Tag Archive: Conflict of Interest


 “All I’m saying is that the idea that there’s one set of rules for us and another set for everybody else is true.” – Former President William Jefferson Clinton

What is it about that Clintons that draws elite media into their gravitational pull?

Last year, we learned that Brian Williams’ (remember his heroic military exploits?) NBC News provided Chelsea Clinton with a $600,000 annual salary for four news reports. Wonder why Chelsea of all people landed this big-time six-figure job with the left-of-center network?.

This week (no pun intended), we read that ABC’s chief anchor and This Week host George Stephanopoulos made three donations to the Clinton Foundation totaling $75,000, but did not report these contributions to either the brass at ABC News or more importantly to his hundreds of thousands of viewers.clintonstephanopoulos

Why not disclose that you were ostensibly assisting the 501 (c) (3) foundation in championing AIDS prevention and battling deforestation, George? You do care about these subjects, right George? Is the Clinton Foundation the only non-profit addressing these issues? Why not write checks to other NGOs?

PR pros have long urged clients to adopt a policy of radical transparency. They would urge you (George) to be fully transparent in your financial contributions to your former employer, William Jefferson Clinton. Instead George, you took the stealth route until you were indeed caught by news aggregator, POLITICO.

In the aftermath of disclosure by the media, Stephanopoulos issued the de rigueur apology and ABC circled the wagons and defended their guy, but the damage was already done.

Can we now reasonably expect that ABC News will fairly and accurately cover the Clintons, including probable Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, when its chief anchor and former Clinton disciple knowingly hides his contributions to the massive Clinton Foundation?

Keep in mind, the Clinton Foundation is not your grandfather’s 501 (c) (3). It is not even the Carter Center. Instead, it does some good on the surface while deep down it is an avenue for those who need “advice” and cherish “access” to and through the Clinton’s, and make a nice donation to save Haiti as well.

ABC, NBC …

Power corrupts, and absolutely power corrupts absolutely.” – Lord John Dahlberg-Acton

Guess that absolute corrupting power applies to the ultimate gatekeepers, big-time media.

Almost DailyBrett questioned the decision of NBC’s brass to hire Chelsea Clinton for the outrageous sum of $600,000 per year, even before the Brian Williams implosion. Chelsea departed NBC prior to her mumsy throwing her proverbial hat into the presidential ring. Still the questions persist: Why Chelsea? Did NBC practice “checkbook journalism”? And once again, can we now reasonably expect that NBC News will fairly and accurately cover the Clintons, and by extension the Clinton Foundation?chelseanbc4

Another question that comes to mind as the presidency is an open seat in the 2016 quadrennial cycle is whether the networks and other left-of-center media can be expected to even be remotely fair and objective in covering the Republicans.

Whattyathink George Stephanopoulos?

Whattyathink Brian Williams?

Whattyathink Dan Rather?

ABC and NBC are not the only sinners in this drama. CBS lost its objectivity virginity when it comes to favoritism of the Clinton’s favorite political party with the infamous 2004 Rathergate and the phony military documents about George W. Bush’s National Guard duty. The documents were exposed as forgeries; Bush was re-elected and a bitter Rather decided to spend more time with his family.

This week, we learned the University of Virginia is suing Rolling Stone magazine for deliberately doctoring a photo of Associate Dean Nicole Eramo to make her appear to be a villain in the now-retracted 2014 “A Rape on Campus” story.rollingstonestory

The sensational account that came after the deliberate attempt to target a wealthy fraternity on a rich campus has been labeled as “impact journalism” by the Washington Post.

One must wonder what other forms of “impact journalism” the media elites have in mind.

Can hardly wait to check out the coming plethora of stories that “objectively” cover the Clintons.

Wonder if there will another standard of reporting for those who dare to disagree with Bill, Hill and Chelsea?

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/erik-wemple/wp/2015/05/14/george-stephanopoulos-donations-to-clinton-foundation-immediate-crisis-for-abc-news/?wpisrc=nl_popns&wpmm=1

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/15/us/politics/george-stephanopoulos-discloses-gifts-to-clinton-foundation.html?smprod=nytcore-ipad&smid=nytcore-ipad-share&_r=0

http://www.politico.com/blogs/media/2015/05/george-stephanopoulos-discloses-contribution-to-clinton-207120.html?hp=rc1_4

https://nonprofitquarterly.org/philanthropy/24491-the-philanthropic-problem-with-hillary-clinton-s-huge-speaking-fees.html

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/erik-wemple/wp/2015/05/13/lawsuit-against-rolling-stone-claims-doctored-photograph-cast-dean-as-villain/?wpisrc=nl_opinions&wpmm=1

https://almostdailybrett.wordpress.com/2015/05/02/lying-to-the-new-york-times/

https://almostdailybrett.wordpress.com/2014/06/22/chelseas-nbc-600k-tv-gig-and-aspiring-journalists/

https://almostdailybrett.wordpress.com/2015/02/25/youre-so-vain/

https://almostdailybrett.wordpress.com/2015/02/15/its-like-deja-vu-all-over-again/

https://almostdailybrett.wordpress.com/2014/12/20/impact-journalism/

http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/l/lordacton109401.html

http://rove.com/articles/585

 

 

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.

chelseanbc1

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.

journalismstudents. jpg.

 

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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