The Plague-Ground – The Unmasking

Finally, someone not only fact-shamed Donald Trump in real-time, she wiped the smile off his face.

Until yesterday, I’d never heard of Savannah Guthrie, the host of last night’s Town Hall on NBC. Today, she’s my hero. She did what no other TV host, moderator or fantasy-inquisitor has done: when Mr. Trump tried to interrupt her, divert her, run over her, and basically make her disappear, she just kept talking, pushing, persisting – all with a big smile on her face.

In the first 10 minutes alone, she caught Trump not recalling if he took a COVID test before the first debate, refusing to condemn the QAnon conspiracy, which claims the Democratic party is one large satanic pedophile ring, and promoting a theory that the Navy SEALs didn’t kill Osama bin Laden in the 2011 raid, but a body double. Which led to this exchange:

Trump: “That was a retweet, that was an opinion of somebody, and that was a retweet. I’ll put it out there, people can decide for themselves. I don’t take a position.”

Guthrie: “You’re the president! You’re not someone’s crazy uncle who can just retweet whatever!”

Trump’s niece, Mary Trump, later tweeted: “Actually….”

So who is this woman whose highlight reel from last night is well worth the next two minutes of your life?

For the past eight years, Savannah Guthrie, 48, has been the main co-anchor of TODAY,  the NBC morning news show for which she makes $8 million a year.

She joined NBC News as their legal analyst in 2007 after years as a litigation lawyer.

She didn’t start out this way. Guthrie was born in Australia where her father was stationed for work. She studied journalism at the University of Arizona and after working at some NBC and ABC affiliates, she landed in Washington in 2001 at WRC-TV  just in time to cover the 9/11 attacks.

She then shifted gears – out of journalism and into law – graduating from Georgetown Law School. She then worked as a litigation associate at Akin Gump where she defended white-collar criminals.

In 2004, she moved back to TV, becoming a national trial correspondent for  CourtTV. Here, she covered US Supreme court nomination hearings, the Martha Stewart case, the Michael Jackson trial and more. Three years later, she joined NBC News as their legal analyst.

In 2012, when Guthrie was NBC’s White House correspondent, she interviewed New York developer Donald Trump about the birther controversy, during which he claimed, “I think I am Presidential.” Flash forward eight years, and it could have been last night – for both of them.

As for the other Town Hall last night over on ABC, as one friend said: “Toggling between Trump and Biden is like switching from Ted Nugent to Mr. Rogers.”

My hope is that Savannah Guthrie’s skill, persistence and eagerness to Ask Truth to Power will rub off on her media colleagues in the coming two weeks.

She was the first. Now let the others follow.

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8 thoughts on “The Plague-Ground – The Unmasking”

  1. Bob, Great post, thanks. I watched Biden of course, but have seen several clips of the Trump debacle. Some of the best news today is that the Nielsen ratings are in and Biden rated higher than Trump! Biden attracted 13.9 million viewers to ABC. Trump’s viewership on NBC was 10 million, but totalled 13 million when the simulcast #s for MSNBC and CNBC were added. I expect Trump to have a Twitter rant against Nielsen any moment now. Your advice for the media is wise.

  2. Thanks for that great post, Bob. Aside from the fact that DT is, in fact, someone’s crazy uncle, Ms. Guthrie showed what it took to cut through the bluster. She was extremely well prepared, tore his statements apart like a paper shredder, and did it all with a smile.

    1. Beth — Clearly, neither you nor I are seeing straight. This just in from a Fake Media outlet:

      “Donald Trump’s campaign is declaring that the president “defeated” town hall moderator, Savannah Guthrie, and derided the NBC “Today” host as a “surrogate” for Democrat Joe Biden’s campaign.Campaign communications director Tim Murtaugh also said after Thursday’s event that the president “masterfully handled Guthrie’s attacks and interacted warmly and effectively with the voters in the room.”

      Lord save us all.



  3. Bob, nicely put. I have a dear friend in Washington (state, not city) that once told me to work on saying “f**k you” with a smile. Savannah Guthrie nailed it! I’m still working on it, many years later.

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