The old adage: “It’s not what you know, but who you know.”

The new old adage: “It’s not what you know, but who are your parents.”

Life is not fair, but who ever thought it would be this unfair?

There have been oodles-and-oodles of media hyperventilation about Chelsea’s $600,000 annual salary for NBC Nightly News.

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If you are scoring at home, Chelsea has cumulatively raked in $1.55 million for 14 special reports or $26,724 for each minute or $445 for each second on the air. Congratulations Chelsea, you are now a millionaire thanks to the NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams.

Guess that explains how she affords her $10.5 million Manhattan apartment.

This network largesse bestowed on Chelsea is not bad for someone who does not have a broadcast news related-degree, such as journalism, communications, public relations or advertising. To be fair, Chelsea has overachieved in the classroom at Stanford, Oxford and Columbia … but that is not the reason she was hired by NBC.

And yes let’s immediately acknowledge that NBC’s Today Show hired Jenna Bush Hager and MSNBC brought on Meghan McCain as a special contributor. Keep in mind Bush’s dad is constitutionally prohibited from running again, and most likely McCain will never run again. Chelsea’s mom is with little conceivable doubt running for president.

NBC with all the expected arrogance that emanates from Rockefeller Center will piously claim that its brand of “checkbook journalism” does not and will not constitute a conflict of interest. And yet the network has paid more than $1 million to the daughter of the former president of the United States and the only offspring of the woman who may be the next president of the United States.

This is not a coincidence.

Is NBC buying access? Didn’t the network have problems with lobbyists, particularly those from business, allegedly purchasing access to the White House and The Hill?

What About Real Journalism Students?

As an incoming assistant professor of public relations and advertising, I am naturally concerned about the job prospects for those who choose journalism, communications, public relations and/or advertising as a career choice.

Almost DailyBrett has refuted commentators in the Washington Post and The Economist, who openly mock and question the sanity of the rising number of students pursuing communications-related degrees in the 21st. Century. As mentioned before, these comments are oh-so-analog. The demand for news and information in our digital society has never been greater, but still this a very difficult job market.

Now we have to enter “checkbook journalism” into the equation.

Wonder how many recent journalism graduates, such as the ones that received their diplomas this month, NBC could hire for $600,000 per year? Even though Almost DailyBrett is mathematically challenged, it seems that NBC could potentially employ 12 budding television journalists starting at $30,000 per year, including benefits.

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Even closer to the mark, how many out-of-work journalists could be put back to work for a fraction of the amount (e.g., five figures) paid to Chelsea in one year?

There is no doubt that NBC and other networks receive a flood of cover letters, resumes, LinkedIn URLs and online portfolios from hundreds of graduates, all of which are hoping to get their big break.

Maybe their college educations really don’t make any difference, if all you need is a degree in history and a dad who used to be president and a mom who may be president. Is this observation too cynical?

The job market is tough, and it just becomes tougher when the sons and daughters of the political elite get to be the first in line.

America the Land of Opportunity?

Let’s make a disclosure here: Sorry to say the author of Almost DailyBrett has never earned 600 big ones in a given year. In fact, it is doubtful that the vast majority of my colleagues have ever reached this pinnacle. We should not be jealous about Chelsea – you go girl – we should however question the judgment of the brass at NBC News.

Rock Center with Brian Williams

There is absolutely nothing wrong with being an achiever, being a doer, being an entrepreneur and building a better mousetrap and being paid for it. Bravo. We need more-and-more of this American spirit and accomplishment.

What we don’t need is questionable “checkbook” journalism that invites valid conflict-of-interest questions, allegations of currying favors, and most likely makes it that much harder for real journalism students to land a job, particularly those graduates without a famous father and mother.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chelsea_Clinton

http://www.politico.com/story/2014/06/chelsea-clinton-nbc-600-k-salary-107827.html?hp=l3

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/wp/2014/06/13/chelsea-clinton-reportedly-made-600000-for-a-years-work-at-nbc-and-twitter-went-wild/

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/nbc-news-paid-chelsea-clinton-711709

http://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/2014/06/21/sources-nbc-not-concerned-about-chelsea-clintons-alleged-overpriced-salary/

http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/some-democrats-fear-clintons-wealth-and-imperial-image-could-be-damaging-in-2016/2014/06/22/526746e6-f7eb-11e3-a3a5-42be35962a52_story.html?wpisrc=nl_pmpol

https://almostdailybrett.wordpress.com/2014/04/30/those-crazy-communicationsjournalism-majors/

https://almostdailybrett.wordpress.com/2013/09/03/in-defense-of-journalism-education/

 

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