Back in 2009, Glenn Greenwald had a typically scathing attack on the ruling classes taking care of their own and their progeny and the cozy relationship that has developed between the media and the families of those they supposedly cover.
They should convene a panel for the next Meet the Press with Jenna Bush Hager, Luke Russert, Liz Cheney, Megan McCain and Jonah Goldberg, and they should have Chris Wallace moderate it. They can all bash affirmative action and talk about how vitally important it is that the U.S. remain a Great Meritocracy because it’s really unfair for anything other than merit to determine position and employment. They can interview Lisa Murkowski, Evan Bayh, Jeb Bush, Bob Casey, Mark Pryor, Jay Rockefeller, Dan Lipinksi, and Harold Ford, Jr. about personal responsibility and the virtues of self-sufficiency. Bill Kristol, Tucker Carlson and John Podhoretz can provide moving commentary on how America is so special because all that matters is merit, not who you know or where you come from. There’s a virtually endless list of politically well-placed guests equally qualified to talk on such matters.
There is no reason to think that things have got any better since those sarcastic words were written and this article confirms that pessimism, saying that NBC News hired Chelsea Clinton for a salary of $600,000 per year.
Kamyl Bazbaz, a spokesperson for the 34-year-old Clinton, referred POLITICO to NBC News, which declined to discuss Clinton’s contract. “We don’t comment on details of existing contracts,” a network spokesperson said. “NBC News continues to enjoy a wonderful working relationship with Chelsea, and we are proud of her work.”
So what exactly was the nature of her work that was so valuable to NBC News? NBC was somewhat vague about their ‘special correspondent’.
As special correspondent, Clinton worked on service-related feature assignments for NBC’s “Rock Center with Brian Williams” until the show’s cancellation in June 2013. Clinton has since worked on packages for NBC Nightly News.
In that time, Clinton’s principal occupation has been the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation, where she has been a major force in steering her parents’ charitable work in the final years of her mother’s tenure at the State Department, and since.
So NBC News spends a princely sum so that she can work on ‘packages’ but spend most of her time on her parents’ foundation.
Her work for NBC News was so low profile that in my journeys through the internet I have never seen her name associated with any news story in the past few years. But I was clearly looking in the wrong places. She apparently managed to snag an exclusive interview with the Geico gecko. (You can see the interview here.) That’s the kind of scoop that’s worth big bucks. They seem oblivious to the propriety of a so-called news program creating what is essentially a commercial for one of its advertisers.
The old adage that “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know that matters” seems very apropos here.