Savannah Guthrie Dishes on ‘Unpleasant’ Ronna McDaniel NBC Ordeal to Stephen Colbert


A week after NBC fired former Republican National Committee chairwoman Ronna McDaniel following an internal revolt over her hiring, Today show anchor Savannah Guthrie dished to Late Show host Stephen Colbert about the “unpleasant” nature of the whole ordeal.

Appearing Tuesday on the CBS late-night talk show, ostensibly to promote her new book Mostly What God Does, Guthrie soon found herself talking about McDaniel’s brief NBC tenure and the on-air protest by network hosts that resulted in her swift exit.

“Why did you, Savannah Guthrie, personally make that decision to hire her?” Colbert quipped. “And I want you to answer for your crimes. Why did you think that was the best idea?”

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Telling the liberal comic that she would make her answer “as boring as possible,” Guthrie jokingly asked if there were “any openings” at CBS before revealing a tense atmosphere at her network over the explosive decision to hire (and then fire) McDaniel.

“It was an unpleasant few days at our network, no question about it,” she said. Much of the uproar from NBC News on-air anchors was that network executives didn’t communicate with them or solicit their thoughts before announcing McDaniel’s hiring.

Colbert wondered whether the star Today show host had been given any advance notice from NBC executives about the controversial hiring. “Absolutely not!” Guthrie exclaimed. “I was not in the know. I knew nothing about it. And look, the bosses made a decision. They reversed that decision. They acknowledged a mistake, and we moved on.”

She continued: “I didn’t have anything to do with it. But look, I think the instinct to try to have a diversity of opinions and a diversity of perspectives and voices as we cover an election is the right instinct. And it’s complex, and it’s made more complex by the politics that we have right now.”

Ronna McDaniel Was a MAGA Toady Who Betrayed the GOP

Essentially reiterating what many of her colleagues noted in their on-air objections to McDaniel’s hiring, Guthrie added that the issue was not McDaniel’s politically conservative views but rather her role in helping Donald Trump attempt to overthrow the 2020 election.

“I went to law school. In law school, we learned that if you didn’t engage the counterargument, if you didn’t know what all sides were saying, your own position was quite weak,” she said. “So I feel that, particularly in mainstream media, we need to include an array of voices. But there’s a line, and the line is truth, the line is facts, and the line is you have to be someone upholding our democracy. And that’s, to me, where the line is.”

Colbert himself is familiar with this fight between network hosts and executives over hiring politically toxic personalities. Back in 2022, the late-night host took CBS to task for bringing on former Trump White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney as an analyst, wondering why the network’s news division would “put this craven toady to a tyrant on their payroll.”

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