The startling admission and âquick disclosureâ came Wednesday morning as Guthrie was preparing to interview Camille Vasquez and Ben Chew on NBCâs Today program.
âA quick disclosure, my husband has done consulting work for the Depp legal team, but not in connection with this interview,â the 50-year-old NBC broadcaster told her audience just before introducing Deppâs powerhouse legal team.
âSo with that aside, let me ask you, did you speak to your client right after the verdict?â she then asked Vasquez and Chew, charging straight into the interview.
But NBC and Guthrieâs clear conflict of interest hardly when unnoticed, because producers from other morning television programs quickly called out the network and the Today host for their âunforced error.â
âJust before Savannah Guthrie conducts her interview with Johnny Depp's lawyers, she discloses that her husband was a consultant for the Depp legal team,â Justin Baragona, formerly of Mediaite, wrote.
Surprisingly, other rival producers gave Guthrie credit for the âquick disclosureâ and argued that it would have been sketchier if she did not disclose her husbandâs consulting work with Deppâs lawyers at all.
As RadarOnline.com reported, Guthrie also interviewed Amber Heardâs lawyer Elaine Bredehoft last week, but the Today host either forgot or willingly chose not to disclose her husbandâs close connection to Deppâs legal team during that interview â something that also didnât go unnoticed by Jezebelâs Caitlin Cruz.
âI know objectivity in journalism is a way to uphold the status quo, but I do think this is a cut-and-dry example of Interviews You Should Give to Your Colleagues,â Cruz wrote immediately after Guthrieâs interview with Vasquez and Chew. âToday has been covering the coupleâs ongoing legal battles in the United Kingdom, and Gutherie actually got their engagement exclusive back in 2014.â
âIn fact, I would argue Guthrieâs husbandâs consultancy relationship, which is likely financial, deserves an on-air disclosure to viewers of one of the nationâs largest morning news programs,â Cruz continued, indicating Guthrie should have handed the interview off to a colleague. âThere are so many anchors and reporters at Today; Guthrie did not have to be the anchor to take both of these interviews.â
Guthrie married her husband, Michael Feldman, in 2014.
Besides Feldmanâs legal consultation work with high-profile personalities such as Depp, the 53-year-old public relations and communications consultant is also a former political advisor who served as former Al Gore‘s traveling chief of staff during the former vice presidentâs unsuccessful 2000 presidential run.