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Clinton Life

I must admit, I always had a soft spot for Chelsea Clinton. Not that I liked her or anything but that I felt bad for someone thrust into the national spotlight during the most awkward years of her life (Rush Limbaugh, on his TV show, famously said the Clinton White House had finally gotten a dog and then showed an unflattering picture of the then 13-year-old Chelsea). There was a story that circulated toward the end of the Clinton years about her drinking in Colorado and being a bit wild. And my reaction was, “Well, good for her.”

However, my sympathy does not extend to what looks to me like blatant corruption:

Chelsea Clinton has left her job as a special correspondent for NBC News, a position that she has held since November 2011, the network has confirmed. In a statement on the departure, NBC News senior vice president Alex Wallace said, “We are thankful for all of Chelsea’s contributions to NBC News over the past 3 years. Chelsea’s storytelling inspired people across the country and showcased the real power we have as individuals to make a difference in our communities. While she will be missed, we look forward to working with her in the future.”

Like me, you’re probably thinking: “what contributions?” Clinton did some occasional reporting for NBC but it amounted to maybe an hour total over the last three years. For that contributions, she was paid a nominal salary of … holy shit.

Those stories were neither sufficiently frequent nor momentous to earn Clinton the respect of her colleagues and the NBC News brain trust. Her standing within the network appeared to suffer a hit when Politico revealed earlier this year that she had been earning annual pay in the range of $600,000 — or nearly $27,000 for each minute of airtime. That was far above the pay level of an average network correspondent, even one with years of experience; Clinton was a rookie in the craft at the time of her first piece for NBC News in 2011.

Clinton is not the only scion of a political dynasty getting such a gig, although I’m dubious that the others are as lucrative. Jenna Bush and Meghan McCain also got commentary bits. But then again, neither of their dads is likely to President in the near future; Chelsea’s mom at least has a shot at it. The only thing remotely comparable I can think of in recent years was Bristol Palin’s six-figure gig promoting abstinence. But even that was a third of what Chelsea was making.

Is this bribery? It looks like it …. but … it’s actually not that unusual. The media-politics gravy train is absolutely loaded with this kind of bullshit. Politicians, their aides, their lawyers, their kids and their allies walk right out of the halls of power into well-paying commentary gigs and jobs. And then frequently walk right back into power. Many of them get five- and six-figure speaking fees, including Hillary Clinton. Many get massive salaries on corporate boards or university faculty. And, as I’ve noted before, no matter how wrong they’ve been, no matter how much they’ve fucked up, no matter what disastrous policy they’ve led this country into, the train of speaking fees, commentary gigs, board appointments and academic appointments never stops. If you’ve wrecked the country, that’s just proof that you need to be a Professor at Harvard with a column in the Washington Post.

We really do have a ruling class in this country. And Chelsea is just the latest iteration. The absurd level of the bribery — a per minute salary 30 times greater than that of Alex Rodriguez — rubs our noses in it. But the unusual thing about this is that it’s not that unusual.

20 comments

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  1. Seattle Outcast says:

    Remember, she doesn’t care about money. That’s a clear sign of how much of she has without ever actually having to work for any of it.

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  2. Mook says:

    (Rush Limbaugh, on his TV show, famously said the Clinton White House had finally gotten a dog and then showed an unflattering picture of the then 13-year-old Chelsea)

    You’re repeating a leftist-fueled mischaracterization of what Rush did and said. He called her a “cute kid”, and the picture of her was not unflattering as you claim. Here is the video http://youtu.be/DtUlEfuM-xU

    Chelsea herself recently repeated the mischaracterization claiming that both she and Sandra Fluke were “attacked” by Rush.

    SNL, on the other hand, really did mock Chelsea’s appearance, but as good liberals, all that was quickly forgotten and forgiven. Bill Clinton later blamed Rush for the OK City bombing, which was FAR worse than anything Rush did to Chelsea, but that too was quickly forgotten and forgiven.

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  3. InsipiD says:

    Just another case of the left celebrating the achievement of those who have achieved nothing.

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  4. Hal_10000 says:

    Mook, that’s a different clip from the one I’m referring to. I watched his show at the time and remember a different segment. It’s possible I’m mis-remembering.

    I do remember SNL going after her too, which was disgraceful.

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  5. Mook says:

    Thanks for the down vote Hal for pointing out how wrong you were, including the video backup to thoroughly substantiate my point. If you remember a “different” segment, then give us a link, or be honest enough to admit that you really are full of shit and unable to admit when you’re wrong. Can you do that?

    You’re a cancer on this blog because you pretend to be a ‘libertarian’, yet you parrot leftwing talking points constantly like you’ve done on this post. I would much prefer an honest liberal or communist to a dishonest person who claims to be a “libertarian” but who is anything but that in reality. This post, and your response to my reply is exhibit A of my assertion, but pretty much any post or comments you’ve made regarding global warming also backs up my argument.

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  6. hist_ed says:

    The thing that pisses me off about Ms Clinton is that she is apparently totally unaware of how much life has been handed to her on a silver platter. She (and her parents and friends) all probably think that she has worked very hard to get to where she is. And by the standards of her class, she has worked hard.

    Mia Farrow’s brat with the TV show is another great example. In the tunnel vision world he and Chelsea inhabit, he was viewed as a really smart guy with lots of charm and talent. Of course he’d be great as a TV host. The fact that no one outside that world had even heard of the guy or cared a rat’s ass what he thought about anything was a big surprise. He worked hard for that. He probably even put in a few four or five hour days prepping.

    I am going to sound like very grumpy old guy ever, but in my day it was a little different. I went to school with some rich people. A difference, I think, was that they went to school with and hung out with regular people. They even had to work grunt jobs for a bit before getting theirs.

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  7. InsipiD says:

    Mook, that’s a different clip from the one I’m referring to. I watched his show at the time and remember a different segment. It’s possible I’m mis-remembering.

    So you’re saying he did the same gag twice, only one of them was much worse?

    Riiight.

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  8. Xetrov says:

    Mook -

    Unless I’m mistaken, Liberals do not have a corner on the market when it comes to believing in global warming/climate change/climate disruption/whatever the new term is this week. Even a *gasp* libertarian could come down on the side of believing in it if the science/propaganda convinced them enough that it was real. That doesn’t make them an evil commie. The difference is in response to what they think should be done about it. To my knowledge, Hal has never espoused supporting Cap and Trade, a giant government takeover of all things, or support for Kyoto or other worthless treaties. He takes the time to point out idiotic policies like the EU’s new ban on vacuums, and Germany’s power policy to name a few recent examples.

    It’s like one side says they are a believer and the other side says they are a denier, and BAM, both brains shut off for all future discussions on the topic cause one is a lying commie liberal bastard, and the other is a neanderthal, brian-dead truth denier.

    But yeah, he has at times been known to not accept being shown he was wrong very well.

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  9. Hal_10000 says:

    Mook, Rush does not maintain an archive of his TV show. That clip only exists because Media Matters kept it around. But I’m sure he never ever made a joke like that again (which itself was pretty bad and which he apologized for by claiming a technician did it … on a taped show). It’s not like he has a history of, let’s say, calling Amy Carter the most unattractive first daughter in history.

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  10. Hal_10000 says:

    Also, Mook, as usual you are ignoring something relevant: I didn’t get this from some “left wing talking point”. I watched Rush Limabaugh’s TV show. I watched it almost every night and I remember the incident in question (as did Molly Ivins). I was dittohead for most of the 90′s*.

    it was twenty years ago and human memory is faulty. It’s possible someone else made that joke and I attributed it to Limbaugh. It’s also possible I’m misremembering the clip you linked (which I found while searching for confirmation of the incident). But that’s the way I remember it.

    (* = contra the Left, being a “dittohead” did not and does not mean you mindlessly agree with everything he says. It just means you liked his show and you were glad to have his voice on the radio after decades of monolithic liberal commentary. Limbaugh got tired of people calling his show and spending half the call saying how much they loved it. He encouraged them just to say “dittoes” and get on with it.)

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  11. Xetrov says:

    On another topic, We live in the twilight zone.

    http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2014/08/28/Feds-Agree-Buy-Ads-on-Mexican-Media-Place-Billboards-on-Border-to-Reach-Deported-Illegals-Allowed-to-Return

    As part of a legal settlement that will allow some illegal immigrants who deported themselves from Southern California to return to the United States, the federal government has agreed to advertise the settlement on various Mexican and Spanish-language media outlets.

    The ACLU filed a class-action lawsuit last year on behalf of eleven illegal immigrants who deported themselves. The settlement reached on Wednesday will only cover “longtime California residents with relatives who are U.S. citizens and… young migrants whose parents brought them into the country illegally” who deported themselves between 2009 and 2013. An ACLU official has indicated that there were nearly 250,000 people who were “deported voluntarily from Southern California between 2009 and 2013″ and estimated to the Los Angeles Times that the “number of repatriations could reach into the hundreds or thousands.”

    The U.S. government, through ad buys online, in print, on billboards, and on radio stations, will hope to reach “friends and family of the affected class” in Southern California and Mexico. According to the settlement, the federal government will advertise on television channels like Univision, ESPN Deportes, MundoFox, El Universal, and the Univision Deportes Network. They will also partner with People en Espanol and even the Mexico National Football Team in addition to placing billboards “in high population Mexican border cities of Tijuana, Tecate and Mexicali, as well as focusing placements near border crossings.”

    U.S. officials will also place “radio ads :60 in length… on top Spanish speaking radio stations near the Mexico/U.S. border.” Those who search for “Lopez Case,” “Lopez Class Action,” “Voluntary Return to Mexico,” “Rights for Detainees,” “Detained by ICE,” and “Returned to Mexico by ICE” will also be targeted with information about the settlement.

    The fucking twilight zone.

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  12. Hal_10000 says:

    Ok, it’s Breitbart, so I went to NPR:

    http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2014/08/27/343781445/aclu-u-s-settle-lawsuit-on-deportation-of-immigrants

    Also checked Reuters, LA times, NY Times. Keep getting the same story. According to them, these are people who were pressured to waive their right to a hearing before being deported or the voluntary self-deportation box was checked on their forms when they were picked up by ICE. It’s not clear how many we could be talking about.

    Obama. He can’t even deport people without fucking it up.

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  13. Xetrov says:

    The Anit-American Civil Liberties Union strikes again.

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  14. Poosh says:

    THAT ESCALATED QUICKLY

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  15. Seattle Outcast says:

    Are we still talking about what a FUG Amy Carter was in her youth?

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  16. Mook says:

    Unless I’m mistaken, Liberals do not have a corner on the market when it comes to believing in global warming/climate change/climate disruption/whatever the new term is this week. Even a *gasp* libertarian could come down on the side of believing in it if the science/propaganda convinced them enough that it was real. That doesn’t make them an evil commie

    You’re right. I was out of line in my second comment. Apologies. However, it may make them an ‘evil commie’ to insist that it’s ‘settled science’.

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  17. Xetrov says:

    However, it may make them an ‘evil commie’ to insist that it’s ‘settled science’.

    Agreed. Damn evil commies.

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  18. AlexInCT says:

    However, it may make them an ‘evil commie’ to insist that it’s ‘settled science’.

    I disagree gents. What makes them commies is the proposed solution, which is ALWAYS, whatever the crisis du jour they are selling may be, bigger, more intrusive government, that robs people of their dignity, more of their hard earned cash, and their freedoms.

    They have no fucking clue how science even works, and as liberals, have repeatedly shown themselves to recoil from the scientific process – like vampires would from holy symbols, holy water, or sunlight – whenever said science invalidated liveral dogma.

    I have never understood why people pretend it is the fundy religious fanatics that hate science when, in practically every damned case, libs do far worse than the fundies.

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  19. Section8 says:

    Yeah, Rush basically compared her to a dog. The cute-kid comment is a veneer covering up the real point which was to insult. Maybe Hal didn’t remember the exact event, but it’s pretty much the same conclusion. There are some on here who post their comments with this same passive-aggressive tactic so they have an “out” when others call bullshit, and it’s annoying as hell. Rush fucked up on that one. At the end of the day if you’re on the air for years you’re going to say and do stupid shit from time to time. This is one of those times, and was a cheap shot at a kid which is fucked up.

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  20. West Virginia Rebel says:

    Eh, Rush Limbaugh is who he is. You can find many classic clips and episodes of his show on Youtube where he is in top form. Besides, we’re all ugly (or at least geeky) when we’re kids.

    What’s the difference between American aristocracy and European aristocracy? Ours bought their way into power, theirs was born into it.
    West Virginia Rebel recently posted..Rathergate, The MovieMy Profile

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