Keep Floating at the Top

By Ta-Nehisi Coates

I'm sure Chelsea Clinton is intelligent and talented, but this sort of nepotism always grates:


Ms. Clinton will show up at the news division offices on Monday morning, said Steve Capus, president of NBC News, and will begin work on stories that NBC expects to use as part of its "Making a Difference" series, which runs on "NBC Nightly News." 

Ms. Clinton has been a national figure since her father won the presidency in 1992, but she has remained -- first by her parents' request and then by her own choice -- largely out of the public eye. 

 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?' 

I'm sure there are a lot of other young aspiring journalist who are just dying for Steve Capus to ask them that very same question.

Again what bothers me here is not any particular animus towards Clinton, but implication here is that  broadcast journalism doesn't actually require much training or skills. I came up in the world of print, so I'm not really the one to make the case for what, precisely, Clinton might be lacking.

But if you're genuinely interested in a craft, it strikes me that one should do the hard work of learning that craft. But maybe Capus doesn't think of it as much of a craft, so much as a matter of being attractive, somewhat famous, and reasonably articulate. 

Clinton isn't alone. Glenn Greenwald follows the numbers.


This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2011/11/keep-floating-at-the-top/248413/