Chelsea Clinton has been in the news more since her mother lost the 2016 election. She’s written a children’s book about powerful women. She’s mocked Donald Trump and his transition team. She’s even jumped into the public debate about policy. But when news spread this week that she was winning a lifetime achievement award, the internet had had enough.
The Hill reported Clinton, just 37, would be given a “lifetime achievement award.”
— The Hill (@thehill) March 22, 2017
News, especially the viral kind, has a tendency to spread. Once one credible outlet reports something, others pick up the story and run with it. Like the Daily Mail:
Just checking in and liberals seem…. still super out of touch. https://t.co/adVj40dWt9
— Corinne Clark (@corinnec) March 22, 2017
Reaction was swift. The news, like an old-fashioned game of “telephone”, got farther from its source, and the meaning shifted. Most on social media missed the real story.
The idea of a "lifetime achievement award" for Chelsea Clinton is darkly hilarious. https://t.co/P9Ee9ADYgx
— Josh Barro (@jbarro) March 22, 2017
What was spun off as a lifetime achievement award is actually an award from the Lifetime television network. Clinton is one of six “Lifetime Impact Honorees” who will be guests at a “Women in Power” held in Manhattan in April. That small nuance was lost in The Hill’s original post, and many who picked up on their news from The Hill carried the error forward.
Chelsea Clinton to receive lifetime achievement award. An inspiration for girls worldwide, aspiring to be daughter of a President & Senator! pic.twitter.com/tMKEC6olsC
— Harry Khachatrian (@Harry1T6) March 22, 2017
While the award still seems dubious to some, it isn’t as ostentatious as a lifetime achievement award.
Variety, the company organizing and hosting the April 21 “Power of Women: New York” lunch, explains it like this:
In partnership with Lifetime, the six women have been selected as Variety‘s Lifetime Impact Honorees for their humanitarian work. Each of the recipients will be featured on a cover of the magazine’s upcoming issue, which hits stands on April 18.
Other honorees include CBS reporter Gayle King and actresses/advocates Blake Lively and Jessica Chastain.
Clinton was included in this list becasue of her work fighting childhood obesity.