Famous former First Daughter Chelsea Clinton embarked on her new career as a NBC News correspondent last night (here's the video of her segment about Annette Dove, who runs an Arkansas tutoring program). And the NY Times' Alessandra Stanley was not impressed.
Stanley notes that the young Clinton recently told the Times she was embracing her fame to lead a "purposefully public life:"
It’s a noble sentiment, but it doesn’t make a lot of sense — because of her last name, there are plenty of ways to do good works and publicize worthy causes besides becoming a television newscaster. Given her past reticence, Ms. Clinton’s decision to work at NBC News is almost as puzzling as Caroline Kennedy’s short-lived plan in 2009 to run for the New York Senate seat left vacant by Hillary Rodham Clinton.
Both choices seem less like a new vocation than a violation of a long-standing nonaggression pact with the media.
The two women are daughters of former presidents who worked hard to lie low and be taken seriously, and accordingly they were granted a zone of privacy that less determined and less disciplined children of celebrities rarely receive. It was confounding when they suddenly broke their side of the bargain, as if shrugging their shoulders and telling the world, “nevermind.”
The main difference between the two women is that politicians aren’t served by the press, they consort with it, and Ms. Kennedy was not accustomed to the crude, often humiliating deals candidates and elected officials have to make with the media. Ms. Clinton has more practice. She chose to join the fourth estate, not quite as a reporter, but as a citizen-journalist with some of the immunity from prying that comes with a network press badge.
The Washington Post found her charisma-less but the LA Times was encouraging, "If the journalism thing doesn't work out, she may have a future in voice-over," as was The Daily Beast's Howard Kurtz, "Though slightly nervous, she seemed sincere, and her careful cadence, empathetic gaze, and beaming smile were instantly reminiscent of Hillary... if she can loosen up a bit, this could be a pretty good niche."