The video: Former First Daughter Chelsea Clinton is now officially TV journalist Chelsea Clinton. When NBC announced last month that Clinton would be joining its news team, the hiring was met with cries of nepotism, as Clinton boasts little previous experience in journalism. Clinton finally made her debut Monday night on Brian Williams' primetime program Rock Center, unveiling her first "Making a Difference" segment. (Watch the clip below.) In the video, a rather flat-voiced, straight-faced, and generally uneasy Clinton profiles an Arkansas woman who runs an after-school center for neglected children. Predictably, critics are panning Chelsea's performance.
The reaction: It's shocking that "someone can be on TV in such a prominent way and, in her big moment, display so very little charisma," says Hank Stuever at The Washington Post. Maybe I've been spoiled by all the giant personalities on TV. But if not, "this is one of the most boring people of her era." Indeed, Clinton seemed self-conscious on camera, says Alessandra Stanley at The New York Times, and she lacked the rich and authoritative voice "most television anchors acquire." Her voice was certainly "monochromatic" as her appearance began, says Verne Gay at Newsday. But as Clinton began talking about her late grandmother, she warmed up, and "a relatable human emerged," hinting that she will in time earn her status as an NBC News reporter. Judge for yourself:
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Why you shouldn't eat dog. Not even once.
- Why Israel can no longer let the Palestinian Authority be responsible for security in the West Bank
- How U.S. special forces are preparing for the worst-case scenario in North Korea
- Why you should really take a nap this afternoon, according to science
- Here's the schedule very successful people follow every day
- Why charity can't solve society's deepest problems
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- How social conservatives became a minority in need of protection
- Grammar quiz: Do you know the passive voice?
- I hate Ayn Rand — but here's why my fellow conservatives love her
Subscribe to the Week