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December 13, 2011

Washington Post TV Critic Stunned To Learn That Chelsea Clinton Has So Little Charisma

You can watch it at EW's PopWatch, and I think it's worth it, at least for a bit.

She is not a natural broadcaster. I feel safe in saying that.

I've seen more moxie and sex appeal in Hanoi Hilton prisoner propaganda videos.

I've seen a more engaging, electric presence sitting next to Elliot Spitzer on CNN for two months.

Hot Air excerpts a Washington Post TV critic, and upon reading it I was tempted to take the contrarian view and call him a bitchy little bitch, but then I watched her debut.

[W]hat 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.

Her natural lack of presence is exacerbated by the sort of stories she's decided she'll do -- "uplifting" puff-pieces about just plain unassumin' folks, makin' a difference, payin' it forward and such.

Clinton will continue such segments as part of NBC’s “Making a Difference” featurettes, which are not unlike ABC News’s “Person of the Week” segments, and, frankly, not unlike the article and photos laid out in the center of most newspapers’ Metro pages — so many points of light that one eventually becomes inured to them, especially when one is on the hunt for news....

Stories from the Chelsea beat, meanwhile, are all meant to do a few things, very quickly: Highlight some bright spot of good news in otherwise bleak circumstances; indicate how viewers might help out the situation, if so inclined; and (this is never once said, but almost always palpable in the empathetic eyes of the reporter) ennoble the reporter herself, and thereby ennoble the network. This is why Clinton says she is doing television — to make a difference.

That's a neat point. These stories are not presented to publicize the goodness of the subjects, but rather the goodness of the newspersons who are so filled with good they share these tales of goodness with you, Good Viewer.

Cloying, sanctimonious, and false earnestness + a complete blank in terms of presence + boring subject matter + transparent effort to gild one's PR profile = bad tv.

But I don't think the point is to make good tv. I think it's to once again transmit the idea that NBC Is Good and Chelsea Clinton is Good.

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posted by Ace at 01:59 PM

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