Andrew Tyndall, Steve Capus Talk Chelsea Clinton Hire

By Alex Weprin 

In the December 2 issue of The Hollywood Reporter, Andrew Tyndall looks at NBC News’ recent hiring of Chelsea Clinton. Tyndall argues that the hiring is an effort from NBC to obtain insider access, without the baggage that comes from hiring a former political insider. As the daughter of a political family, Clinton knows politics, but would not be burdened with having an obvious agenda.

He also argues that the hire, while it might make sense on some level, risks making NBC look bad from the standpoint of some viewers:

And the hiring of the hedge fund alumna reveals NBC News to have a particularly tin ear at a time when mainstream media stand accused by Occupy Wall Street of being complicit in an undemocratic political system as members and mouthpieces of the “one percent,” rather than watchdogs scrutinizing corruption. NBC News has enough baggage with its CNBC brand; now imagine Clinton and Andrea Mitchell appearing on Nightly News during coverage of the next financial crisis: the daughter of the president who deregulated high finance with the wife of central banker Alan Greenspan, who allowed it to run amok. NBC News is reporting from that worldview rather than on it.

Meanwhile, Steve Capus speaks to TV Guide’s well-sourced TV news reporter Steven Battaglio about the Clinton hire, and responds to critics directly:

This notion that the hiring of Chelsea or Jenna at the expense of people who have been professional journalists all their lives is silly… If I were looking for someone to report the lead story for NBC Nightly News, I’m not going to turn to Chelsea Clinton. That’s not why she was hired. I want to draw on her remarkable experience and have her tell stories that she feels strongly about, and we have the right vehicle with the “Making a Difference” franchise.