Photo: James Veysey
Here's the least surprising item of the day: not championing the great many successes of their party's White House and in fact distancing themselves from it has ended with the Democrats being crushed at the polls. Here's the second least surprising item of the day: NBC has hired Pippa Middleton. The cute-as-a-button (if a button could have a spectacular ass and a closet full of flamboyant hats) sister of British royal Kate Middleton has apparently been the subject of a bidding war for quite some time among the American broadcast networks. But if those other guys thought even for a second that they'd stand a chance of getting between the close relative of someone hugely famous and NBC, they really haven't been paying attention over the past decade or so. You know those scenes in Saw where Jigsaw would turn two people loose against each other and the only one who survives is the one willing to dig the key out of the other one's stomach? Think of NBC as the manically grinning savage left triumphantly covered in guts at the end.
Nobody starfucks like NBC News -- nobody. This is the network news department that gave paychecks to Chelsea Clinton, Jenna Bush, Meghan McCain, Sarah Ferguson, Luke Russert, Ronan Farrow and Princess Diana's younger brother Charles Spencer. If you've got a famous name and a degree that doesn't even begin with the letter "J," you've got yourself a job on-air at one of the biggest news operations on the planet. The Daily Beast, to its infinite credit, calls it NBC's "lucky sperm club."
According to the Beast, the network began using its advantage to nab Pippa immediately after her interview in June with an undoubtedly charmed and smitten Matt Lauer. NBC plans to place her as an "experimental" Today show correspondent some time in the very near future, much to the dismay of the royal family, which has been trying to shut her the hell up for years now to keep her from becoming an embarrassment. If you're a British royal, there's probably nothing further beneath you than showing up on an American morning news show interviewing kids and celebrities.
The thing to keep in mind here is that while Today barely qualifies as a news show, it actually is a hugely successful property within the NBC News family. And while it may seem at first blush like there's no great harm in hiring yet another celebrity "+1," you're still talking about not only depriving an actual journalist of a job -- because a news outlet's budget is only so big and anyone who's ever been told they can't be hired because of "head count" issues knows this -- but also having to put an actual journalist on-staff in charge of carrying the starfuck hire. If you think Pippa Middleton is going to be writing, shooting and producing her own pieces for the network, you seriously overestimate how far an English Lit degree from the University of Edinburgh can get you in television production.
We're a day out from an election in which a good portion of the problem was an underinformed public. And NBC News is ready to hand airtime over to another famous face who I'm sure is a very nice person but who's equally sure to fling fluff in our faces. It would be depressing if we weren't so used to it by now.