While the biggest male star of “Today” was fired last year, the tabloids continue to churn out stories about the morning show’s top female personalities: Megyn Kelly, Hoda Kotb and Savannah Guthrie. Below, check out five wrong rumors about the television journalists.
Last December, roughly two months after Matt Lauer’s firing, Life & Style published a cover that announced, “Savannah & Hoda: Our Side Of The Story.” A quote on the front of the issue further teased, “Matt betrayed all of us.” But neither Guthrie nor Kotb spoke to the tabloid about Lauer’s controversial departure, or anything at all. In fact, in the article, instead of offering quotes from the women, the tabloid asserted on its own that “the entire ‘Today’ family feels betrayed by Matt,” and relied entirely on anonymous “insiders” for its claims. It was all deceptively packaged to make readers think the pair gave their first post-Lauer interview. Gossip Cop exposed the fabrication at the time, and we were proven right a few weeks later when Guthrie and Kotb gave their actual first interview to People.
Around the same time Guthrie and Kotb actually spoke out, Life & Style peddled a new story contending Kelly was writing a “$10 million tell-all” about Lauer that would be “full of exclusive new bombshells.” An alleged source was quoted as saying, “She wasn’t Matt’s colleague for very long, but long enough to gather information about him to fill a book, which is exactly what she’s planning to do.” But Gossip Cop suspected this piece was only concocted because Kelly interviewed a former “Today” staffer about her relationship with Lauer. That was far different than plotting a book about her own place of employment. Furthermore, Kelly herself had already said she only heard “rumors” about Lauer, and didn’t know at the time if they were true. That’s not someone who gathered enough information to “fill a book.”
In February, the National Enquirer tried to make the past and present of the “Today” show collide with an article alleging former anchor Katie Couric was “out for” Kotb’s job. At the time, the NBC veteran was leading the network’s primetime Olympics coverage, but the magazine claimed she was “determined to replace” Kotb and “regain her former morning show glory.” The outlet insisted she was “eyeing a return” to “Today,” and that the Olympics would get “her foot in the door.” The publication conveniently failed to mention that a number of other “Today” staffers were also involved with the Olympics broadcasts, including Kotb. And when Gossip Cop investigated with Couric’s spokesperson, we were told the contention she was trying to return to the morning program in Kotb’s place was “not even remotely true.”
But in May, the supermarket tabloid continued its anti-Kotb narrative with a cover that declared she was “fired.” This was a bait-and-switch. While the front of the issue made it seem like the anchor was already given the boot, the story acknowledged she hasn’t actually been canned. Rather, it was claimed her days were “numbered” and that executives were “secretly drawing up plans to sack” her. The magazine wanted readers to believe the show was in crisis, while ignoring that “Today” had just scored a major win over “GMA.” As Gossip Cop rightly said then, NBC was not concerned about Kotb’s performance at all, with one contact even telling us that such a claim was “ridiculous.” Indeed, the network was spending the money to send her on broadcasting trips, not preparing to sever ties.
Life & Style again tried its hand at a “Today” show-themed cover story just a week ago. This time, the outlet asserted Kelly was being “dumped” in the 9 a.m. hour and “replaced” by Guthrie. The claims came after Guthrie filled in for Kelly while she was on vacation. “It’s a no-brainer for the network… Megyn sees the writing on the wall. Having Savannah substitute for Megyn was a test. And Megyn knows it,” an untraceable “insider” alleged. But the publication was misleading readers, as Guthrie was just one of several “Today” faces who guest-hosted in Kelly’s scheduled absence. What’s more, Gossip Cop highlighted a video posted to the “Megyn Kelly Today” Twitter that showed Guthrie writing her colleague a love note and telling her to “hurry back.” Furthermore, a NBC spokesperson confirmed to us that this storyline about axing Kelly and Guthrie taking her place was made-up.
And as evident here, two tabloids in particular have been responsible for a lot of these bogus tales. The irony, of course, is that these gossip magazines are manufacturing untrue stories about journalists, who are all about fact-checking and accuracy. Gossip Cop, too, is all about fact-checking and accuracy, which is why we’ll continue to separate fact from fiction on Kelly, Kotb and Guthrie as necessary.
Gossip Cop has determined this story is totally false.