Hypocritical Today show update at bottom
A quick warning right off the bat: If you're currently sipping on some kind of drink, swallow it, because in a moment you're going to read something that will make you laugh out loud.
Just before Christmas, Amy Adams was scheduled to appear on the Today show to talk about her new film, Big Eyes. The spot, however, was canceled at the last minute by NBC. Supposedly during the pre-interview Adams found out that she was going to be asked to comment on the Sony hack and its impact, given that she and Jennifer Lawrence were mentioned in documents released by the hackers which showed that the two of them made less money for American Hustle than their male co-stars. The thing is, Amy Adams decided that she didn't want to talk about the Sony hack, for understandable reasons, not the least of which was that she felt she couldn't speak authoritatively on it. Because of her desire not to comment publicly on the subject, NBC decided to scrub the interview altogether.
And now, the punchline. In a statement to Deadline, NBC said that the reason it felt it needed to back out of the Adams interview was, "As a news program, the Today show doesn’t allow guests to dictate restrictions on interviews." As a news program -- so the Today show is a news program now.
Make no mistake: Today has always been, nominally, a news show. It began that way and it remains that way today. Not only is it under the NBC News banner it's the most important property in the NBC News family in terms of revenue. Unfortunately, you'd never know it these days, not when the show continues to do the kind of thing it's done for the past few days. If you haven't been watching -- and I can't in good conscience suggest that you do -- Today is once again acting as a promotional tool for The Celebrity Apprentice. On Sunday, it was mustachioed piece of beef jerky Geraldo Rivera and former Aflac duck Gilbert Gottfried who sat down for interviews and then on Tuesday morning, Gottfried returned along with that kid your tween daughters forced you to endure back in 2008, Kevin Jonas. Each of these people is a contestant on The Celebrity Apprentice this season which means that each of these interviews is nothing more than one big act of autofellatio by NBC. The Today show -- "news" program that it is -- is allowing itself to be a commercial for an NBC Entertainment property.
More than that, Today is shilling for Donald Trump, which requires that the show -- again, a "news" program -- look the other way in the face of a whole litany of Trump offenses past and present. Back in 2011, MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell audaciously called out NBC Entertainment because he understood that it was purposely hamstringing NBC's news division and creating a conflict-of-interest by not confirming or denying that Trump would be available to run for president in 2012, as he was relentlessly threatening to do. O'Donnell assumed that NBC Entertainment knew whether it had already signed Trump for another season of The Celebrity Apprentice, the shooting of which would mean he'd be otherwise occupied around campaign time. In other words, NBC Entertainment was allowing NBC News to speculate on whether or not Trump would run -- falling right into his narcissistic, self-promotional trap -- when it almost certainly knew the answer all along.
If Today were the news show it claims to be, it would've refused to promote Trump over this and myriad other infractions which have been well-documented, but every year there it is like an obedient lapdog pimping this crap. It's laughable that Today hides behind its "news" designation when it's convenient but spends most of its time handing itself over to the families of presidents, being the official press secretariat of the Duggars, and hiring Pippa Middleton as a correspondent.
If Amy Adams were on The Celebrity Apprentice -- or if the film she was promoting happened to be produced by Universal -- there'd be no way Today would cut her interview, no matter what she did or didn't feel like talking about. You've gotta love that kind of dedication to journalistic integrity. It's what a real news operation is all about.
Then again, I guess we should expect this kind of thing by now.
Adding: I missed this but Angelina Jolie did a pre-taped interview with Today last week and was asked about the Sony hacking scandal. She refused to answer the question and yet the interview aired the following day, as scheduled. Today apparently wasn't as willing to stand its journalistic ground this time around. Wanna know why? Sure, it's Angelina Jolie and her stock is a little more valuable than Amy Adams'. But that's not the real reason. The real reason Jolie's interview didn't get cut by NBC was that she was promoting her new movie, Unbroken -- and it's a Universal picture. So ironically, Today ran with the Jolie spot for exactly the same reason it's pimping The Celebrity Apprentice: it's promoting itself. And the wheel of corporate media synergy spins on and on.
RELATED: Seriously, what the hell is going on at NBC?