The Today Show is my morning news program of choice. I believe it has the right balance of news and pop culture, plus it is hosted by credible news-people (even Carson Daly has paid his dues over the years). Say what you want about Matt Lauer, but the man can conduct an interview.
On Monday, March 17th, his co-host, Savannah Guthrie, announced that she was married the previous weekend and four months pregnant with her first child. That is wonderful news, and she probably felt compelled to share it with the viewers as she would start showing soon. But that should have been it.
Every day that week, there was a story about Savannah’s pregnancy, I went to the NBC News website, and it was one of the top stories. It was being featured like it was news rather than an entertainment story. I understand that she is one of their people, but IT IS NOT NEWS! We had major news that week – 239 missing people on flight MH 370, the Crimean Crisis, the Oscar Pistorius Trial, even March Madness, and this is supposed to be on the same level? Save it for the Kathie Lee & Hoda hour (which is awesome, btw) where viewers go to get entertainment news.
I thought news programs were supposed to keep people informed of what’s going on in the world. I guarantee you more people know about Savannah’s pregnancy that about our issues with Russia.
While I’m at it, there is so much out there that is reported that isn’t news. Respected news organizations need to stop using Twitter as a “source.” As Stephen Colbert said in a recent episode about a controversial tweet, “A web editor I’ve never met posts a tweet in my name on an account I don’t control, outrages a hashtag activist, and the news media gets 72 hours of content.”
It isn’t news that the POTUS filled out a tournament bracket or partied with Jay-Z and Beyonce last night. Tell me what he is doing to fix the ObamaCare mess or deal with Putin. I don’t care what happened with one of the Real Housewives or Kim Kardashian – this is what E! Channel is for!
This is the very reason we we stopped watching GMA. What a downgrade since the days of Diane Sawyer and Charles Gibson (Michael Strahan – if that’s happens OMG). It became more about the anchors than the news. I am afraid The Today Show might be following the same path. As someone with a journalism degree, I am tired of hiring celebrities and entertainment people as newscasters.
Legend Barbara Walters, who is retiring later this spring said, “The kinds of interviews I did all these years, nobody wants them anymore. You have three minutes of a morning show.”
I’m not picking on Savannah Guthrie – my criticism is aimed at the producers of The Today Show and NBC. If they must promote her pregnancy ad nauseum, perhaps do a public interest story about health complications, diet and exercise, or healthy weight gain. Really, is the general public becoming so vapid that it no longer cares about hard news?