NBC Touts New Clinton Aide Helping to Fix Her Public Image

On Monday, NBC’s Today gave some free publicity to Hillary Clinton by copying a recent New York Times article profiling Kristina Schake, the woman whose “job is to recast Hillary Clinton’s image.”

Co-host Matt Lauer introduced the network’s promotion of Hillary's rebranding by proclaiming that “[a] lot of people think that Hillary Clinton has hopes of becoming the next host of one of those Easter egg rolls at the White House. And her campaign team is now starting to take shape ahead of an expected announcement.”

Lauer then turned to NBC national correspondent Peter Alexander to gush over Clinton’s latest campaign hire “who knows her way around the White House.” The NBC reporter went on to heap praise on the woman who worked with First Lady Michelle Obama:

Kristina Schake is widely credited with molding First Lady Michelle Obama’s public image into a down to earth woman, a relatable mom. She’s behind some memorable moments like that undercover shopping trip to Target, a cameo at the Oscars, even those unforgettable dance moves with Jimmy Fallon. 

While Alexander was quick to recall Mrs. Obama’s infamous Target run as evidence of Schake's success, the NBC reporter ignored the fact that despite his own network swooning over the incident in 2011, the actual event was quite a media scandal. The Washington Post even wondered if the photos from Target were orchestrated PR with the Associated Press.

In the piece that inspired the Today segment, the New York Times provided a positive profile of Ms. Schake:

Having helped shape Mrs. Obama’s public image into that of an accessible everywoman, Ms. Schake is about to face what may be her toughest challenge yet: working to get another first lady, Hillary Rodham Clinton, elected president.

Unlike the Times piece, NBC failed to mention that in addition to Mrs. Obama, Schake worked to shape NBC’s own Maria Shriver's public image when she was First Lady of California: 

Mr. [Rob] Reiner introduced Ms. Schake to Chad Griffin, a former aide in the Clinton White House who is now the president of the Human Rights Campaign. Mr. Griffin and Ms. Schake became best friends and together started Griffin-Schake, a Los Angeles-based public affairs shop. They handled media relations for Maria Shriver when she was the first lady of California.

Rather than delve into the substantive problems with a Hillary candidacy such as her recent e-mail controversy, Alexander concluded the segment by brushing such concerns aside:

Despite persistent scrutiny over her use of personal e-mail as Secretary of State, Clinton has recently highlighted her sense of humor as she tries to turn the page...And perhaps a new strategy as she gets set to kick off another new campaign.

See relevant transcript below.

NBC’s Today

April 6, 2015

MATT LAUER: A lot of people think that Hillary Clinton has hopes of becoming the next host of one of those Easter egg rolls at the White House. And her campaign team is now starting to take shape ahead of an expected announcement. Here's NBC national correspondent Peter Alexander. 

PETER ALEXANDER: It's the announcement Democrats have been waiting for and Hillary Clinton is expected to make a presidential bid official in the next few weeks. She’s already leased space for campaign headquarters at this office building in Brooklyn, New York and hired a new adviser who knows her way around the White House. Kristina Schake is widely credited with molding First Lady Michelle Obama’s public image into a down to earth woman, a relatable mom.

She’s behind some memorable moment’s like that undercover shopping trip to Target, a cameo at the Oscars, even those unforgettable dance moves with Jimmy Fallon. Schake faces a new challenge in Clinton often described as cold and calculated by her critics, a perception she battled throughout the 2008 campaign punctuated by this exchange with Barack Obama. 

BARACK OBAMA: You are likeable enough Hillary. 

ALEXANDER: But after nearly 25 years in the public eye, can Clinton make a new impression? 

ANITA MCBRIDE: People want to see all sides of you. And I think, you know, we are a country that allows people to reinvent themselves all the time. 

ALEXANDER: That may mean more unguarded emotional moments like this in New Hampshire in 2008. 

HILLARY CLINTON: I have so many opportunities from this country. I just don't want to see us fall backwards. 

ALEXANDER: Despite persistent scrutiny over her use of personal e-mail as Secretary of State, Clinton has recently highlighted her sense of humor as she tries to turn the page. 

CLINTON: I am all about new beginnings. Another new hairstyle, a new e-mail account. 

ALEXANDER: And perhaps a new strategy as she gets set to kick off another new campaign. For Today, Peter Alexander, NBC News, Washington. 

Earlier: People Magazine Fails: Michelle's 2014 Target Racism Story Exposed As a 2012 Target Feel-Good Story

NBDaily Campaigns & Elections 2016 Presidential NBC Today Peter Alexander Hillary Clinton

Sponsored Links