I’m surprised it took Dowd this long to glom onto the emerging narrative. A few points:
- Chelsea Clinton’s career path so far does indeed reveal several rackets central to the American political economy that are eminently worthy of criticism. Her $600 K “news” sinecure at NBC certainly represents much of what is wrong with America today. $75K speaking fees ditto, although since Clinton donates them to the family foundation I’d say she wasn’t the perfect representative of this point (her parents, I agree, are a different story.)
- As always, I’m dubious about personalizing what are systematic issues, which of course is what Dowd does. The $600 grand from NBC to do nothing in particular is certainly the symptom of something very wrong and it’s fair game to note that Clinton benefited from it, but we also shouldn’t lose sight of the fact that she didn’t cause the problem. Had Clinton turned down NBC’s money it wouldn’t have gone to elementary school teachers or starving orphans or cancer research; it would have gone to some other pseudo-celebrity to do pseudo-journalism.
- Dowd strikes me as particularly poorly positioned to tell this as a story of “wanton acquisitiveness” among individuals. What does Dowd get paid for writing 1600 shallow, consistently fact-challenged words a week? Does Dowd donate her own speaking fees to charity?