WashPost Hails Chelsea As ‘Polished, Practiced…Princess’

Posted on Thu 08/06/2015 by

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TimGrahampicture-13-1409699701By Tim Graham ~

Washington Post reporter Jessica Contrera has only been out of college a year. So is that the level of experience you choose for someone to try and pry some information out of the Clinton Machine about daughter Chelsea? Instead, we get the usual worshipful sentences, like this one: “Polished, practiced and private, Chelsea Clinton is the closest thing America has to a princess.”

Chelsea-yahooThe headline on the front of Wednesday’s Style section is “A very private public figure: Chelsea Clinton always avoided the spotlight. But now she welcomes it – on her own terms.” In other words, “Chelsea Clinton dictates her press coverage on her own terms. We in the media bow and scrape to America’s princess.”

Does this kind of coverage really enlighten anyone, or does it simply serve to promote this tired old Clinton Royal Family advertising? This paragraph at the end is another unctuous gem about the media accepting scripted scraps from the royals:

“Chelsea sought and obtained jobs based on her merit. But she left them for the spot she inherited in the royal family business: a place where quotes are scripted and chiefs of staff are close at hand.”

Chelsea may have had merits. She certainly had a good education. But as Daniel Halper has noted, “Chelsea settled at the age of 23 for a $120,000-a-year salary at premier consulting firm McKinsey & Company. She was their youngest hire that year and made as much as consultants with MBA degrees, even though her Stanford degree was in history.”

In 2006, she joined Avenue Capital Group, “a $12 billion hedge fund manager whose founder has contributed to many Democratic Party campaigns.” Skeptical reporters wouldn’t push hard to say these were primarily “based on her merit.” But that’s the kind of coverage the royal court gives a princess.

It takes 45 paragraphs for Contrera and the Post to discuss the most egregious example of parent-led “merit hiring,” Chelsea’s tenure at NBC News. They mention the $600,000 salary (without calculating that was about $50,000 a story) and that she “left a lackluster impression.” It’s one spot in this puff piece where critics are at least mentioned: “Critics bashed her on-air performances as awkward, self-conscious, or just plain dull.”

She’s the Princess, and then she’s also the Peacemaker:

She is forever remembered as the loyal, curly-haired teen daughter who kept her parents together through the Monica Lewinsky scandal — an episode that is never discussed in Chelsea’s presence but hovers around her, a potent reminder of the sacrifice and resilience required of the families of public servants.

So Chelsea is 35, but she’s still apparently so childlike that they can never discuss Monica Lewinsky et al in her presence? Even the Clintons’ most glaring months of dishonesty and immorality in 1998 — the I Did Not Have Sex With That Right Wing Conspiracy months — are used by the Post to add a sympathetic halo to Chelsea’s image.

Like most liberal-media puff jobs about the Clintons, Contrera only consults buddies. Chelsea’s Oxford University roommate…the Clinton Foundation’s former acting chief executive….Chelsea’s best friend from Arkansas…her former boss at the hedge fund…a professor at Columbia University, where she now teaches as an adjunct professor. This sets up more gush, like this:

Chelsea seemed tied to a private life that was a model of conscientious good behavior. Her friends and co-workers say she had a compulsion for studying up on what she didn’t know, answering late-night e-mails and striving to make others comfortable around her at her early jobs in consulting and finance.

Someone might argue that this piece isn’t entirely positive. They strike notes that perhaps she’s a bit rich and out of touch, with the hedge-fund husband and the “eight-figure Manhattan condominium.” But that’s also a way of promoting her as leading a charmed life, with her “dynastic star power” as a “figure in Manhattan’s celebrity-sphere.” Reporters let the Clintons have it both ways – they’re wealthy and dine with celebrities, and yet their hearts bleed relentlessly for the poor.

While Contrera began with the notion that Chelsea is so unfairly burdened with the “fervor of the world’s curiosity,” reporters are absolutely dreadful at attempting to satisfy curiosity about Chelsea at all.

Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters. He is Director of Media Analysis at the Media Research Center.

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