Meet Another Face of the Celebrity Gossip Machine: The Today Show’s Savannah Guthrie

by twilighter


The Today’s Show Savannah Guthrie

As much as it may surprise some, even the so-called mainline media is just another part of the Celebrity Gossip Machine and the line between traditional news reporting and tabloid nonsense has been permanently obliterated.  Case in point, the recent mugging of Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson by The Today’s Show co-host Savannah  Guthrie in NYC.  NBC claims that The Today Show’s “live broadcast provides the latest in domestic and international news, weather reports, and interviews with newsmakers from the worlds of politics, business, media, entertainment and sports” and from its beginnings has claimed that it is a “morning news show”.  But it is little more than a big corporate tabloid dressed up as a legitimate news agency.

But of course it was Sweeps Week and network television shows, even one owned by a corporation that handsomely profited through Kristen’s work  (NBC Universal owns Snow White & the Huntsman), couldn’t resist  taking  a free shot at invading her and Rob’s privacy in the name of corporate profits. On November 7, Guthrie ambushed Kristen Stewart on the Today Show with the relationship question literally at the end of the her interview as the music for the commercial break was already playing, blaming her inquiry on the demands of their fans.  Not satisfied with this cowardly outrage, she did pretty much the same thing today with Robert Pattinson.  See a transcript below of her interview with him:

SG:  “I know you’re used to the spotlight and there is good and bad that that comes with that and one of the probably annoying things is that people are interested in your business.  So yesterday I asked Kristen Stewart if you two had gotten back together. Did, did you see what she said?”

RP:  “No, what did she say?”

SG:  “She said keep em guessing.”

RP:  “Keep them guessing?”

SG:  “That what my question is.  Alright so I’m going to ask you.”

RP:  “I want to ask, because we get asked it all the time and its funny cause everyone always  asked for like four years. It’s like who is actually asking? Is it in your contract?”

SG:  “Yes it is. It’s the fine print.  If I had known.  Does it get annoying, is it a high price to pay? You’ve gotten these films, it’s made you incredibly famous, there’s been so much good with it. But it is, you know, personal now.”

RP:  “It doesn’t have to be.  It only becomes personal if you answer it. I could sit here and talk nonsense about paper hats and stuff, getting old, needing a nap.”


As Pattinson so rightfully pointed out, no it doesn’t have to be.  Despite the levity Pattinson displayed, it was obviously a personal question that neither he nor Kristen wanted to answer and likely said as much when their interviews were set up. It was also a question Guthrie had no right to ask in spite of the fact that they are public figures.  But rather than respect their privacy, Savannah Guthrie felt compelled to ask it anyway because it’s about ratings and corporate profits and titillating the public about private information.  Is this what freedom of the press has come to?

Guthrie has said that her approach to any interview is “to try to think of the one question they would rather not be asked, just to see what they would say.”  But Savannah Guthrie needs to remember that she too is a public figure.  Does that mean we get to ask her whether frigidity led to the breakup of her marriage to BBC journalist Mark Orchard in 2009 or whether it was due to her having an extramarital affair with political consultant Mi­chael Feldman, whom she was romantically linked to after her divorce?  Or how about asking her whether her meteoric rise on the Today Show at NBC was accomplished by her sleeping her way to the top with NBC executives?

It shouldn’t, but that is the standard of journalism that Savannah Guthrie and people like her are setting by asking these questions.  Just because she wants to know, or people claim they have a right know, doesn’t mean she gets to ask whatever she wants.  If she insists on doing so, maybe we should reconsider the propriety of asking her the questions above.  And until the “media” re-imposes some standards on itself, and clearly separates itself from celebrity gossip and reality television, the fourth estate will to continue to sink further into the gutter and lack credibility as an important societal institution.  Which it has long since ceased to be.

But then again, that what happens when reporting news becomes little more than tabloid entertainment and reporting it is measured by ratings points and audience share and how it affects the corporate bottom line.  We all end up diminished in the process.


37 Responses

  1. Well I have no idea what either Rob or Savannah are really saying here, it is a puzzling exchange, but, I am so glad you pointed out the “gossip” attached to Savannah Guthrie’s life. I did not know any of it. So it is out there, it just does not happen to get the focus that this couple does, Savannah and her personal affairs ares not in the hot spot like these two. And yes, as you so correctly point out, these daytime journalists also function as public media figures, they are “celebrities” also, they, too, bargained with the Media to get into their high profile professions,and “worthy” of a Papz snapping a photo, or a story in Natl. Enqirerer, (like Matt’s marriage problems) So Author makes an excellent point here about the fact that Savannah herself could be asked about herself and her personal life. But she gets to be the “asker.” on Today Show.

    • Savannah Guthrie’s personal life is out there NOW. I tweeted those 3 questions and they have been retweeted all day. How do I find out how far they have gotten hit wise? I am just following Ai Wei Wei ‘s strategy.

    • Why is it a puzzling exchange to you? Rob is deconstructing it.

      • then explain it to me,

      • Rob answered the “intent” of the question. He did not reply to the “content” of the question. the “intent” was nosiness, gossip, ratings, corporate demands to know, titillation, etc having nothing to do with the movie he was promoting. As if when Obama comes on to talk about a financial crisis, they don’t ask him how his mother-in-law is recovering from her operation. But they might ask Michelle that.

        There are a few things here: interrogation, questioning, dialogue, confession. The Foucauldian geneaology of confession goes back to the Inquisition, to heresy. From having confession “extracted” we now feel compelled to confess everything. Absolutely everything. Remember Liberty Ross’s interview with Elle when she spilled her feelings out onto the printed page. And when Kristen put British Vogue on by miming the compulsion to confess with armpits, babies, boyfriend, etc. Turning it into a parody. To Guthrie she was being cheeky, “Keep ’em guessing.” Rob was exposing the difference between questioning and interrogation, which he is really going to know and get super good at when he does Blacklist. Rob does have the compulsion to confess but he doesn’t have the compulsion to confess what they want him to confess. Now it has become a form of resistance with them. AND THIS IS GOOD! Jenni suggests they just say so and normalize it. Normalizing in the Foucauldian Grid sense of power/knowledge/capital is to take it into the Order of Production: children; living together; pooling resources; holding hands and kissing in public; etc all the empty “floating signs” of a passionate attachment that belongs in the Order of Seduction. Once you give in and do that, your “reality of passionate attachment” begins to get stolen from you in homeopathic doses as carefully described in Baudrillard’s The Perfect Crime. If, as Kristen says, “Keep ’em guessing” and looking at little movies/videos pics, sightings etc, the fans are constantly being curious. Curious is good for them. Curious is correlated with a high IQ, so maybe it will make them smarter then just knowing and closure.

      • OK I get it and totally agree. Thanks for that Janet.
        I think that it is also a loaded question in that “Are you two back together” OBVIOUSLY implies that they were “broken up” And why were you broken up? OH yeah, those pictures in US Weekly. S
        o it is a loaded question and R/K knew that and so did the Today Show. That is why it was wise not to bite in any way.

      • This is what I answered on the MInd Games post (GC or crush??):

        They don’t ask other celebs like this because they “confess” willingly. Joli has taken it to a high art. Kristen parodied it in her Vogue interview on “armpits”. It is NORMAL for people to openly confess everything: abuse; childhood rape; ex-husband story; ex-wife story; etc. They just vomit it all out. Rob and Kristen keep it as tight as proper analysts do. And because they don’t act NORMAL and blab it, they are not questioned, they are INTERROGATED. This is the Inquisition honey. Confession is to be extracted since it is not willingly divulged. Did we really need to know all about “cum on a blue dress” or blow jobs in the oval office? Of course not, but the stage has been set for a tabloid world. It’s here.
        The question now is WHAT IS IT COVERING UP? It is a DETERRENCE, but a deterrence covering up what? The fact that there is no news, empty news of no importance?

  2. Thank you Twilighter for open our eyes like always, this woman was very rude with them.

    I´m hopefully waiting for your “part 10”, and it doesn´t come… will you post it soon? Please…

    And thanks again!

    • It was just getting too long so I have managed to split it in two, parts 10 & 11. 10 should be to you shortly with 11 to follow soon thereafter.

  3. I think the worse part was her asking it because the fans wanted to know, which I thought it was a chicken shit thing to say, to blame it on us!!! Rob’s answer was the best, and we all know he knew what answer Kristen gave, Im sure he planned what to say. Good for them and thanks for the article!!

    • Gee Nena there are a lot of fans out there that want to know if frigidity was a problem in her divorce, and we want to know if she was having an affair before her husband divorced her, not just afterwards. Don’t you want to know that? I do.

      • And she met her ex husband while both were covering the Michael Jackson trial (another put up) and he was married then. By the end of 05 he was divorced and Guthrie and he got married. Pretty damn quick eh. Were you having an affair with your ex-husband while he was married Savannah. Too bad paps didn’t take pictures of you and then photoshop them into compromising positions.

  4. Some people on Twitter want you to send this to NBC!!! I posted it on Twitter, hope that was OK

  5. What bothers me is that she told Kristen that the fans wanted to know. Ummm no! That was all her wanting to know.
    Don’t put this on the fans. We are curious, but we respect they don’t want to be asked. In the last hour years they never answered that question.
    I guess The Today Show hasn’t seen the photos of Rob and Kristen holding hands at a Halloween party, the pics of them kissing on their back porch, the many sightings of them at SoHo with stories of them being sweet to each other.
    I think Rob and Kristen answered well!
    Would have been even funnier if Rob said that the cereal they gave him during his Cosmo. movie interview to “make him feel better after the scandal” made him sick.
    Sorry Rob…

  6. Beautiful beautiful beautiful. But you asked if they were appropriate questions to ask Savannah Guthrie. Why? I thought they were incredibly appropriate so I tweeted them. Do hope you don’t mind. I did give you credit. LOL!

    How do you think she will answer them? I can’t wait to find out. Shall I plug in my TV and listen to her to find out? Do you think someone will tell me? Wow! I am going to be busy all day waiting to find out about her personal life!

    Solidarity hun! Take the media by the tail and SWING, SWING SWING and then SPIN IT!

    • I have no problem with you tweeting them but they are inappropriate. The point I was trying to make is that no one, whether they are Kristen or Savannah should have to face those kinds of private questions just because they are in the public eye, just in the name of the celebrity gossip machine making a buck. But sometimes to reach an appropriate reaction, the inappropriate becomes appropriate.

      • Exactly. Nietzsche. Baudrillard. Zizek. Masha Tupitsyn. Excess pushing to the limit and it will fall over the edge by its own weight. Tae Kwon Do.

        BTW The loveliest blog in the world: Appropriate belongs to the Order of Production. Inappropriate to excess belongs to the Order of Seduction. To implode the “inappropriate”. To Eric Packer it. Ayn Rand’s Francisco d’Anconia and the San Sebastion Mines. I am betting the farm that Savannah Gutherie and no one else will want to dare to do that again and have their dirty laundry tweeted all over.

      • The strategy of Ai Wei Wei holding off the entire totalitarian Chinese Governement with Twitter.

  7. Then we Eric Packer it!

  8. Very well said! I also want to emphasize the different treatment of Kristen and Rob in the same TV program. If we compare these two interviews, we see two completely different scenarios. Interview by Rob takes place in a studio with the background of the windows on the street (you can see the fans get excited and say hello) and a poster of the film; there are only two people (he and Guthrie, who is female and smiling, without glasses) all interview atmosphere is relaxed, even though he seems more attentive and ironic than usual.
    Yesterday Kristen’s interview takes place in a closed living room, impersonal and less modern, more suitable to represent a person in age and not a young actress of 22 years. Lights make the scena sad and uncomfortable. There is not the poster for the film (why? Did it came only today? K so it seems to be gone there by chance), Kristen is sitting on a chair, by itself, while the three hosts (since an interview is conducted by three against one?) are on a couch. They all three look her (a situation that may embarrass anyone) and they are rigid and falsely encouraging. Guthrie seems to appear very intellectual with a pair of glasses instead of contact lenses (used instead today for Rob interview. This scene reminded me of a college examination, with three professors who seem to encourage a student, but in reality are considering trying to figure out if he really studied and understood. I thought this a situation very unprofessional for an interview! And in the end, after angry Stewart (who is not stupid and then she became aware of this climate to the detriment of her) comes the personal question that had not been previously agreed. The three interviewers / examiners know that K will try not to give information and tone of her answer will be sarcastic … They got their real goal:here is another interview Kristen embarrassing. It ‘obvious that this was done on purpose.
    You have to wonder who and why wants that. Bullying media continues. More fodder for the tabloids!
    And about a response on the status of their relationship, after three years of poisonous gossip about these two young actors, whatever they say about their relationship, are believed? I believe that if they convene a press conference in which they show a marriage certificate and a certificate from a doctor who said that Kristen is two weeks pregnant with twins (so, Rob could be the father!), surely the tabloids publish opinions more different from the delight of fans, to hypothesis that all of this is only fake and PR, because both are gay etc. etc …
    Perhaps for them to say anything is the lesser evil.

    Sorry my English, is a language that I know little and help me with google translator

    • Remember last year, or I don’t know which promo it was, Anne Currie who was replaced with Guthrie managed to sneak in just an ovservation while interviewing R, saying sth like how wonderful that everything is going so well for you, the movies, the career, beautiful girl…also said just at the very end as theinterview was ending. I guess Mrs. Guthrie decided to be the one who gets to show how it’s done.
      Your English is buonissimo. 🙂

    • I LOVE your comment. You are so right! They wanted that Kristen were uncomfortable, without a doubt.

      And I understood your English very well, but mine isn´t very good either… 😉

    • I’m sorry, an error in the last sentence, which is: pherhaps for them to say nothing is the lesser evil

      • It is really important that we do this. They cannot. Rob replied perfectly. Is it in your contract. “Yes in fine print,” she snottily replied.

        If Ai Wei Wei can hold off the entire Chinese govt with twitter, this shit is a piece of cake.

    • you have some very good insight and observations.

    • Wonderful. It is the spirit of what you said that matters, not the literal so much. You know the forest and the trees. You are quite right about the setting. They are more hostile to Kristen than Rob, two women and a man, and it is always the PC feminists who are most hostile. Haaaaay sistas!

    • I had previously noticed that setup with the big couch and the Today cast before and thought to myslef –wow that looks like an awkward set up! and indeed I have seen some awkward interviews on that couch WAY before the Kristen interview. The interviewee has to sit, basically “surrounded” by the cast of Today.
      Then as you well point out, Rob gets a one on one in an open area with light/windows behind him and a rather breezy, interview with Savannah sans her glasses.
      I know it wasn’t done on purpose to make K squirm, but there is a psychological factor to the setting she was interviewed in vs. Rob.

      • I’m not sure it wasn’t done on purpose! To make her uncomfortable! I think they still see her as “the cheater” who did that to a good looking man. How could she, the little slut. I think it was their intent! NBC owes universal or the other way around.. Who did SWATH?

      • I finally watched a youtube of it. Guthrie was flirting with Rob through the entire interview. Eat your heart out Savannah Guthrie.

      • Replying to Nena here: Yes they could have consciously put Kristen on the “Hot seat” but I don’t want to sound like a crazy fan or anything. It was just such a drastic change in setting compared to Rob. Not that he wasn’t in a “hot seat” either but the intimidation factor seemed higher on the Kristen interview.

      • It was more intimidating. The Tribunal of the Inquisition. They don’t know where there little stage set comes from but all questioning/interrogation/confession comes in western civilization from the time of the Inquisition. If you think genealogically as Foucault has taught us to do. Genealogy is a different way of ordering history. Instead of a continuous flow imposed on the world, Foucault has made clear that history is discontinuous, ruled by Events. Think 9-11 and all that has befallen us from our OWN government since then.

        Also as the “cheating” woman they were out to get her. Two women who have trod the party line to get where they are are usurped by a correspondence school GED upstart who came to fame riding the wave of an EVENT. She did not pay her dues and at 22 sits on a throne for THEM to interview. Don’t think that doesn’t sting. PC Feminism exposed. The man, Matt, must defer to these women. He is white, male, and has restrictions on his behavior, both physical and verbal now. He cannot interrupt or he is being chauvinistic, misogynist, etc., so he must maintain a more passive role between them. He cannot protect Kristen as then that would also be unseemingly too male.

        The women are in charge here. And what might Lacan have said? :How do you know they are women?” Remember gender is socially constructed (Judith Butler).

  9. Totally agree amen and amen!!!!

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