Former first daughter Chelsea Clinton made her television debut as a reporter on Monday night’s NBC “Rock Center With Brian Williams.” Her appearance on the show, however, drew mixed reviews from viewers.
Former President Bill Clinton’s daughter helped anchor the “Making a Difference” series and used her celebrity status to spotlight Annette Dove’s heartwarming tale of mentoring sessions with at-risk children in a small town in Arkansas.
Viewers connected well with Dove who was enthusiastic and vibrant. Clinton, however, was criticized for being monotone and formal. She was “poised” but “a bit nervous,” wrote Politico.
"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," a Washington Post critic wrote.
Other critics were a bit nicer:
“Ms. Clinton is a little self-conscious on camera and doesn’t have the kind of richly modulated anchor voice most television reporters acquire, but that actually gave her piece a more natural feel – like a video blog on Current TV,” The New York Times said.
Many people were wondering what made the previously private and low-key first daughter want to take on such a public role like that of a broadcast journalist.
“For most of my life I did deliberately lead a private life and inadvertently led a public life,” she told Williams. She added that she was encouraged by her grandmother to use her fame to help others, saying that she was ready to use her public platform as a way to lead a “purposefully public life.”
The youngest Clinton isn’t the first former first daughter to use her fame to pursue a journalistic career on NBC. Jenna Bush Hagger is a “Today” show correspondent.