Washington Post critic pans Chelsea Clinton TV debut


Former First Daughter Chelsea Clinton made her debut Monday night in her new job as a correspondent for NBC News’ “Rock Center with Brian Williams.” Washington Post critic Hank Stuever watched and was not impressed.

In his critical review Stuever first acknowledged that Clinton jumped into network TV news without ever earning her stripes at a local station. But he said the lack of experience wasn’t the real problem.

“Rather, what was surprising to see on Monday night’s show is how someone can be on TV in such a prominent way and, in her big moment, display so very little charisma — none at all. Either we’re spoiled by TV’s unlimited population of giant personalities or this woman is one of the most boring people of her era,” the critic wrote.

In her first “Making a Difference” report for the NBC News magazine program Clinton returned to Arkansas – where she grew up in the Governor’s Mansion before moving to the White House. She reported on a woman in a crime-ridden neighborhood of Pine Bluff who had devoted herself to trying to help children rise above the poverty and violence that surrounds them. Click here to see the piece and judge for yourself.

By the way, a New York Times review was more complimentary, though not gushing with praise for Clinton’s network TV debut.

RBR-TVBR observation: The Post may have been overly critical. She wasn’t terrible – but she wasn’t network TV quality. The piece was more like a first effort by a college student for a TV news production class, except that it was shot and edited by a seasoned, professional staff.