she could do a discussion with Liz Cheney on daddy issues, or a discussion with herself on ex-con in-laws.

  2. 2
    jl says:

    Nepotism is bad, and there is too much of it in our oligopolpistic market driven, sterile and corrupt corporate media.

    However, I have to admit, I might listen all the way through a roundtable run by Chelsea Clinton and Meghan McCain.

    I tried to listen to the rancid old farts on the news talkies today. I had to turn them all off after a few minutes.

    I was stupid for even considering listening to it. Most of the channels decided to make the laughable GOP debate an excuse to fluff the GOP and engage in egregious hack talk. I thought it would be funny, but it was just stupid BS.

  3. 3
    catdevotee says:

    OK, the oligarchs are passing their jobs down to their kids. Of course, I’d rather have a different system, but still I’d rather see Chelsea and Meghan than to see the usual old talking heads. At least a different generation can comment on events.

  4. 4
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    Trig Palin Power Hour

    The worst part is that they’ll feature him as the host but then get furious if anyone mentions that he’s there. Off limits!

  5. 5
    Amir Khalid says:

    Damn. It’s a career break any working journalist would kill for. And it went to the daughter of a former President and the current Secretary of State, all because her family name has marquee value?

    Still, the proof of the pudding is in the eating. Let’s see how Chelsea Clinton does. If she messes up, everyone will know and maybe she’ll have the grace to walk out rather than get thrown out. If not — it still doesn’t make up for NBC giving her a journo’s dream gig because of her family name, but at least there’d be a competent person doing that job.

  6. 6
    curious says:

    jenna bush is also a correspondent for nbc.

  7. 7
    Nutella says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    It’s a career break any working journalist would kill for. And it went to the daughter of a former President and the current Secretary of State, all because her family name has marquee value?

    So why can’t those lazy hippies at OWS get jobs? Look how easy it is! Anybody could do it if only they had chosen the right parents.

    Another way good jobs are kept away from the riff-raff is going to be tested in a court case. Beginner jobs in many industries are no longer paying jobs.

  8. 8
    Rita R. says:

    Ugh. This is the same Chelsea Clinton who reporters weren’t supposed to talk to when she was on the campaign trail for her mother during the 2008 campaign because she was a private person…who was out publicly politicking. Whatever.

    But now our intrepid Chelsea has grown bored at that hedge fund job she had, the headline-grabbing big wedding is over, and she’s decided she wants to be a public person, and whaddya know? She gets a plum NBC News job, that, as noted above, any journalist who’s worked hard to get ahead would kill for.

    The American dream and meritocracy and all that bs are dead. The only question is how much of it was real to begin with and how much was just a really good mythmaking.

  9. 9
    Egypt Steve says:

    All I have to say is I hope I am dead before the Trig Palin Power Hour Comes to Fox News.

    Good luck. Per Wikipedia, Roger Daltry is now 67.

  10. 10
    Rhoda says:

    I gotta say, the Megan’s, Luke’s, and Chelsea’s are making me appreciate Maria Shriver a lot more. At least she started in a local market and attempted to pay her dues.

  11. 11
    harlana says:

    This is odd. She has remained out of the public eye, as much as possible, for as long as I can remember for a lot of obvious reasons. It would be weird, for me, to even hear her speak for an extended period of time.

  12. 12
    Tim I says:

    I applaud this move. If we must listen to a Bush daughter and a slightly more intelligent McCain daughter, why not have a liberal voice heard. As many others have commented, she cannot do worse than the moronic fossils who inhabit so much of the media space.

  13. 13
    harlana says:

    @Egypt Steve:

    Good luck. Per Wikipedia, Roger Daltry is now 67.

    good one!

  14. 14
    WereBear says:

    Networks don’t offer content, silly billies. There has to be a “brand” out of the gate or the rubes won’t tune in.

    The producers are the real talent; they just get paid less, and no one knows their name. That’s your meritocracy for you!

    But yes… if I were an ambitious young woman in broadcast journalism, they just took my dream out back and shot it.

  15. 15
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Tim I:

    If we must listen to a Bush daughter and a slightly more intelligent McCain daughter,

    I have never seen Jenna Bush’s TV act, but I have seen Megan McCain’s, and I would be quite surprised there is a significant gap in intelligence, though MM may have more of a talent for self-promotion. So do the cast of Jersey Shore.
    As for NBC “news”, they’re already using a good part of their programming to promote Donald Trump as a serious expert on politics and the economy so that people will watch that silly show of his, Brian Williams seems to devote a good chunk of his time to cutesy comedy schtick, MTP would be significantly improved if they put a David Gregory wig on Craig Ferguson’s robot sidekick, and Luke Russert can’t be much more useless that the late Monsignor, so as annoying as this nepotism is, it’s the seating chart on the Titanic after they hit the iceberg.

  16. 16
    El Cid says:

    Andrew Sullivan was apparently playing angry centrist conservative again — he got all mad at the Republican bashing on Bill Maher’s show.

    Interestingly, Maher was angry that the super-sane John Huntsman was likewise anti-tax and anti-regulation. Sullivan got angry at this and tried to pitch a fit about how we do need to cut ‘some of these’ regulations in a Depression.

    Keith Ellison smacked him around good. Sullivan’s normal trick of trying to shout over the liberal and cough up anti-left catch phrases didn’t work. Ellison didn’t flinch from Sullivan’s deficit-baiting, either.

    Chris Matthews was oddly quiet. He didn’t seem to be quite so on the game.

    Sullivan to Ellison: “Oh, tax the wealthy and the people will get educated!” — he says, sarcastically.

    Ellison said “yes, I agree.”

    Sullivan in a super huff, “Complete nonsense!”

    Ha ha. Douchebag.

  17. 17
    henqiguai says:

    @harlana (#11):

    It would be weird, for me, to even hear her speak for an extended period of time.

    C-SPAN2’s BookTV had a two hour segment, Sunday, with her interviewing her father on his new book. Bill Clinton was, as always, Big Bill, and Chelsea was awkward. Not bad, just unsure and stiff. Pleasant to look at (yes, I am an unreconstructed American male, a.k.a. a ‘dog’), her voice was not particularly grating, and her questions kept Bill Clinton talking (oh wait; the sun’s up/down and there’s an audience…). I guess they could do worse.

    ETA: Oh, and the segment she’s interested in doing is not hard news, so there’s also that.

  18. 18
    Nutella says:

    O/T: Here‘s the latest news on forward-thinking marketing.

  19. 19
    mellowjohn says:

    @El Cid: i think tweety was occasionally quiet because the conversation at the time wasn’t about his book, “john kennedy elusive hero.”
    did you know that tweety has a new book out, called “john kennedy elusive hero”?
    he does. it’s called “john kennedy elusive hero”.

  20. 20
    aimai says:

    @Nutella:

    Yes. She pulled herself up by her own bootstraps when the head of programming called her up and asked her what she really wanted to be doing with her life. That kind of solicitude is shown to everyone. All those unemployed people out there would have great jobs tomorrow if they only realized that some job distributor out there really just wants to know “what ideas they are kicking around” and “what they really want to do with their lives.” Who knew? I really, really, really, want to be a Ballerina-Rock Star-Brain Surgeon. Who’s going to sign me up???

    aimai

  21. 21
    aimai says:

    @Rita R.:

    Can I say this really is regression to the mean, for Chelsea? Her mother and father are nothing if not hard working, put in your dues, kind of people. Its not that I thought better of Chelsea, because I never gave her a thought, but she has a top notch education and you’d think if she wanted something interesting to do following her parents either into Law, into Politics, or into Government in the form of the Diplomatic corps or into an NGO would be more interesting and intellectually rewarding than being a fluffer for people who do things (and people who bite the heads off of chickens) on TV.

    aimai

  22. 22
    El Cid says:

    @mellowjohn: I also considered that he may have been drunk. But he got pretty outraged when Sullivan suggested JFK Jr. was a hawk who helped create the near nuclear conflict over Cuba rather than 100% save the day, and it’s useless to engage this sort of argument at all because JFK is a religion with people like Matthews.

  23. 23
    The Raven says:

    Why all the hostility? Probably Chelsea Clinton’s family has a lot to do with her hiring (it is just possible she is extraordinary in her own right), but that doesn’t make her a bad or good correspondent. Let’s see her take her chances before we blast her, hunh?

  24. 24
    ET says:

    Everything about NBC sucks. From that crappy TV shows to this. It is like NBC unknowingly hired a bunch of saboteurs – cause that is pretty much the only thing that explains some of the truly epic stupid decisions.

  25. 25
    El Cid says:

    I’m entirely in support of this.

    I eagerly look forward to watching righties flip out every time a Clinton’s on the TV box.

  26. 26
    Keith G says:

    @aimai:

    Can I say this really is regression to the mean, for Chelsea? Her mother and father are nothing if not hard working, put in your dues, kind of people.

    Good lord people. Maybe this is something she is really interested in doing. Maybe she really feels that her efforts here can accomplish good things.

    And maybe she will. This is not the 1960s. Network news isn’t. She is not being hired as a beat reporter. She will be creating filler content. If that slot was was not filled by her ideas, do you think something better would have been developed?

    Save your collective indignation.

  27. 27
    Michael says:

    All I have to say is I hope I am dead before the Trig Palin Power Hour Comes to Fox News.

    You don’t have five years to live?

  28. 28
    Bex says:

    @henqiguai: Since when does NBC do hard news?

  29. 29
    Lawnguylander says:

    I wouldn’t dream of watching whatever show she’s going to be on but the last reason I’d list for my lack of interest is the fact that she has denied some media business striver another rung on its quest to be the next David Gregory. It would never have occurred to me to concerned with the career prospects of such people.

  30. 30
    kay says:

    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.

    I hate those stories, because it’s the only time media cover average people, and it’s all feel-good “despite the odds, she/he contributes, unlike the rest of you ungrateful whiners”.

    “I started a charity clinic for people who don’t get medical care!”

    They never cover the person who was turned down 50 times for a health insurance claim, and is (properly) bitter and pissed off about that.

    It’s a “thousand points of light”, charity and private sector “making a difference” and I’ve had it shoved down my throat for 25 years. You know, it’s FINE, but it’s not a comprehensive or workable solution, and they should stop pretending it is. I’m tired of being fed brave and stoic working class people who make wealthy people feel better about themselves.

  31. 31
  32. 32
    henqiguai says:

    @Bex (#28):

    Since when does NBC do hard news?

    Probably a very good point, but I stopped wasting my life watching American network news programming years ago. Then stopped watching what passed for alternative outlets (e.g. CNN, et. al.) relatively soon after. So I really couldn’t give you a credible answer; sorry.

    Still, with a little coaching and practice she could probably do a decent job of presenting the puff pieces as the segment seems to be. Regardless, I’ll never know since I would rather waste precious time reading fairly mediocre science fiction that watch network news drivel. I’ve enough idiot attributes on my own without intentionally courting enhanced idiocy by watching network news.

  33. 33
    Cacti says:

    @The Raven:

    Why all the hostility?

    Maybe something to do with that whole 1 percent vs. 99 percent thing.

  34. 34
    Mino says:

    @kay: I’m tired of being fed brave and stoic working class people who make wealthy people feel better about themselves.

    This. Who knew NBC had a “Making a Difference” franchise? Maybe she could enterview Mozilla?

  35. 35
    Paul in KY says:

    @aimai: The job pays really well & the hours are great. TV money is crazy.

  36. 36
    MoZeu says:

    She’s a dull, dull girl and always has been.

    And . . . maybe it would have been better to pick on Track? Just sayin’

  37. 37
    Nutella says:

    @kay:

    It’s a “thousand points of light”, charity and private sector “making a difference” and I’ve had it shoved down my throat for 25 years. You know, it’s FINE, but it’s not a comprehensive or workable solution, and they should stop pretending it is.

    I once was in a bookclub that read a book with inspirational stories like this where doughty, independent citizens founded useful organizations to do charity and social services. When I pointed out that all of the successful examples were the ones with government funding I was no longer welcome in that book club.

  38. 38
    kay says:

    @Mino:

    Switch it up a little.

    Put some cranky, ungrateful, bitchy people on.

    “Making a difference” doesn’t necessarily mean charity. What if I don’t want charity? What if I think I should be able to afford necessities based on the fact that I work 40 hours a week? What if I’m not that grateful that I got a brand-new childrens book or school supplies or a voucher from a drug company and instead I’m wondering why I make 9 dollars an hour and can’t buy those things myself?

    Cranky, ungrateful people who don’t know their place sometimes “make a difference”, but that isn’t a “feel good” story, now is it? :)

  39. 39
    rikryah says:

    don’t wanna hear no more complaints about Rev. Al having a show.

  40. 40
  41. 41
    Mino says:

    @kay: Like the pro-bono lawyers in Florida(?) who took a club to the banks over their fraudulent mortgage foreclosures.

    “Show me the note.”

  42. 42
    kay says:

    @rikryah:

    I heard him the other day in the car (I can’t watch cable, because it makes me mean and bitter) and I enjoyed it. If I’m in the car at that time and I remember I will listen to him again. He’s joyful. It comes through in his voice. That’s always appealing to me.
    I was ALL SET to hate it, because I assumed he would be screamy, and I’m so sick of getting yelled at.

  43. 43
    Bill Murray says:

    Well this is probably better than when she worked for Avenue Capital Group and her hubby worked for Goldman-Sachs

  44. 44
    kay says:

    @Mino:

    “Show me the note.”

    Right. That. Or, better, because they’re pretending they care about “Main Street”, because that’s the franchise, just some normal, aggravated, fed-up non-saintly person who spends three weeks on the phone arguing with a mortgage lender. That’s brave and tenacious. I’m inspired by that.

    “Hope you win!” “We’re all pulling for you!”

  45. 45
    schrodinger's cat says:

    @curious:
    NBC = Nepotistic (is that a word? sounds like Dubya speak)
    Broadcasting Corporation.

  46. 46
    lethargytartare says:

    @Cacti:

    Maybe something to do with that whole 1 percent vs. 99 percent thing.

    more likely it’s lingering CDS

  47. 47
    Elizabelle says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    You beat me to that. Nepotism, indeed.

  48. 48
    kay says:

    @lethargytartare:

    It’s really not CDS for me. I think the tv network is probably hoping she’ll say something controversial or revealing about her parents, and I think she’s enormously disciplined and media savvy (understandably: they savaged her parents and her for a decade), so she won’t, so I think she probably gets the better end of this deal.

    They aren’t going to get what they want (controversy), and she is (a forum), so good for her.

    I still don’t like “everyday heroes” stories, though. I think they’re manipulative. Too easy and sappily sentimental, you know?

  49. 49
    WereBear says:

    The really sucky thing about this is that this is why we have sucky things.

    They can’t be bothered to create actual dramas or comedies; or seek out truly interesting and “controversial” topics; or nurture real talent; or hire people who are, ya know, actually qualified to do whatever it is we want them to do.

    You just hunt up some semi-celeb and throw them into it. Doesn’t work? There’s always more coming down the pike who will do horrible things for the opportunity.

    So we have crappy books and boring movies and the poppiest of pop culture.

  50. 50
    Mino says:

    @kay: He, he, maybe some brave and stoic working people who took a piece out of the hands that feed them. Locals who persuade their city government to move their money and keep it in the community. (That needs to start happening, too.)

    Actually, these segments could be subversive if one were subtile about it. Who’s gonna fire her?

    But I think Chelsea is starting her run for the Supreme Court. Heh.

  51. 51
    kay says:

    @Mino:

    It’s not just her, though, so we can’t be too harsh. Just off the top of my head: Jonah Goldberg, Bill Kristol, Liz Cheney, my GOP House member…, the owner of our local paper put his kid on the editorial page. He does (wait for it!) feel good stories about Hometown Heroes.

    Maybe Democrats/liberals have to compete in this….whatever this is :)

  52. 52
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    NBC demonstrated their brilliance 42 years ago when the cancelled the original Star Trek.

    THEN they named CEO fellator Tom Brokaw to take over for John Chancellor.

  53. 53
    PeakVT says:

    @Elizabelle: It’s not really nepotism, per say, because the Clintons don’t work at NBC or have a significant ownership stake. Instead, it’s a combination of NBC trading on celebrity and self-reinforcement of the elite class. Different causes doesn’t make it any more healthy, however.

  54. 54
    Judas Escargot says:

    @The Raven:

    Why all the hostility?

    Zero experience as either a journalist or a television presenter. Makes a phone call, gets a plum job.

    You’re seriously ok with a society that works like that?

    My ancestors crossed oceans to get away from this aristocratic bullshit.

  55. 55
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Judas Escargot:

    My ancestors crossed oceans to get away from this aristocratic bullshit.

    Thomas Jefferson worked for an estate tax in this country for the same reason.

  56. 56
    jafg says:

    But I’m sure you would be celebrating if Dan Choi got the gig. Why do you have a problem with Chelsey? How do you know it will be bad? She’s not dumb and have you ever seen her abilities. I’m sure someone at nbc has or they wouldn’t have hired her.

    As far as your request to be shot. I would be more than happy to but unfortunately it’s sort of illegal from what I hear. Except maybe in Texas where there is probably a bounty on the head of Liberals….even fake ones like you.

  57. 57
    henqiguai says:

    @jafg (#56):
    1. But I’m sure you would be celebrating if Dan Choi got the gig.
    Right off the bat, you sound like you have a problem with gays.
    2. Why do you have a problem with Chelsey?
    Who’s Chelsey ?
    3. How do you know it will be bad? She’s not dumb and have you ever seen her abilities.
    I have. She was interviewing her father Sunday on C-SPAN2. She was stiff and tentative.
    4. I’m sure someone at nbc has or they wouldn’t have hired her.
    Thought the article was about ‘discussions’ about a possible parttime gig doing fluff pieces. Not yet hired.

  58. 58
    Pococurante says:

    As a former hedge fund employee she’s going Galt rather than pay higher taxes.

  59. 59
    Ben Cisco says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:
    __

    NBC demonstrated their brilliance 42 years ago when the cancelled the original Star Trek.
    __
    THEN they named CEO fellator Tom Brokaw to take over for John Chancellor.

    Your internets, sir, where do you want them sent?

  60. 60
    wenchacha says:

    I’d like the idea more if she were doing something for Current.

    What I really need to do is to accept that television no longer provides news journalism of any merit. No matter how much I want to see honest discussion of issues on my tv screen, that will not be happening. I keep thinking of the original “Farenheit 451” film, where the televisions are as big as your wall, and the hosts pose questions directly to viewers. As in, they know when you are watching, and keep tabs on what you are thinking.

    Yes, there are still good pieces by Ken Burns, Frontline, some great nature shows, but that’s only to lull me into staying with my abusive partner, my television.

  61. 61
    jafg says:

    @henqiguai: LOL…..heck of a “he hates teh gaysssss” knee jerk reaction there.

    What does what I think have to do with it anyways? It’s about the fact Wrong Again Cole quite literally has a hard on for Dan Choi and clearly has issues with Chelsea the way other women have issues with each other. Maybe he doesn’t like her hairdo or the way she dresses or her shoes. I suppose it’s about jealousy. Perhaps Cole wishes he had a guy like Chelsea has? Who knows what is going through womens minds like Light in Loafers Cole.

  62. 62
    Citizen_X says:

    This was a major reason that I didn’t vote for her mom.

    Seriously. I ain’t voting for Michelle or Sasha in the future, either.

  63. 63
    ruemara says:

    I’d kill for the job. All she had to do was ask. Here, I’m applying and applying for things I am very qualified for and I can’t get a break. I am very glad Chelsea Clinton can get a tv host job developing stories for a major network, while people who are in the field try to figure out what’s the next move in a world where experience is anathema.

    @jafg:
    Shut up, you stupid homophobic idiot.

  64. 64
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Ben Cisco:

    Over there in the corner.

    Some other brilliant NBC moves: passing over Letterman for Leno in the 90’s, then backstabbing Conan for Leno.

    I think Leno’s got pictures of NBC execs showering with Jerry Sandusky or something.

  65. 65
    Citizen_X says:

    @jafg: Seriously, dude: What the fucking fuck?

  66. 66
    jafg says:

    @Citizen_X: If you were seriously serious you wouldn’t be on this backwoods swamp excuse for a blog site. So I reject your premise outright.

    Go talk about sports or some somethin. If you take Wrong Again Cole seriously on anything else you have lost the plot.

    Libya, libertarian New Mexico Governors, drones, the DOW. The list of Wrong Agains by Cole is long and varied. He is way out of his depth on almost all issues. Sports seems to be about the only thing his limited intellect can handle.

  67. 67
    Nutella says:

    @jafg

    For us non-homophobes, yes it would be different if it were Dan Choi who got the call for this TV job.

    C. Clinton got it even though she has no TV experience at all because she has famous relatives.

    Choi has no TV experience at all and is famous due to his own efforts.

    So it would be somewhat less annoying if you’re anti-aristocracy to see Choi get a job at NBC but probably just as annoying to a professional journalist.

  68. 68
    dadanarchist says:

    @MoZeu: And . . . maybe it would have been better to pick on Track? Just sayin’

    Track has Foreign Policy Experience.

  69. 69
    Brachiator says:

    @Judas Escargot:

    You’re seriously ok with a society that works like that?

    The funny thing is lots of people would love to be able to have some pull like this. Get somebody to make a phone call and make Chelsea a TV journalist. It’s the American Dream.

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    Thomas Jefferson worked for an estate tax in this country for the same reason.

    The big achievement was the forbidding the United States from granting titles of nobility. Although there has always been an informal aristocracy in the US (of which Jefferson was a member), disposing of the idea that a monarchy and nobility was natural to good government was a truly revolutionary idea. Tom Paine nailed it:

    Dignities and high sounding names have different effects on different beholders. The lustre of the Star and the title of My Lord, over-awe the superstitious vulgar, and forbid them to inquire into the character of the possessor: Nay more, they are, as it were, bewitched to admire in the great, the vices they would honestly condemn in themselves. This sacrifice of common sense is the certain badge which distinguishes slavery from freedom; for when men yield up the privilege of thinking, the last shadow of liberty quits the horizon.

    A side benefit meant that you also disposed of the legal and social machinery to protect and transmit a hereditary estate to a duke or count and maybe helped make progressive tax systems possible.

  70. 70
    Nutella says:

    @dadanarchist:

    Yep. He can see Russia from his house.

  71. 71
    lou says:

    If they were hiring Chelsea for CNBC, it could possibly make sense since she worked on Wall Street.

    But really, our society’s obsession with celebrity is getting to be too much. It’s not just Luke, Meghan and Jenna, but also Elizabeth whatserface that had been kidnapped.

    So much for working your way up the ranks. Actually that’s the whole problem with the “Village” right now. It used to be, you’d start out at a small paper and work obits or cops, cover water and sewer commission meetings, and make your way to the glory beats like politics.

    Now national media organizations hire ivy league types straight out of college and they don’t ever get a taste of the real world outside their comfort zone.

    I became an unabashed liberal, quite frankly, through my experience as a city reporter, seeing all the horsetrading and good ole boy networking and profiting each other at the local level. I also saw the desperate effort of poor people to hang on to their dignity when the world was determined to make their lives a series of humiliations.

  72. 72
    Nutella says:

    @lou:

    It’s not just journalism. In politics it used to be more common to start out running for dogcatcher and work up to mayor and then congressman or senator before running for president. Now we’ve got people like Bloomberg and Cain and Schwartzenegger running for important positions as their first public office, with wealth as their only qualification.

    Politics always had family influence, though. John Quincy Adams, for an early example.

  73. 73
    bjacques says:

    That these “discussions” are announced suggests both parties think Chelsea Clinton working a feelgood feature program is a good idea.

    If that’s the way it’s going, it’ll be a shame and a waste. NBC *news* is already pretty useless, and a feature program doubly so. I kind of liked Chelsea as a kid. She could have grown up to raise hell like Amy Carter, but instead it looks like she’s the next generation of Very Serious People. Yeah, good luck with that. The times being what they are, the prospects for future VSPs are about the same as those for a Marquis expecting to inherit the chateau in 1792.

  74. 74
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    There was a time when you actually had to learn the ropes, even as a dauphin, as part of the process of rising to the top.

    Nowadays, it’s you’re at the top on the basis of birth and we’ll let you work in the mailroom for like 15 minutes, then we’ll put you in charge of all South American operations.

    I’m all for an actual meritocracy if it’s based on some merit aside from your brilliance in selecting your parents.

    Given that Chelsea has zero experience that I know of in actual Journalism, she’s been hired because of her own celebrity based on who her parents are. To my knowledge she’s done nothing without that connection to distinguish herself.

    When I was stationed in Germany, I knew of two junior officers who were sons of Generals. One I knew fairly well, and he made it a point to downplay his family connection, which was tough given he was his father’s (and grandfather’s, and great-grandfather’s) namesake…long line of Hudson High grads. He would not dream of mentioning the family connection unless someone else brought it up, and then, again, he’d downplay it. He wanted to be judged on his own merits, and he was a good officer in his own right. Contrast this with John McCain who made sure others knew who his daddy was.

    It’s pretty obvious that the Russert whelp is out of his depth on a wet street as far as it comes to political commentary, yet he’s got this plum assignment based on who his dad was…not any actual merit on his part.

  75. 75
    Brachiator says:

    @Nutella:

    Politics always had family influence, though. John Quincy Adams, for an early example.

    Out of the many instances of weird serendipity that gave rise to the US government, maybe the luckiest break was that George Washington did not have any children. The pressure to have had an unofficial hereditary presidency would have been enormous.

    And John Adams had the good sense to make his son work to earn his political stripes.

    Some of the snarkier web sites have been having big fun with the Chelsea Clinton thing with headlines like “Celebukid Reporters and the Age of News-ertainment,” and “Chelsea Clinton’s New NBC Gig Brings TV Closer To Total Political-Daughter Domination.” At least John’s Huntsman’s daughters have a sense of humor about their semi celebrity status.

    And things could be worse. The Brits would go nuts if Pippa Middleton got a job as a news reader on the BBC.

  76. 76
    cckids says:

    @kay: Amen. I’ll add to those stories the ones about the “miracle cures”, or the ones where the disabled/paralyzed person is able to walk again because they or their family NEVER GAVE UP and they work so hard.

    Not to knock those people, but the stories make me tired. For every one of them, there are thousands out here like my son & our family. We did the hard work, etc, etc. The miracle doesn’t always happen. And our type of story doesn’t get covered, because it is hard, not “inspiring” & doesn’t have the storybook ending, no matter how you spin it.

  77. 77
    Nutella says:

    @cckids:

    Yes, they want to push the storyline from that appalling p.o.s. ‘The Secret’. If anything bad happens to you, you must not have tried hard enough. Bad luck has lousy production values.

  78. 78
    West of the Rockies (formerly Frank W.) says:

    Well, file this story under “Who You Know Matters More Than What You Know.” Oh, and this just in: “Sex Sells.” And I’m not certain, but I’m pretty sure that if you “Follow The Dollar”, you’ll learn why much happens in this world.

    Feeling a bit cynical today, I suppose. Who knows, maybe she’ll prove herself capable and charismatic; of course, somewhere out there some degree-holding person with a similar dream will end up waiting tables at Applebee’s.

  79. 79
    kay says:

    @cckids:

    I’ll add to those stories the ones about the “miracle cures”, or the ones where the disabled/paralyzed person is able to walk again because they or their family NEVER GAVE UP and they work so hard.

    Oh, that must drive you crazy. The Onion had the best headline several years ago:

    “Area man faces cancer with fear and denial”.

    “Why me? I want an answer, godammnit!” No one in his family would talk to him because they were disappointed he wasn’t brave and an inspiration.

  80. 80
    jharp says:

    Lighten up Francis.

    Chelsea Clinton is very qualified for the job.

  81. 81
    Admiral_Komack says:

    @rikryah:

    Affirmative action:

    It’s only bad when people of color use it.

    When rich and/or privileged white people use it, hey it’s OK, and you’re MEAN to imply otherwise.

  82. 82
    Jebediah says:

    @aimai:

    Who knew? I really, really, really, want to be a Ballerina-Rock Star-Brain Surgeon. Who’s going to sign me up???

    Well, you’ve already done the hard work of deciding what you want, so stay by that phone!

  83. 83
    Lidia says:

    @kay: I hear you loud and clear. Also, if I never hear any version of the phrase “giving back” it will be too soon.

    And yes, sick people on TV are always “heroes” (a word severely abused to the point of meaninglessness). What the hell are they supposed to do, if not tough it out? I mean, the only actual alternative to that is suicide…

  84. 84

    It does seem to reek of nepotism. Gosh, if unemployment wasn’t so high and so many people struggling, this might not tick off so many people. But it is, and there are, and the 1% vs the 99% is back.

  85. 85
    Kerry Reid says:

    @kay: I know you can’t see me, but I promise I am giving you a standing ovation right now!

  86. 86
    Maine Independent says:

    Maybe I should call Mr. Capus with word that “I am kicking around what I wanted to do next” since my full time job was cut to part time partially because of former POTUS Clinton’s regressive, bank and industry favoring policies and laws. I’m actually qualified to do commentary.

    I couldn’t help thinking that NBC has gone from hiring the spawn of Clinton cock chaser Tim Russert to hiring the actual spawn of Clinton’s cock. Very interesting, I guess it is being fair and balanced.

    BTW, Wikipedia says “Luke Russert (born August 22, 1985) is an American television and radio personality. ” I couldn’t tell from the broadcasts of him that I have caught that he is a “personality”. More like a idiot mouthpiece of the elite. Let’s hope that the well deserving Chelsea is an improvement.

  87. 87
    Keith G says:

    Thomas Jefferson worked for an estate tax in this country for the same reason.

    Really? Was that before or after he began fucking the slaves that had been left to him by his father?

    I thought I had read some stupid shit on this stupid thread (famous person gets silly media job for a feckless media company), but the above gets the trophy.

    I hope the rest of you are just feigning concern.

  88. 88
    Nutella says:

    @Keith G:

    You’re thinking that everyone must be either good or evil, not both. Jefferson was a particularly interesting mixture of good and bad. He was a slaveholder and almost certainly father of the enslaved children of Sally Hemings but one thing about him we can now admire is his opposition to a hereditary aristocracy:

    Jefferson hoped to replace a permanent aristocracy with what he called a “natural aristocracy” of talent and virtue, but he recognized this meant giving the children of each generation an equal start.
    __
    Jefferson argued that the best way to prevent an aristocracy was to limit inheritance. In a 1789 letter to his friend James Madison, Jefferson wrote that “the earth belongs in usufruct to the living” and “the dead have neither powers nor rights over it” — that is, the dead should not control the opportunities of the next generation.

    link

  89. 89
    Cluttered Mind says:

    The people saying “let’s give her a chance and see how she does before we judge” are kind of missing the point. Yes, it’s entirely possible that she’ll do a fine job, but that’s irrelevant to the actual issue here. Someone with no background in journalism and without the famous parents wouldn’t have even been given this chance, even if they had the raw talent necessary to be the best person on cable news in 30 years. Whether or not she ends up being good at this job isn’t the point, the point is that she has a chance that should by rights have gone to someone actually attempting to work their way up the NBC ladder the normal way.

  90. 90
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    The Brits would go nuts if Pippa Middleton got a job as a news reader on the BBC.

    There are journalistic dynasties: the Dimblebys (father and two sons), the extended Cockburn-Flanders clan, and its a very tight world. On the other hand, there’s also the working assumption that television news has certain standards which means walk-on celeb hires are very rare.

  91. 91
    AA+ Bonds says:

    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?’ ”

    goddammit

  92. 92
    AA+ Bonds says:

    @pseudonymous in nc:

    Yeah, but that’s pretty different from what we’re discussing here, where celebrities get hired as journalists become they’re celebrities. I mean, Matt Taibbi is a “legacy” in the sense that his father was a journalist, and it’s fairly clear that it helped make him into what he is – a good journalist. That doesn’t always happen, but it does sometimes.

  93. 93
    Cluttered Mind says:

    @AA+ Bonds: There’s also how for almost her entire life Chelsea Clinton has either actively avoided the media or her parents have been trying to get the media to leave her alone. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that; she clearly deserves the right to live her own life without being in the spotlight like her parents, but it’s a surprising background for someone who is now about to join the same media that she’s spent her life avoiding.

  94. 94
    drkrick says:

    @Nutella:

    Jefferson was a particularly interesting mixture of good and bad … but one thing about him we can now admire is his opposition to a hereditary aristocracy …

    That must have been a great comfort to the slaves who were sold off Monticello to settle his debts to allow his offspring to continue to live in the “non-aristocratic” style to which they were accustomed.

  95. 95
    Uncle Clarence Thomas says:

    .
    .
    Nice to see the balloonbaggers all parroting Glenn Greenwald. I salute your humility.
    .
    .

  96. 96
    Ed says:

    Yes, all the kids are there. Luke Russert, Chelsea Clinton, Mika Brezinski, and Willie Geist can have a round table on why the 99% are not working hard enough to find a job like them.

    And David Gregory (married to general counsel at Fannie Mae) and Andrea Mitchel(wife of the former fed chairman) can lead a discussion on the origins of the financial crisis with Jack Welch (who manipulated the earning of GE with GE capital).

    It isn’t even funny anymore

  97. 97
    Mark K says:

    JFK was 4-F for the military and used his dads connections to get him INTO the action in WW2.

    Bush Jr. was perfectly healthy and used his dads connections to get him AWAY from the action in Vietnam.

    Yep, times have changed alright. Although, I maintain if Bush Jr. were a Democrat, they would’ve never shut up about him hiding from combat and then going AWOL.

  98. 98
    The Raven says:

    Is Chelsea Clinton a member of the 1%? Well…

    Her parents were not. Hilary Clinton was the daughter of an upper-middle-class Chicago family; Bill Clinton middle-class southern. I’ve looked over the Wikipedia account of Chelsea Clinton’s college career, and it’s actually quite impressive; she had opportunities, yes, but opportunities alone don’t get you high honors from Stanford, or a masters degree from Oxford.

    Perhaps more to the point her husband, Marc Mezvinsky, was a Goldman-Sachs banker: I think one could fairly say that Chelsea Clinton has married into the 1%.

    Her experience campaigning for her mother has given her a lot of experience at dealing with the press. I think it’s fair to say she’s at least potentially very good at television news. With her background, I’d give her a chance at that job, yes. I think there’s a very good chance she’ll do well at it. I am more concerned that her parents are centrists, and that her husband is a very wealthy banker. Just what we need: a charismatic, poised centrist on television.

    On the other hand, it’s almost worth it just to see the wingnut heads explode.

  99. 99
    Amir Khalid says:

    @The Raven:
    Chelsea wasn’t born into the 1%, true; but that’s where Bill and Hillary were by the time she was in her teens. And she got this NBC gig ahead of a lot of people with working backgrounds in journalism: people who have actually been doing, and doing well, the kind of work that Steven Capus hired her for.

    Those academic credentials she earned are great, and they do suggest great potential. But would Capus have given the the same opportunity to a Chelsea Smith, daughter of no one famous, with a similarly impressive academic record, just for expressing an interest in doing feature journalism? I rather doubt it.

  100. 100
    Peter_in_Kobe says:

    @Tim I:
    Do you really think she will be a liberal voice? Don’t worry. She will do just fine with the format over there. The problem is not her competence. Are you kidding? She was made for that job. And that job was made for her. That is the problem. The rich and powerful reporting on the rich and powerful. How novel!

  101. 101
    nutellaontoast says:

    Jesus fuck you guys are the masters of vaguely starting to grasp lessons you should have learned years ago.

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