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Critics Pan Chelsea Clinton's Debut

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RUSH: Chelsea Clinton had her media debut last night on NBC with Brian Williams -- and, my friends, it isn't pretty. I have just one review, but I'm telling you she is being ripped across, over the coals. (interruption) Well, H.R. is telling me over the IFB that he was surprised that Chelsea's being ripped. I am not surprised that she's being ripped because it's so obvious that you can't hide it. But they are missing the point here. They are reviewing her performance with the entirely wrong prism. Let me give you an example. Hank Stuever (I don't know how he pronounces it. It's S-t-u-e-v-e-r, might be Stuever, could be Stuever, whatever it is) in the Washington Post.

Listen to this: "It's no surprise whatsoever that Chelsea Clinton didn't electrify broadcast journalism with her debut Monday night on NBC's 'Rock Center With Brian Williams,' because she has no experience in broadcast journalism. She didn't cut her teeth with live coverage of strip-mall blazes in Sacramento. She never did weekend weather in Wichita Falls. She didn't blow the lid off mail-order ham scams in Des Moines." (Who -- besides everyone working in TV news, who did each and every one of those things -- says you have to do all that?) "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." Washington Post. And that's just one. They're all like that. Every Drive-By review of Chelsea Clinton is that bad. It takes no prisoners whatsoever. Now, let's be fair here. Harry Reid isn't the most entertaining guy in the world, either. Harry Reid epitomizes boring, dull, dryball, you name it. Ditto... you want me to give you others names out there? You pick 'em. But this is where Mr. Stuever, Stuever, Stuever misses it -- and everybody else reviewing this misses it. Chelsea Clinton's career path has nothing to do with broadcast journalism. She is a statist-in-training. What we have in Chelsea Clinton is a woman who has been sheltered from the media by parents who wanted to protect her. I understand that. They succeeded.

Bill said (impression), "Lay off my daughter. I don't want to see any coverage about Chelsea. I don't want to see it! I -- I -- I don't want you to ask her any questions; I don't want her covered. She grants no interviews. You. Stay. Away," and they did. So, as such, nobody knows her. Now she's 31 years old. She is a statist-in-training. She's working on her 14th college degree. It's time to get serious about life now. Her future as a statist will require being good on TV -- learning how to become likable and what have you -- and so that's not what this is. This is not about Chelsea Clinton learning how to do news. And, remember, there isn't news in the news anymore. There's no news. That's just that's not why people turn on the TV. There's no news. She is dutifully learning the inner workings of television in order to learn how to manipulate it later. That's all this is. Nobody starts at the top like this unless they're the daughter of an ex-president who can call in some chits. Nobody starts at the top like this.

Here, couple sound bites.  First November 14th, we'll go back, Brian Williams.  He was on Piers Morgan Tonight on CNN.  They were talking about Chelsea Clinton being hired by NBC, and Piers Morgan said, "I think she'll be terrific."  Why would he think that?  He couldn't possibly know she'd be terrific.  Piers Morgan:  "I think she'd be terrific."  How does he know?  It's an inspired appointment," said Piers Morgan.  "But there will be journalistic critics who say this is just further evidence of news networks dumbing down. It's the celebrification, if you like, of news, of conventional news journalism. What would you say to that?"

WILLIAMS:  I can't wait to hear her voice and her viewpoint.  And I would remind everybody that there was much kerfuffle about Tim Russert's resume:  Oh, my goodness he worked for a couple elected Democrats.  And what that nicely left out was Tim Russert's talent and intellect and ability to call them down the middle.

RUSH:  Yep, yep, yep.  Okay, so adding insult to injury now, Tim Russert posthumously compared to Chelsea Clinton by Brian Williams at NBC.  So let's go.  Last night, NBC's "Rock Center," Brian Williams speaking with correspondent statist-in-training Chelsea Clinton about how she became a reporter for NBC.  Williams:  "So tell us how you got from your life as it was, say yesterday, to a life now with us and doing this."  Get this, now.  So here's Chelsea, who's there because her dad called in a couple chits, or her mom, who knows, she's there because a phone call was made.  Brian Williams, (imitating Williams) "Chelsea, what a story, what an achievement, so many people could learn so much.  How did you go from being totally obscure to being almost as big as I am on this show?"  And here's what Chelsea said.

CHELSEA:  For most of my life I did deliberately lead a private life, and inadvertently led a public life.  I've always been incredibly proud of both of my parents, and proud of the work I had done privately.  As a person and professionally and academically, my grandmother, who passed away at the beginning of November, had a core adage in her life, that life is not about what happens to you but about what you do with what happens to you, and she recently had been cajoling me and challenging me to do more with my life, to lead more of a purposefully public life, that being Chelsea Clinton had happened to me and that I had a responsibility to do something with that asset and opportunity, and telling stories through making a difference, I believe, will be one way to manifest that and I hope to make her proud.

RUSH:  Okay.  So, in her own words, that's how Chelsea got from her life as it was yesterday to last night with Brian Williams on "Rock Center."  Well, you can be your own judge as to what you think she sounds like.  A Washington Post guy said, (paraphrasing) "How is it possible to be so boring?  How is it possible to have so little, if any, none, zilt, zero, nada, charisma?"  (interruption) Are you kidding me?  Brian and Dawn don't know what a "chit" is?  You never heard of calling in a chit?  You gotta be kidding me.  Two members of my staff were lost when I said Bill Clinton called in a couple chits.  What did you think I said, something other than chit?  Never heard the word chit?  Well, what would be a substitute word for it? (interruption) No, no, no, Clinton didn't call a couple chicks.  A chit is a debt, gambling debt, a marker, an IOU, protection money, it could be any number of things.  Does that help?  They're still lost in there.  

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RUSH:  You ever notice Tim Russert is the only news figure that the media can cite as being somewhat objective?  Whenever the news media wants to tell us about somebody in their ranks that calls 'em down the middle, it's always Tim Russert.  Never anybody else.  You notice that?  Notice that?  So you add that with the Sullivan Group and their auditing of my opinion, how could I not go up?  I mean gem after gem after gem the past three weeks.

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