Savannah Guthrie's 5 Most Newsmaking Interviews (Video)
Guthrie, who is expected to replace Ann Curry as "Today" co-host, has made headlines for interviews with the likes of Dr. Conrad Murray and her comments about breastfeeding in public.
Savannah Guthrie is making headlines lately for being NBC's likely choice to replace Ann Curry as co-host of Today.
But she also has garnered attention for interviews she's conducted with other newsmakers.
Here are five that have made a splash:
1. U.S. Rep. Barney Frank
Guthrie interviewed Frank (D-Mass.) in November about his decision not to seek another term after his current one expires in 2013. During the interview, Frank pulled no punches. After she asked him if he would be leaving fellow Democrats in the lurch, Frank decided to take a jab at the media: "I wish we could talk substance sometimes in the media. I know that’s against kind of probably the rules. And I’d like to talk about public policy; I regret that we can't." She then asked him if his announcement was indicative of a change in "tone" in Washington, and he took the opportunity to take a jab at Guthrie herself. “You exemplify what I think is a change in the tone," he said. "You’ve managed to ask all sort of negative questions, I understand that’s the media current conception of control, it didn’t used to be that way…. It’s gotcha this, it’s gotcha that. It’s gotcha journalism, it’s gotcha politics.” When Guthrie noted that Frank is “known for your sharp and acerbic, at times, tongue,” he shot back: “Well congratulations. You’re 4 for 4 in managing to find the negative approach.” To her credit, Guthrie kept her cool and laughs off Frank's comments throughout the interview.
2. Breastfeeding in public
During a "Today's Professionals" segment in August, Guthrie hosted a panel that included Star Jones, TV personality and ad exec Donny Deutsch and MSNBC's Dr. Nancy Snyderman. About halfway through the segment, the topic turned to breastfeeding in public, citing a mother who had been kicked off a bus in Detroit for nursing her infant son. Snyderman noted that society tends to be hypocritical about the public exposure of women's breasts. "What is a problem in society when a mother wants to feed her child and she happens to be breastfeeding we get wiggy," she said. "We're so puritanical about not wanting to see a breast but we have no problem watching the Victoria's Secret models." Playing devil's advocate, Guthrie then replied that "you have to go the bathroom, but you don't do that in public." But the comment nevertheless raised the ire of breastfeeding mothers. Noted Deutsch: "If I said that, I would get in big trouble." Guthrie added: "We would all agree if you're going to breastfeed in public be discrete about it."
3. U.S. Rep Michele Bachmann
In April 2011, while she was co-host of MSNBC's The Daily Rundown, Guthrie and her co-host Chuck Todd interviewed the future presidential hopeful. Guthrie pressed Bachmann (R-Minn.) about several statements she had made about Obama and the U.S. government that turned out to be "false." Guthrie asked Bachmann if she felt "the need to be more precise in your statements so that people recognize you are a person of substance?" When Bachmann didn't answer the question directly, she kept pressing, interrupting the congresswoman and at one point sighing audibly.
4. Dr. Conrad Murray
In November, Today aired Guthrie's interview with Murray, conducted just days before he was convicted of involuntary manslaughter in the death of Michael Jackson and aired a few days after their verdict was delivered. During the exclusive sitdown, Jackson's personal physician revealed to Guthrie that he didn't call 911 when the pop star stopped breathing because emergency responders would not have been able to get through the gate to Jackson's home. "No one is allowed to come upstairs except for Mr. Jackson," Murray said, to which Guthrie pointed out that the doctor had called his bodyguard. "Couldn't you have said, 'Call 911, and meet 'em at the gate?" she asked. Murray replied that he didn't want to "leave a full explanation on the phone" and that he didn't think Jackson's employee would return his call. Instead, he began administering CPR and a guard at the house called 911 about 20 minutes later.
5. Obama's birth certificate
Amid claims that President Obama was not born in the U.S., then-NBC White House correspondent Guthrie was allowed to hold his birth certificate. She filed an on-air report that stated his place of birth was, in fact, Honolulu, Hawaii; she also showed a photo she had taken of the document. But some conservatives pounced on the photo, showing that it was "proof" Obama's certificate had been doctored. Those included Mark Gillar, a Tea Party member who hosts an online radio show and webcast called Tea Party Power Hour. He compared her photo with the White House's official photo of the document and claimed there were differences, saying she had "unintentionally" proven that the certificate had been "tampered with."
Guthrie has served as co-host of the 9 a.m. hour of Today with Natalie Morales and Al Roker for a year as well as the show's chief legal analyst. On Friday, she will co-host Today alongside Matt Lauer.
A formal announcement about Guthrie's role on the show is not expected but she was offered the job last week, while NBC News executives were hammering out a new position for Curry, who will now serve as Today show anchor-at-large and NBC News national/international correspondent.
Curry gave an emotional goodbye to viewers during a segment that aired Thursday morning.