YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Chelsea Clinton makes debut as NBC correspondent [Video]

December 13, 2011|By Michael A. Memoli
  • Chelsea Clinton on the set of NBC's "Rock Center with Brian Williams" on Dec. 12, 2011.
Chelsea Clinton on the set of NBC's "Rock Center with Brian Williams"… (Peter Kramer/NBC )

Chelsea Clinton's transition from an intensely private to a "purposefully public life" became complete Monday night with the former first daughter's debut as a correspondent on NBC's "Rock Center with Brian Williams." (see video below)

Clinton was hired by the broadcaster to tape some of its signature, feel-good "Making a Difference" segments, and her first offering was true to type.

She returned to the state her father had governed for more than a decade to tell the story of Annette Dove, whose personal crusade has been to help disadvantaged youth in the city of Pine Bluff, Ark.

In the piece is a rare glimpse at Clinton's own personal life. She offers up that she can barely cook, but "I did make Thanksgiving."

Williams explained Clinton's role in introducing her debut as the network's "special correspondent."

"She has joined us because she wants to tell stories, just some of the stories she has encountered along the way during her life's travels," he said.

In a segment after her piece aired, Clinton was asked to explain her personal evolution.

"For most of my life I did deliberately lead a private life and inadvertently led a public life," she said, sounding as if she was repeating rehearsed talking points as both parents had inevitably done countless times. "I've always been incredibly proud of both of my parents. And proud of the work I'd done privately as a person, professionally and academically."

She went on to say that her recently deceased grandmother had been "cajoling me and challenging me to do more with my life, to lead more of a purposely public life."

"That being Chelsea Clinton had happened to me and that I had a responsibility to do something with that asset and opportunity. And telling stories through 'Making a Difference' I believe will be one way to manifest that and I hope to make her proud," she said.

Clinton's new role with NBC drew immediate criticism, which the network brushed aside. Executives maintained as well that there would be no special access to her still very-much involved political parents.

"I was a little surprised, but she decided to go for it, and I’m very excited for her," Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said in an interview last month.

Los Angeles Times Articles