Today on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” Savannah Guthrie was introduced as the “Chief White House Correspondent,” a title bestowed on NBC’s Chuck Todd in December. Joe Scarborough followed up the intro with this remark:
I’m glad you disposed of Chuck Todd over the weekend and are now running NBC operations over at the White House.
A moment later, Willie Geist added:
Congratulations on taking over at the White House. Frankly, it’s something we’ve been hoping for for quite a long time around here.
And finally, the segment ended with this exchange:
Scarborough: Willie, since she is now NBC News Chief White House correspondent, she’s going to grow a goatee?
Geist: No, I think we’ve all learned the lesson from Chuck Todd, goatees just don’t work on TV.
Guthrie: I don’t think I could pull it off. I don’t think I want to, either.
Scarborough: God bless you, Savannah Guthrie. Thanks for being with us. NBC News’ Chief White House correspondent, Savannah Guthrie.
While the transcript may read like a surprise announcement being fumblingly handled on-air, the clip itself suggests that after Scarborough’s tongue-in-cheek introduction, everyone decided to roll with it and have some fun at Chuck Todd’s expense. Apparently, that’s exactly the case.
“It was all just a joke,” MSNBC spokesperson Jeremy Gaines told us. “Any regular viewer would know that it was a joke.”
As of 2pmET, Todd’s Wikipedia page read, “Guthrie became chief White House Correspondent on August 3, 2009,” while Guthrie’s said “She announced that she would assume the position of Chief White House Correspondent on Morning Joe August 3, 2009.” Both were apparently the work of overeager fans who fell victim to some air quotes. In regards to the rumors spreading online, Gaines said: “That’s silly. That’s just silly.”
Speaking of odd happenings on “Morning Joe” today… After the jump, Scarborough also had an interesting question for a riled up Dylan Ratigan…
Scarborough: Can I ask you a question? Just between you and me, how many lines did you do before coming out here today?
Here’s the clip (about two-thirds in):