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Matt has been out for about a month now.
And Hoda Kotb is officially in.
Following multiple weeks as the fill-in for Lauer (who was fired, of course, due to some serious allegations of sexual misconduct), Kotb was named his full-time replacement on Tuesday morning.
She will greet viewers everyday alongside Savannah Guthrie.
“Welcome to Today and we are kicking off the year right because Hoda is officially the co-anchor of Today, so let’s give her a round of applause,” Guthrie opened the show today, adding:
“This has to be the most popular decision NBC News has ever made and I am so thrilled.”
The decision marks the first time two women will co-host the long-running program each day.
“I am pinching myself,” Kotb said. “I think we should send some medics to Alexandria, Virginia, where my mom has likely fainted after hearing the open of that show.”
Hoda, of course, has been co-anchoring her own hour of Today with Kathie Lee Gifford for years.
She sat in with Guthrie on the morning they told the world that Lauer had been fired, saying on air at the time:
“It’s hard to reconcile with what we are hearing with the man who we know, who walks in this building every single day…
“We were both woken up with the news, kind of pre-dawn, and we’re trying to process it and trying to make sense of it – and it’ll take some time for that.”
In a statement to staff this week, meanwhile, NBC News chair Andy Lack said the following:
“Over the past several weeks, Hoda has seamlessly stepped into the co-anchor role alongside Savannah, and the two have quickly hit the ground running.
“They have an undeniable connection with each other and most importantly, with viewers, a hallmark of Today.”
You’d have to imagine there’s an appeal for executives in having two women occupy these seats as well, considering the heinous details that have been reported regarding how Lauer treated the opposite sex during his time at NBC.
“You are a partner and a friend and a sister and I am so happy to be doing this,” Guthrie told Hoda this morning.
It was actually a pretty moving exchange between the colleagues.
Kotb has been with NBC News since 1998 when she joined Dateline; she has filled in on the first two hours of Today quite frequently over the years, so this is familiar terrain for her.
As you can see below, the Internet is pretty excited over the news:
Do you share their enthusiasm?
Are you psyched to tune in each morning for Guthrie and Kotb?
Or are you more of a Good Morning America kind of person anyway?
In a report that stunned even Dr. Phil’s fiercest critics, Dr. Phil is accused of providing alcohol and drugs to addicts who appear on his show.
Dr. Phil McGraw, the person, has yet to respond to these serious accusations. Dr. Phil, the television show, however, has spoken out.
And they’re denying it, saying that the accusations come from disgruntled people, and essentially stating that addicts are liars. Uh-oh.
Dr. Phil’s show purportedly helps people who are suffering. People who’ve survived horrifying trauma and are plagued with mental illness. People who are being scammed. People who struggle with addiction.
No one’s disputing that some of the guests on this show are helped by the show and by the programs that they then enter.
But what does Dr. Phil do aside from make Danielle Bregoli famous and let audiences gawk at people living or reliving the worst moments of their lives as they’re humiliated on television?
According to some pretty damning accusations reported by STAT and The Boston Globe, Dr. Phil’s producers have their finger on the scale — helping guests obtain drugs or straight-up giving them to them.
Remember Todd Herzog from Survivor: China? In 2013, he had to be carried onto the set to talk to Dr. Phil.
At the time, Phil McGraw famously said that Herzog’s struggle with alcoholism was endangering his life. And if a guy can’t stop drinking long enough to do a talk show, that sounds accurate.
But Todd Herzog tells STAT and The Boston Globe that he was sober when he arrived to do the show … only to find a bottle of vodka waiting in his room.
Unable to resist the temptation, he drank from it. And he says that a producer also gave him a Xanax (don’t mix those, folks).
And that goes on top of accusations from multiple sources, alleging that Dr. Phil producers and staff openly enabled and even assisted guests who struggled with addiction in using and even procuring drugs.
Dr. Martin Greenberg serves as Dr. Phil‘s director of professional affairs.
He described these new claims as “absolutely, unequivocally untrue.”
Specifically responding to Herzog’s accusation, he said: “We do not do that with this guest or any other”
That’s the sort of denial that you expect from any accusation (true or not), and is fairly bland.
It’s what Dr. Greenberg later said that’s really troubling.
“Addicts are notorious for lying, deflecting, and trivializing,” he declared.
Dr. Greenberg works on a show that’s supposed to help people struggling with problems, but the minute that he feels back into a corner, he defends the show by suggesting that addicts are dirty liars and can’t be trusted?
That’s what it sounds like.
“But, if they are at risk when they arrive, then they were at risk before they arrived.”
Meaning, what … that anything that might happen on the show can’t possibly make things worse for them?
“The only change is they are one step closer to getting help, typically help they could not have even come close to affording.”
Also, it appears that Greenberg has been changing his stance.
When first asked about any medical supervision for Todd Herzog, Greenberg replied: “No, of course not, it’s a television show.”
He then seemed to radically change his tune, announcing that Herzog had been “medically supervised the entire time.”
And Greenberg made yet another statement, we suppose in an effort to clarify things.
“We mean 100% of guests agreeing to treatment. It does not mean that a guest is being monitored 100% of the time.”
We were initially surprised that Phil McGraw himself wasn’t the first to react to these accusations.
Now, some can’t help but wonder if he — or someone else who works on the show — decided to let Greenberg be the spokesperson and then take the fall for what seems to be an ever-changing story.
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