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Chelsea Clinton Named Special Correspondent for NBC News

David McAlpine |
November 14, 2011 | 5:31 p.m. PST

Executive Producer

Chelsea Clinton on her mother's campaign for President in 2008. (Photo via Wikimedia Commons)
Chelsea Clinton on her mother's campaign for President in 2008. (Photo via Wikimedia Commons)
First it was Jenna Bush Hager, then Ron Reagan, Jr. Now, former "First Child" Chelsea Clinton is taking her father's name to NBC News as the network's latest correspondent.

The daughter of the former President was famous for being press shy and dodging interviews both during and after her father's terms in office. According to NBC News President Steve Capus, she reported for duty at the NBC News division offices in New York to begin her work as a contributor to the network's popular "Making a Difference" series, which airs on "NBC Nightly News."

From the New York Times' Media Decoder Blog:

Ms. Clinton's only comment came in the form of a statement distributed by NBC. In it, she said, "People who imagine and implement solutions to challenges in their own lives, in their communities, in our country and in our world have always inspired me. I hope telling stories through 'Making a Difference' – as in my academic work and non-profit work – will help me to live my grandmother’s adage of 'Life is not about what happens to you, but about what you do with what happens to you.' "

Does it matter that Ms. Clinton declined to comment on the day that she starts a job at a news organization? Erik Wemple, a media blogger for The Washington Post, argued that it does. "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," he wrote Monday afternoon.

Clinton's hiring has been subject to criticism across the media, with some citing the move as "nepotism." However, Capus said it was because interest was shown on Clinton's part.

From the New York Times:

Mr. Capus said an intermediary contacted him in July with word that “she was kicking around what she wanted to do next.”

Mr. Capus said he had met with Ms. Clinton and had a long conversation that began with a simple question. “I asked her: ‘What are you interested in doing?’ ”

Ms. Clinton told him, he said, that during her mother’s campaign for president in 2008, she had been moved by stories of people making personal contributions.

“What we talked about was if she were to come on board that’s the kind of thing she would be interested in doing. We knew she wasn’t going to do the lead story. But having somebody who was going to do really captivating feature assignments for the ‘Making a Difference’ franchise really kind of synced up,” Mr. Capus said.

Those feature reports, which have become popular on NBC’s evening newscast — and which may be added to NBC’s new prime-time newsmagazine program, “Rock Center With Brian Williams” — spotlight people who are making volunteer commitments to improve the lives of others in their community.

Mr. Capus said Ms. Clinton had said to him, “That’s the kind of thing, if this were to happen, that I would really like to do.” He added, “It’s not about Chelsea Clinton saying, ‘Here I am; I want to be a TV star.'"

A representative for Clinton said she will still continue her work with the Clinton Foundation and her work towards a degree at New York University.

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