Hillary Clinton may have left the White House "dead broke" in her own words over a decade ago, but the same can hardly be said about her daughter, Chelsea, who as Politico revealed today, was being paid an annual salary of $600,000 at NBC News before switching to a month-to-month contract earlier this year.
As a reminder, the younger Clinton, who previously worked as an analyst at $12 billion hedge fund Avenue Capital in a quid-pro-quo which its owner Marc Lasry, a close friend of Bill Clinton, had hoped would bring him a fast track appointment to the French ambassador position (and which was scuttled last year after several of his poker-playing acquaintances were charged in a mob gambling ring), joined NBC News as a “special correspondent” in November 2011. "She was up for renewal or non-renewal this year. Instead, the sources said, the network decided to keep her on the payroll on a month-to-month basis so that the two parties could sever ties if Clinton’s mother, Hillary, runs for president."
So what exactly did Chelsea do to command such a hefty salary?
As special correspondent, Clinton worked on service-related feature assignments for NBC’s “Rock Center with Brian Williams” until the show’s cancellation in June 2013. Clinton has since worked on packages for NBC Nightly News.
In that time, Clinton’s principal occupation has been the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation, where she has been a major force in steering her parents’ charitable work in the final years of her mother’s tenure at the State Department, and since then. This April, she announced that she was pregnant. Clinton is due to deliver her first child in the fall, and it’s unclear if she would resume work with NBC after that.
In other words, "occasional work"
Ironically, even as the US rages at cases of domestic investment banks abusing nepotism and hiring Chinese princelings in exchange for lucrative banking contracts, nobody finds the Clinton arrangement with what is supposed to be an objective, impartial media outlet even remotely disturbing.
Well, maybe some do:
When Clinton joined NBC, many media critics chafed at the network’s decision to employ a former first daughter with no experience in journalism. The New York Post referred to Clinton as “just another spoiled, aimless child of rich, successful parents chauffeured through adulthood by Mommy and Daddy’s connections.”
But before NBC is accused of pandering solely to democrats, recall that in 2009 NBC Universal, it hired George W. Bush’s daughter Jenna Bush Hager to serve as a correspondent on the “Today” show. In 2011, it hired Sen. John McCain’s daughter Meghan McCain as a contributor on MSNBC.
In other words, nepotism from one extreme to the other.
But the good news is that for all complaints about lack of wage inflation, it clearly does exist... for a very lucky few.