Chelsea Clinton, daughter of former President Bill Clinton and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, was hired by NBC in November of 2011 to do captivating feature assignments. In a statement at the time, she said:
“I hope telling stories through ‘Making a Difference’ — as in my academic work and nonprofit work — will help me to live my grandmother’s adage of ‘Life is not about what happens to you, but about what you do with what happens to you.’”
In an interview with Vogue in August of this year, she again made it quite clear she was interested in politics, stating:
“I have voted in every election that I have been qualified to vote in since I turned eighteen. I believe that engaging in the political process is part of being a good person. And I certainly believe that part of helping to build a better world is ensuring that we have political leaders who are committed to that premise. So if there were to be a point where it was something I felt called to do, and I didn’t think there was someone who was sufficiently committed to building a healthier, more just, more equitable, more productive world? Then that would be a question I’d have to ask and answer.”
It is not surprising then that she would be predisposed to lend her name and self to making a video that urged voters to support a state-wide referendum on gay marriage. After all, she phone-banked and actively supported the successful legislative effort in New York for the passage of The Marriage Equality bill. It is reported that, in the video, Chelsea Clinton stated that everyone should have the freedom to marry. She also stressed the importance of the upcoming votes on similar bills in Maine, Minnesota, Washington and Maryland, and the message it would send to the rest of the country.
NBC News blocked several organizations from using the Chelsea Clinton video ads supporting Marriage Equality. Neither NBC nor Chelsea Clinton provided any response to the report.
Given the type of reporting that Chelsea Clinton is doing for NBC, it is hard to see how these ads would affect either the credibility of Clinton or NBC. This action leaves the door open to much speculation as to the reasons for blocking these ads. Was the station afraid of offending the sensibilities of those on the right? One would hope that is not the case, as impeding the free speech of one side in the political debate never leads to a resolution all sides are comfortable with.