NBC News has hired the 32-year-old Clinton as a feature reporter. Naturally, given her parents, there is some controversy:
Upon her arrival [at 30 Rockefeller Center], Chelsea was given a welcome bag, filled with NBC swag, 30 Rockers tell me. NBC’s David Gregory responded by jokingly asking: “Where’s my welcome bag?”
Gregory’s joke hints at the unprecedented level of special treatment Chelsea receives: she didn’t do live shots on her Rock Center debut; she gets chauffeured everywhere in a town car while others her age strap hang with the suckers in Gotham’s sewers; she has her own personal spokesperson; and she has her own chief-of-staff, Bari Lurie. (Lurie is to Chelsea what Huma Abedin is to Hillary: a fiercely loyal female aide and confidante, who logged over 7,000 miles with her during the 2008 campaign.) Other top talent at the network noticed that luxury: Lester Holt, Hoda Kotb, Natalie Morales, and Savannah Guthrie all share a single assistant. (An NBC spokesperson says, however, that Chelsea pays for her own chief of staff.)
“Everyone needs to get a grip,” says [a] high level [NBC] executive. “She’s hardworking, she’s taking it very seriously. She really wants to genuinely do these Making a Difference pieces. She knows she’s a lightening rod. When people write nasty things, she takes the lumps.” After all the bad press during the roll out, there were fears Chelsea was going to pack it in. Instead, she decided to tough it out. “I respect that,” says the NBC insider. Clinton’s personal spokesperson, Matt McKenna, had strong words for her detractors: "When Chelsea's critics are ready to step forward and use their names, she'll be more than happy to answer them. In the meantime, she's enjoying working for NBC and NBC is glad she's a part of their team."
So how did she do in her first segment? Take a look:
I've seen a lot of TV, both amateur and professional. This is average professional work. It's a good package, maybe not that exciting, but one that tells a harmlessly good-feeling story.
Of course Clinton won't have the same treatment at NBC as other kids her age; she's already a public figure, with a view of history that even the top Medill grads probably won't have had. Of course this will cause resentment. I hope Clinton handles it with the same grace she's already handled the derision and ridicule people have heaped on her since she turned 13. The only question that matters in the present situation is: does this hire make sense for NBC? I think we'll see pretty soon.