NBC News Nixed Chelsea Clinton’s Marriage-Equality Commercials

While we’re still celebrating the victories for equality in Maine, Maryland, Minnesota and Washington, we’re sad to hear that pro-marriage-equality spots filmed by former First Daughter Chelsea Clinton were nixed by her employers at NBC News.

Buzzfeed is reporting that Clinton had filmed two PSAs in support of same-sex marriage but higher ups at NBC News, where she’s been working as a special correspondent, put the kibosh on them both.

“A third source said that Clinton described her belief that everyone should have the freedom to marry, detailed the importance of the upcoming votes, and stated that success in the states voting on marriage would send a message to rest of the country.”

It’s a tricky call: We understand a news outlet wanting to keep its on-air talent away from big public stances on the issues of the day. But Clinton has already appeared at various LGBT fundraisers and been outspoken in her support—as have out newsfolk like Don Lemon and Thomas Roberts. Maybe we should just accept that the days of opinion-free journalists are over.

What’s your take? Share with the group in the comments section.

Photo: Kyle Cassidy

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  • jim2008

    I think Chelsea should resign. She doesn’t need NBC. NBC needs her.

  • jerry_pritikin

    I get the feeling that if her mom is not the first woman president, that in time we’ll see Chelsea make it… on her own. She’ll have the best DNA possible for qualifications.

  • manhandlemike

    For me NBC used to be a trusted source for news and coverage of issues but in the last few years there seems to be an insidious corruption from the corporate top down. From MSNBC’s dealing with Keith Olbermann to the “seemingly justified” nixing of Chelsea’s remarks has me wondering where their sympathies may lay. I agree that Chelsea should find smarter waters.

  • brent

    Well if she were given permission to do that, then a reporter with an antigay marriage view would have to be allowed to do the same. I don’t think we would want that.

  • 2eo

    @brent: Why are you so against free speech all of a sudden. All anti gay marriage comments should be encouraged as none of the arguments stand up to even the slightest scrutiny. They help in beating themselves, the more right wing nutters get heat up and whinge about militias the better.

    They are losing.


  • Joel J

    It depends upon whether Chelsea was hired as a reporter or as an opinion commentator.
    If she was hired as a commentator on the news, then her PSA should pass muster. If she was hired as a reporter, no way. Unfortunately, the line between fact and opinion has become blurred thanks to cable infotainment “news” programs.

  • Dumdum

    I am confused. NBC has The New Normal sit-com right? Why would they block marriage equality PSAs? I don’t know much about journalism. Certainly can’t be an issue with journalistic integrity, look at Fox [email protected]Joel J: Makes sense, but I don’t really see the distinction. Guess I am a bit thick.

  • gppm1103

    @Dumdum: What NBC is doing is not getting involved in any way in politics.
    Personally, I think it comes down to money. If they say one word in their news that is their opinion they will be boycotted by whom ever disagrees with what was said. They need as much money as they can get so they can pay their celebrities” like Brian Williams etc…those guys are not real journalists – the likes of Cronkite and Murrow are long, long gone.

    Plus, the media is just an arm of the government or whomever is in control. I like Chelsea, but TV or news is not her field. Listening to her segments on NBC news is awkward at best.

  • adam madam

    Something oddly generational is happening here. The old broadcast networks now play the news shows, segmented out between pharmaceutical commercials, and tailored for seventy-somethings who care more for Diane Sawyer and Katie Couric than actually listen to what they’re saying. What is Chelsea as a progressive twenty-something even doing, cooperating with the people who package the news for her grandparents’ generation? What is NBC doing when it censors Chelsea’s PSA’s, but demonstrating its irrelevance for the two younger generations of voters out there?

  • Callum

    Tor those un-aware, NBC’s Brian Williams (a straight man) has been very vocal in support of Same Sex Marriage/Marriage Equality.

  • Joel J

    @Callum: I’m glad to hear that Brian Williams supports marriage equality, but that presents a problem. Journalistic standards require a strict wall between news reporting and editorial opinion. When mainstream journalists express their opinions on the news, it just gives credence to the claim of the right wing that the mainstream news is liberally biased and therefore factually unreliable. Their response is Fox News, which they claim to be “fair and balanced” and is anything but. Public polling supports the finding that the public is having an increasingly difficult time in separating fact from opionion. In a democracy, that’s dangerous because it gives rise to demagogues like Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh.

  • Joel J

    @adam madam: The polls show that the 60 plus generation is the group most opposed to same-sex marriage. Those are the people whose minds need to be changed on the subject and, hence, the target audience for Chelsea’s PSA. Does that make sense?

  • Dumdum

    @Joel J: I think that has been the case for quite some time. My partner’s dad is in his 80s and watches fox news and believes every word. People don’t know the difference. That’s why I watch Anderson 360 and the daily show with John Stewart.

  • Joel J

    @Dumdum: I love the Daily Show with John Stewart. Someone has to expose the unending hypocrisy of Fox News and their right wing commentators. When it comes to hard news, I’m strictly socialist, that is noncommercial. It’s c-span’s unfiltered coverage of news events, National Public Radio(NPR) and the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS). The right wing views the last two as its nemeses and wants to zero out their public support. Heaven help us if they succeed.And of course Queerty for a queer twist on the news!

  • brent

    @Joel J: I find people who don’t know fact from opinion are people who read the new york times and watch MSNBC

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