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Savannah Guthrie talks TV news in the Trump Era

by on December 6, 2016

Last week, Today Show anchor Savannah Guthrie was interviewed by The Hollywood Reporter, where she discusses her frustration on how the 2016 election has put mainstream media/journalists in a difficult position. She claims that she has tried her hardest to not show bias during the election.

“There are plenty of people who think the media created Trump, and there are plenty of people who think the media never gave Trump a shot,” she notes. “The only thing that seems to be unifying everyone is their mutual hatred of the media.”

It is an accomplishment that Guthrie and the Today Show has stayed fairly neutral during the election, especially since Billy Bush, an anchor for the show, was amidst one of the biggest scandals of the election season (“grab ’em by the pussy”). When management did not immediately terminate Bush’s position as the host of the 9am hour, female staffers revolted. Ten days after the tape surfaced he was officially fired from the show. It was Guthrie’s position to inform Today viewers of his removal from the show, and she admits that it was an uncomfortable moment for her.

“I don’t think anyone who covers the news is ever happy to be in the news,” she says.

When asked by the Marisa Guthrie, the journalist who was conducting the piece, if she can keep an open mind about Trump based on his attitude towards women, she shut Guthrie down.

“That just gets into an area that I don’t feel comfortable saying much about because it veers into personal opinions I may have about a political figure,” she says.

Personally, I believe this was the perfect answer considering that she is such a public figure, who will constantly be reporting on Trump throughout the next four years, regardless of her opinions on him.

Guthrie also mentioned that she feels that comments towards newswomen are often veered towards sexism, and that she feels that women anchors have to worry about specific criticisms that male anchors do not.

“There is often a different tenor to the criticism. Everybody gets ‘You’re biased.’ But you may also get ‘Why do you roll your eyes and make that face? Why does your voice sound so shrill? Why are you such a B?’ Honestly, I’m interested in fair criticism. I’m not perfect. I try really hard to stay neutral. But often that’s not what you’re finding on social media. You’re finding people who are very opinionated and detect bias in anyone who does not share that opinion.”

Guthrie is a female journalist in a time where journalists are hated more than ever before. Many journalists have been slipping out bias comments over the course of this campaign, which to an extent I understand. It must be hard to control your feelings towards a presidential candidate if you do not agree with what they stand for. However I feel as if Guthrie has done an excellent job of disregarding hateful commentary and presenting herself in an unbiased manor.

By Megan Laffey


From → Uncategorized

  1. I think being bias or even trying to stay neutral as a journalist is extremely difficult, especially in circumstances that are so vital to the country. For example, many people felt it was important for them to state their political party this election as they feared the consequence of not doing so.

  2. I think having a bias comment slip every once in a while is a hard thing to avoid especially after the state the recent election had been in. In my opinion, everything a Journalist does is inherently biased so masking that may be hard to do sometimes. I do, however, believe that it is okay as a journalist to address the fact that talking about a certain issue may invoke a biased answer and that it is best to avoid that. I agree that Guthrie gave the perfect response when asked about Trump. Good point!

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