On the April 25 broadcast of Rock Center, NBC’s special correspondent Chelsea Clinton “interviewed” the Geico Gecko, that fictional cartoon character that fronts many Geico Insurance company television ads.
The “interview” presented the Clinton progeny reaching the height of her journalism career asking questions with the sort of stilted delivery readily seen in any 7th grade stage play while the animated insurance spokesman replied with light hearted quips. Hard hitting journalism, indeed.
NBC billed the segment as “part of Rock Center’s look at some of the most popular television advertisements, Special Correspondent Chelsea Clinton talked to Geico’s Gecko. The Gecko reflected on his new book and his embarrassing high school yearbook photo along with his rise as one of television’s most popular ad men.”
Oddly, even in the description NBC acted as if the cartoon character is a real, living being.
The segment was not well received by critics.
David Zurawik, media critic for The Baltimore Sun, has been a critic of NBC’s decision to hire Clinton for some time, but this one was almost too much for him to bear.
I have reviewed each of her performances chronicling the the downward arc of her learning curve. NBC’s make-believe correspondent really did keep getting worse.
But this is too embarrassing to even talk about. Even I am speechless. This says it is time to pack it in.
Even the Huffington Post was flabbergasted by the piece saying, “This has definitely been the most baffling thing we’ve seen today.” HuffPo also noted, “It was sort of weird!”
Britain’s Daily Mail just called the whole thing bizarre.
Perhaps the most boring journalist in the world will make a name for herself interviewing cartoon characters. It is a niche no one else has filled, for sure.
Here is Chelsea’s longer report featuring such deep, in depth questions as “David, what makes a great ad?,” and “What makes this ad so powerful?”