Remember John Derbyshire? He's the National Review columnist who in 2001 called for the murder of Chelsea Clinton
. Well, this news is going to make him (and quite probably Limbaugh, whose ravings I can hear in my head already) go completely off his nut (NYT link
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 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.”
Now, I'm not in favor of presidential daughters being able to waltz right into an on-air gig on a nationally-televised program without having to go through the local news gauntlet of covering hit-and-runs and standing outside in blizzards telling people what they already know, any more than I'm in favor of smug little pricks being able to waltz into Washington correspondent/analyst gigs just because their father was Tim Russert. But the unfortunate reality is that in today's world of news-o-tainment, celebrity trumps journalism most times, leaving me to wonder if NBC's hiring of Actual Journalist™ Alex Wagner for a noon show on MSNBC
was designed to offset this obvious nepotism hire.
It isn't as if the hiring of high-profile political daughters in anything new, and the reality of Jenna Bush already being a correspondent for Today
and Meghan McCain being a contributor to MSNBC's lineup SHOULD silence the critics (not that it will). Still, it's difficult enough these days to convince anyone to go into mainstream journalism, given the Coffee Gofer and Local News path that is the traditional path into the national news scene. And with the many thousands of people toiling out there as bloggers, I'm not sure that the elevation of Chris Hayes and Alex Wagner is sufficient to justify this unfortunate trend in celebrity newsbotting.
But if it makes John Derbyshire's head explode with rage, maybe it does.
Labels: nepotism, opinion journalism