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NBC News President Defends Hiring Chelsea Clinton

Chelsea Clinton
Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images

Steve Capus emphasized that the former President’s daughter was not hired as a publicity stunt and will not be covering political news.

After it was announced earlier this month that Chelsea Clinton was hired by NBC News as a special correspondent, some critics cried foul, saying that the move was a publicity stunt by the network.

The daughter of former President Bill Clinton and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will work with Rock Center with Brian Williams and NBC Nightly News for the "Making a Difference" franchise, which tends to profile organizations and people doing extraordinary things.

As media analyst wrote in an article in a recent issue of The Hollywood Reporter

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NBC News president Steve Capus spoke to TV Guide about the decision to bring on Clinton, emphasizing that Clinton, along with other recent hire President George W. Bush's daughter Jenna Bush Hager, will not be covering political news.

“Chelsea and Jenna are not on the air doing political commentary. It's an important distinction,” said Capus.

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“If I were looking for someone to report the lead story for NBC Nightly News, I'm not going to turn to Chelsea Clinton,” said Capus, who added that Clinton’s experience traveling with her parents made her a great fit for the storytelling series. “That's not why she was hired. I want to draw on her remarkable experience and have her tell stories that she feels strongly about, and we have the right vehicle with the "Making a Difference" franchise.”

STORY: Media Analyst Slams NBC News for Hiring 'Impostor' Chelsea Clinton

Many critics spoke out about the hire of Clinton and the other politicians' daughters as a media stunt. As media analyst Andrew Tyndall wrote in an article appearing in The Hollywood Reporter, "NBC News has enough baggage with its CNBC brand; now imagine Clinton and Andrea Mitchell appearing on Nightly News during coverage of the next financial crisis: the daughter of the president who deregulated high finance with the wife of central banker Alan Greenspan, who allowed it to run amok. NBC News is reporting from that worldview rather than on it."

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Clinton and Bush Hager were not the only politician offspring to join the NBC News network. Senator John McCain's daughter Meghan was also brought on as a contributor on MSNBC. The senior McCain recently joked during an interview with Don Imus on the Fox Business Network that his daughter had gone over to “the Dark Side.”