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Erik Wemple
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Posted at 01:50 PM ET, 11/14/2011

Chelsea Clinton hiring: No interviews


No questions, please — even though I’m now a TV reporter. (AFP/GETTY IMAGES)
Today should be a happy day for NBC. According to the New York Times, it just signed up a big name to do some fluff reporting. Chelsea Clinton will be reporting for the “Making a Difference” series on “NBC Nightly News” and “Rock Center with Brian Williams.”

So let the interviews commence, right? Make Clinton available for interview upon interview, right?

When asked about media interviews, NBC’s Lauren Kapp responded, “Sorry, we’re not putting anyone out on this other than what’s in the press release.”

Oh no, the press release-only treatment! Isn’t that the province of companies that are trying to hide — not promote — something?

On Twitter: @carr2n: “Chelsea Clinton steps out of the shadows, hired by NBC News . . . and doesn’t give interview about new gig. http://nyti.ms/u8X0rS #FAIL”

Bill Carter, the New York Times reporter who broke the story, says, “That was sort of a given that she wasn’t going to comment.” And why was that? “I think that if you have an unusual outsider, it may not be that rare, but in journalism it’s certainly unusual . . . I got impression that at some point in time, when she has work to talk about, she might talk about the work.”

The question: Has Chelsea Clinton ever done a sit-down interview with the media? The Erik Wemple Blogger is now working on an answer to that question. After all, you can’t say it’s not relevant — if you’re going to interview other people, it might be helpful to have spent a moment or two on the other side of the mike.

The story of Clinton’s allergy to the media has several distinct phases, each with a distinct Media Avoidance Propriety Rating:

1) Chelsea as a kid living in the White House.

Media Avoidance Propriety Rating: Unimpeachable — let the kid live her life.

2) Chelsea as a young adult working in the business world.

Media Avoidance Propriety Rating: Perfectly fine — she didn’t seek the spotlight.

3) Chelsea as an advocate for Hillary Rodham Clinton’s presidential run.

Media Avoidance Propriety Rating: Lame — Chelsea made many appearances for her mother but avoided interviews. Rigorously avoided them, even when the stupidity of doing so should have dawned on her: She stiffed a query from a 9-year-old reporter from Scholastic News.

4) Chelsea as an NBC reporter.

Media Avoidance Propriety Rating: Hypocritical and intolerable: Now Clinton will be asking lots of questions. She just won’t answer any. What a great media world we inhabit.

By  |  01:50 PM ET, 11/14/2011

 
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